Silver romance: Dating for a healthier, happier life

Getting back in to the dating game and looking for companionship in your 50s and 60s may seem daunting, but here are some ways to take the pressure off.

Ah, dating! If you haven’t been in that pool for a while, it may bring back memories of the opposite sex glued to the wall at a dance, waiting for the other person to make the first move.
Seeking companionship in later life can seem daunting. But it doesn’t always need to be that way. Here are some ways to find companionship, without the wallflower nerves.

Some great ways to meet new people face to face

You don’t need to go to a bar to meet people. There are lots of ways you can make new friends or seek out that special someone, such as: 

  • Joining local yoga or meditation classes.
  • Joining a local walking or running club.
  • Becoming a volunteer in your local community.
  • Signing up for a new class at your local community centre (cooking, photography, etc). 
  • Joining a local bush regeneration group to get your hands in the soil and feel you’re doing something worthwhile.
 
“Our friendship circles and community connections shrink as we get older – that’s why making new connections is so important,” says beyondblue’s policy, research and evaluation leader, Dr Stephen Carbone. “Wanting to meet people and make new friends, whether it leads to romance or not, helps us stay positive and protects us against the negative impacts in life through support and friendship. We connect via shared goals and interests. It’s only natural this helps form friendships.” 
couple cuddling on bench

Dating online

If you’re a bit shy about jumping into new social situations, it may help to dip your toe in the water through digital means.

Online dating is becoming more popular with a recent research suggesting that that 51% of Australians had either tried online dating or would consider doing so. 
 
Here are seven easy tips to help you get you started on your online journey to friendship and more:
 
  1. Plenty of choice.com.au 
    There are lots of different free and paid dating sites and apps out there. Why not try a couple to see which one you prefer.
  2. Be honest about who you are
    Crafting a profile that actually reflects your true personality, hobbies and interests is far more likely to help attract the right person for you. Fakers are usually found out sooner or later, especially when you meet up for the first time. 
  3. Use a recent, smiling photo
    Photos help to build that vital first connection so use a recent photograph of you smiling. Although tempting, leave that photograph of you in your 30's in the photo album.
  4. Common interests attract
    A great way to make the most of your online dating experience is to choose people who have similar interests to you.
  5. Balance the online connection with the real-life meeting
    Spend time having conversations and getting to know a person online before you meet.
  6. First date  
    Try and find an activity close by that you will both enjoy. A friendly game of tennis or heading out for a night of salsa lessons is not only a novel date idea, it can also help exercise off some of those dating jitters!
  7. Be safe
    Don’t reveal personal details, especially your address or banking details. When meeting your date for the first time, meet in an open, bright public place. It’s also a good idea to let a friend or family member know who you're meeting, where your meeting and when you will be back. 

Dating later in life may seem like a giant undertaking; however, with the right attitude and an open mind, it can also be a lot of fun.
 
After all, getting out and about to meet new people and having a whole lot of fun while you do it is always good for the soul.
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