For mature women, dating can present challenges, especially if you are returning to the scene after a long-term relationship or marriage. The good news is that more and more women are confidently overcoming those challenges and seeking love and happiness with a new partner.
Between 2007 and 2017, marriage rates in England and Wales increased more among over-65s than any other age group, according to a July 2020 release from the Office for National Statistics. Figures for men in that category rose by 31%, but for women the increase was 89% – almost twice the love!
So if you’re looking to date and find love and you aren’t sure where to start, read on for some honest and straightforward dating advice for older women.
Try online dating
There are two big advantages here. One is that meeting someone online and exchanging messages means you have a chance to get to know them before your first date. The other is that online dating services are easier to use and better regulated than ever before, which offers added security.
The key is finding a service that works for you. For readers of The Telegraph, Telegraph Dating can be an excellent way to meet someone like-minded and of a similar age, since our service tends to attract people in the older demographics. If you’re looking for something more fun and casual, you could try a service such as Tinder, where you accept or reject potential matches based on appearance. Tinder is a good shout if you’re seeking a younger partner, as the vast majority of its users are under 45.
As for creating that perfect profile? Put up a few recent photos, talk about what’s important to you, and be open-minded when it comes to what you’re looking for.
Don’t rule anything out
For mature women, dating offers both an opportunity to find something (and someone) new and a temptation to retain a very fixed idea of what you want from a relationship. Maybe you want to meet someone of a certain age, or a potential partner who has children. Our advice would be to approach it with the experience of an older person and the openness you had in your twenties or thirties.
The people you meet may have been divorced, lost a partner, suffered long-term illness, and/or have grown-up children – and you may fall into one or more of those categories too. Because you’ve lived independently of one another, there’s far less pressure for your lives to slot together perfectly, so while compromise will always be needed, maintaining your independence is also important. In short, be open to dating anyone with whom you have a good connection, whether they’re older or younger.
For mature women, dating can turn age and experience into distinct advantages. Older and wiser, you are probably more aware of what you do and don’t want, whether that’s long-term compatibility and companionship or a short-term casual relationship. So there’s no need to commit to something that doesn’t feel right, and equally, there’s no need to rush into anything. You can take control.
Be body positive
Body confidence can be an issue for women of all ages so the message here is to accentuate the positive. Fortunately, mature women have learnt to love and accept themselves as they are, so make that one of the things you’re looking for in a potential partner. Tune out the media view of how women are ‘supposed’ to look and tune in to your view of how you want to look, and while you’re turning down the self-criticism to silent support other women by turning up your support for them.
Endorsing brands that openly support older women is a good way to enhance body positivity, as is taking up a new activity that reminds you of what your body is capable of. It doesn’t have to be a full-body workout at the crack of dawn – swimming, yoga, dancing and walking can be just as effective. As an added bonus, getting fitter and more flexible will do you wonders in the bedroom…
Communicate with friends and family
If you are an older woman dating someone who has children, you may feel nervous about broaching the subject with them. Honesty is the best policy here – and with close friends or family members – but remember that you’re entitled to your privacy. Tell your loved ones you’re dating, certainly, but don’t feel the need to tell them everything, and only introduce a new partner to them when you’re ready.
Stay safe in the bedroom
You may be a mature woman dating but you’re never too old to have that talk. Returning to the scene after a long time away, it can be easy to forget about contraception. If you’ve been through the menopause it can be even more tempting to forgo condoms, but please don’t make that mistake. Whether you’re in your twenties or your sixties, the same rules apply about trusting your partner.
For more tips and advice on how to be successful in the over 50s dating scene, visit our Mature Dating section.
If you’re single and interested in meeting like-minded people, join Telegraph Dating. With more than 220,000 like-minded single people, Telegraph Dating is the best place to find romance.