Advertisement
Healthy Living on a Budget

Tips for Dating Later in Life

Dating as an older adult can be both easier and more difficult than it is for younger adults.

New Yorker Lorri Eskenazi, 60, has one of those dating stories that show why you should never give up. Married for 25 years, divorced for the past six, she turned to the dating app Bumble—she liked that Bumble has women reach out to men for dates. And at first, she enjoyed all the interest from the men who swiped her profile as a match. “It was fun at the beginning,” she says. “It was almost like a game, and it was really cool to have access to all these people.”

Then it became more like a chore. The same men kept popping up. She had a few “ghost” her—that is, the man would disappear without a word. But she had noticed that one of the men whose profile she kept seeing was a friend from her teenage years in Brooklyn. She reached out to him on social media, asking if he would be interested in a get-together as friends. And now they have a bicoastal relationship.

Advertisement - Article continues below

At any age, dating is full of contradictions. It can boost your ego and deflate it. It can be fun and dismal. And dating as an older adult can be both easier and more difficult than it is for younger adults.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Furthermore, you’re not alone. The divorce rate for adults over the age of 50 has doubled over the past 25 years, according to the Pew Research Center. And, says Christina Pierpaoli Parker, a PhD student in clinical psychology specializing in geropsychology, an analysis of widowers ages 65 and older found that 18 months after the death of a spouse, 37% of men and 15% of women wanted to date. If you are dipping back into the dating scene, here are some good tips for dating when older.

Ignore judgment. Getting back into dating for some can be exciting, but it can also provoke feelings of shame, judgment and guilt, especially if you are widowed, Pierpaoli Parker says. Friends may tell you that you’re moving too fast (or slow) and adult children may be resentful. But it’s important to remember, “there’s no right or wrong time to get into dating,” she adds.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Digital dating isn’t that scary. A Pew Research Center survey found that the number of 55- to 64-year-olds using online dating nearly doubled, from 6% in 2013 to 12% in 2015. “Many singles who have come to me have never tried online dating,” says Julie Spira, founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. “But since their friends are not fixing them up, they have to take matters into their own hands.”

Don’t be ageist. Both men and women frequently want to date people 5 to 10 years younger than themselves, Spira says. But get over your own ageist ideas, and widen your pool, she says. After all, a 70-year-old can be sharper and more fit than someone 20 years younger.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Be open—but not too open. Be very aware that there are scammers, and even the most astute can be taken in. If somebody seems too good to be true, he or she usually is. Search online before committing. “I found one prospect’s ‘real’ profile with a picture of his girlfriend,” says Janie Jurkovich, author of the self-published book Single and Sixty (available on Amazon.com, $16).

Advertisement - Article continues below

Sex, sex, sex. The issues may change, but talking about sex can feel just as scary at 60 as it was at 20. Never feel coerced or manipulated. “Becoming intimate is a choice, not a requirement,” Jurkovich says.

Safe sex is still important. Older adults account for an increasing proportion of sexually transmitted diseases, Pierpaoli Parker says. The Centers for Disease Control data shows that between 2010 and 2014, adults over 65 saw a nearly 52% jump in chlamydia infections, for instance.

Leave the drama behind. “Everyone has baggage—that builds the character we have,” Spira says. But you don’t need to unpack all that baggage right away. “Bring the best version of yourself to the date. Don’t talk about medical problems right away. Don’t talk about your divorce or your ex not paying spousal support.”

Check in with how you feel, Pierpaoli Parker says. “One simple question to ask yourself when you’re with someone: Do I feel I have to perform—is it draining? Or do I feel energized and connected?”

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon
Smart Buying

18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon

Before tossing these items into your virtual shopping cart, be sure to read Amazon's return policy first.
September 17, 2020
Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans
taxes

Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans

With the economy in trouble, tax policy takes on added importance in the 2020 presidential election. So, let's take a look at what Joe Biden has said …
September 18, 2020
7 Foreign Countries Luring Americans to Work Abroad During the Pandemic
careers

7 Foreign Countries Luring Americans to Work Abroad During the Pandemic

Work remotely – really remotely – in these appealing destinations offering special visas for American workers.
September 18, 2020

Recommended

A Step-by-Step Guide to Being an Estate Executor
retirement

A Step-by-Step Guide to Being an Estate Executor

Whether you’re planning ahead for your own heirs or have been asked to serve as an executor of an estate for someone else, it pays to understand what …
September 17, 2020
18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon
Smart Buying

18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon

Before tossing these items into your virtual shopping cart, be sure to read Amazon's return policy first.
September 17, 2020
10 Things You'll Spend More on in Retirement
retirement

10 Things You'll Spend More on in Retirement

From reading materials to debt, the demands on your savings during your golden years might surprise you.
September 16, 2020
10 Things You'll Spend Less on in Retirement
retirement

10 Things You'll Spend Less on in Retirement

We spend a lot of time worrying about running out of cash in retirement. But you might be surprised to see some of the things you'll find yourself spe…
September 16, 2020