From the Magazine

6 Expert Tips for Finding Lasting Love Later in Life

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The number of adults over 50 using dating sites has recently doubled — which means your person is out there waiting for you. And these expert tips will help get you ready to meet the one! 

First, call your pals.

You may think the first step to finding romance after being out of the dating scene for awhile is, well, going on a date. Not so fast, says Charly Lester, co-founder of Lumen, a dating app for over 50s. “The best thing to do is spend more time with your friends,” she encourages. “They’ll remind you what an amazing person you are, increasing your self-confidence.” This boost helps you overcome past hurts that may be holding you back.

Rewrite your happy.

We all have inner messages we tell ourselves — and what yours says can impact how lucky you’ll be in love, reveals dating coach and founder of SmartDatingAcademy.com, Bela Gandhi. “If you repeat a negative script, such as ‘I’m too old to start dating again,’ you’ll block your chances of romantic success,” she says. But positive affirmations such as “Love is not an if, but a when,” fosters a more optimistic mindset, which motivates you to keep trying and sets the stage for success.

Spark future excitement.

If memories of a past relationship have kept you from seeking new love, there’s a simple solution: Try something new! “As we get older, we tend to see the same friends, do the same activities and develop a routine,” explains Cassie Zampa-Keim, relationship coach and author of Finding Love After 50 ($11.19, Amazon). But when we branch out — say, by joining a bowling league or volunteering — it helps us move forward. Says Zampa-Keim, “You’ll meet new people and have different experiences, which helps you let go of fear and learn to trust again.

Be yourself.

With online dating, your profile is the first thing a potential suitor sees about you, so you want to make it count, says Zampa-Keim. The one-word key to doing just that? Authenticity. 

“Just be honest about who you are rather than write what you think someone wants to read,” she encourages. “When you’re genuine and accepting of yourself, you’ll attract someone who wants to get to know the real you.”

Recast your mate.

You know that list we all have filled with the kinds of traits we want in a sweetheart? Throw yours away and write a new one, advises Lester. “The most common mistake I see in women 50 and over is that they look for a partner who’s just like their last one,” she says. However, you’ve probably changed significantly from the person you were when you first started dating. For example, maybe you were once drawn to the silent type, but now you’d prefer someone who easily shares his feelings. Says Lester, “It’s important to go into dating with an open mind and look for someone who makes the current version of you happy.”

Seek shared goals.

Think about what you want to do at this stage in your life, such as travel more or spend time with grandkids. “Look for someone whose second act looks like yours,” urges Zampa- Keim. You can do this by quizzing friends about set-ups or asking dates about their goals. “Finding out if a potential partner wants to spend the golden years the way you do will help you find the person you can continue to grow with.”

This story originally appeared in our print magazine.

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