If you’ve been dating seriously for even a month or so, you know dating is hard work!!! You want to meet single men or women, but how and where?
It feels like a job, because in many ways it is a job. It can be all-consuming, stressful . . . and sometimes an absolute drag.
If dating to find your true love doesn’t feel like work, then you’re:
- Not doing it right. or
- Not that serious about it, or
- Very lucky and you met “the one” easily and quickly.
You should be working hard at it, if you want to find the right partner faster.
And let’s face it, when we’re dating over 60, we want it to happen sooner than later.
Want to make dating a less stressful, more successful experience?
Treat dating like a job search. That is, like a successful job search.
Do the critical initial preparatory work of knowing yourself and who your ideal partner is . . . before you dive into looking for people to date and actually going on dates. In the long run, you’ll be glad you did.
You’ll be better prepared to weed out people who are wrong for you early in the game, saving time and effort, and improving your dating experiences overall.
How and Where To Get Dates With Single Men and Women Over 60
Just like in a job search when you’re sourcing job leads, you’ll need to be proactive. Sitting back and waiting for dates to come to you probably won’t work. You need to network to find the right people to date.
And, just like in job search, your networking efforts should include real-life and online networking.
Real-Life Networking To Find True Love
First, think of all the people you know (family, friends, co-workers, hair stylist, dentist, etc.) and reach out to any of them you’re comfortable asking for referrals to eligible men or women. These may lead to dreaded blind dates, but worth doing.
But don’t stop there. Get out and make an effort to meet people on your own.
You’ve probably heard stories about people who went on dates with people they met at the grocery store. Some dating experts advise hanging around the produce section and hitting on solo shoppers who look single.
It can work, I suppose, but you’ll be investing a lot of time in something that probably has a low rate of success.
Others suggest that women go to gyms or sports-related stores or other public places frequented by men.
Again, this may work, but for me, doing things that I don’t enjoy would make dating a total drag. It’s hard enough as it is.
Better still, get involved with activities you enjoy and/or at organizations that are meaningful to you. If you happen to meet someone, that’s great. If not, you’ll be having fun.
A great place to start is MeetUp.com. Go to the site and search for activities and groups of interest to you. You’ll also find groups for singles of various ages who are looking for friendship and/or love.
According to an article on DumbLittleMan.com, good options from their list of ways to find a date offline include:
- Social/singles groups – look for them in the newspaper or start your own
- “Local Happenings” section of your local papers
- Dog/pet parks
- Bars – maybe not the best place, but it may work
- Adult education classes
- Shopping in the opposite sex’s department
- Bookstores and libraries
- Trade shows, conventions, specialty sales and auctions of interest to you
- After hours shopping at grocery and hardware stores
- Art galleries and museums
- Professional organizations
- Health clubs
- Local sports teams or leagues
And here are a few of my suggestions:
- Volunteer or charity work
- Events you see on Facebook
- Singles travel groups
- Yoga classes
- Local food co-op
- Flea markets
- Farmer’s markets
- Music concerts or events
- Big venue sporting events
Online Dating To Meet The Right Partner For You
Although you should give the so-called old-fashioned methods included in my suggestions above a try, if you’re not having much success after a time, I hope you’ll be willing to try online dating sites or apps.
If you’re serious about finding the right man or woman for a forever relationship, I urge you to put most of your efforts into meeting people online . . . even though you may be resistant.
Maybe you think,
“Online dating is creepy. Everybody says that’s where the losers hang out . . . people who will probably never find anyone. I’m not that desperate. I don’t want any part of it.”
Fact is, online dating sites are where you’ll find the biggest group of singles over 60 looking for love. And our age segment is the fastest growing one on these sites.
Doesn’t it make sense to go where you’ll find the most prospects?
With such a vast pool of potentials, the dating sites will give you the best return on your time invested.
I tried real-life networking to meet someone for several months and got nowhere. Although I was afraid of online dating, I was kind of forced to do it. Turns out I never would have met Cosmo if I hadn’t, even though he was living right across the street from me . . . for 7 years!
I can tell you from my own many, many dating experiences, that there are lots of very nice men on these sites. Although none of them but Cosmo was right for me, I could see that most of them would make some woman very happy.
Of course, I also met my share of creeps and some downright losers who I felt wouldn’t be right for anyone.
But I don’t regret having all those first-and-only dates . . . even the bad ones. It was all a learning experience. I came to better understand myself and who was right for me.
