The New Rules for Dating After 50

By on June 26, 2014
mature couple having dinner

Raise your hand if any of the following apply to you:

You’re a worried 50-something trying to traverse the dating scene. Divorce or widowhood has thrown a wrench in your plan of growing old with your spouse and now it’s time to jump back into the dating game. Or maybe you never found that special someone and the new dating culture is slightly (ok, very) intimidating.

Don’t worry! You’re not a fish out of water. Even though it always seems like you’re surrounded by blissful, married couples, there are many other 50-somethings having the same dating frustration. Yes, the dating game has changed in the digital age. And no, learning to navigate these new advancements doesn’t require sophisticated technical skills. The challenge comes in determining which method is best for you—because there’s no rules in digital dating!

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So, where should you start?

Email + Telephone

Does a mutual friend want to match you up with someone fabulous? Consider exchanging emails. Just don’t let the back-and-forth continue for too long. Once you’ve established mutual interests, exchange phone numbers so you can be your authentic self! Or, instead of just a regular phone call, try using an iPhone or iPad to FaceTime to develop a personal connection at a time when digital dating can seem impersonal.

Online Dating

Whether you’re curious about online dating or a seasoned expert, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But don’t dismiss it just yet!

Happen, the weekly magazine from, provides tips for online dating over 50. First, ask for some help setting up your profile. Ask your tech-savvy kids or a close friend to take a few photos for your profile—you know they’re always honest and will help you choose the best one. Many of the larger online dating sites also offer technical support via email, phone or have a comprehensive FAQ section.

Expand your idea of your ideal match or the perfect date. Online dating gives you the opportunity to meet different types of people. You can find that person who loves to play music or who’s a vegan or even someone younger than you! It’s important to not get too caught up in your list (you know, the one that gives a detailed account of the traits your perfect mate has) because you might be missing out on some fantastic potential matches!

In case you are stuck on what dating site to join, Mashable provides an overview of ten popular dating sites and apps!

Other Tips

It might seem impolite to ignore potential matches that email you, but only pick three or four people that you’re interested in getting to know better. Focus on them so you can avoid feeling overwhelmed.

In the new digital realm there are many opportunities to meet new people. Dr. Nerdlove suggests that people should avoid assuming something is serious too soon. Let’s say you hit it off via email, had some side-splitting conversations on the phone and even had a perfect first date. But hold it! It might be a mistake to only focus on one person at a time. I’m not saying that two people can’t click immediately and begin an exclusive relationship, but just be aware of your dating situation, and don’t take other opportunities for granted! Initiate contact with anyone you deem interesting, and see what you can catch!

You can still find Mr. Right after 50—and online dating apps are the new “It” space.

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The New Rules for Dating After 50