Thoughts of “dating,” typically conjure images of teenagers with sweaty palms and stomachs filled with fluttering butterflies.
But as people live longer and more productive lives, the search for new romance and true love is no longer confined to the young. Many older people, for many reasons, are finding themselves back on the social scene and seeking someone special.
For some, it is the death of a spouse that returns them to the dating pool. For others, retirement offers the first respite from the hectic pace of a career that always kept them too busy to settle down.
Some things do indeed get easier with age, but, unfortunately, dating isn’t one of them. As difficult as it may be to find Mr or Ms Right in younger days, it is even more difficult for older people to move within a social circle and begin a new relationship.
The scene may have changed quite a bit since you were last single and looking. But don’t panic, the underlying goal remains finding someone compatible with your interests and beliefs. Good attitude and a good sense of humor are still desirable at any age.
Where do you start the search?
You might consider signing up for an adult education class. Many singles, of all ages, meet once a week to learn about cooking, crafts, careers, computers and more. These courses are a great way to find someone with similar interests.
If shared religion is important to you in a significant other, volunteering your time to the various bazaars, picnics, pancake breakfasts and fundraisers your church holds from time to time is a good way to meet someone who fits the bill. You just have to have a little faith.
A popular meeting place for the young is a local gym or athletic club. But you don’t have to be in the prime of youth to enjoy such a membership. The better clubs offer special programs and regimens for older clientele and these various classes and exercise sessions can provide the opportunity to meet others who, like you, are concerned with getting the most out of life.
There is also the option of joining a personal introduction service. If you are careful and selective, joining a service that is both reputable and popular, you may find that their expert matchmaking abilities can seek out either a pleasant date or perfect mate. A top-notch introduction service will offer background checks to ensure that Mr. Right doesn’t turn out to be Mr. Right-Out-Of-Prison.
With a database of available singles and the ability to match interests and personality traits, a dating service may be able to greatly reduce the time it takes for you to meet someone special. It may still take some time and effort to find true love, but at least such services can open doors for you and maximize your odds for success.
When you do meet someone, and it comes time for that first date, don’t panic. Try to remain calm and upbeat. Consider the following bits of advice for ensuring that you and your date have a pleasant evening:
- Try to make plans that are fun and different, but keep it simple and don’t plan for a whole day event. The first meeting should be casual, going out for coffee or a light lunch, perhaps.
- Be clear about the date, time and place you are to meet. Being on time is crucial if you are to make a good impression, so if you are unfamiliar with the location, get directions and leave a little early to allow for possibly getting lost.
- Even though you may be nervous, maintain your sense of humour. Good humour is both an ice breaker and (if all goes well ) an aphrodisiac.
- After being on your own for so long you might be tempted to blurt out too much, too soon. Don’t wear your heart of your sleeve. There are some things in your personal life that people don’t need to know when they first meet you. Keep a positive attitude during conversation and don’t dwell on past relationships.
- Don’t focus the conversation all on yourself. Ask questions to show you have an interest in your date and his/her interests and views.
- Dress neatly and conservatively. Save your torn jeans, sweatshirts and trainers for some other time.
- No matter how mature or worldly you may be, you can never be too cautious with someone you don’t know well. Meet in a public place, with each of you taking your own vehicle. To be safe, it is always a good idea to inform a friend or relative of your plans and where you are going.
The most important advice of all is to relax and try not to feel that you are under any pressure. Treat any first date or casual meeting as a great opportunity to meet a new friend – nothing more, nothing less. If the two of you don’t hit it off, don’t worry. If at first you don’t succeed… try, try again. Finding love is a lot like what is often said about the lottery. You can’t win if you don’t play.Last modified: January 8, 2021