When you’re dating in your twenties, it’s a fun voyage of discovery. You don’t really know what you’re doing, but it’s usually enjoyable nonetheless. However, when older, dating is in some ways more challenging than with the innocence of youth. There’s greater anxiety about it, you might be set in your ways by now and you don’t really know what to expect. You’re not alone!
Here are a few things to consider when you’re over 50 and looking to date someone in the same age bracket.
You’ve Got Life Smarts
You may or may not be street smart, but you’re certainly life smart at this stage in life. It’s not your first go around and this gives you an advantage over dating when you were much younger. When dating after 50, you are clearer about what you do and do not like in life, the things you want to do, and what’s most precious to you. As the younger ‘you,’ you were likely not sure about any of that and played a guessing game with life. Now you know better and can do better too.
You’ve Got More Baggage
Often, we never fully get over some of our past relationships. We bring this as emotional baggage into our next few liaisons. Most of the time, this doesn’t bode well for the development of any future relationship.
If you’ve not gotten over the pain of a previous love, then you should give yourself more time to heal emotionally. Otherwise, you run the risk of meeting a lovely potential partner and then overreacting to something or worse, blaming them for something that’s more to do with an action your ex-partner took than what anyone else did. That doesn’t do anyone any good and it’s quite unfair to the new significant person in your life.
You’ve Got A List of Expectations/Requirements
There are two ways to go with the expectations of another person. You can either have learned what you want from someone and the kind of person who suits you or has decided to just keep things open.
Some people over fifty end up with a laundry list of things their next partner must be. The list has grown over the years! They won’t accept anyone new unless they tick all the right boxes. On the flip side, some more realistic older daters narrow things down to their highest priorities, e.g. being a non-smoker or having kids already because you have two of your own, etc.
You must be careful about burdening someone new with being a person they’re not or are never going to be. There’s no perfect person or Mr./Ms. Right. There’s the person that’s right for you at that time in your life. You feel you can build a real bond with them over time and create a new, exciting life together. When meeting someone whom you ‘click’ with, the long list of requirements falls away.
Dating when you’re over 50 years’ old is interesting because you approach it differently to when you were younger. You’re older, wiser, and more knowledgeable about what makes you happy. If you can find that special someone whom you can make happy too, then that’s ideal. If you need a little help with dating to achieve that goal, it cannot hurt either.