Dating later in life can sometimes feel like a chore. After all, the clock is ticking. You want companionship and you don’t want to have to wait for it. Without as much time to explore your options, each date has to count.
Sound familiar? If this is your mindset, you’ll probably wind up in 1 of 3 categories:
- You settle. Better a warm body than being alone.
- You wind up discouraged and throw in the towel.
- You’re too scared to put yourself out there so you don’t date at all.
Single after 50, author Carolyn Lee Arnold decided to set a goal: to go on 50 first dates. Her idea became both a research project and a path to her current partner.
Along the way, she picked up 5 secrets to enjoy dating at any age:
- Branch out
Do you have a type? This is the combination of qualities you’re drawn to in a partner, from physical features to personality traits. It’s a common occurrence. But when you choose to only date your type you limit your options.
This is the time to branch out and try new things. Consider spending time with someone you wouldn’t normally see yourself with. Worst case, it won’t work out and you’ll move on. But you may have fun and even learn something about yourself in the interim.
- Don’t commit
Don’t feel the need to settle down right away. In fact, it’s okay to date more than one person at a time! Just make sure you’re honest about your status with the people you go out with.
If you’re used to long-term relationships, this may feel uncomfortable. However, getting to know more than one potential partner will help you learn more about other people – and more about yourself. In addition, you’ll be able to rule out bad matches faster.
- Do your homework
To start, create a vision board or list of what you want in a relationship. Next, use it to do some research. For each potential partner, gather data on the following:
- How do I interact with this person?
- How they interact with me?
- How do we interact with each other?
Like any good student, collect your data and evaluate it based on your vision board or list. Try to be objective. Ask yourself: How do I honestly feel about this relationship? If you don’t feel good, it’s time to move on to someone else.
- Be persistent
Success is hard to come by without hard work. Dating is no exception. You can’t find your soulmate if you aren’t looking. And they won’t find you if you aren’t out there.
Remember: you are your best kept secret if you choose sit out the dating scene. Like any other goal in life, commit to the task and you’ll be closer to what you’re after.
- Have fun
Last but not least, don’t forget to have fun! Dating later in life has its advantages: you know yourself better, you know more clearly what it is you want, and you also know what you don’t want. Make a point to relax, take your time, and enjoy the journey.
If you’re back on the market, don’t let the dating scene scare you away. Instead, use these secrets to get back out there and have a good time.