Everyone expects younger people to date, but what about Baby Boomers and beyond? With 39% of the population over age 45 single, there are some 49 million single, older adults in America. No wonder senior dating sites such as OurTime.com, DatingAARP.com, BabyBoomerDates.com, and Over40andSingle.com are so prevalent. As you explore these services, consider the following advice I give my more mature clients when they are ready to begin dating:
- Don’t be pressured or even influenced by what you see in the media about dating today. Everyone is not having casual sex, and you should not feel compelled to be intimate with anyone until you feel ready.
- When you are ready, insist that you have safe sex. (A 2010 study conducted by Indiana University found that about 90% of people over age 45 said they had not used a condom during their past ten experiences (http://www.nationalsexstudy.indiana.edu/).)
- Please do not lie or misrepresent yourself. If you’re using an online service, post a clear and recent photograph of yourself. While you don’t have to announce your age, please don’t lie about it either. If the relationship progresses the way you hope it will, this will only come back to haunt you.
- Avoid compromising out of desperation, just to go on a date. A bad date is definitely worse than no date. Trust your inner guidance.
- Be yourself, at the age you are now. Being active, light-hearted, and ready to have fun are good. Don’t try to compete with a 20- or 30-something because they will always win.
- Make sure you have disposed of your baggage before you begin dating. Retain only the lessons, and let being older and wiser this time build your confidence.
- Finally, be good to yourself. If you’re not having fun and it can’t be fixed, politely remove yourself from the situation. You’ve earned your own self-respect.