Dating In Your Golden Years
No matter their age, people need companionship. It's true whether you are looking for love, adventure or simply someone to feel connected to. Often times, seniors feel this ten fold, and loneliness becomes a serious issue. Many end up feeling isolated as their partners pass away or they find themselves single due to divorce or even dementia.
To combat depression and loneliness people have started turning to their communities. Senior centers, church organizations and even your local YMCA can provide you with lists of organizations to join in your area. While it may not sound like a typical resource for connecting with those in their golden years, creating an active lifestyle helps combat the isolation. By joining clubs, volunteering or even joining a gym you not only increase your chances of meeting people your age, but engaging in an active lifestyle prevents depression and has even been shown to increase life span.
If you are not particularly inclined to join those opportunities, some people are finding success by joining the internet dating sites. The internet can help you connect and find adventure with a new set of people. Plenty of sites will entice you with promises of finding the match of a lifetime, but if that't not what you're looking for, there are still options for you! Many sites provide more than just a date. Meet up with singles groups for hikes, book clubs, wine tastings and more! You can use sites like meetup.com to find them near you and even filter by age group, and activity type. Don't see something you like? Make your own group! You are almost certainly not the only one with your interests.
As you navigate online dating though, we do urge you to use caution. Getting back into dating is very different from what it once was. Posting personal information and pictures on your internet profile could entice con artists to try to connect with you. The news frequently runs stories of people who actively try to scam others. So definitely be safe, and let friends or family know where you are headed and when.
If you make a connection online remember to meet in public spaces and protect yourself by not providing your physical address to new people. If this is a date get there yourself, if you are unable to drive you could take a taxi or an Uber. (See our guide to using Uber here.) Doing an activity and getting to know a new person in a group setting will provide an added layer of personal protection that can help you navigate this new dating world.
Remember that connecting with people is essential. If you are looking for that connection remember to be yourself! Be up front and honest about your desires and make sure you understand the expectations of others. For example, my father was married for 49 years and waited nearly four years after my mother passed away to begin dating again. The biggest hurdle in dating for him was finding out that some people are really looking for marriage. He now makes certain that his dates understand that he is just looking for companionship.
The thing to remember is you don’t have to be alone. No matter your age, people need companionship. It is a human desire and a healthy pursuit so get out there and take a chance!