Dating Dos & Don'ts For Seniors

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Dating Dos & Don'ts For Seniors
Including specific dos and dont's if you're out there looking!

Seniors today are still of a generation that doesn't want to seem to plan for sex. There's no need for birth control, so the motivation for condom use doesn't exist. Also, senior men may not have as inevitable erections as they did when they were young, so that may make them reluctant to use condoms. However, female condoms are available, and unless you and your partner are both tested, don't assume you're safe.

Today's seniors are not content to just sit and rock, and watch the grandchildren. And, because divorce is so common, there are many more seniors looking for companionship than in previous times. Especially for those seniors who may have recently lost a spouse, dating can be highly rejuvenating. Senior sex requires a different focus and some new techniques to be satisfying. It's no surprise that sex is different for seniors than for youngsters, and so are the demographics. There are fewer men per women as we get older, because women live longer lives. So, this means older men are at a premium.

If you go to any senior center, you can see this in action. As time passes, people get wiser; they learn to look past the outer package, and they focus more on the person within. It's the character of the person that will determine whether your relationship will be a success, not his or her outward appearance. Staying fit and physically and socially active increases your odds of  finding someone to date, and also increases your libido and your chances of  successful sex. 

But, beware of too much focus on the surface, and not enough content. Such relationships quickly become empty and stressful. In  my "Unofficial Guide To Dating Again," I recommend "getting a life" by pursuing your interests in a group fashion. Taking classes, supporting causes or getting involved in civic, church or social groups will keep you interested, socially connected, and give you a chance to find someone with whom you have something in common. It's never too late for seniors to fulfill their dreams.   

Older couples have many issues to work out while dating. They are established, with clear likes and dislikes, and may have difficulty reaching agreement on lifestyle issues. They often have grown families, who may have trouble accepting a parent's or grandparent's dating. They also have relationship experience, and a widow or widower, for example, may have trouble getting beyond the previous marriage, and dealing with a  different person. Here are some dating rules for that older crowd.

Dating Dos

1. Do "shop around." Don't stay focused on one person until you've given yourself a choice. Do listen. Don't monopolize the conversation. You'll learn even more about your date, and be more relaxed. Do focus on friendship. This early, you can't know where it might go, so concentrate on developing the friendship. You can have as many friends as you want. Do get feedback. Offer your comments on the event or the restaurant, and ask your date what he or she thought of it for future reference.

2. Do let your date know if you enjoyed his/her company. A compliment is always welcome. If you'd like to do it again, say so. If you promise to call, mean it. If you've decided not to continue the relationship but feel you can't say so, don't make empty promises.

3. Do tell the truth. Don't lie, but also don't share too much too soon. You don't need to tell your date about other dates if you two have no agreement about exclusivity.

4. Do pay attention to the clues about your date. You need to learn about this person's character, not just looks and charm. Keep reading...

More dating rules from YourTango:

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.
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Dr. Tina Tessina

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Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.
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