Dating for Older People

Finding a Partner when Middle-aged

With the increase in divorce rates and long-term relationship break-ups, people are increasingly finding themselves single during the middle stages of their lives. Although it can be daunting to find yourself in this position, midlife dating can turn out to be a fun, rewarding and ultimately successful experience. It's important to remember that you're not alone. There are plenty of others looking for love in their late 30s, 40s and 50s. Returning to the dating scene after a long period is likely to be a frightening prospect, however.

If you have socialized largely with your partner over the preceding years, you may no longer have a large circle of your own friends. Even if you do, you may already have met all, or most, of your friend's associates, so this may not be a viable route to meeting a potential mate. It may seem like there is no possibility of finding a new love interest. However, due to the large amount of people finding themselves in the position of dating later in life, there are now lots of agencies and services in place that can help with this problem. There are also plenty of other steps that you can take to increase your chances of finding a new partner.

There is no longer any stigma involved in using personal ads, joining partner-finding agencies or internet dating. Increased job mobility, along with greater numbers of people who are dating later in life, put many in the position of wanting a partner but without the social contacts to find one. In fact these dating methods are now so acceptable that many younger people also use them to meet new dates.

The benefits of dating through agencies, partner finding services and online dating sites include the ability to eliminate unsuitable partners before you even meet them. You can analyze their dating profiles and decide whether they meet your desired criteria. Most daters include a picture, so you can choose someone who appeals to you physically. You can also compare interests and lifestyle preferences before you even meet. If finding love is the priority and you're not interested in spending wasted evenings trawling bars, clubs or social clubs, this kind of dating is a good bet.

Spend a little time communicating with each date before meeting them, either by email, telephone, or both, and you further increase your chances of meeting a good match. This part of the process is fun and exciting. It can also help determine whether you are likely to enjoy spending time with the person in real life. Having made a decision to make a date, arrange to meet in a public place. Tell friends and family where you will be and who you are going to meet. Safety measures are paramount as there is no guarantee that the other person is telling you the truth about themselves and their intentions. Resist spending time alone with them on a first date. Taking things slowly is sensible when meeting up with complete strangers.

Before meeting your date, spend time on your appearance. You want to look your best and when dating midlife, you may have lost a little confidence in your looks. Treat yourself to a make over in a salson before your date. Also think of some subjects to talk about. If conversation is likely to be a problem for you, think about arranging a date at a museum, or zoo, for instance. You can always talk about the exhibits, or animals, as a fall-back position.

It is a good idea to arrange a get out clause in case you really dislike the other person on meeting. Don’t specify how long you will stay with them before arriving. You can always extend the date if you like them, or make an excuse to leave, citing a prior engagement, if not. If you are nervous, take a friend. Any reasonable person will be happy about your decision to do so.

These direct approaches to dating may be too much to contemplate if your confidence is shattered after a relationship split. This is often the case. Many people feel that their dating skills are rusty and don't feel capable of diving straight into the singles scene. If this is the case, don't panic, there are many things you can do to increase the likelihood of finding potential partners through more indirect approaches. Midlife dating is a little daunting for most people but, by using a more subtle approach, you won't find yourself at risk of painful rejections.

Friends can be of assistance if they know lots of other singles. They may be prepared to arrange dinner dates with other single friends that you don't know. Otherwise, joining study groups, book clubs, pottery classes or martial arts sessions, for example, are good ways to meet people with similar interests. You can become friends with potential dates first, in the hope that it will lead to something more, and there is less pressure to perform than on a specific date. 

Joining groups is also a good way to increase your social circle if you have lost touch with old friends due to your long-term relationship. Social skills developed through these new experiences help to increase your confidence too, which helps when you are midlife dating. Learning new talents, or discovering new interests, can also give you a much needed self-esteem boost, as well as giving you more to talk about with new people.

Most importantly, try not to despair or become too desperate to become involved in a new relationship. This can be off-putting for potential dates if they pick up on it. It can also cause you to make disastrous decisions and make you feel forced to settle for second best to avoid loneliness.

Learn to love yourself first and enjoy spending some time on your own. You may be surprised at discoveries you make about your own strengths and abilities. The more independent you become, the more attractive you will be to other people. Rediscovering who you are and where your own interests and abilities lie is all part of an important personal growth period that can reap dividends in the future.

Most of all, your midlife dating should be fun. If you don't put too much pressure on yourself and learn to enjoy the experience, you are more likely to have success in the long run. Fill your life with as many positive experiences as you can, not just dates, and the relationship part will most likely just come naturally.

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