There are a number of reasons why people in their later stages of life may feel the need to look for a suitable life partner to spend their lives with: divorce, bereavement or simply a change of pace from a previously hectic professional life are common examples. However, for many people, the idea of dating in their more mature years is often fraught with concerns and may even seem like something of a nightmare. For the over forties, putting yourself back on the singles’ market may seem like a daunting task but, in reality, this is far from being the case; with a positive mental attitude and some suitable strategies you will soon come to realise that there are in fact some advantages you may have over those of a ‘fresher’ age who have to cope with a range of uncertainties and insecurities when they embark on the steep learning curve of love and relationships.
We’ve put together some tips and ideas that may be of help for those wanting to get back out there but feel a little lost as to how to do this.
The keyword is ‘OUT’
When introducing any new quality product to the market – yes, that’s what you are! – the key to success is getting the product out. This means getting yourself out there and coming out of yourself: remember again the advantage of all those years of experience and skills that you have accumulated which can be used in a very positive way.
But where to go to meet others and show yourself? For the younger generation, looking for a dating partner often revolves around going out at night, and pubs and clubs are very often the places where the search for love begins. If you’re still happy in these kinds of environments, you should certainly not rule these kinds of places out – just go easy on those mum and dad moves on the dancefloor! But in all seriousness, you may well not feel that this is for you and when you start to think of the alternatives, it is certainly not necessary to do so.
Getting out more in general is certainly the way forward, so shelve that book, switch off the soap-opera and hold that box set to enjoy together with your new flame. Start to say “yes” to the invitations from friends and families to dinner parties, barbecues and other get togethers and stop making excuses to stay in. Many opportunities await to meet mutual friends who could be potential dates if you make the effort.
Talking to those friends and family members who know you so well is also invaluable. Don’t be shy to share your feelings and wishes with them as they are often able to provide some very good ideas and suggestions: it may well be that someone else they know has expressed the same things to them and that they can act as surprisingly good match makers.
Let’s have a look a some of the other many alternatives that you have to get yourself out there and look for suitable places to find that love interest you are looking for:
Do it for charity
In a world of ever-increasing self-obsession fuelled by social media and the desire for ‘success,’ it is easy to think that people are not as interested in others as perhaps they used to be. We recently heard a psychologist talking about how those who get involved in charity tend to be more selfless, more caring and generally kinder people. This is a good point and could be quite relevant for the mature dater. Getting involved in some kind of volunteer or charity work may well lead you to meet those kinds of people and open the door to relationships that can genuinely develop with like-minded individuals while doing something extremely worthwhile by helping those people or things that are in need. Homeless charities, animal welfare projects, environmental incentives and fund-raising for international aid are obvious examples but there many others. Just make sure you choose something that is dear to your heart so you are doing it for the right reasons. Think of the Karma points you can gain, too.
A trip to your local coffee shop could be a good place to look if you’re seeking a less rowdy environment than the pubs and clubs’ options. These are increasingly popular places for people to hang out at in their free-time. If you are prepared to put down your book or device for a moment and be daring enough to say “Hi,” it is actually surprisingly easy to strike-up a conversation without coming across as some kind of stalker. The other advantage is that the person you’re talking to may well be local to the area which means the chances of a second meeting could well be easier.
Do mix business with pleasure
Professional meetings such as conferences or seminars are another very good place to meet people with similar interests and perspectives so if your company is looking for people to attend these kinds of events, put your name forward. Looking for a new partner while being paid is clearly a double-wammy and such events usually provide plenty of time for socialising in a pleasant environment with nice hospitality provided. Just don’t forget to take some notes so you can report your findings on your return to the office – about the topic of the meeting that is!
Many older people wanting to get back on the dating scene may be single parents who still have hectic child-care schedules. Going along to activities your children are involved or interested in is a great way to meet others in a similar position and is a natural way to meet others in the same situation. You can very quickly realise that you really have a lot in common and it could be a great opportunity to do things together with your respective offspring while enjoying each-others company and developing a great relationship while understanding what the other person has been through.
Fit for the job
Another ‘double-whammy’ situation is getting involved in some kind of sport or exercise routine, allowing you get healthier and meet others at the same time. This could mean taking up an old one such as renewing that gym membership or starting something new for the first time. If you don’t feel you can be athletic enough to get involved in a demanding team sport, there are still plenty of options such as Tai Chi, Yoga or even just a brisk few laps round the park. Remember that there is often a good opportunity for post activity socialising with people who are feeling positive and happy about themselves.
While we have said that ‘clubs ‘as in nightclubs may not be the right environment, there are almost untold options of joining a club that caters to pretty much any interest. If you are into cooking for example, join a group that teaches new skills and recipes, stretch those vocal cords in a singing group or show off your collection of whatever it is you like to collect. This is another natural way to meet people with similar tastes while doing things you love.
Positive social media
While we have already briefly mentioned the negative side to social media, it can also provide an excellent opportunity to find a good relationship. While some people bemoan the artificial nature of looking for a quick one-night stand (which is fine if that’s what you want and it is done responsibly), it is also possible to develop a genuine friendship without the fears of face-to-face meetings. We know of many cases where people who have got to know each other through online text and chat have gone on to be in a long-term, solid relationship. Getting to know someone on-line can mean that an eventual first-time date is far more rewarding as you feel that you know the other person reasonably well already.
The absolute key to success in this area is being honest yet open-minded while taking the necessary measures to do this in a safe way. Starting off slowly and surely without sharing too much sensitive information, then perhaps moving over to direct text messaging and then phone calls are some of the things you can do to avoid the dangers that can exist online.
Professionally run dating sites should definitely not be ruled out and have the advantage of allowing you to be matched with potential dates who meet the criteria that you can set through your profile and preferences. These sites are very experienced in doing exactly this and in many cases have been very successful in their mission for many years.
Remember that these are not just for young people looking only for fun; joining one may allow you to quickly find someone who you want to meet in the places and situations we have discussed above without the need for the bold step of introducing yourself to a complete stranger if you really do feel uncomfortable doing so. It could be a great way of speeding up your search and saving you some of the potential blushes that might result from errors of judgement
Head on over to Go to Sexymeets.com to see what we offer and how we can help you. Wishing you every happiness in your right to enjoying your later years with the love of your life.
Relationship expert. I like to write articles that helps people get back on the horse and start dating again. I have been writing for blogs since 2003