Zoosk, Christian Mingle, Match.Com-these are just a few of the popular dating sites that have been ruling millennials dating scene. It doesn’t matter if you are searching for a fling or a long-term relationship; the idea of dating after 50 has changed drastically with this generation due to the rise of online dating.
However, if you find yourself being unfamiliar with how social media works, using these tools can be a challenge to figure out todays dating landscape. It doesn’t matter if you find yourself single late in life or if you have yet to marry, dating after 50 can be difficult for most everyone. For me, being a single mother, soon to turn 52, with both my children still under their teen years, this can be one scary step.
While all the traditional ways of dating do still exist, let’s face it, times have changed. It’s a big scary world out there and getting to know someone over the internet is even more challenging than running into a person at a club and talking face to face as it once was in our younger days. Remember when clubs existed? That’s like looking at a pay phone and having your children ask you “what is that old thing”.
There are plenty of apps and dating sites to pick and choose from giving you options so that you can be careful in picking the ones you feel comfortable with. Don’t make the same mistakes as you read where other singles wish they had never signed up.
Here are a few tips for singles while learning how to date when you are over 50.
Assuming you should ask for a second date while on the first date.
Want to know what awkward feels like really fast? Assume that you both are having enough fun that you jump right in and ask for a second date while you are on the first date and they say, “Um, let me think about that”. Ouch! Never jump that fast on the very first date. Remember, your date may not be as comfortable on the dating scene as you.
While you may feel comfortable asking for a second date because you have enjoyed the first one, give it some time before you go in for a second step. Years ago before divorce, tense courtship and mistrust came along it was nothing to ask for round two, especially if marriage was on the brain. But this isn’t 30 years ago and today’s world is by far the same.
Putting yourself and your date in a situation where you’ve asked point blank for a second date puts you both in a predicament where it would be hard to say no. Imagine how awkward the goodbye would be if you were told “nope, not gonna happen” or how uncomfortable the remainder of the first date would be. Be patient for yourself and your date. Exchange emails and phone numbers so that you both can take time to talk and text getting to know more about the other before that next step is taken.
Listening Is As Important As Talking
With this being said, listening to each other is a must for both parties. Have you ever been on a date or just had a conversation where you felt as though you didn’t get one word in? Did you lose interest fast because you’ve sat there and heard someone’s’ entire life story without you saying one word? Listening has got to be a two-way street. You have to learn to talk just as well as listen. Don’t go on a date being so tense that you don’t join the conversation, leaving it up to your date to carry the entire evening. Let them know about yourself. Do you have children? Are your parents alive? (It’s best to leave out politics and religion until later). After reaching our 50’s, we all have so much to convey, but it makes for a much interesting date if listening is mutual.
Go With the Flow
This part is directed to both parties; however, women into their 50’s have a tendency to look to their dates as potential long-term partners. Most women say they do this because they aren’t interested in wasting their time. However, slow down, enjoy the ride. Nothing is wrong with going slow and really getting to know that person. As the saying goes, “to really know a person you must be around them when their internet connection is slow”. All kidding aside, you really don’t know a person until you have seen them in different situations. If you have already decided he or she was worth a date, take your time and see where it goes before jumping to judgement on the first date.
Leave the Past in the Past
This is where it gets tricky. You want to know this person better and you want to share your history with this person but you aren’t ready to lay all the cards on the table, right? We are all in different stages of our lives; however, those of us who are into our 50’s probably have a marriage (or two) under our belts or at least have had a couple relationships. Packing this luggage up and hauling it onto every date is really not necessary. When you do this you will see that the more luggage you carry the less you are able to concentrate on what is in front of you instead of what’s behind you. On your first date, maybe even the second, keep things light and casual. Talk about your interest and goals in life. Once you see things may be progressing into a more committed relationship then is the time to discuss the past if you feel it’s necessary. But while just dating, enjoy each other and have fun.
That Naughty Subject of Sex
Ok, let’s face it, men and women will differ on this topic as usual, but, people aren’t joining dating sites and getting out into the dating scene simply to find a card playing buddy or someone to go hiking on the weekends. Although, sexless relationships are a growing thing with today’s seniors, making companionship the number one reason online dating sites have becomes so popular. Having an active sex life is still important to those of us in our 50’s. Most women will use the term, “I’m not jumping into bed with you” as a warning that, “I want to be friends first” is important to her. And, that’s ok. Closeness is as important as getting to know each other is in the beginning. There is a huge difference between men and women when it comes to sex. Men have sex with a woman to find out if there is a chance of a relationship. Women have sex with a man because she believes the relationship already exists.
One thing we can all agree on is the human mind and body is made to crave stimulation. That stimulation can be a beautiful thing when two people find it in one another. Take your time and enjoy the fun while getting to know yourself as a single person but also allow yourself you open up to other adults. You may find it easy to step back into the dating scene or you made need a little easing into it. Whatever your situation is, be cautious of others, be even more cautious of yourself and these new feelings you are about to experience, all while having the time of your life.