Ready to get back out there but not sure where to start?
Dating can feel like a scary process, especially if you’re returning to the singles market in your fifties, sixties or beyond. You may have overcome huge life changes to get to this new period of your romantic life – perhaps living through bereavement or the breakdown of a serious relationship. So, by the time you are ready to meet someone new, it can all feel a little intimidating.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Overwhelming can quickly turn into exciting if you approach later-life dating with the right mindset and mental tools. It can also be, in many ways, easier to date at this stage in your life. Think about it, you’re probably much clearer in what you’re looking for from a partner than you were as a teen or in your twenties while enjoying more free time and disposable income to indulge in the dating activities you enjoy. Give yourself the freedom to enjoy this new romantic adventure. Follow these easy tips to boost your confidence as you get ready to embrace the dating scene.
Stop Being So Hard on Yourself
We are often our own worst critic. Developing an internal dialogue that focuses on our flaws rather than our strengths. Take the time to think really hard about what you’re great at or what you love about yourself. These can be internal or external things, but the important part is to challenge that voice that says, “you can’t do this” or that “you’re not good enough”. By working hard to develop a positive self-image, we become much more open to meaningful relationships with other people. Dating successfully and enjoyably often starts with building our internal confidence and self-worth.
Spend Time on You
When you go out on a date you want to feel like your best self. Whether you are a man or a woman, this should include a little pampering. Sign up to a gym, book in for a regular facial or massage, try out a new look at the hairdressers or splurge on a new wardrobe. It’s amazing how small acts of self-care can boost your confidence in every other aspect of your life, and that includes dating. It’s especially important to clear a couple of hours out of your schedule right before a date to make sure you are looking and feeling your best – it’s an investment in your dating confidence. Put together a relaxed grooming ritual that leaves you feeling amazing before you walk out of the door.
Give Online Dating a Try
Ok, so you have decided to start dating again. That’s great, but where do you start? Should you try and connect with a friend of a friend or perhaps try a local activity group to expand your social or romantic circle? There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to re-entering the dating pool, but if you’re feeling a little nervous about getting started, online dating can be a great place to start. It puts you in control, allowing you to engage with people at your own pace. You can browse profiles at home with no pressure to interact or respond to the people you encounter. It allows you to begin thinking about what you really want from a potential partner and build a connection as slowly or quickly as you feel comfortable with. Online dating is a great way to begin to see yourself as part of a romantic partnership with no pressure to move towards real-life interactions until you are fully ready.
See Each Date as an Experience
Sometimes we look at dating in black and white terms – it’s a success and we start a relationship or it’s a failure and we don’t. This mindset can lead to a lot of negative thinking when it comes to how we perceive our dating life. Instead, see each date as a chance to meet a new friend, learn something new, or even eat at a restaurant you have been looking forward to trying. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself and just enjoy the ride! Dating can be a fantastic way to explore a different part of yourself and try new things.
Talk it Out
If the idea of dating is overwhelming, then why not spend some time talking to a close friend or family member about your fears? Sometimes just talking out an issue can help us to put our concerns into perspective and think about new ways to approach a problem. A close friend will help you to see how much you have to offer to a potential new partner and provide thoughtful advice on how you can take the next steps. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good sounding board when it comes to your newly emerging love life.
Realise that Everyone Else Feels the Same
One of the best ways to instantly boost your confidence when it comes to dating is the realisation that everyone else is in the same boat. Every person who is moving into the later part of their life and thinking about romance is worried about their wrinkles, their waistline (or hairline), whether they have anything interesting to offer any more, and a million other small insecurities. Everyone is nervous about putting themselves out there when it comes to love – and that’s ok. It’s much easier to feel confident in your own dating journey when you realise that millions of other people are going through the same emotions and fears as you are.
Fake it Until You Make It
Still struggling to unlock your inner dating pro? It’s completely normal to feel nervous about dating and for those nerves to follow you onto the date itself. One tip to help you overcome those butterflies is to fake it until you make it. Simply, this means displaying confident behaviour even when you are feeling a bit wobbly. Walk with your head up, smile, and make eye contact. Practice some simple opening questions and responses that you can slip in if there is an uncomfortable pause in the conversation on your next date. You will be surprised at how quickly these easy tricks transform into genuine confidence.
Ready to take the next step and start your later-life dating adventure? Complete your profile and explore the amazing singles at 2seniors.co.uk today.