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Dating Over 50: 100 Tips and Resources for Finding Love In Your Later Years

Dating is definitely not the same as it used to be. From online dating’s popularity to the new vision of life over 50, dating has moved from the traditional courtship to a more active and personalized endeavor, which is sometimes odd for those who are older or getting back into dating after a divorce or death. We recommend using the following resources and tips for knowledge and confidence to get back into the dating game.

Dating Sites for Seniors

Online dating sites are very popular and don’t hold the stigma they once did. From traditional matchmaking services to more modern online dating sites, these resources are sure to help you make a connection. All of these below are directed specifically at people at least 40 or 50 years old.

SeniorFriendFinder. Exclusively for singles over 40, this site offers free member profiles and almost 500,000 members. You can use email, instant messaging, and video messaging to contact members with a paid subscription.

Your Senior Dating Site. This dating site promises it’s about the people, so you won’t get advertisements, but you will get personal service and ease of use. Signing up is free, but you will need a membership to contact a potential date.

SeniorMatch.com. This site is only for singles over 50 and imposes a minimum age as well. This is one of the largest senior dating sites.

Primesingles.net. This site for those 40 and over has a fast sign-up and is easy to navigate.

50YearsPlus.com. "A singles site for seniors with integrity" is how they describe themselves at this site. Enjoy a seven-day free trial to see if you like this one before buying a membership.

Executive Senior Dating. This matchmaking service conducts a 30-90 minute phone call with you and a matchmaking counselor to start their matching process.

Real Mature Singles. For those 40 and over, this matching service verifies that every applicant is legitimate before providing services.

Senior Singles Only. This matching service meets and screens all applicants in person. The applicants must be at least 40 and looking for a long-term relationship.

Dating For Seniors. For dating, friends, or a life partner, this online dating site offers opportunities for older singles. Your free basic membership must be upgraded to a paid subscription in order to have full access to all services.

Senior Passions. This free dating and social networking site offers the opportunity for "the next big love of your life, companionship, or just to make new friends."

General Dating Sites

These dating sites are not specifically for older singles, but they are very popular and usually have large member databases. You can specify what age range you are interested in meeting, so feel free to give these a try too.

Yahoo! Personals. Completely free, this online dating service offers a wide range of categories from which you can search. Due to the lack of cost and the popularity of Yahoo!, you are sure to find lots of potential here.

Match.com. One of the top online dating services, Match.com provides a huge member database. You can browse for free, but you will need a membership to contact any potential matches.

Chemistry.com. A part of Match.com, and working like eHarmony, this site relies on matching techniques to connect people. For those who have been rejected by eHarmony, Chemistry.com offers a great chance to try this method of online dating.

eHarmony. This dating service offers a unique approach to online dating. Instead of browsing for dates or waiting for someone to come to you, they rely on a complex personality matching formula and provide you with potential matches.

Perfectmatch.com. Using a compatibility system, this dating site emails you when a good match becomes available. Perfectmatch.com has been receiving lots of rave reviews recently.

SinglesNet. This free service offers most of the same services available in the for-pay dating services. Gaining in popularity, the database is over 5 million large.

Lavalife. Choose to look for dates, relationships, or intimate encounters on this site. You can create three different profiles for each of the three different categories offered or select only one or two of them. This service is totally free and has a huge member base.

Great Expectations. Combining online dating services and in-person matchmaking, this service meets every member in person and creates a match for potential dates. They also offer invitations to Great Expectations events where you can meet members face-to-face. This service is available in
about 50 cities in the U.S.

Matchmaker. Answer questions about major issues to create your matchability with this site. The service is free, but you will need to pay if you want to contact a member.

Plentyoffish.com. This totally free site matches singles from around the world. Touting itself as a dating site for everyone, you can choose a specific type of dating environment such as older couples or Christian Dating.

Tips for Online Dating

Navigating the world of online dating may seem overwhelming at first. Follow these simple tips to help you create a great profile, know how to communicate well, and keep yourself safe.

Name. Choose a fun and creative name for your profile. Make sure it reflects your personality, too.

Profile. Keep your profile short, but succinct. Add humor and make it truly an extension of yourself. Proofread it and have a friend do so too so that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes.

Photo. Make sure your photo is of a good quality, recent, and reflects who you are. For example, if you love dogs, include your pooch in the photo too.

