Are you looking to get back into the dating game? Here, dating expert Tom Blake offers his best advice on everything from where to meet new people to what to do on your first date. Blake is the author of more than 2,500 articles on finding love after 50. His weekly free e-mail newsletter, which you can sign up for at FindingLoveAfter50.com, reaches older singles across the U.S.
Get Off the Couch
If you want to meet new people, Blake says, “The most important action is to get off the couch and out of the house. The absolute key is to change one’s life by meeting and mingling with new people. Singles need to get involved in activities they enjoy – join a club, volunteer, travel – those types of things.
Blake recommends using social media websites to gather information on club meetings and activities happening locally and around the country. Blake says, “Singles should identify the activities they enjoy and pursue those activities. There, they will meet other people with similar interests. Will they meet a potential mate? Maybe, maybe not. But, they will be enriching their lives.”
Join a Dating Site?
Is joining a dating site right for you? If so, which one? “The dating site that is right for a person is the one where he or she will meet a potential partner,” Blake says. “Which one is that? I can’t say. People have to check them out to see which are best for them.”
If you do decide to look into dating websites, here are a few tips:
- There are dating sites just for seniors, those for any age, those that are free and those that cost money. There are also sites for people of a particular religion and more. Visit the sites, do some research online, and talk to other singles you know before making a decision.
- Do not sign a long-term contract. That way, if a site is not for you, you can switch.
- Safety: “Read all of the warning pages on those sites before proceeding,” Blake says. “Do not disclose personal information to strangers and never, never, send money to a stranger. Romantic scams abound. Don’t be naïve. Be extra careful when meeting in person for the first time.”
The First Date
On the first date, just meet for coffee, Blake suggests. “No dinners, no alcohol, just a brief face-to-face. Just be yourself. Have confidence in yourself. Don’t dwell on ex-spouses or ex-boyfriends or how someone did you dirt,” says Blake. “We’ve all had our bumps and bruises. Be a good listener and ask questions of the other person to deflect the conversation away from yourself. Seem truly interested.”
Last but not least, Blake suggests meeting new people without the sole purpose of seeking a mate. “Go out with the purpose of enriching your life to make yourself a more interesting person,” Blake says. “We often hear stories of people who find mates when they are not looking.”