Selecting Dates After 50: Core Qualities

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There are many things that you'd want from a date in your over-50 age group if you could design your date the way you can design a house. You could pick out style and substance, hobbies and values, appearances and temperament. It would definitely be a made-to-order product.

But that's not the way it works in real life. Someone may walk in with the deep blue eyes you're looking for but not the luxuriant hair you find so fetching. A person may have a great sense of humor but a strangely harsh and unattractive voice. Your potential partner may be brilliant but emotionally unpredictable. No package is ever perfect — however perfect it seems to be on first meeting.

Prioritize date qualities with the rule of five

If you create a list of 20 or more perfect, must-have qualities you absolutely insist on someone having before you'll even go out on a date with her, you probably won't go out very often (perhaps not at all). When you require a lot from your potential dates, your chances of being lonely and dissatisfied with life go up a lot.

Because the point of this article is to get you dates, help you have great experiences, and eventually lead you to find someone to love and be loved by, check out the rule of five. You can pick five major qualities as “must haves,” and then you have to start being flexible.

Take a look at the qualities in the following list and rank them, starting with the most important quality at number 1. Then cut off everything above number 5 and see whether you can live with the idea of being with someone who has the first five qualities but not some of the other ones. If you can, you're on your way to having an active and interesting dating life.

  • High income

  • Great looks

  • Economically secure

  • Wealthy

  • Prestigious profession

  • Very intelligent

  • Great sense of humor

  • Great body

  • Gregarious (loves people, gets along with many)

  • Wise

  • Romantic

  • Calm and thoughtful

  • Loves your children

  • Loves animals

  • Loves food and wine

  • Athletic

  • Wonderful lover

  • Loves travel

  • Loves books

  • Shares your political party and philosophy

  • Loves to stay at home and cook or garden; loves domesticity

  • Great family background

  • Great dancer

  • Loves music and musical events

  • Loves cultural events like opera, theater, and art movies

Friends can satisfy some of these qualities, so some qualities don't have to be your partner's strong suit. Sometimes you can help your partner learn to like your hobbies or lifestyle. Also, if you insist on all your interests or habits being shared, you don't open yourself up to new experiences.

If you have children at home

If you have kids at home, obviously your number-one priority has to be that your date likes kids and has the capacity to love your children. Here are a few other things to think about prioritizing:

  • Someone who understands that children’s needs sometimes take precedence over adult needs

  • Someone who doesn’t resent private family time

  • Someone who can fit into your family time and enjoy it

  • Someone who has children and so understands how to relate to them

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