Dating After 50: Add a Dash of Romance - dummies

Dating After 50: Add a Dash of Romance

By Pepper Schwartz

Copyright © 2014 AARP. All rights reserved.

Dating after 50 is not always that different from dating at any age. When you find someone you’re romantically interested in, it’s important to have dates that advance the prospects of that dream. Some options for dates are intensely romantic, and that furthers the possibility of awakening deepening feelings.

Before you try one of these really romantic places, be sure your date is feeling exactly the same way about you. People aren’t dumb (for the most part), and if you pick a restaurant with low lighting and soft music, they get the picture. You want to make sure a romantic date makes the person feel happy, not pressured.

What kinds of places and activities are best for romance? Here’s a list, along with some details you can add if they’re not already present:

  • A small, intimate restaurant with fresh flowers, low lighting, and a feeling of conviviality without being loud. A really small place creates a feeling of intimacy, which is what you’re after.

  • Appreciation of the grandness of nature, which may include mountains, oceans, a sunrise or sunset, or a particularly amazing tree. All these majestic sights put awe and wonder in the air and invoke a sense of togetherness.

  • A romantic dinner after a romantic movie. The movie sets the tone, so make sure that it isn’t tragic or violent and that it has a happy ending. The dinner afterward allows you to dwell on it.

  • An adventure that gets the blood pumping (asking hormones to be your helpmate). Something exciting like going white-water rafting or even betting on a long shot at the races — and winning — gets you both excited, in a good mood, and rather ripe for each other.

  • A special event like a concert or show. Get tickets to see a favorite band from the ’70s or arrange something else special that has to do with you both having lived through the same period of time and events. These memories can produce a sense of closeness, understanding of each other’s lives, and an appreciation of your mutual life histories.

  • A hotel (a bed and breakfast can be romantic but often not private enough) that’s luxurious and treats you both well.

What is anti-romantic on a date?

  • The news. Don’t watch it. It almost always has something depressing and/or violent.

  • Almost anything you used to do with an ex or an old flame.

  • Loud, bustling restaurants where you can’t hear each other.

  • Chain restaurants. You want each memory to feel special.

  • Spectator sports. Fun, yes; romantic, not so much.

  • Hikes on super-hot days or skiing on super-cold ones. Being uncomfortable isn’t romantic.

  • Hotels that are low end or look unkempt.

  • A sleepover at friends’ homes in their kid’s bedroom or on the office couch.

Dating is an art, not a science. You have to keep checking in with your date to see what makes her thrilled or romantic. Maybe something worked once but it may not again. Honest communication is the key.