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As we grow older, our need for companionship remains. For many older people the thought of dating can be intimidating and perhaps, not even considered. But that shouldn’t be a reason not to try.
Whether you’re separated, bereaved or have been on your own for some time, you’re never too old to start a new relationship.
There are lots of ways you could meet someone new but it can be hard to know where to begin. Trying new activities or signing up to a local community group is a great way to meet new people and have fun.
Why not try:
If you are struggling to find activities in your local area try asking friends or speaking to your local council for courses and groups for older people. You could also read the notice boards in your local church, paper or GP surgery for ‘what’s on’ guides.
Since the launch of the internet, online dating sites have become a popular way to meet a partner; some are even designed specifically for older people.
If you own a computer or have access to one regularly, online dating could be an option for you. If you’re unsure, why not seek advice from friends and close family; you could even ask them to help you set up a profile.
Joining a dating site can be very simple but be careful about the amount of information you provide to ensure you keep yourself safe.
Step 1: Find a site that suits you
There are lots of different dating sites available, all catering to different people. Do some research and find one that suits your needs.
Bear in mind some dating sites are free, whilst others ask for monthly/annual subscription fees.
Step 2: Create a profile
This step can be really fun! After registering with the site you’ll be asked to set up your dating profile with some information about yourself and a photo. You can also add a description of the person you’re looking to meet.
If you’re having trouble with what to write or which photo to use, ask a relative or friend to help – they will know you well and be able to offer helpful, honest advice.
Step 3: Start chatting
When you sign up to a dating site, potential suitors have the chance to send you a message and start to get to know you online. You’ll be able to send and receive messages and find out more about one another.
Chatting online can give you a sense of a person but after some time you might want to arrange to meet face to face. It can be a good idea to suggest a phone call first as this will give you a better idea of their personality and whether you’ll be a good match.
If you plan to meet someone, be sure to let a friend or family member know where you’re going and who you are meeting. If you have a mobile phone, make sure it’s charged so you can get in touch with someone should you need to.
Online dating for older people can be a great way to meet a new partner or make new friends, but it’s crucial you stay safe online.
Only you can decide whether you’re ready to start dating. Don’t feel pressured to meet someone knew straight away as developing relationships takes time.
If you are moving on from a separation or have been bereaved, give yourself time to come to adjust and come to terms with the end of the relationship.
In both scenarios it is important to move at a pace that is comfortable for you and give yourself time to process your feelings. Friends and family can be a great outlet to discuss your feelings, seek their advice over their approval and work together to explore the world of dating in later life.