15 Important Dos And Don’ts Of Dating After 50

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Remember the thrill of dating in your teens and early twenties? Even if you are keen on dating after 50, you can still have a good time. At whatever age, the feelings associated with dating are the same; this is because a person’s body may age but the heart doesn’t. As someone wisely said, ’Age is merely an illusion.’ But if you are over 50 and want to date but are feeling anxious, this post may be of assistance. As the dating world has changed with time, you may be wondering how to date and what the do’s and don’ts are. Read on as we offer some valuable advice that can help you gain confidence and have a more enjoyable dating experience.

15 Tips For Dating After 50

Whether you are widowed, single, or divorced, you can still go ahead and date for good reasons.

1. Be truthful

If asked, be honest about your age. You have a lot of life experience and great stories to share. There is nothing wrong with being any age, so no need to hide it. Be proud of who you are and all you’ve accomplished to get you to this place in your life. It’s your time to shine!

2. Figure out what you want

Think about what you want before you start this process. Are you seeking a long-term relationship, casual one or simply companionship? What qualities are important to you? What are your non-negotiables (e.g. no drugs, must have a job, etc.). It is important to figure out what you want, so you do not waste your or anyone else’s time.

3. Don’t stress over your past

You may have the baggage of insecurities from the past. It could be related to failed relationships, children and their problems, or any health issues. We can’t change our past. You have a choice: you can look to your past with dread and regret or you can look at it as a teacher. Find the lessons in what has happened. Find strength in what you’ve overcome. No need to dwell in the past, especially not when ON the date. In case it is hard to process and let go, seek professional help and get clarity before going into the dating pool.

4. Be yourself

One of the most important things to remember is to ‘Be who you are.’ You don’t have to hide, or portray yourself as someone other than who you really are to attract people. Remember, when you are comfortable with yourself, you can date smoothly and find the person who would love you for your uniqueness.

5. Don’t give up

No matter your age, dating involves ups and downs. Finding someone compatible after 50 may not be as simple as it was years ago when you were young and life experiences were fewer. You may not find that “right” person on your first few dates. It could take weeks or months to find the best match. Until then, use this as an opportunity to meet new people, learn more about yourself, and appreciate the time on your own. It may take some time, so don’t give up too soon.

6. Take it steady

Chances are, something has happened to get you to this place of being single again. You may have recently gotten divorced, lost a loved one or ended a long relationship. There needs to be time to heal. A new partner can’t be the fix-all, and many times getting involved too quickly after a breakup can lead to a new set of problems. No one else can “make” you happy. Dating is an opportunity to find someone who can add to your life, not be the thing that will make life worth living again. Take it slow and steady.

When you are over 50 and dating, you should take it slow so that you do not hurt yourself emotionally.

7. Don’t trash talk your ex

No matter what may have happened with your ex, it’s not the time to talk about it on a date. You may have thoughts about previous relationships or about men and women in general and how they have done you wrong, but sharing that early on is not a good idea. Your new companion may consider you mean, negative or bitter, and may be hesitant to go out with you again.

8. Expand your reach

Don’t fix on a ‘type’ when you are stepping into the dating scenario after 50. Meet people from different professions, cultures, regions, or backgrounds. It would be refreshing to date people from distinctive environments, as they could make your dating experience adventurous and fun-filled.

9. Begin with light conversations

The initial dates could make you anxious, especially when you are dating after decades. Keep conversations light-hearted and straightforward. Don’t ask serious questions or discuss sensitive topics. For example, don’t talk about children or religious expectations as those are serious topics. It would be too soon to talk about them.

10. Try online dating

In case you are skeptical about dating after 50, you can try online dating by finding an appropriate dating site. You need to set up your dating profile, add a few pictures, and describe yourself briefly. When you begin chatting or talking with your online date, try to be flirty to keep the conversation interesting. However, do not go overboard. Also, don’t take too much time to respond to your date as it may make you appear rude or uninterested. Even asking too soon may be too fast. Hence, try to find a sweet time spot.

You should also be aware of online dating frauds. Some people make fake profiles and try to pull in your personal information and trick you. A few red flags to watch out for include dating websites asking too much information, every profile looks like a celebrity, someone getting too emotional or wanting to meet you at a strange place, and someone asking money. Be careful and don’t fall into such traps.

11. Don’t give a big deal about sex

When you are not ready or delighted with your new relationship, you shouldn’t have sex. You need to wait and spend some more time with your partner and get comfortable. Be open if you need time. Just because you are worried they might leave you or that you are aging, it doesn’t mean you should have sex. Listen to your guts, and you will know when it is the right time.

12. Be free to have fun

Don’t control yourself too much or do things that you don’t want to, just to keep your companion close. It is okay if you have no intention of marriage or are just looking for a casual relationship. Whatever it is, let your partner know about it so that they don’t have assumptions and expectations. 

13. Don’t introduce them to the family

You may have found the right companion who holds similar interests. But you cannot decide in a few dates whether the relationship will last. Therefore, it is wise to keep your dating to yourself. Do not rush to introduce your partner to your friends, family, or even children. Take your time. Once you sense your relationship has baked substantially, you can take the next step of letting your partner acquaint themselves with your family.

14. Don’t compare your dates or relationships

Don’t compare your current date with any of your exes. Each person is different, and every relationship is unique. Thus, you should not gauge your new relationship with all your previous ones. It would either make your date feel hurt or disgusted; in either case, they might not want to meet you again.

15. Take your call for the next date

In case you had a good time with your date and want to make a second one, you can ask them out. However, if your heart says ‘no’ and you don’t feel connected, you can move ahead. But if your date initiates or asks for a second date, answer them politely and let them know your thoughts. Don’t avoid or ignore and hurt their feelings.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is dating over 50 hard?

Dating in the 50s can be hard because the dating pool is smaller than before, and you don’t see many people meeting your vibes. By this time, you have seen it all, and you can’t just settle for anything less. The changes in dating etiquettes and fashion may also make dating challenging in the 50s.

2. How do I meet a new partner in my fifties?

If you want to meet a new partner in your fifties, hang out with people around, and you may find new connections. You may also try online dating, which is pretty helpful in finding a potential partner. Also, get out and participate in group activities where you may meet new people and get along with them.

Although dating after 50 may feel different than dating when you were younger, you can still have a wonderful experience. However, keep in mind some helpful tips like being yourself and truthful, not dwelling on your past (particularly when you’re on a date), maintaining a consistent approach, and trying to have fun. Also, remember that your goal for dating is to achieve happiness, so don’t make compromises or hold obligations. Instead, enjoy each date, laugh a lot, get to know the individual, do new things, and accumulate new life experiences.

Key Pointers

  • Be honest and start figuring out the relationship you seek in your 50s.
  • Leave your past behind and move on steadily with a positive approach.
  • Avoid trash-talking your ex, meet new people and be free to have fun when dating in your 50s.

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Shikha Thakur

Shikha is a writer-turned-associate editor at MomJunction. Having done a certification in Relationship Coaching, her core interest lies in writing articles that guide couples through their courtship to marriage and parenthood. She also specializes in baby names. Being a postgraduate in Human Resources from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, she likes understanding people and their relationships. This reflects in her relationship... more

Jessica Jefferson

(MA, MS, LMFT)
Jessica Jefferson is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a certified perinatal mental health professional trained to help clients suffering from mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. She graduated with a Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Miami, a Masters in Psychology in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and a Masters in Family Therapy from Nova... more

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