Today’s older adults are living longer, healthier and more active lifestyles. For some, senior living communities are an ideal environment for finding “the one.” Whether you’re just starting to date again or you’re a veteran of the single scene, try applying these tips to make yourself Cupid’s next target:
Find creative ways to expand your social circle
If you’re ready to branch out and build new relationships, start looking for ways to meet new people. Start slow and stay close to home by joining clubs and attending events within your own community. If you feel involved enough already, look into community events, meetup groups or even senior speed-dating for a fun way to meet a variety of new people.
Open up about expectations
Do you have your sights set on true love, or are you looking for a conversation partner at meals? There are so many reasons to meet new people, so it’s important to make sure your interests align. If you know what type of relationship you’re seeking with someone, start a conversation early on to see if they feel the same way. For example, if someone isn’t sharing your passions for romance, be respectful of their wishes and open to building a lifelong friendship instead.
Look ahead, not back, for a great relationship
For windows and widowers, wanting a new relationship can bring mixed emotions. Dating can be a double-edged sword for those who have already found, and lost, their soulmate: on one hand, it’s not uncommon to feel guilt for wanting a partner, and on the other, it’s tempting to seek out someone who reminds you of your late companion. If you’re feeling uncertain about new relationships, consider taking it slow and focusing on getting to know potential partners. Rather than recreating the chemistry you had, try to branch out and date people who inspire and challenge you in different ways.
Stay confident! Compatibility is your most attractive quality
Age is just a number and looks aren’t everything. Unsurprisingly, adults over 50 are using dating apps differently than their younger counterparts. More seniors are focusing on finding suitors with lifestyles compatible to their own. Instead of staying stuck in a limited dating pool, older adults on the dating scene tend to be more flexible about a potential partner’s age or appearance and more invested in finding someone with shared interests.
Let your loved ones know
Having a support system available to give advice and look out for your best interests will make it easier and more fun to ease into the dating scene. Listen to what your loved ones are saying and respect their advice, especially when it comes to safety and privacy, but be aware that, for example, not all adult children will be immediately accepting of a widowed parent reentering the dating scene, and sometimes they need time to adjust to the idea too.
…but don’t let loved ones be deal-breakers
You don’t need to rule out dating just because a loved one hasn’t entirely warmed up to the idea. Instead, be prepared to talk about why you want to date and how you plan to do it safely. When introducing new partners or describing new relationships, take a more gentle or subtle approach at first and reassure your loved ones about how your new partner makes you happy.
Consider taking your love life online
Technology is changing how the world connects. Whether you’re having trouble meeting new people in your community or finding more duds than sweethearts, sites like OurTime and eHarmony are great platforms to introduce yourself to the single community. Smartphone apps like Stitch make it even more convenient for finding companions of all kinds when you’re already out and about.
…and stay wary of online scammers
Even on tried and true senior-friendly dating sites, remember to stay alert for signs of misuse. Always stay patient and cautious about who you choose to meet, and never give out money or personal information related to finance or social security. If someone seems suspicious, cut them loose!