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Over 50 and Dating: Tips For Today's Dating
Dr. Dale V. Atkins, February 2010

Dating when you are over 50 may seem intimidating. You may worry about not being as attractive as when you were younger. Or, that you are "out of practice" or that your "best years" are behind you. In addition, the rules of the dating world and game have changed. It is less formal and more internet based.

Rather than focus on the negative, look at the positive about yourself. You do not need to feel overwhelmed by either the process or the prospects. Remind yourself that you are experienced, more mature, and likely have confidence that you may not have had in your youth.

Here are some tips for for moving forward:

Go Online - Use the internet not just as a way to find Mr. or Miss Right, but expand your network. Meet new and reconnect with people from your past with similar interests as yours. Look at social networking sites such as MEETUP.COM and FACEBOOK. Be careful not to give too much personal information (phone numbers, addresses, e-mail addresses etc.). Meet people at public places . Tell a friend where you are, check in with them so your date knows someone knows where you are.

Consider What Is Really Important To You - What was important when you were younger (starting a family, financial security) may not be as important now (having fun, companionship, comfort, kindness, adventure). Are you looking for someone to marry? Someone to be connected to without legal entanglement? Someone to date or travel with or go to dinner with? Someone to have a sexual relationship with? Be clear about what you want and what is non-negotiable.

Approach Dating As An Adventure - Be open and have a positive attitude. Keep it light and be forgiving, flexible, tolerant about age and appearance. Go out of your comfort zone and consider meeting people from different backgrounds, age groups, cultures, races, and religions.

Widen Your Experiences - You need to be interesting. Keep current and aware of what is "hip and in." Engage the people you meet. Enroll in a class, learn something you are curious about, begin a hobby, and develop a passion that has been on hold.

Keep both your mind and heart open. Appreciate that dating today is different from the way it was and that can be a very good thing. Take initiative, take a risk, and learn about yourself in the process.

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