Dating expert Jo Hemmings has partnered up with Match to launch a brand new dating platform called Ourtime, a service dedicated to singles over 50. With this is mind, she offers her top tips for dating at this time in your life.
1. Getting back into the dating scene in your 50s or 60s can feel daunting, so take the time to explore how it works. If you can, talk to other people about what has worked for them, and make the most of services that have been created with you in mind – like Ourtime, which is exclusively for the over 50s.
2. First date nerves happen to everybody – it might be reassuring to remember that your date is probably just as anxious as you. Consider a ‘time-limited date’ – meeting for a coffee or a drink for an hour helps with the nerves so you know that there’s a definite beginning, middle and end.
3. While much of the pre-date chit-chat is done by message only, it’s also good to hear someone’s voice before you go out on a date. Voice conveys warmth, humour, character and kindness, so why not suggest a brief phone call before you meet someone for the first time.
4. Don’t worry if all your conversations don’t end in a date – remember that chatting online is just a first step to help you find the people you would like to get to know better. Always be polite and respectful, and if you’re not interested in someone, be honest. And if it’s the other way around, don’t take it personally!
5. The world of online and app dating means that the traditional ‘rule book’ has gone out of the window. If you’re online dating, don’t wait for someone to make the first approach. It’s perfectly acceptable for you to take the initiative and send the first message or suggest the first meeting after sending few messages.
6. Be positive in your online dating profile. We Brits aren’t great at blowing our own trumpet! If you’re struggling for what to write on your profile ask a close friend what qualities they like in you and then write your profile together. There aren’t any ‘rights or wrongs’ – the most important aspect is to convey the qualities of the real you.
7. Your main profile photo is the first thing potential matches will see. Choose a recent photo where you feel relaxed and know you look good – a full smiling headshot is usually best. Again, ask a friend to help you choose your photos or get them to take some of you so that you have plenty of choice.
8. You might be lucky enough to meet someone amazing on your first date, but the chances are that you’ll go on a few first dates until you find someone who you would like to see again. Enjoy all the dates you go on, and think of them as a chance to enjoy the company of an interesting person – the more dates you go on, the more relaxed the process will become!
9. What do you want? Think about what you want in a date. You don’t need an extensive list – just three non-negotiables that are unique to you, and three would-likes, and after that just be open to meeting someone new and find out what they are all about.
10. Be confident in how you feel when you go on a date. Take the time to make sure you feel great – choose clothes and make-up that make you feel fabulous, but be yourself. If you’re comfortable, you’ll be much more relaxed during the dateand the ‘real you’ will shine through.