The first rule: Be really sure you are really ready to date. If you’re not ready, you simply aren’t in a position to find a “healthy” relationship. To do so, you need to feel reasonably happy and confident of your worth. If you’re still angry or hurt from a past relationship, wait awhile. You need to feel and be positive, open and up for an adventure. If you’re having trouble getting to the right mental space, you might consider seeing a relationship coach.
A good way to find a dating partner is to look for a friend with shared interests rather than just trying to find someone to date. Meeting people at book clubs, church groups, political events, singles events, go dancing, hobby gatherings and community classes can be a way to find potential dates with similar interests. Online dating can be helpful too, though only 6% of people ages 53 to 65 have used it compared with 10% of 18 to 24 year olds.
If you play a recreational sport, there may be someone at the park who you might find interesting. Nothing is more romantic than a picnic in a beautiful spot. Check out a farmers market or flea market in your area. Think about your hobbies and what you like to do.
A first date can be nerve-wracking at any age, and especially for single seniors who are out of practice. Look up an old friend. Remember the guy you dated in college for two years and lost touch with? Do you still think about the beautiful girl your traveled around Europe with for a month? If you remember someone fondly from your past, it could be worth looking them up online. Be open to experiencing each date and each person for what they have to offer, no expectations.
Most important… Be safe. Meet in public. When you find someone you are interested in – or someone finds you — exercise caution. At least initially, talk on your smart phone instead of your home phone, which can be linked to your address. For a first date, meet in a safe, very public place – a coffee shop is ideal.
“One of the huge challenges of seniors wanting to date again is getting the support of family, especially their children. Even though you are ready to date again, you may find that your children aren’t as ready. Take the necessary steps to ensure that your kids are prepared for the next phase of your life. You could talk to them about their own fears or apprehensions about dating again and assure them that you are confident that this is the right time to open up and let another person in once again. You must include your children in your decision-making. Let them know that their opinion is highly important but that they should respect your final decision on the matter.” ~ Top10BestDatingSites Staff (http://www.top10bestdatingsites.com/senior/advice)
Until you know the person better and are confident he/she is who he/she claims to be, don’t let a date drive you anywhere or even walk you to your car if it’s a secluded place. Though most people are honest and well-meaning, you shouldn’t take any risks at all.
It probably goes without saying that by age 50+, you have had a few love relationships in your life. There’s no need to give a new love interest the play-by-play. In other words, don’t mention your ex. The same goes for dwelling on your kids. Your children are never ever as fascinating to other people as they are to you.
It is normal to wonder if dating has changed dramatically (by the way… it has!), or if you’ll remember how to date. Dating in your 20s was a whole lot easier and more fun. The most important factor is that you should set your own rules. Don’t worry about how others date, but focus on what you feel comfortable with. If your rule has always been that you don’t kiss on the first date, then don’t worry about whether it’s “old school.” Age should, at the very least, earn you the right to set some comfortable boundaries.
What about senior intimacy (code words for senior sex)? The rule is that you make the rules that best suit you. Again, I stress, be safe. Things are quite different now with the worry of sexually-transmitted diseases. However, remember age is not a preventative for sexually-transmitted diseases and you are never too old for safe sex.
Okay! Time to get your “brave” up and get to it! No more long nights of couch sitting to binge watch movies or shows. Never let age be your cage!
Copyright © 2015 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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