Older dating tips for finding love later in life | #dating | #elderly | #seniors
Men and women looking for love in later life can find it tricky to know where to start with senior dating, particularly if they have recently come out of a long-term marriage or relationship. But the evidence shows that greater numbers are plucking up the courage to try and are succeeding.
In July 2020, a release from the Office for National Statistics estimating marital status figures in England and Wales revealed that, between 2007 and 2017, marriage rates had increased more among over-65s than any other age group: by 31% for men and 89% for women. The takeaway message? British baby boomers were feeling more loved-up than ever.
Older dating: the No 1 benefit
Good news: dating as a senior can be more straightforward than dating as a twentysomething. That’s because in later life we tend to have a firmer sense of our identity and interests, and with a history of past relationships to draw on, we know exactly what we want from a potential partner.
If you’re a mature person looking for love, there is more choice than ever before when it comes to how and where to meet people. To get some dating inspiration, read on.
Older dating tip 1: Meeting people online
Now that we shop, bank and work online, it makes sense that we also use the internet to find love. Once very much the exception rather than the rule , online dating has now become the go-to method for finding love, even among the senior generation.
The key benefit of online dating is that it puts the power in your hands. With so many single people to ‘browse’, you are free to choose who you contact – and who you ignore. Some services, such as Tinder, are completely free to use, only require a few login details and place a focus on location and appearance. Others require you to pay a subscription fee and provide a little more information about yourself to help tailor your search; for example, with a site such as eHarmony you will have to fill out a questionnaire designed to rate your compatibility with other users.
Older dating tip 2: Choosing the right site
Certain dating sites, such as Saga Dating and Mature Love cater specifically for mature women and men, while others focus on people with specific interests. If you are seeking a like-minded soul, particularly one who shares your opinions on politics and world affairs, your best bet is a newspaper site such as Telegraph Dating. Although this service is not tailored specifically towards older people, it tends to attract an older user base.
For seniors who are seeking even more specific traits in a potential partner, there are niche services such as Christian Connection (for people of the Christian faith) and Muddy Matches (for people who live in and love the countryside).
Once you’ve picked the right site, you’ll want to create a profile that genuinely reflects your interests, personality and worldview. Try not to list specific characteristics or physical features you are interested in; rather, speak about the kind of person you are, and give the reader an idea of the kind of person who might complement the way in which you live your life. Be open to responding to messages and sending out your own, and don’t be afraid to follow up on an actual date.
Finally, whatever you do, make sure the photos on your dating profile are up to date.
Older dating tip 3: Senior matchmaking agency
If you’ve tried online dating and it hasn’t worked out, try signing up to a matchmaking agency. In the UK, popular agencies include Mutual Attraction, Drawing Down the Moon and Avenues Dating, which cater specifically to men and women over the age of 50.
With a matchmaking agency there’s no need to create an online profile or upload photographs to a website. Instead you make an appointment and speak to an experienced professional matchmaker who will ask you about your interests, hobbies, experience and – most importantly – what you’re looking for in a love interest. After that they will do the work of matching you with a compatible person and arranging that important first date.
The key benefit of this more traditional dating agency is that, aside from that initial appointment, you don’t have to put in any of your own time. Online dating requires you to spend a good portion of your week scrolling through profiles and making polite chit-chat with potential dates. Matchmaking is also a preferable alternative to online dating if you’re concerned about confidentiality and would rather not have your personal details on the internet.
The downside? Matchmaking services typically charge a hefty subscription fee – and still are not a guarantee that you’ll meet that perfect person.
Older dating tip 4: Give yourself a break
What is it about holidays that put us in the mood for love? Maybe it’s the sun, the scenery or the complimentary cocktails. Whatever the reason, a gorgeous getaway can provide the perfect environment to strike up a romance. What’s more, holidaying as a single senior gives you the opportunity to dictate your own travel itinerary and tick off all those bucket-list experiences you’ve always dreamt about.
If there’s a part of the world you’ve always wanted to visit but have never had the chance to, why not consider booking one as soon as the travel restrictions allow. If you can get a couple of friends involved, great – but don’t rule out the possibility of travelling solo, particularly if you’re going to book with a provider such as Saga, which specialises in travel for the over-50s. Travelling alone can seem a little daunting, but it’s one of the best ways to meet new people.
Older dating tip 6: Join a club or activity group
Not thrilled by the idea of online dating or matchmaking services? No problem. You can still put yourself out there and meet new people by taking up a hobby or group activity. Not only is this a fantastic way to make friends and meet a potential new love interest, it’s also a good way to keep busy, active, and engaged in later life and through your retirement.
Join a book club and you’ll be able to stimulate your grey matter, fill your bookshelves and meet like-minded people. Take a cooking class and you can impress your family and friends with your delicious new creations – and perhaps do some flirting while you learn to flambé. Other activities that are well suited to seniors include arts and crafts, educational classes or lectures on a particular language or period of history, singing in a choir, and signing up to a film or theatre club that organises regular outings.
Older dating tip 6: Enjoy yourself
One last piece of advice for dating as a senior? Relish the experience, have fun and don’t feel pressured to settle down quickly or second-guess yourself about where a relationship is heading. Casual dating in your fifties and sixties (and beyond) can be a huge boost to your self-esteem, and is a great way to enjoy a healthy sex life outside of a long-term relationship.
If you have an active social life that encompasses hobbies, travel and making time for friends and family, over 50s dating can simply be the icing on the cake.
If you’re single and interested in meeting like-minded people, join Telegraph Dating. With more than 220,000 like-minded single people, Telegraph Dating is the best place to find romance.