Dating advice in later life

Posted on: 11 February 2009 by Gareth Hargreaves

Having trouble finding success as a midlife dater? Friends Reunited have weighed in on the missteps you may be making and how to refocus your energies in a way that will bring you a fulfilling relationship.

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Dating becomes more complicated as you get older – often people are dating again after a relationship has broken down or they’ve been bereaved. It can be harder to have an active social life if you’re bringing up children and working, friends may all be married and there are fewer opportunities to meet new people.

It can also be hard to have the confidence to get back out there, particularly if you’ve been involved in a messy break up that has knocked your self-esteem.

Online dating was initially the preserve of the young, internet savvy generation but has steadily found a niche among older daters. Going online is a great way to meet people you would never normally come across in your day-to-day life, especially if your week is becoming more and more routine.

Running into eligible strangers just doesn’t happen as often as it did when you were a regular in the pubs and clubs but by following a few tips you can maximise your chances of success.

Our Top Tips

Use A Good Photo Of Yourself

Try and use one of you smiling or having fun – sultry can just come across as moody when someone doesn’t know you..

Write An Interesting Profile 

Don’t just say you like evenings in front of a DVD with a bottle of red wine – mention something that gives an idea of who you are.

You volunteer at weekends, enjoy long hill walks, spend every winter travelling in Africa, love growing prize vegetables, coach a school football team, sing in a choir… whatever it is, choose something that gives a flavour of you – your personality, your hobbies and your interests.

Don’t Be Too Prescriptive About What You’re Looking For

Yes, your ideal woman might be blonde and petite, or your ideal man a six footer with dark hair, but in reality you’re just as likely to fall in love with someone who looks completely different.

Email Lots Of People

Don’t just put your profile up and hope people will come to you – do some searches, see who’s out there.

When you’ve found some interesting profiles, email them to say hello. This can be a really tough email to write, but don’t feel under too much pressure – after all, you’re really just breaking the ice like you would at a party or in a pub.

Say hello, say you liked their profile (their photo, their sense of humour, whatever it was that caught your eye) and if you can, make a joke or ask a question or say something to tempt them to write back.

Remember To Reply To Unwanted Emails

If you are emailed by people you don’t want to communicate with, it’s fair to write back and say so, rather than just ignore them.

There’s nothing more crushing than emailing lots of people and being met with stone-cold silence in return! If you don’t want to say you’re not interested, you can always say you’ve met someone else, which lets them down gently.

Remember It’s OK To Talk To More Than One Person At Once

After all, they’re only conversations at this point.

Arrange A Meeting Or At Least A Phone Call Quickly

People can come across very differently in email and it’s good to at least hear their voice before you spend too long writing to each other. If you meet, you’ll know instantly whether there’s any chemistry there and whether it’s worth pursuing.

Play It Safe When Meeting Up

Meet in a public place and make sure you know how you’re going to get home. Don’t drink too much alcohol if you’ve taken your car, even if you are nervous.

Women should really tell a friend where they’re going and the name of the person they’re going to meet – obviously at this stage you might not want people to know you’re going on a blind date, but it’s much safer if someone knows your plans.

Dating Online

Online dating is a great way for people to put their foot back into the singles’ world. If you can’t get out much because you’re caring for children, it’s a handy way to talk to people in the evenings. If you live in an isolated place, it can bring you into contact with people you’d never normally meet.

And if you’re nervous about putting yourself in social situations, it’s a great way to practice having conversations with single people of the opposite sex.

Blind dates can be terrifying, but once you’ve done it once or twice they can be fun. It’s always exciting going to meet someone new, there’s the frisson of not knowing whether this is going to be ‘the one’. And if nothing else, it’s more interesting to spend an hour or two talking to a stranger than watching the TV.

What’s more, there’s nothing like a bit of a flirt to make you feel young again.

Have you tried online dating? Have you found it successful?

Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below or share your thoughts with other readers in the 50connect forums.

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