Dating After 60: Real World Dating Advice for Older Women
Bette Davis once said that getting old is not for sissies. Well, many women would argue that the same comment applies to dating over 60. Not only are there statistically fewer men, but the dynamic of human engagement, and style of personal connection, has changed dramatically since we were dating in our 20’s. Also, a lifetime of love and loss has made many women distrustful and unwilling to get back into the dating game.
Dating coaches take a more positive stance on dating after 60. They explain that a change in mindset is essential for women over 60 who want to find romance. In my recent interview with dating coach, David Wygant, he suggested that men are often the ones who lack confidence and suffer from fear of rejection. He says that older women have the power to make a connection that turns into a dating opportunity. For example, three simple ideas for creating dating opportunities include smiling genuinely, approaching men first and learning the art of flirting. His assessment requires a fundamental shift in thinking – women must not be afraid to make the first move!
So what’s a midlife woman who was raised in a world where men were “supposed” to make the first move do? Here are a few ideas to help you get the hang of dating after 60.
Practice a Virtual Flirt with Men from Your Past
Social media has opened wonderful doors of connection, so, don’t be afraid to look up a single high school friend and even consider attending your next reunion or class event. Use LinkedIn to casually say hi to interesting men you’ve met at events. You will find out soon enough if they are married or committed, so, for now, just be friendly and see what happens. Let single girlfriends know that you are actively looking for a relationship – maybe they know someone who is perfect for you!
“Are the Chocolate Muffins Good Here”? Strike up a Conversation!
Another place to meet interesting men is the good old standby, the coffee shop. Many men come in every day to get their cup of chai or latte. Pay attention and you may just find a new friend. Start a casual conversation with the man standing in line and smile! When you sit down, don’t immediately pull out your mobile phone or book. Look around and make eye contact. If you see someone interesting, make a move. It doesn’t matter what the “move” is. Sometimes just asking whether the chocolate muffins are any good is enough to start a great conversation. Just remember to be genuine. You’re not looking for the love of your life (although it would be nice to find him). At this point, you’re just looking to make a friendly connection.
Play with Pets and Grandkids – They are Great Smile Magnets
When you are out with a dog or young child, there is a natural and comfortable energy about you. This weekend, grab your dog and visit your local park. If you don’t have a dog, perhaps you can borrow one from a friend. If you have a grandchild, take them for a walk or buy them ice-cream at a local cafe. You will be smiling and that’s a good start!
Go Cultural – Explore Museums, Bookstores and Theaters
The most important dating guideline is to simply do things you love. If you love museums, look for special events that will draw a crowd. If you have a passion for books, go and browse the magazines and chat with the man next to you. He may say “my wife and I…” and that’s totally fine. There should be no expectations when meeting new people. If you love sports, buy a ticket to an event that you love. Who knows who will be sitting next to you?
Attend a Meetup and Share Your Passions
Many cities have an organization called Meetups. You can join groups for everything you can possibly imagine including hiking, art, photography, travel or dining out. They also have events for men and women our age and can be a great opportunity to meet new people, whether you are looking for love or not.
One other option is to sign up with a dating site like How About We which allows members to suggest date ideas, a kind of 1:1 meet up. The idea is that men and women suggest an activity and then meet casually to do that activity together. So for example, you can suggest “How about we go to the local museum and check out the new exhibit”. It’s a great way to spend a fun first date together somewhere other than a coffee shop!
Get Two Birds with One Stone – Let’s Get Physical
Many men love to work out, so, a great place to meet them is at the gym. Meeting people at the gym has a few build in advantages. First, any single man that you do meet at the gym is more interested than the average person in staying in shape. Second, even if you don’t meet anyone, working out is important for every aspect of your health after 60 – mental, physical, and emotional. Getting in shape will improve your confidence and improve every aspect of dating after 60.
Dive Into the World of Online Dating, but, Wear Your Armbands
Online dating fills a gap for women who are more uncomfortable meeting new people in person. There are lots of choices, like Match.com, where you can freely browse hundreds of profiles. Other paid sites, like EHarmony.com, and Chemistry.com, ask you to take a personality test before they look for “matches” for you. I personally have used How About We, a site that allows you to be proactive and suggest date ideas. There are also faith-based sites like ChristianCafe.com and JDate.com where members can write and respond to anyone. There really are so many ways to meet men even after 60 – it simply takes a shift in mindset.
Do you agree that women should make the first move when meeting a man for the first time? Do you think we have forgotten the Art of Flirting? Please add your thoughts in the comments section below or join the conversation in the Sixty and Single section of our forum for women over 60.
Watch my interview with dating couch, David Wygant – I promise that some of his advice will shock and surprise you!