Dating in your senior years can be difficult. Just trying to meet new people as an adult can bring its own unique set of challenges. But not all hope is lost! Did you know that 29% of seniors have gone on a date with someone they met using a dating app? Although meeting dates through mutual friends still reigns as number one for seniors, dating apps come in a close second.
Things in the dating world are rapidly changing and it can be hard to keep up. But don’t worry! With these tips you will have a better understanding of what to expect and how to get started. The most important thing to remember is that dating is supposed to be fun! Keep that in mind as you explore the tips below.
Meeting new people
Meet someone online.
Although it may feel intimidating, online dating is a great way to dip your feet back into the dating pool. There are plenty of great online dating sites to make a profile, match with others and start a conversation. Try ourtime.com, a dating website for people ages 50 and up that is easy to set up and very user friendly. You may also try match.com or seniormatch.com, which are two of the most popular dating websites for seniors.
Look up old friends.
Check out your high school yearbook or look up a former coworker. Reach out to them and see if they’d like to get a cup of coffee. If you’re active on Facebook search for them and message them. It is always nice to catch up with old friends. They probably would like to hear from you and see how you have been doing, too! If you do not have a Facebook profile, it’s easy to create one. Here is a great video to show step by step how to create an account.
Be willing to make the first move.
Don’t be afraid to approach someone first. Try using open ended questions, as they provide the opportunity to foster a conversation instead of a simple yes, no, or thanks type of response. A question like “How are you doing?” might end with a short response like “good thanks.” Try saying something like “what type of coffee is that?” followed up with another question that could be easily answered and elaborated on.
Be part of a community.
If you are retired, you may have some free time to try new things. Join a book club, knitting club, or an adult ministry at church. Consider moving to a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) where you can engage in many activities, develop or start new hobbies and meet like-minded seniors in your new community.
Attend a different church in the area.
If you attend church regularly, try attending a new church. Parishioners everywhere greet new people at the door and love to see new faces attending their services. Parishioners often will reach out to new people in the crowd and drum up a conversation and really try to get to know you. There is usually a sense of community and a high attendance of seniors who might be single. You can sit with another single at the service and grab a cup of coffee together afterwards.
Ask a friend to set you up.
Tell your friends and family that you are dating and ask them if they know anybody who is single and looking to date or meet new people. Your loved ones should have some good judgement on whether or not you have similar interests and might hit it off.
Try the gym.
Yes, the gym! Try to attend group exercises like a yoga class, a dance class, chair dance class, or swimming. The gym can be a social place. Many people attend at the same times during each day and are willing to strike up a conversation about workouts, diets and fitness. If you are looking for an active partner this is a great place to look. Many CCRCs have aquatic and fitness centers where you could exercise with other seniors.
Keep these thing in mind when on a date.
Have fun and be yourself.
The most important thing is to have fun and be yourself! You are dating because you want to meet new people and live a high-quality life. Let loose and be yourself. If you are silly and fun don’t hide that on the first date.
You've put in your time in the workplace, and are now enjoying the freedom of retirement. If you have been on a couple of dates with someone and you hit it off think about trying something completely new! You could go to a new city for the weekend and grab lunch at a cool spot.
Know what you want.
Take some time to think what your non-negotiables are—traits you’re looking for and things to avoid. Think about what you need from a partner and what you couldn’t do without. Maybe you know you need someone who is going to spend quality time with you. It’s also good to think about what you know you couldn’t put up with like a bad habit or a negative attitude. Nobody is perfect and some priorities outweigh others. If you identify a quality that is a deal breaker, don't be afraid to move on with your search.
Don’t think too hard.
Remember, you’re both just trying to figure out if you like each other. You’re having fun meeting new people. Just because you went on a couple of dates does not mean you have to start a relationship. You are just getting to know them. After the first date you will probably know if you want to get together again. Take it day by day. There is no rush. If there are other people you are curious about meet them too! Don’t think too much into it.
Getting back into the dating world can be very intimidating. You never know what to expect from a first date and might get nervous.
Just remember to relax and be yourself. Try an online dating site, look up old friends, or immerse yourself in a community of like-minded individuals, a church or a club!
For more information on how CCRCs can enrich your life, download our free eBook today!
About Abigail Lee
Recently, Presbyterian Senior Living teamed up with the Communication/Journalism Department at Shippensburg University to provide students with professional writing experience. This opportunity allows students to not only learn the ins and outs of blog writing but also offers them a platform for published works. This author is a Communication/Journalism student at Shippensburg University.