Think of it this way.
Online dating is social networking. You’re probably already using other social networks, like Facebook, to reconnect with various people you know, and connect with new ones.
Just add in online dating to your social networking activities. Give it a try. You can always back out of it, if you don’t like it. And, as long as you don’t use your real name, you’ll be networking anonymously, so no one will be the wiser.
Start by deciding which online dating sites you want to join and creating your profile(s).
I suggest you consider using the biggest dating sites/apps (Match, OurTime, eHarmony) because they’ll have the largest pool of prospects.
Once you’re relatively happy with your profile (you can always come back at any time and tweak it), start reviewing prospects’ profiles and reaching out to the right ones.
Or, if you’re not ready to dive in, just join some sites and look around at who’s out there. You can complete your profile later.
Be willing to take some risks in who you’ll date, but never put yourself in dangerous situations.
Just as with real-life networking for dating, think of it as going on just one date . . . say, an hour or two of your time. You’re not making any kind of commitment, and you’re not obligated in any way to go on a second date with them.
Maybe you’ll be lucky, or maybe you’ll just have an interesting exchange and learn a little about another human being. It’s better not to get your hopes up too much that each new first date may be “the one”.
5 Online Dating Tips That Worked For Me
1. Don’t be afraid to make the first move.
Someone has to. If you sit and wait, you may be doing just that for a long, long time.
Whether you’re a man or woman, don’t wait around for people to reach out to you. I often made the first move, and never got pushback. The men were very receptive.
If you’re a woman, don’t be afraid you’ll come off as too pushy. Very few men over 60 think that way. If they do, maybe they’re not right for you anyway.
2. Beware of undeniable red flags in dating profiles and trust your gut.
Unless you like hotheads, stay away from those whose dating profiles contain angry content. They’re telling you who they are. Besides being angry, these people may be long-time dating site members who have been unsuccessfully dating for too long, and are so thoroughly jaded they wouldn’t know a good thing if they tripped over it.
Likewise, carefully read the narrative sections (content the dating member had to write themselves). Ponder what they’ve written and what it says about them. For instance, if someone writes at length about recently losing their spouse, the love of their life, they may not be ready to accept a new love into their life.
The better you are at initially weeding out people who aren’t right for you, the fewer bad first dates you’ll have, and the better the overall dating experience will be. Trust me, the more dating you do and the more time you spend reading profiles, the better you’ll get at spotting people you should avoid.
3. Act quickly with new members. This may be my best tip of all.
Once you’ve been on the dating sites for several weeks, regularly scouring the members who are potential dates for you, you’ll become familiar with the “regulars” and you’ll notice when someone new joins.
They may either be new to online dating, new to that particular site, or back at dating after being in a relationship.
These “newbies” are good ones to pay attention to. They’ll probably be more receptive and responsive than those who’ve become jaded and too picky because they’ve been at it too long.
When I was dating last year, I swooped in and scooped up Cosmo within a day of his joining OurTime. Several years before that, I did the same thing with Sam, with whom I spent 3 happy years.
4. Use instant messaging and texting sparingly, if at all.
Maybe I’m in the minority, but I’m not big on IM-ing and texting, especially when exchanging important information, like you’ll be doing at the beginning of a relationship, as you’re getting to know each other.
I think it says a lot about someone if they’re not willing to take the time to email back and forth a few times and then have a few phone calls, before going on a first date. Men especially should be willing to let women set the pace for how the relationship will progress.
At least at the beginning, I advise that you don’t IM or text except for brief messages like, “I’m on my way”, or “I’m running late”.
5. Don’t worry if you never hear back from new prospects you’ve contacted.
People on the dating sites may not respond when you reach out to them for a number of reasons, including:
- They’re not interested, and they don’t know enough or aren’t courteous enough to politely decline.
- Their profiles are legit, but for whatever reason (most likely they’re married), they’re only looking and don’t want to meet in person.
- A fair amount of profiles of people who are no longer members sit dormant on the sites, but appear to be active. The sites hang on to abandoned profiles to boost their membership numbers.
Don’t hold out for one particular person. You may never hear back from them. Keep at it. The more people you reach out to (and who reach out to you), the more likely you’ll find the right person sooner.
Check out our two ebooks for plenty of dating tips and strategies for dating over 60 . . . from a woman’s and a man’s perspective:
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I wish you great success in the dating game!