Respond to everyone who writes you. It doesn’t have to be much, but at least let the person know if you are interested or not.

Keep it short. When you first start correspondence with someone, you don’t have to tell your whole life story at once. Let it unfold slowly.

Make contact. Don’t just focus on one person. Be sure to contact several people who look interesting.

Be honest. Not only should you be honest about who you are and what you look like, you should also be honest if you are no longer interested in corresponding with them.

Don’t get too personal. Getting too personal or talking about sex can be very off-putting. Let the relationship develop in its own time.

Be safe. Don’t disclose any personal information such as a personal email address, IM account, or phone number until you’re sure you can trust the person you’re giving them to. Most dating sites provide email and IM accounts that protect your privacy, so take advantage of these.

In person. If you decide to move beyond the dating site, first talk by phone. After a few phone conversations, if you decide to meet in person, keep it in a public place and consider having a friend at a nearby table to secretly monitor the situation.

Opportunities for Meeting People Off Line

Don’t just depend on online resources for dating. There are lots of ways to find dates through more traditional routes. If you live in a senior community, there are often planned activities to meet new friends and partners. If not, get out there and enjoy learning or doing something new and you just might find a new partner, too.

Clubs. Join a club. With everything out there from the Elk’s club to a nature conservancy group, you are sure to find a group of folks with similar interests as you.

Volunteer. Volunteering can be a great way to meet people and stay social. You will be making a difference, too.

Book group. Combine reading with the social aspect of discussing your book to share an interest and possibly meet a dating partner.

Cooking class. Take a cooking class will not only get you out and meeting new people, you will be learning how to eat more healthily, too.

Cards. Playing cards is a fun and social experience. Find a group that meets regularly and join in.

Exercise group. Join an exercise group. Many groups are available that offer group opportunities such as aquatics, walking, or yoga.

Classes. Take an adult continuing education class and learn something new. Many universities and community colleges offer courses ranging from web design to throwing pottery.

Travel. There are many chances for group travel experiences that offer the opportunity for you to meet new people. The bonus to finding someone while traveling is that you know you both have the desire to explore and learn.

Dance. Take a dance class if you’re new to dancing, or sign up for a group that dances regularly if you already love to dance.

Get a dog. Not only will having a dog keep you company, but taking your dog out for walks, to local parks, or just around town with you opens up tons of opportunities for you to connect with other dog owners or just friendly animal lovers.

Articles

All of these articles touch on dating in your later years. From using senior dating sites to first date anxiety to flirting, these resources will help you feel more confident in your dating abilities.

How to Use Senior Dating Sites. This article offers good advice and tips for seniors on using online dating sites. This is especially helpful if you have limited experience with online groups.

Making the Most of the Senior Dating Sites. Another article on senior dating sites, this one suggests how to select an online service and some things to look for once you begin making connections with other singles.

Senior Dating Tips. This article offers some great tips for getting back out there on the dating scene.
Suddenly Single Seniors and Dating. Check out this article for great suggestions on dating, and specifically, finding someone through personal ads.

Seeking Love. This article offers real life stories and suggestions for dating when you are over 45. Here’s the proof that you don’t have to feel like life has passed you by just because you aren’t 20 anymore.

How to Overcome First Date Anxiety. Directed specifically at those getting back into the dating game after age 50, this article offers some great ideas to ensure you are feeling comfortable.

Seniors Dating. From ideas on where to look for a partner to some potential pitfalls to benefits of dating later in life, this article covers it all.

Mature Dating–Late Joiner. For advice on how to blend families in the later years, this short article offers helpful tips on how to facilitate the blending process.

Prime Time Women: Fifty is Not What It Used To Be. Find out why dating in your fifties is so great for women. And men, you can get tips on how to succeed with these dynamos.

How to Flirt Online. If you are giving online dating a try, this flirting primer will help you walk that fine line between showing interest and not showing too much.

Blogs

Blogs are a great way to learn from the experience of regular people. All of these blogs are either written specifically for dating over 50 or written by people sharing their experiences of dating over 50.

ChaiLife Atlanta. While this blog is specifically for Jewish daters over 45 in the Atlanta area, it also offers plenty of advice and support for those dating later in life, despite their location or religious affiliation.

You don’t have to be a "10" to find love after 50. Read an inspirational story about fate and finding your partner. This blog offers a sweet story of how an older couple found each other on JDate and the extraordinary circumstances of their lives.

