Many people, who are in their 50s and considering dating, find that the subject is difficult to approach. Perhaps a long time has passed since they were on the dating scene, or it may be that they simply feel as if there is no one out there who is looking for them as well. In this chapter, we are going to discuss how to get started with dating in your 50s through a series of tips that will assist you in the process. By following these tips, you can help to build your self-confidence and ensure that you are ready for what dating has to offer.
Tip #1 – Commit Yourself
Perhaps one of the most important things that you can do when you are considering dating, is to commit yourself to the process. Think about what may take place in both the short-term and long-term, and be sure of all your goals. If necessary, grab a pencil and piece of paper and write down your goals one by one. At the very least, this will give you an overview of your personal views of dating after 50, as well as some insight into what you can expect.
Tip #2 – Forget the Comfort Zone
One of the difficulties that many of us have when we start dating is that we stick to our comfort zone. Of course, when you’re first out of the starting gate, it’s a good idea for you to do what’s comfortable for you, so that you can get your feet wet, so to speak. From that point forward, however, try to explore other avenues of dating to ensure that you find the one who is going to be right for you. Don’t be afraid to look into speed dating, dating through friends, or even online dating, as they can all add a different dimension to the process of finding the right partner.
Tip #3 – Be the Best That You Can Be
If you’re just entering the dating scene in your 50s, this is an opportunity for you to improve on your life in a number of different ways. Of course, you would never want to put on a show that would be difficult to maintain for the length of the relationship, but it would not hurt for you to show your best side when you’re out and about. This can be in the form of maintaining the best online dating profile that is possible, or it can mean being on your best behavior when you’re out on a date. Both men and women can learn from this tip.
Tip #4 – Don’t Expect Perfection
If you haven’t been on a date in quite some time, you may be expecting a higher level of perfection out of somebody that is also in their 50s. The fact of the matter is, however, none of us are perfect and you should not expect that your date is going to be perfect as well. Of course, it is important for you to look for somebody who is compatible with you, and although they may have flaws, these should not be something that will be harmful to your comfort level over the long run. Try to look for the best in people, while at the same time, keep your eyes open for any issues that should send you running in the opposite direction.
Tip #5 – Avoid the Excuses
How long have you been considering going out on a date again? If you are like many people in their 50s, you have been tossing around the idea for quite some time. If there is one thing that is easy to do when you are in your 50s and considering dating, it’s making up excuses as to why you shouldn’t go for it. It’s time for you to avoid the excuses and to put your best foot forward. You are never going to find that special someone if you keep finding reasons to avoid them.
Tip #6 – Avoid the Hollywood Syndrome
Television and movies have taught us many things about life and the opposite sex, but unfortunately, few of them are accurate. It is very important for you to look at the person you’re dating without the expectations that have been built up over the years of watching the big screen. After all, problems are never fixed within a 30-minute sitcom (including commercials), and the perfect romance that is so popular at the movies is never going to happen.
Tip #7 – The Difficulty With Date Hopping
Another issue that many people face when they began dating in their 50s is that they find themselves looking for something that is slightly better. They may jump from one relationship to another quickly, perhaps even juggling several of them at one time. Although it is never a good idea for you to simply settle on someone who may not be good for you, it is important for you to accept that you may have already found someone who will make an excellent companion. Take the time to explore your options, but avoid the temptation of looking several different directions at once.
Tip #8 – Maintain a Tough Exterior
This advice is especially important for those who are just getting their start with dating in their 50s. You are going to find many people who will show an interest in you, especially if you’re trying online dating or speed dating in your local area. Quite simply, there are going to be some of those individuals who are better left alone, and others who may spark your interest. It is important for you to be honest with yourself, as well as others, when it is time to move on. Although this may be a bit out of your comfort zone, it will be to your advantage in the long run.
Tip #9 – Leave Your Options Open
It can be easy to have the perfect individual in mind for a long-term relationship. This is especially true if you were happy with your former relationship and are looking for something similar. Although there may be a certain degree of comfort associated with that type of personality, it may not be the only personality that is right for you. It is always best if you leave your options open and take a look around at some of the possibilities when dating other people. You may just find that certain someone who is the polar opposite of what you had in mind.
Tip #10 – Know Your Limitations
From the very start, there will be certain types of personality traits that are not going to work very well for you. Although it is important for you to keep an open mind and to explore various possibilities, there are certain things that can easily be used to determine that a relationship is not right for you. Have a short list available of things that will absolutely not work for you, and use them to prune the edges of your potential dating opportunities.
Tip #11 – Look at the Short-Term
When establishing your goals, be sure that you consider all of the short-term steps that need to be taken in order to establish a relationship. These may be as simple as trying different ways of dating, such as speed dating in your local area, or they can be in regards to the first date and beyond. Having a list of short-term goals can help to keep you focused on the task and make it easier for you to find someone who will last for the long-term.
Tip #12 – Look at the Long-Term
Many people approach dating with a short-term goal in mind. They may simply want to get through the initial phase and enter into a comfortable relationship. Although it is a good idea for you to set short-term goals, it is also important for you to establish long-term goals from the start. These goals do not need to be shared with the other person at first, but they can work as a guideline to keep you on track for a better long-term relationship.
Tip #13 – Enlist Some Help
Although you may be independent if you are living life in your 50s, there are times when it is beneficial to lean on others. This may be the case if you are dating, especially if you are having difficulty finding someone special. It may be necessary for you to enlist the help of family or friends, or you can even seek the help of a professional dating coach. It can be difficult to put yourself in the hands of other people in making these types of decisions, but you should consider it more a form of guidance than of letting go of your autonomy. Seeking help from somebody who knows you intimately as a friend or family member may go a long way towards helping you find someone special.
Tip #14 – Show Some Appreciation
One of the most important things that you can do when you are establishing a relationship is to show appreciation for the other person. At times, this may be difficult, especially if you were in a stressful relationship for years and are trying to establish one that is a much better fit for you. In addition, many of your peers will come from a time in which manners were an essential part of social contact. When you show some manners, along with some appreciation, will find it much easier to form a good relationship.
Tip #15 – Avoid Taking on a Project
One final piece of advice that I would have for you is to avoid taking on any projects when it comes to choosing a prospective date. There may be somebody who you think would be a suitable companion, but who has a number of personality flaws that you believe need fixing. Don’t try to change anyone, because it may end up backfiring in the long run. Accept a person for who they are and move on with the relationship if possible, or if not, bow out gracefully rather than attempt to mold the person into your idea of a perfect partner.