Dating Over 50 – What You Should Know

P. J. Aitken

Jun 18 2020

Dating can be scary at the best of times, but if you’re over the age of 50 and coming off a long relationship, it’s downright terrifying. You’re filled with questions and doubt—What should I do for a first date, do people still go for coffee, are there any rules I don’t know about, what are the best dating sites for over 50s?

As is the case with most things, the apprehension is often worse than the act itself. Once you get past those initial doubts, dating over 50 is just as easy as dating at any other age.

Dating Over 50: The Rules

Contrary to what romcoms and magazines would have you believe, there are no rules to dating. This is true whether you’re using mature dating sites or delving back into the somewhat archaic world of classifieds and blind dates.

However, there are a few things you can do to make your life easier:

1. Don’t Be Afraid of Turning to the Internet

Dating over 50, just like dating at any other age, exists offline and online. But if you want the best results for the least effort, online is best.

You can still meet people in pubs, but you’ll find that most of them are wary of speaking with strangers and prefer to direct their affections online.

It makes sense. If you see someone in a pub, you’re focused 100% on appearances and are potentially influenced by alcohol. You could spend the whole night talking to them before realising they’re not for you.

On the flip side, if you focus on dating sites for over 50s, you can learn of a potential suitor’s preferences, likes, dislikes, family life, and more, right from their profile. Less time is wasted this way.

Even if you prefer offline dating, other singletons won’t, and it will be much easier if you take your efforts online where there is a larger dating pool.

2. Use the Right Sites

Just because you’re over 50 doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to mature dating sites. Be aware, however, that certain sites and apps have reputations for being “hook-up” sites that are mostly used for casual flings. While there is nothing wrong with that if that is indeed what you’re interested in, you should be aware. You can learn a lot just by reading our dating site reviews!

If you want to take it easy, focusing more on personalities and preferences than appearances and location, you should look for sites aimed at dating over 50.

Silver Singles is a great example of this, as is OurTime. These are some of the best dating sites we have reviewed and they are also targeted at those dating over 50. These sites are easy to use and pride themselves on their security features.

eHarmony is also a great option for dating over 50. It’s not strictly targeted towards mature daters as it can be used by anyone over age 18. However, this site also tends to be one that older, more mature, and more serious daters gravitate towards, and that’s great news for singles over the age of 50.

online dating sites

3. Take it Easy; Be Honest

Many (but not all) daters over the age of 50 are coming off of long-term relationships. They may feel exposed, anxious, and uncertain—this is normal, but you don’t need to worry.

A large number of the singletons you’ll speak with are in the same position. They’ll know what you’re going through and can appreciate it if you’re feeling a little anxious and want to take things slowly.

In such cases, it’s important to be honest. Don’t pretend to be something that you’re not and always be open with your potential dates. That way, they’ll understand if you’re feeling anxious and insisting they take the lead.

4. Don’t Focus on What Happened Before

While honesty is important, it’s equally important not to dwell on the past and not to show too much of it.

If you’ve just finished a long-term relationship, by all means, tell your date that you haven’t been on a first date for years, but don’t spend all night talking about your ex, don’t start showing them pictures, making comparisons, and generally diverting the conversation to your previous relationship.

It sounds obvious, but it’s a mistake that countless older daters make and it’s a huge turn off!

You should also refrain from posting profile pictures that show you with your ex. When you’ve spent a lifetime with someone else, there’s a good chance most of your best photographs have your partner in them. In that case, just take some new ones!

5. Stay Strong

When you’re young, it’s easy to brush off rejections. You won’t lose any sleep if your date doesn’t go well or that person you like doesn’t respond to your message. When you’re older, you may take these rejections to heart, especially if you’re not really used to the world of online dating.

It’s important to remember that a non-responsive single is not a slight against the way you look or your profile. Some members get hundreds of messages a day and don’t have the time to read everyone’s profile. Others are just looking for something specific, something that you don’t have.

That’s not a bad thing—you’d probably do the same if you were getting lots of messages or had lots of disappointing dates.

Stay strong, persist, and if you find that you’re repeatedly being rejected and struggling to get a date, think about rewriting your profile, posting some new pictures, or changing your approach.

6. Increase Your Age Range

Be realistic with your age range. Don’t limit your search to people 10 or 20 years younger than you. By all means, include them in your range, but you should also include people in your own age range and those a few years older.

You might be surprised to learn that your perfect person is much older than your “ideal” range. More importantly, you’ll increase your chances of finding that special someone.

7. Post a Recent Picture

taking a selfie for a dating profile photo

A surprising number of older daters still think it’s okay to post profile pictures that were taken 5, 10, and even 20 years ago. They use excuses like, “This is how I looked the last time I was single” or, more commonly, “It’s the only picture I could find”, and they think it’s okay.

But how would you feel if you arranged to meet someone who looked 20 years older than the person in their picture?

It doesn’t matter if it’s still you in the picture. It’s a dishonest practice that will waste their time and yours, so be honest and post a recent photograph.

Summary: Get Help

Dating over 50 can be a little more complicated, but most of these complications concern how you approach the situation and how you deal with the process of creating a profile and arranging dates.

If you find yourself struggling and have become your own worst enemy, get some help from a friend. Ask them to review your profile and your messages, and if you’re still struggling, ask them to create a profile for you!

Don’t be embarrassed. Online dating is the norm these days and that’s as true for dating over 50 as it is for dating amongst teens and twenty-somethings. It’s something to embrace, not run from, and it could drastically improve your love life!

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