Falling in Love at 49. Read about the coming together of this woman and her husband as they discover love. Browse her blog for other posts with advice on dating later in life.

Mature Dating: From Despair and Disappointment to Delight, Adventure, Ease, and Joy. This blog isn’t being updated anymore, but it contains lots of posts offering advice on dating after 50.

Misery Date. This entertaining blog post describes one woman’s approach to dating in her later years–and it’s all about embracing who you are and what you want.

Are You a Love Snob? Read about how some people approach love and commitment. This blog post will get you thinking about what is important in a relationship and what it means to you.

Over 50 and Single? Take a few minutes for yourself. Get tips on dating after 50 from this post. Use the search tool on this blog for other posts on dating from this 50+ writer.

Sex and Ageism in the Movies. This woman ponders the way Hollywood presents sex and romance for those in their 40s and 50s.

Safe Sex: Affection with Protection. As this writer states, "After more than a year of being single, what I have learned is this: Condoms are a fact of life." Find out which condoms rate high with this woman.

The Dating Game. This Baby Boomer writes about online dating after 50 and why it’s becoming so popular in this age group.
Dating after Divorce or Death of a Spouse

The loss of a spouse through either divorce or death can be devastating. Once you have given yourself time to grieve your loss, don’t stay mired in the past. Follow these suggestions to get yourself in a good place to start dating again.

Move beyond the past. You will not be able to move forward until you resolve your feelings about the break-up of your marriage or the death of your partner. Once you work through these feelings, you’ll find yourself in a much better place to go on with your life.

Rekindle old interests. Did you once have a passion for photography? Pick up that camera again. You may find that you can rediscover yourself through those interests you pushed aside years ago.

Find new interests. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to paint or go kayaking. Taking up new interests now will help you rediscover qualities about yourself you may have forgotten. It will also get you out and meeting new people.

Learn to enjoy your own company. After living with someone for a while, it can be difficult to enjoy doing things alone. Find ways to have fun on your own.

Take care of yourself. If you’ve gained a few extra pounds, find a way to get some exercise. Eat healthfully and take time to pamper yourself. If you feel good about the way you look and feel, others will too.

Lose the negative self-image. If you feel poorly about yourself, you are likely to attract people who will treat you badly. Make a list of your good qualities and remind yourself often of them. Work on building yourself up.

Reconnect with old friends. Track down old friends with whom you’ve lost touch over the years. Whether you find you’ve still got lots in common or you’ve both moved on, it will likely enrich your life anyway.

Develop new friendships. New friendships and support systems can help ease your transition after divorce or the death of a spouse. Find ways to connect with new friends of either gender.

Volunteer. No matter if you have a lot of free time or almost none, there is some place you can volunteer your time. Devoting some time working for others is a great way to discover new things about yourself. You can also spend time in looking after your pets. A dog can be very good companion, especially in troubled times.

Find a new job. Whether you are retired, you spent your life rearing children, or you’ve been working in a job you hate, get out there and find something fun you enjoy doing. You will meet new people and add a new dimension to your life.

Going on a Date

Now you’ve connected with someone and it’s time for your date. You will want to follow these tips to ensure everything goes smoothly and you and your partner have a great time together.

Show interest. You have accepted or asked someone on a date, so spend that time finding out about them. Try not to compare them to any ex partners, but find out what makes them unique and fun to know.

Dress appropriately. Dress in nice, clean clothes that reflect who you are. Don’t try to dress too young or too casually as you want to make an honest impression on your date.

Don’t go too fast. Loneliness or the desire to fill a gap left empty by an ex may drive you to want to find someone right away. Instead, slow down and appreciate the chance you have to enjoy meeting others.

Relax. Leave your insecurities about being on the dating scene at home. Have fun, enjoy your date, and you will find your date will appreciate you for just being yourself.

Don’t worry about imperfections. Your laugh lines show how much you’ve enjoyed life just as imperfections such as scars reflect the interesting life you’ve led. Don’t spend time worrying about these small character traits–enjoy your date instead.

Be accepting. Know that your date has also lived a full life that may not be exactly what you expect. Be accepting of the fact that your date may have commitments to children, debt from divorce, or any other number of factors that you might not have anticipated.

But don’t settle. Just because you are feeling lonely, don’t settle for less than what you deserve. A woman who always breaks your dates to be with her friends or a man who treats you with no respect are just not worth your time.

