What is the “availability dating trap” and how can I avoid it if I’m over sixty and dating?
Older adults who find themselves back on the dating scene after a long absence can face self-induced pressure to settle for someone just because they’re available. Contributing factors include the feeling (rightly or wrongly) that “there isn’t much time left.” Or frustration with dating, both online and traditional.
However, dating someone just because they’re available can lead to a relationship that is unsatisfying, unfulfilling, and potentially toxic.
5 Tips to Avoid The Availability Dating Trap for Singles Over 60
In this article, we show you five ways to avoid falling into the trap of dating someone just because they are available.
- First, understand that being single is not a problem that needs to be solved. This means there is no need to rush into a relationship just because someone is available.
- Take the time to get to know potential partners. This includes conversations about values, interests, and goals, and observing how they interact with others as well as how they treat you.
- Be honest with yourself about your needs and wants. Don’t compromise on what you are looking for in a partner.
- Be willing to walk away from a relationship that is not working.
- Get help from dating resources, such as websites and social clubs. Or work with a therapist or coach for support in navigating the dating process.
1 – Being single is not a problem to be solved
It’s easy to forget that being single is not a problem that needs to be solved.
Yet it feels that way because the absence of a partner creates strong feelings when someone has spent a lifetime in a long-term marriage and relationship. It’s a normal human reaction to want to fill the emotional and physical void.
Older adults also feel pressure to be in a relationship from society, family, or friends.
If that’s the case, take a breath.
Being single for a time after a long relationship is its own reward. We all need time to grieve and heal from the loss of a relationship and put things in perspective before we can move on to a new one.
In fact, being single for a time is a wonderful opportunity to focus on yourself, your interests, and your goals. Once we are content being single, we become good partner material.
Otherwise, if we turn to a relationship in desperation to stop feeling lonely or anxious, we become a needy partner. Extreme neediness in a relationship doesn’t make for a good partnership.
2 – Get to know your potential partners
As we age, we may feel that we don’t have much time to waste on dating. It’s easy to be tempted to jump into a relationship with the first person who shows interest.
Aside from the nagging pressure of aging, endorphins from the excitement of dating are influencing our emotional state. It feels good when someone shows interest in us.
However, if we want a solid relationship that’s going to last, we must get to know someone before making that commitment.
This includes having conversations about your values, interests, and goals. It means observing how they interact with others. It means paying attention to how they treat you in various situations.
3 – Get to know your needs and wants
It’s easy to compromise on things that we want in a partner when we believe we won’t find someone else. This scarcity mentality affects people at every age.
It helps to remember that the pool of available dating partners is far larger than our immediate social circle, which is said to average only 150-200 people or so. A quick search of any dating app in most areas will show that to be true.
Everyone deserves to be in a relationship that makes them happy. To get there, we must first know what we want and need in a partner. Don’t settle for less.
Our needs and wants, and not availability, must be the primary screen for potential partners.
4 – Don’t be afraid to walk away
Be ready to walk away from a relationship that isn’t working. Even if you’ve invested time and energy into a relationship, remind yourself that you deserve to be in a relationship that makes you happy.
It’s better to be single than in a relationship that makes you unhappy.
5 – Use all available resources in your search
Finally, if you’re having trouble finding a compatible partner, get help in your search.
There are many resources available for older adults looking to date, such as dating websites, social clubs, meetups, and support groups. These resources can help you meet new people and find compatible partners.
Therapists and counselors can also help you navigate the dating process along with the emotions and stress that go with it. If you’ve had ongoing problems with relationships, or are struggling to get one off the ground, a therapist can work you through the issues.
Final Thoughts on the Availability Dating Trap
Dating for singles over sixty can be a tricky and sometimes frustrating experience. Don’t forget that being single is not a problem that needs to be solved. It’s better to be single than to be in a relationship that makes you unhappy.
Don’t get caught up in dating someone just because they’re available. Get to know potential partners to see if you’re compatible.. Be honest about your needs and wants. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a relationship that isn’t working. And if you’re struggling, get help from dating resources and professionals. Remember, you deserve to be in a relationship that makes you happy and fulfilled.
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Have you fallen for the availability dating trap? Share your story or comments below.