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Family & Relationships

Looking for Love after 50? Here are 7 Tips that May Help

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If you're seeking a partner later in life, you’re not alone.

Among U.S. adults ages 50 and older, the divorce rate has roughly doubled since the 1990s.1

In addition to those who are now widowed or never married, there are a lot of single people out there.

Cassie Zampa-Keim, a dating and relationship strategist, coach and author of Finding Love after 50: Modern Dating Strategies from an Industry Insidersays that in her nearly 30 decades working in the relationship field, she’s watched thousands of 50-and-up singles find meaningful connections, ranging from companionship to long-term relationships. “The keys for me are optimism and resilience, which are intertwined,” says Zampa-Keim, who is CEO and founder of Innovative Match. “Maintaining optimism in challenging times is the biggest indicator of resilience, and you need both in the dating world. It’s not linear and you can’t use the outcome of one date to predict what will happen in the next. You have to stay open and positive, and if you do, you will find success in your search.”

Zampa-Keim shared the following tips for finding love after 50.

  1. Know who you are. The search for a partner is different at every age, because your own wants and needs change, says Zampa-Keim. “It’s so important to identify who you are today, what your life is like and what really fits with that current reality. Knowing yourself is critical,” she says. She gives clients a series of questions about who they are and what they're looking for. “I start by asking, ‘Would you date yourself?’ If the answer is no, I ask them to look at why that is. People need to go into the dating process feeling good about themselves, and accepting what they are and are not.”
  2. Consider your lifestyle. With age, our lifestyles become more cemented and less likely to change. Because of that, it’s vital to find someone whose schedule and priorities mesh with your own. “I ask my clients to look for someone whose schedule (work, family, exercise, etc.) is like theirs, who enjoys the same activities, who is in a similar stage of parenting, who shares interests in particular sports or community involvement or even religion,” says Zampa-Keim. “Finding a good match at this age is all about lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle.”
  3. Embrace a positive perspective. Have an open mind, be confident and be patient, and that attitude may help attract a similar positive mindset, says Zampa-Keim. “When you think and talk about dating, use words that build you up rather than defeat you before you’ve even started. For instance, instead of saying, ‘I’m old and men/women want to date people younger than me,’ say ‘I’m a beautiful person, and would make a great partner.’” Positivity can be more attractive than cynicism and doubt.
  4. Enjoy the process, don’t just focus on the outcome. Dating should be fun, not a chore. Searching for the right match is an opportunity to meet others, learn new things and visit new places. Rather than focusing on finding “the one,” embrace the journey of discovery, says Zampa-Keim. And remember to keep your chin up, because not all dates will be amazing. “You will meet people you are not interested in or who are not interested in you; sometimes it takes a while to find someone you want to see more than once; you will meet someone interesting and date for a while, but then it won’t work out,” says Zampa-Keim. All of that, she says, is normal. The key is to take it in stride and stay out there. The next date could be the best one yet.
  5. Get online. If you’ve never tried online dating, it can be intimidating. But there’s potential for a big pay-off. “With online dating, the pool of prospects that would be out there in traditional matchmaking or your daily life grows to an ocean, and the people on those sites are absolutely the type you want to meet,” says Zampa-Keim. She says that it’s important to post great photos and write a profile that’s reflective of who you are. It’s OK to start slowly, she adds. “Spend some time reading others’ profiles and looking around before you dive in.”
  6. Enlist friends and family to help. They may know people who know people who know people who know the perfect match for you (ok, so Zampa-Keim admits that the friend set-up rarely works, but it’s still worth a shot). “Put yourself out there, allow yourself to open up to the possibilities--even if you feel vulnerable--and move forward with courage,” she says.
  7. If you get tired, take a break. As with all things, burnout can set in. Dating can be filled with ups and downs. If the fun stops, give yourself a break, says Zampa-Keim. Dating is not a speed contest, and taking the time to take care of yourself and having the patience to find the person who is right for you is the most important thing you can do,” she says.

References:

  1. Pew Research Center Analysis, 2015

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