Be aware of old patterns. If you have a history of dating or marrying a certain type of destructive person, learn how to break the cycle. Especially if your past choices have lead you to dangerous situations such as drug abuse or violence, seek help to learn how to get away from your old patterns.

Whether to have sex. Whether or not to have sex with your date or how quickly to engage in sex may have a very different feel now than when you were twenty. Listen to yourself and do what you feel is right.

Practice dating. Let yourself go out with people who might not be the perfect match. This allows you to get back into the swing of things with a lot less pressure to make the date go perfectly.

Date Ideas

Whether it’s your first date together or your fifth, these ideas will spark conversation and help you learn about each other in an environment of fun, art, charity, or knowledge.

Picnic. Pack up a simple, romantic lunch or dinner and head out to a park. Sharing a meal together in nature is not only romantic, but it allows you the opportunity to get to know each other against a beautiful backdrop.

Get active. If you both play golf or tennis, take your first date on the go. After your game, you can stop off for a refreshing drink and snack to wrap up the date.

Museum. Visit a museum together. Wandering through the art or even deciding which type of museum to visit will tell you much about the other and is a fun way to spend the day.

Take a cooking class. With so many cooking classes available, you can decide on a type of class and pass a few hours learning how to prepare a special meal. Maybe your next date can be using your newfound skills to cook for each other.

Book reading. Attend a reading at a book store. You might discover you share a passion for the same books, author, or just reading in general.
Vino. Whether you have a nearby winery you can tour together or you can experience a wine tasting at a local store, share the fun of exploring wine together while you learn about each other.

Charity event. Attend a charity event together. The group setting may ease any first-date jitters and you will be helping a good cause.
On the water. Go out to a local river or lake and rent a paddle boat, kayak, or canoe. Whether you have experience or not doesn’t matter, it’s about having fun together.

See a play. Theater doesn’t have to be a big production or expensive. Many community and university theaters offer interesting, well-done, and affordable productions that you and your date can enjoy together.

Outdoor market. Head to an outdoor market such as a farmer’s market or flea market. Walking through and discovering what is available will allow the two of you to find out more about each other.

Sexuality

Your sexuality doesn’t go away after you turn 50. The following information and tips will help you stay safe, have fun, and enjoy the next level of your dating experience once you’ve found that special someone.

Aging. According to an AARP study, 49% of older couples engage in sexual intercourse once a week or more. That number drops to 34% in those over 70, but it looks like the myth of older couples not enjoying sex is just not true.

Antidepressants. Many people on antidepressants relate how their sex drive is almost eliminated. Most of the medications responsible for the loss of libido are SSRIs. Check with your doctor about take Wellbutrin, which has been shown to actually increase sex drive in one study.

Don’t stop. Not having sex can have negative effects for when you want to begin again. For women, the elasticity of the vaginal walls breaks down and for men, the blood flow is inhibited by lack of use. The good news is that if you don’t have a partner, masturbation will help keep everything working in proper order.

Sexual peak. While men reportedly have their sexual peak in their teens or 20s and women in their 30s or 40s, there is also information suggesting that men and women also have a psychological sexual peak that is different from the physical peak more commonly known. For both men and women, the psychological peak occurs in their 50s.

Having sex. Once you begin having sex with a new partner, always take precautions against STDs. Talk openly with your partner about your sexual health and use condoms. Just because pregnancy might not be an issue doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about STDs.

Condom care. Keeping a condom in your wallet is not a good idea. The friction and temperature changes can create microscopic tears in the condom that allow sperm to get through.

Polyurethane condoms. Condoms made of lambskin are effective against pregnancy, but they do not protect you from STDs. If you have a latex allergy, polyurethane condoms are a good alternative. Recent studies show that they are as effective against STDs as latex condoms.

Prostate health. A study published in the Journal of American Medical Association indicates that frequent ejaculation helps improve prostate health. That’s good news for men.

Dryness. Vaginal dryness can negatively effect the sexual experience for women and the reduction in hormones that occurs with age can produce more dryness. Try using a lubricant specifically designed to replicate the natural secretions such as K-Y Silk-E or Astroglide.

Kegel. These exercises have long been known to help women reduce incontinence after menopause, but they also help men to improve performance and enhance orgasm. Start doing Kegel exercises today.