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Senior Dating Tips: A Guide for Finding Love Again

Four senior dating tips to guide your renewed quest for love in your life.

Here’s a senior dating dilemma: On one hand, the society we live in tells people of a certain age that their best opportunities for love and romance have come and gone. And maybe you’ve bought into that lie. On the other hand, a part of you still feels like an adventurous teenager, regardless of what age appears on your driver’s license. Deep down, you know it’s not too late—never too late—to find love. This is the “timeless you,” who experiences a tingle of excitement at the thought of new romantic possibilities.

Well, congratulations! Chances are, you’re reading this because the inner teenager has won out. You are ready to put aside the negative messages aimed at seniors and date again. What you need now are time-tested tips on successful senior dating. Here are four that will help you steer around common senior single dating pitfalls.

(Don’t) act your age. After spending a lifetime learning to be “serious” and “responsible,” it can be hard to remember the cardinal rule of dating: Have fun! Think back to when you actually were a teenager. Who had the most dates? The long-faced stick-in-the-mud? Or the playful, unpredictable type who knew how to have a good time? It’s true that many dating rules have changed, but this much never will: laughter, spontaneity, and a healthy appetite for fun are still highly attractive.

Be here, now. Teenagers rarely dwell on their past—because they don’t have one! If you are a senior dating again for the first time in years, you’ve probably overcome painful obstacles to get here. Perhaps you’ve survived the death of a cherished spouse, or maybe a divorce that tested your sense of self and your ability to trust. It is commonplace to wear those experiences on your sleeve and to let them dominate conversation when dating again. Here’s the hot senior single dating tip: Don’t do it!

Yes, dating is about two people getting acquainted. But a first date is not the time to give an emotional account of your husband’s illness and death, or your wife’s decision to leave you and join an ashram in India. Early on, focus on enjoying each other’s company here and now.

Leave your kids at home. All right, so your children are adults now and have had homes of their own for years. But they can still tag along on your date, if you take their opinions too much to heart. Some children are overly eager for you to date again and pressure you to “get out there.” Others are horrified at the idea, equating senior dating with betrayal of their other parent. This tip is about listening to their concerns—and then living your own life.

See each date as a fresh start. Resist the temptation to compare each new person with past partners. Senior dating is not about filling someone’s now empty shoes or avoiding a repeat of past hurts. It is about starting over entirely and finding new things to love about another unique person. Treat each date as a chance to see how different a new relationship can be.

The most important single senior dating tip of all is this: Love is exciting and meaningful at any age. Have fun, be present, be free—and follow your heart where it leads.