When you are coming back to the dating scene, it's never easy no matter what age you are. Especially when you are over 50, it can be extremely scary to be back in the same place that your kids are in: the dating pool. If you haven't been dating because of a long-term marriage or just you didn't feel the time was right, making the switch to take your status from "on hiatus" to "actively dating" can be a bigger change than you anticipated.
Finding love at this age is absolutely attainable. However, you have to have an action plan to make sure that you're doing what's necessary to meet someone, since the last time you were out there the rules were way different. With the right strategies and a positive mind-set, you'll be ready to turn on your "actively dating" status.
- Be proactive (not passive) to maximize your chances of meeting men: Flirting at the gym and going to bars may no longer be your scene, which means it's time for a venue change for where you will meet people. You are going to have to seek out ways to meet people and not think that Mr. Right will just show up at your door. Join a club to mingle with people who have similar interests as you, go to a weekly exercise group (and talk to people there) or seek out new hobbies for a change of pace to build new relationships.
- Consider using services like a Dating Coach and joining online social groups: Think of a dating coach as your therapist — a much more cost-effective therapist, that is. Dating coaches can help you get back in today's dating game by revitalizing your strategies and helping you outline your expectations. Keep in mind that your friends may listen and offer a shoulder to cry on, but dating experts often know more details about today's dating climate. Need to friends to go with? Free online services like Meetup.com allow you to meet new and exciting people in age appropriate environments without expensive financial commitments.
- Give online dating a shot (or two): Good news for you, ladies: people in their 50's take online dating more seriously. Online dating introduces you to people you wouldn't normally meet. Compel potential suitors by tailoring your online profile so it markets you in the best light possible. Make sure that you are honest in your profile and put pictures that show case you in the best possible way. And yes, you will have to write to men that you are interested in, so be prepared to learn how to flirt online.
- Meet new friends who are in your shoes: If most of your friends are married with kids, don't let that be your excuse for not going out. Finding a new wing-woman or two will be beneficial to your dating experiences. Not every potential outing you go on will lead to a new date, so making sure that you add new friends to the mix will keep you from getting frustrated and remind you that life is about doing things you enjoy with both friends and romantic partners. Having fun in your day-to-day life can lead you to Mr. Right, so let some new friends join you on your venture.
- Recheck your own appearance and your expectations: If you're after work outfits consist of pant suits instead of a cute black dress, it may be time to renovate your wardrobe. You're beginning a new and exciting life chapter, and your appearance should be a reflection of showing that you can separate your work and dating life. If you haven't dated since your 20's remember that the guys (and you) have both aged. If you need to lose 20 pounds, put in the effort. Be prepared to be flexible about your ideal man's location and look as well. If you've moved to a big city, your match might not be living there yet. Don't look at driving an extra half hour as a reason to nix someone. Like tall men? Only 14% of men are over 6 feet — and you still have to figure in the age range you are looking for. Feel a guy should have great hair? With 45% of men over 50 suffering from hair loss, ask yourself what's most important to you.
While there may not be a magic bullet to dating over 50, expect that it takes time and persistence to meet someone. Don't give up after a few failed dates or outings. You are no longer looking for an entry-level experience, which means that you need to give different avenues a try — since you know from falling in love before, that it can all be worth it.
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