Recently on 30 Dates, we’ve been looking at some home truths of dating in different decades. First, I made some rather honest observations on the pitfalls of dating, as a woman in her thirties. Then a blog reader sent in a guest post about her own discoveries of dating in her forties. And now, I’ve asked author Rebecca Perkins, to explain dating life in your fifties.
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
It can be daunting if you’re venturing into dating after the ending of a long marriage or relationship.
So much will have changed since the last time you were dating. You may have read or heard lots of horror stories, but I’d like to look at Dating in your 50s from a different angle. Instead of telling you the dos and don’ts, I want to show you how to make the most of it and give yourself the best chance possible.
- There are hundreds of dating websites out there. I know, I was one of the judges for the inaugural UK Dating Awards and we spent a lot of time looking at the shortlisted ones! Reduce your odds of being edged out of the market by registering with a site specifically for the over 50s. Yes, you might very well feel like I did when I realised that I was eligible for Saga Holidays… I remember teasing my parents mercilessly when they turned 50 and what happened??! Here I am, 51 years old! Hunt out some other niche sites, country living, sporty people, whatever you enjoy spending your time doing, I bet there’s a dating site for it.
- Write an eye catching profile. I can’t stress that enough. It is so easy to stand out with a well written and interesting profile. Unless you’re just looking for hook-ups and no strings encounters ,then it really is worth taking some time to think about your profile.
- Be absolutely honest about your age. Honesty is one of my core values, and for me if a relationship begins with a lie then where can it go from there? If you smoke say so, if you don’t do any exercise don’t make out that you’re entered in next year’s marathon. If you enjoy chicklit don’t extol the virtues of Austen or Dickens. If you enjoy opera don’t make out that you’re happiest when listening to Radio 1Xtra. Be yourself. You want someone to be attracted to you!
- Use good photos. And no selfies obviously. Take time to find a good photographer or a friend or family member who is a good amateur. My teenage daughter has a good eye, so I asked her to take some shots of me – first face on, and then doing things I loved to do. These later ones tells a story. Always use current photos only. Nothing older than a year old. Again it’s about honesty. Yes, you might have had a wonderful time walking the Great Wall of China but that was 15 years ago … if it was at a pivotal point in your life, then write about it instead.
- Be honest about what you’re looking for. When I began dating I was looking for adventure. I didn’t want to leap straight into a long term relationship. I steered clear of anyone who was suggesting that we get serious. It wasn’t fair on them or on me. Don’t go on repeated dates with a guy who is just playing the field if you’re looking for The One. You will get hurt. He won’t change. If you’re after no strings sex or a toyboy then head to those sites. Google is your friend!
- Don’t hang around at home waiting. Sitting in front of your computer isn’t where the guys hang out. Get out there, get active. What do you love to do? Cooking classes, dancing, choir, amateur dramatics, yoga, running, biking, the busier you are with activities the less time you have to mope about the dearth of decent men online!
- Be busy with your own life, be fulfilled, be independent, it’s an attractive quality. And if men tell you you’re too independent, then simply say to yourself, ‘Next!’ You’re really not going to want to be with a guy who needs nannying, so why stress? The same goes for those guys looking to date women 10+ years younger than them, why worry about it? Let them deal with their own issues of fading youth. Why would you want to take on that extra baggage anyway?!
- Know yourself and know your values. What’s really important to you in a relationship? How do you want to feel? Know yourself inside out, because by being comfortable with what you want you’ll feel less need to grab hold of any passing fancy. It does demand a certain level of honesty about what you truly want.
- And finally, attitude is everything. Relationships rarely happen overnight. Be patient, take your time, remember your biological clock has stopped, so there’s no hurry. Be choosy. It’s better to wait and know you’ve got the right guy, rather than rushing headlong into something that just doesn’t feel quite right. Remember if it doesn’t feel right, it’s because it’s not right. Wait for the guy that makes you say, ‘Hell yeah!’