It can be scary for seniors to start dating again. You many be divorced after a long marriage or widowed. Whatever the reason you’re looking for love again, you will probably be experiencing some fear of the unknown, body issues, guilt or other heavy emotional conflicts. Below are some tips on ways to turn the pressure of senior dating into something fun.
Take things slow. Seniors subject themselves to more pressure than younger people. They feel like they need to find the right person immediately and often do not give themselves the time or permission to look around. This can be because they are accustomed to having one committed companion or because they have been alone a long time and feel a sense of urgency. To get around this, give yourself a little time to get used to the idea. Set small goals like joining a club or going to more events. You might give your confidence a boost by getting a makeover or some new clothes. Do not pressure yourself with results just yet.
Find the familiar. If you are doing something you love, you automatically feel great and look happy. Also, doing something you enjoy is a great way to meet people who enjoy the same things! Join up with a choir or band, take a class, or simply go for a walk in the park if that’s what you like to do. You will have fun no matter what, and you may just meet someone special.
Talk! You can go to all the events and classes in the world, but if you keep your head down and stay quiet, you probably will not meet anyone. If you are shy, start off by making an effort at making eye contact and smiling at people. Work your way up to saying hello to strangers, and then practice starting up conversations… In no time you’ll be able to talk to anyone.
Volunteer. What’s familiar is great, but it’s also a good idea to do new things and keep your mind fresh. It’s also a great way to meet people. The Red Cross, Animal Rescue, Performing arts companies, schools, hospitals and many other organizations are always looking for volunteers. Who knows – you may not only find a person to fall in love with, you may fall in love with a new cause.
Online dating. Online dating can be very intimidating to many seniors. Some are unfamiliar with the computer, or they’ve heard horror stories about online relationships. If you are holding back exploring your online dating options because of this, you are doing yourself a disservice. Online dating is safe and fun. Just avoid free services. Free services do not offer the screening or privacy you need. Choose a reputable service – there are even some that cater just to seniors!
Keep and open mind. This could easily be the most important tip. When we are insecure or worried, we have a tendency to put obstacles in our way and invent reasons to fail. Do not do this! The best way to avoid it is to keep yourself focused on the end goal – finding a companion. If you focus on what could go wrong you will just set yourself up for a hard time. Allow yourself to consider new experiences and maybe even go out with someone you do not think is your type!
Getting started in the dating world again can be tough. But think about it – meeting and talking to people, getting to know them, spending more time with the people you like most – it’s a very natural thing. Just relax, get out of your own way, and concentrate on expanding your social network and the right person will find you.
by Ed Yourdon