Some of you might remember that old television show, “The Dating Game.” There would be three eligible bachelors or bachelorettes sitting behind a screen, and the one looking for a suitable match would sit in front and ask pretty easy questions. Fast-forward to today, and you have television series’ like “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” as well as “Ready to Love” on OWN, which are quite intense—with sexual situations and multiple partners before the key person makes a decision of whom to marry. On top of that, technology now allows you to click-on your future husband or wife with a click or a swipe on your smart phone. Dating sure has changed!
For those of you in your 50’s or 60’s who may have been out of the dating pool for a while, it can seem a bit overwhelming—especially in this era of COVID. But do not fear. With a bit of research and personal assessment of what feels right to you, jump on in. From what I’ve been able to ascertain, the water can be fine. You do, however, need to decide what end of the pool—deep or shallow—you want to jump into, and whether you want to dip a toe in first, or dive right in.
To me, what’s most important is to know your objectives. What are you looking for? Marriage? A committed relationship? A dating relationship? Pen Pal? Travel partner? A friend with Benefits? It is critical to be honest with yourself so your expectations will be in alignment with your actions.
Next, what approach are you most comfortable with? There are three basic options:
First, those of us in the 50-60’s age bracket generally met our partners through friends, church, social events or college—in other words, through personal interactions or recommendations. If you are still the most comfortable with that approach, then it’s important to be clear about that. The key is to let your friends know you’re back on the market, and let them know what you are looking for!
Second, if you’re willing to try a technology-driven approach like the many dating apps out there, why not be open? You can always come back to what’s more comfortable for you. I’ll list some here for you to explore.