It’s important not to make assumptions in dating, especially in the areas of sexual expectations and gender roles. The way you and your date communicate about and focus on the future will dictate compatibility. Many older daters feel more sexually liberated and confident than in days of their insecure, inexperienced youth. Try to avoid talking about exes on the first date — or at least mention them only in passing and without bitterness. If you’re nervous about meeting a stranger for dinner, opt for a daytime date. Sure, you should show up to dinner solo, but don’t start dating again without letting loved ones know.Perhaps the greatest difference between dating in your twenties and dating in your fifties is the way you see and talk about the future. Others are paralyzed by body issues and are terrified of being with someone new. Bitterness is often the greatest criticism from older daters. If you’re overwhelmed by someone’s affections, explain that you need to move slowly. Not every person you date has to be “the one.” Besides, there’s no more ticking of that biological clock; instead of dating out of a sense of urgency to marry and have kids, you can slow down and ensure that you’re in a relationship for the right reasons. Tell your friends you’re ready to meet someone, and welcome them to set you up.Note: With the greater prevalence of STDs today, even postmenopausal women should insist on protection during sexual activity. Don’t expect everyone to understand; instead, stand up for yourself with gentleness and grace in those situations. You can still be vibrant and youthful in your fifties and sixties and beyond. Volunteer, take classes, go to church, and spend quality time with good friends.Take care of yourself, live life with purpose, and aim to be someone you’d want to date. If you’re self-assured, prioritizing what matters and pursuing the things you love, you’re living a full life. Online dating is now the norm, with people getting to know each other online — or at least screening each other — before that first date.Your career is significantly further along than it was decades ago; financial security is often a benefit to dating later in life. Aging and death aren’t as distant as they once were. Know your boundaries and values before starting to date someone new. Teens may not always seem interested in what their parents are doing but when it comes to dating and love, they are watching every move.
Dating is still about getting to know someone, taking the time to see if you connect spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and physically. From early on, be intentional about showing real interest in the other person and getting to know one another as transparently as possible.
Most of that age-old advice is as pertinent as ever: Be yourself, smile, keep an open mind, and be honest.
And some are wrestling with hormonal issues that negatively affect their sex lives. Take life lessons from relationship disappointments and only start to date again when you’re ready to approach someone new with hope and optimism. If you have adult children, you might find that the tables have turned with them now eager to give you dating advice.
Talking about sex is no longer taboo; expect to have these conversations fairly early on in a new dating relationship. Involve your family as much as you feel comfortable, but expect that the politics of death and divorce might have some of them feeling uneasy about you seeing someone new.
Whether you’ve been dating for a while or you’re re-entering the dating scene after heartache, don’t fear dating after 50.
What you’ve lost to Father Time you’ve gained in wisdom and experience. Dating may seem a little scarier now than it did when you were in your twenties, but in many ways nothing has changed.