Dating after retirement is becoming increasingly common. More than 30 million Americans 55 and older are single. There are even dating sites specifically targeting this population. But dating after age 55 is very different from dating in younger years. So much has changed, if you are new to dating, you are probably overwhelmed!
I work with a lot of clients who fall into this category. Some have been single for many years and are now ready to find that special someone. Others are recently divorced or widowed and wondering how in the world to navigate this new dating world. That was me not so long ago. I was in my late 40’s and single after being married for over 25 years. I had no idea how to date, but I knew I wanted another life partner. I studied and learned what works. I applied these new skills and found my wonderful husband. I now work with other singles, helping them do the same.
Tips for navigating the dating world.
• Life has changed since you were younger. You are different and what you are looking for in a partner might be different. It is time to come up with a clear vision of how you want to spend the rest of the life. What are your goals, dreams, and aspirations?
• Now that you have a vision, what are the essential qualities of a partner? You are at a stage of life where you are not thinking about raising children together and building a career. You might need to rethink what your priorities are in a partner for this stage of life.
• Have clear expectations. You might want to start your relationship as friends, you might want a travel partner, or you might want someone who shares your interests and hobbies. Do you want to get married, live together, or just have a committed relationship?
• Get out there! It is important to start meeting new people, try new activities, find new friends, join new groups, and add new dimensions to your life. This will make the journey more fun and broaden your chances of meeting your next partner.
• Try online dating. I know this can be scary but it is a viable option. You don’t have to limit yourself to a dating site for over 55. Match.com, which is one of my favorites, let’s you put in different qualifying factors for your search. There are people of all ages on this site. I know online dating can be intimidating but learn about it and try it. For more information on how to date online, check out other blogs I have written, www.LoriAnnDavis.com.
• Keep a positive attitude. Don’t talk too much about your ex, your children, your health, or any other topic that might overwhelm your date. Keep the topics light and upbeat. This should be fun so relax and get out there, meet new people, and be open to the possibilities.
I know dating later in life can seem intimidating but there is a wonderful partner out there for you.
Lori Ann Davis, MA, CRS
Certified Relationship Specialist