Dating as a senior is a whole new ball game and it can be an intimidating stage in life to step back into after so many years being with the same partner. More seniors experience this than you may think though, nearly 20 million seniors who are 65 and older are single according to the 2016 census. Deciding to date again can be an important decision for seniors since affectionate relationships play such an important role in a person’s overall health and happiness.
Deciding to get back into the dating game is easier said than done though. There are plenty of factors to consider before taking this step. The biggest issue seniors run into, since the majority may have been in a very long term relationship previously is, are you ready? Since many relationships for seniors have ended due to death or divorce of a spouse, it can take a while to be emotionally ready for a new relationship. It is important to take it slow and make sure you are not rushing to move on. The amount of time you wait will be different for every person, there is no magic number of months or years that you “should” wait to be ready.
You don’t think you’re ready.. that’s okay!
Many seniors may have a lot of emotional baggage they need to work through in order to get ready to date again. Divorce or the death of a spouse is a lot to deal with and some seniors may need to go to counseling in order to learn to cope with the loss in a healthy way. Learning to be content with where you are in life emotionally is key to knowing you could be ready to get involved in dating again.
You’re ready to date.. now what?
Once you have decided you are ready to take the next step it is time to determine what kind of relationship you are looking for. Are you ready to pursue marriage again? Or, do you only want a casual companion to spend time in conversation with, going to dinner, and other dates here and there?
Many seniors who are starting to date again have been in a marriage for a long time. It can be strange stepping into a new relationship when you are used to being so in sync with a person. You have to remember that it will be a slow process learning about this new person and noticing their mannerism, likes and dislikes, and much more. So don’t get discouraged that you don’t feel as in sync at the beginning, building a relationship takes time and commitment.
The dating world has changed a lot since the last time you were in the game. It can be overwhelming to even know where to start, especially in the socially distant state of our world right now. A great place to start is using dating apps!
The dating world may look a lot different now than it did when you were last on the market, but the good news is that you can use new technology to your advantage. Dating apps are highly popular and are great ways to connect with people you otherwise may not encounter in your day-to-day life. Additionally, online dating can help you form a connection with someone digitally prior to meeting them in person, which some feel is a safer approach. There are many reputable online dating sites such as Eharmony and Match, but there are plenty of sites that are specifically geared towards seniors such as SilverSingles, SeniorMatch, and OurTime.
Building a New Relationship as a Senior
Relationships mean different things to each person. For instance, there is a sweet senior lady in my church that has a male friend that she just likes to hang out with and do things with. They have been dating for 14 years. She married and lost the love of her life and was not looking for another husband but did want companionship. They ate dinner together, went on walks, and went shopping. You don’t have to get married or even go steady, as we used to call it, just get a hang-out buddy. If you are ready for that next marriage then make sure you spend some time getting to know that person, so you know that they are a good trustworthy life companion. The key is whatever step of a relationship you are ready for, don’t be afraid to get started. It will get easier as you go and you will easily identify what type of relationship you want.