Getting back into the dating game later in life can seem daunting. But, meeting someone isn’t as overwhelming as it sounds.
When dating it can be uncomfortable meeting new people and being yourself. To help navigate this, Lumen Chief Marketing Officer and Dating Expert, Charly Lester, shares her top tips to make getting back in the dating game easier.
Be honest about your past
“People who date later in life often have a background story regarding their past relationship,” Charly says. “Whether you’re divorced, widowed, just out of a long-term relationship, or have never experienced a relationship, being upfront and honest about your dating history is a vital starting point in any new relationship.”
Being honest form the get go will set a solid foundation for this potential relationship and it will also encourage them to be honest and open from the start too.
Know what you want
Sometimes, when dating in later life, you look for different things from a partner compared to when you were younger; often times you’ve already built a life for yourself.
“Now you may be instead looking for a companion to share an already-established life with; someone to meet up with a few times a week to enjoy fun activities with,” Charly adds. “From doing the grocery shopping together, to enjoying a film or show, companionship is a wonderful start to any meaningful relationship.”
No matter what you are after, make sure it’s clear so there’s no confusion, she says.
If you are online dating, it can be easy to upload old photos. “At the end of the day, the aim of the dating app game is to meet up in person, and if your photos are over 10 years old, your date will soon realise it,” Charly says. “As a rule of thumb, I always say if you’re wearing clothes in the photo that you no longer own or fit into, then it’s too old.”
And when you are choosing what photos to use, Charly suggests using ones where you can clearly see your face – ditch those shots of you sporting sunnies.
Remember that online dating is different
Charly says to remember that if you are using a dating app, it’s completely different to meeting someone at a bar.
“Passive rejection is common; if someone isn’t interested in you, they can simply choose not to reply to your message,” she explains. “It is also more difficult to judge if someone isn’t interested in you, as you don’t have an understanding of their body language or mannerisms until you meet in person.”
Importantly, she says don’t take it personally. “The reason they don’t reply may not be personal to you, they simply might have found a connection with someone who they’ve been speaking to for a lot longer,” she tells. “The most important thing to do is put yourself out there, and be as active as you can be.”
If safety is a concern, take comfort knowing that many dating apps and websites now have tools to assist.
“For example, Lumen (the dating app exclusively for over 50s) has a verification process that recognises potential catfishers and fraudsters,” Charly explains. “Keep the conversation within the security of the app until you fully trust the other person, at which point you can then move the conversation to texting or calling.”
Then when you make a date with someone, ensure you tell a friend. “Not only is it vital that someone close to you knows when you are out on a date, but it can also be really fun to have someone to debrief with at the end of the night,” she adds.