Bette Davis once said that getting old is not for sissies. Well, many women would argue that the same comment applies to dating after 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.
As young women, we are primarily interested in finding someone who can be a good provider – oh, and good looks (genes) didn’t hurt either! Now that our kids have left the house, shouldn’t our priorities shift? Shouldn’t we be more interested in finding someone who shares our values, rather than someone with a lot of money?
Truthfully, I’m not sure. I know that, “logically,” we should look at relationships differently in our 50s and 60s, but, the truth is that many of us don’t. I still know plenty of older women who are looking for James Bond – attractive, daring and exciting. I also know many women who just want someone who makes them feel special.
Of course, there is no “right” or “wrong” answer here. When it comes to senior dating, we all want slightly different things.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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?
Watch my video with David Wygant for more senior dating tips:
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.
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.
Ever hear of speed dating? I know, it probably sounds a little scary, but it is a good way to have short conversations with many potential partners in the space of a few hours.
Speed dating events are held all over the world and are gatherings where people sit and talk with each person in attendance for a short time, this can be anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. Each event has its own timeline, but basically they all work the same. You sit with an attendee and talk until a buzzer goes off. Either you or the other person gets up and goes to another table to talk for the same amount of time with someone else. Think musical chairs!
At the end of the evening, you decide who you would like to see again and the organizers will give you their information only if they chose you too.
Research online for speed dating events in your area.
Now, I couldn’t give dating advice without adding online dating, could I? Online dating has become a tried and tested method of meeting new people. It’s now easier than ever to create a profile and browse hundreds of profiles of single men in your area.
There are lots of choices, like Match.com, where you can freely browse profiles. Other paid sites, like EHarmony.com, and Chemistry.com, ask you to take a personality test before they look for “matches” for you.
There are also faith-based sites like ChristianCafe.com and JDate.com where members can write and respond to anyone. These are good sites to find a partner with a similar faith-based lifestyle.
Most websites have a free version and a paid version. It’s best to invest in the paid version if you’re serious about online dating. This way, you get access to all the features and you are also better protected.
That being said, make sure you stay safe and don’t send any personal information to anyone until you have had several conversations and even had some video chats. Unfortunately, women our age are often targeted by scammers that infiltrate online dating websites.
There are great single men on these websites that are looking for the exact same thing that you are. Make sure to post clear photos on your profile where your personality is showing. Add some photos of you doing some activities that you like, like hiking or horseback riding for example. Refrain from putting photos of your kids or grandkids on your profile, you can share these privately once you get to know someone better.
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.
Tags Senior Dating Advice