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Cheat Sheet

Dating After 50 For Dummies

From Dating After 50 For Dummies by Pepper Schwartz

The exciting part of dating again after age 50 is that the relationship can take any shape you want. There's more communication, more honesty, and fewer assumptions about what "dating" means or where it's going. Nevertheless, you still may need help navigating the dating and relationship world. Check out useful tips on writing an awesome online profile, and be inspired by ideas for inexpensive dates. Lastly, peek at some pointers on how to have great "first-time" sex.

Copyright © 2014 AARP. All rights reserved.

Dating After 50: 10 Tips for Strong Online-Dating Profiles

Copyright © 2014 AARP. All rights reserved.

If you're 50 or older and back in the dating pool, you'll discover that one key to successful online dating is having a strong profile. Many people just dash off their online profile, but that's a really bad idea. The profile is what people ponder when they're interested enough to spend a little time deciding whether to contact you or return your contact. But the good news for you is that it's easy to outshine the competition.

Before you start typing away, you have to know what to say (and what not to say); let this list of do's and don'ts guide the construction of your online-dating profile:

  • Always keep a warm, friendly tone in your writing.

  • Don't skimp on description; this is the most important part of your online presence, so write at least three paragraphs.

  • Be specific. Instead of just saying you love to travel, for example, talk about a specific trip.

  • Avoid clichés — everybody likes to walk on the beach!

  • Be honest, or it will undermine you later.

  • Talk about something you did that makes you sound humane; you want people to know you're a good person.

  • Don't undersell yourself: Talk about an award you received, a great job, something you shine at. Remember, this is a bit like a job interview, and you have to sound better than other applicants!

  • Don't come across as arrogant; don't make it sound as if no one could be good enough for you.

  • If you have a good sense of humor, use it. If not, don't force it.

  • Sound like you're happy and grateful for your life. Then someone will want to share it.

Affordable Date Ideas for Over-50 Daters

Copyright © 2014 AARP. All rights reserved.

Most people date quite a bit before they find "the one." Even if all your dates are just dinner and a movie, dating can get expensive. Some men and women split the bill, but if the man or woman is traditional about who pays, dating can become very pricey for the guy. There are quite a few ways to have an inexpensive date that doesn't feel cheap.

Here are a few ideas for inexpensive dates to consider:

  • Search the city for great food trucks. Finding them is fun, and the food is always reasonably priced.

  • Go to new wineries and get free tastings. The fancy established ones may have a tasting fee, but the newer ones are trying to build up a fan base, so they're usually free.

  • Join your local film society and go to free or cheap screenings of movies. This is one of the best values, and if you're a movie buff dating another movie buff, this could be the best date possible.

  • Explore "intellidates." There's so much talent giving free lectures or performances on university and college campuses that you'll have a hard time choosing among your options. Check the websites of local institutions for free or inexpensive music, theater, dance, and lectures.

  • Do something outdoors to preserve nature. Join a conservation crew for a day: Participate in trail cleanup or other environmental group activities.

  • Attend dog shows, horse shows, or agricultural shows. If your date is an animal lover, these events are typically free — or at least inexpensive — and a great way to bring out your date's softer side.

  • Go to your local poetry society, library, or bookstore and listen to free readings from visiting authors. Sometimes they're well-known, and the readings are usually intimate affairs where you can have good conversation about the poems or book.

  • Do something a little quirky and fun. You can put up a tent and camp — even if it's just in your own backyard! Or plan a picnic in your living room if you're not interested in really roughing it.

  • Experience the everyday majesty of nature. Get up very early and watch the sun rise, and enjoy a nice breakfast afterward. Or go see the stars on a clear night, preferably a bit out in the country where the city lights don't obscure the view.

  • Cozy up together. Rent the first season or more of a great TV series or miniseries, and make your own popcorn.

  • Cook together! Baking is particularly fun and sensual because the aroma is tantalizing long before you actually get your first bite.

Dating After 50: 10 Tips for Your First Sex Together

Copyright © 2014 AARP. All rights reserved.

Having sex for the first time with a new dating partner can be nerve-wracking, especially if you haven't slept with someone new in years. Yet, when you're older and have been sexual in your previous relationships, sex seems to happen sooner. Depending on your values, it can be a momentous occasion or just a pleasure-seeking experience. But, if you hope that it's part of a serious relationship, you're more motivated to make sure it's a happy, erotic, mutually satisfying event.

It helps to have some thoughts about how to make that first sex the successful prelude to an ongoing intimate relationship. Here are a few pointers that can help you make your first sex with your partner great:

  • Don't have sex right away; sex on the first or second date usually means a short relationship.

  • Precede sex with conversation and approach the experience with intention so that you can be prepared (nice underwear, lubrication, pills, and so on).

  • Set the right mood with a romantic dinner and good conversation beforehand (but don't overeat or drink too much!).

  • Talk about health before you get physically intimate. Plan safer sex with condoms. Don't think that makes you cheap; it doesn't. You show your concern for yourself and your partner by using protection against any sexually transmitted diseases.

  • As your relationship deepens and becomes more erotic, talk about what having sex means to you: Is it a declaration of love, like, or just attraction? Make sure you and your partner are on the same page.

  • When you're ready to get sexual, pick a romantic venue; the place, the mood, and the ambience all matter.

  • Even if your feelings are intense, take it slow before and during sex. Communication and caring are actually more likely to make this time memorable than technique or endurance.

  • Ask what your partner likes and how he or she wants to be touched. Take the guesswork out of it.

  • Say nice, complimentary things. Make your partner feel attractive, desired, and respected. If you help your partner feel confident about your desire and admiration, your partner is more likely to feel sexy, uninhibited, and connected to you — and that means sex is more likely to be great!

  • If you aren't going to stay the night, explain ahead of time. You may have good reasons for not being able to sleep over, but staying is nicer. And having breakfast together in the morning is romantic.

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