Dating is a tricky game in the 21st Century. Gone are the days of twiddling the cord of the phone as we giggled our nights away full of joyful glee – instead, our love lives are laid bare on flat touchscreens, and it can be pretty daunting. You wouldn’t be criticized for thinking that modern dating was nothing but Tinder hook-ups and the latest Love Island hashtag, but in reality it is far more nuanced than that. There is a dating website for every kink and every preference – and, most importantly, there is an entire section of the internet that is dedicated to over 50s dating. If you’re hovering over the ‘join’ button on a senior dating site, here are 5 things you need to know before you jump in to the dating pool!
1. Be transparent about your goals and aspirations
Whether you’re dating for a quick fling or because you enjoy the comfort of having somebody with you, be up front about what you need – otherwise, you’ll never know if somebody wants the same things as you! If you have short term goals and dreams, like swimming with sharks or other wild things that people decide to do, let your date know. They might want to make plans to join in with you, and if nothing else, he or she is going to get some amazing inspiration for planning future dates
2. Keep your profile to the point
There’s no point in trying to think of cutesy ways to describe yourself. “Good things come in small packages”? Petite. “More to love”? Plus size. If you’re planning to meet these people (and lets get real, hopefully be naked around some of them!) they are going to see what you really look like. Be really upfront about who you are and what you demand in a partner. You shouldn’t settle for anything other than your ideal, and you should give them the opportunity to find their ideal too.
3. Allow them to read your life story
A wonderful friend once told me that you don’t get to our age without having a little bit of emotional baggage. This can be from previous relationships, difficult times in our lives or simply living on our own for a number of years. The important thing to remember is to make sure that a new partner feels included in that history. If you’ve been married before, don’t be afraid to say that you have loved passionately and wonderfully in a previous chapter – because now you’re living in this chapter, and you’re ready to love that way again. There is no need to hide previous elements of your life ‘pre-date’ – if you have met the right person, they will feel connected to your history and appreciate that it brought you to them.
4. It doesn’t need to be ‘happily ever after’.
Lets be honest: we’ve lived long enough to know that not every relationship needs to lead to bouquets and confetti! If you’re looking for a new life partner then that is wonderful – but don’t be afraid to say “actually, I just want something for right now” and stand firm on your feelings. If you end up meeting a happily ever after during your time using dating sites, then congratulations! And if you end up meeting a variety of wonderful people who share some fantastic times with you and help you add some happiness to your memory bank, then congratulations on that too!
5. Just say yes!
Forget about who you think you should be. Dating a new person is an opportunity to take more chances, and to shine a light on avenues within yourself that have always laid dormant. Obviously if you really don’t want to do something then that is absolutely your right, but if you find yourself intrigued by an idea and then a voice in your head tells you “no… I shouldn’t” then shut that voice up and say yes I should!
Dating isn’t always magical and full of wonder. Sometimes you can scroll through pictures and have nobody stand out. Sometimes you’re just not going to be feeling the people who are messaging you. But I think the most important part of using a dating website is actually standing up and saying “I am here, and I am ready to be vulnerable”. Dating new people is allowing yourself to be free, and to explore the world in a way you have never done before. Congratulations, person who is about to begin your dating journey! I hope your time is exciting and safe and life-changing. Happy Dating!