Dating can often feel daunting and uncomfortable for women in their 50s who are unattached through divorce or bereavement, or even those who have never been married. However, it can and often does, turn into one the happiest times of your life.
The worst thing a single woman can do in her 50s is to write herself off from dating. Love can (and does) happen at any age! While there may not be as many dating apps and services for the over 50s as there are for a younger demographic, there are plenty of ways for women to discover new opportunities for romance.
Today’s 50+ women often keep themselves in good shape, have usually done all their experimenting with their style and grooming and have reached a point where they know what they look good in. Plus, most women in their 50’s are wonderfully self-assured, with plenty to offer willing suitors. Even those that have been plunged into the depths of despair through circumstances such as divorce, will find that the muscle memory resilience they have built over the years will pull them back to reality. Your 50s are probably the easiest time in your life to mentally claw your way back.
Armed with willpower, determination and a little guidance and direction, mature dating for those over 50 can be fulfilling and life-defining.
1. Don’t settle. Strive to showcase the very best version of yourself to the world, so that your forever person finds you! There are many people your age who are in search of the perfect mate. Do everything you can to make yourself stand out both visually and mentally – people are attracted to confidence, not neediness. Having a vibrant and energetic personality, a multi-dimensional outlook and a passion for life will make up for any facial lines you might have developed. People are attracted to others who know who they are and what they want. Present yourself this way, and expect the same of the people you are looking to date. Don't feel that you need to settle for what you can get.
2. Remain open-minded – don’t try and model a new potential love on your previous partners. It’s good to go through a period of rediscovery, so consider taking a casual lover or two, while you figure out what you need from your next relationship. Think of it as a stepping stone (just remember to practice safe sex). Top dating coach James Preece says that “most couples who meet in later life usually find that the person they fall in love with did not come in the package they expected.” Throw your wish list away and be ready to embark on a completely new adventure. If you've ever considered a same-sex relationship or something a little more unconventional, now is the perfect time.
3. Don’t rush into things. Matchmaker Yvette Langton from YL Introductions says that many of the couples she has brought together in their 50s have opted to remain in their own accommodation and continue much of their pre-relationship lifestyle. Couples in their 50s have usually spent too long building up a great life for themselves and whilst it is not wise to expect a new partner to just slot into your current life, it can also be a giant step to give everything up. Better to spend several years with someone and ensure you are well-suited before making any changes that could potentially crush you financially if things don't turn out well.
4. Check out The Gorgeous Dating Directory, a regularly updated directory of everything available for singles of all ages, including same-sex dating. The directory includes lists of dating events, matchmaking services, dating apps and is full of guidance and advice.
5. Extend your current network. This will be one of the most valuable things you can do to help introduce yourself to new love prospects. Start by trying new interests and joining new clubs. Meetup is great for this, with all kinds of activities, from dining clubs to walking groups, and social activities for all ages. Irrespective of the gender of your next partner, find something you've always wanted to do, whether that's ballet classes (Silver Swans is amazing for over 50s), jewellery making or going to gigs and raving in Ibiza. Focus on meeting people socially and enriching your life, rather than being laser-focused in the pursuit of "the one."
6. Don’t get sucked in by smooth talkers on your dating journey. There is an army of men, especially on dating apps, who prey on what they deem as vulnerable women in their 50s, who they think are going to be so desperate that they will be a pushover. That is not you! If someone is telling you they have never met anyone like you before and that you are the best thing that has ever happened to them during your first few weeks of courting, run a mile! Recognise the red flags and listen to any doubts your friends and family may have. They have your best interests at heart. Be bold and self-assured, recognise your strengths, but also be aware of your weaknesses.
Dating at any age can feel daunting. But it doesn't have to be difficult. There are plenty of new and exciting opportunities for love, you just have to put yourself out there to find them.