If you think dating is only for the younger set, think again. Seniors are certainly not out of the dating scene. In fact, research shows that the number of seniors using online dating services has doubled. In 2013, just 6% of those ages 55-64 were using online sites compared to 12% in 2016. Those numbers just account for people going online to find dates. They don’t include others who are finding companionship by other means. Whether you’re just looking for someone to see a movie with every now and again or you’re looking to find love, there are several ways to go about making a connection.
- Friends & Family- Friends and family are a great source for potential dates. If you know the same person you already have something in common. Sometimes these match-ups can work out best because you can ask questions about the person ahead of time instead of just blindly going on a date. If you’re looking to meet someone be sure friends and family know so that they can keep an eye out for you.
- Clubs & Hobbies- Whether it’s gardening or reading or another hobby, finding people who share a common interest can lead to companionship or a relationship. Look for clubs or groups that meet regularly to expand your potential pool of dating partners.
- Online Sites- As was mentioned above, more seniors are turning to the web to find a date. While there is a plethora of dating sites out there, there are now several that cater to the older crowd. You won’t find people in their 20’s on these sites. They are exclusively for those 50 and older. When using online sites it’s a good idea to first meet the person in a public place for safety reasons. Sometimes people aren’t always who they seem to be online.
There are other places you may meet someone as well. Sometimes random places like the line at the grocery store may result in a chance encounter that could end up in a coffee date. It’s always important to be open to all kinds of meetings.
Senior Dating Issues
While seniors may not go through the same dating angst as teenagers, sometimes dating is not always all smiles. There are different issues that may arise for older adults.
- Expectations- It’s important to clearly state your expectations. Some seniors are just looking for a companion or “buddy” to go see a movie or go to dinner while others strictly want a romantic relationship. It’s never good to assume either. Knowing the other person’s expectations can avoid a lot of problems down the road.
- Adult Children- Many seniors who decide to date may not have the support of their adult children. If your relationship gets to the point where you are meeting the family be prepared for this possible scenario and how you may deal with it.
- Be Aware- To the surprise of some, statistics show STD cases among older Americans are on the rise. This is something to keep in mind when entering the dating world.
- Protect Your Money- Unfortunately some people prey on seniors and go after their finances. While this is a concern when dating at any age, it’s something to be especially mindful of for the older set. Retirement accounts, Social Security benefits, and any other money-related topic should not be of interest to the person you’re dating. If they do show an interest it could be a red flag that they’re after more than your companionship. When dating always trust your instincts. If something seems off about someone then it’s probably best to look in another direction.
Remember to be patient when dating. Sometimes it takes a while to find that perfect match.