first date ideas

A Guide to First Dates for the Over 50s

A first date, especially the first date you have been on in a long time can be a very daunting prospect. The world of mature dating is full of people just like you.

People for whose first dates are something they haven’t thought about for 35 years or more.

So, the first and very important step is to breathe, relax and understand you aren’t alone here. Dating and the dating scene may have changed an awful lot through the decades but the people haven’t and the principles remain the same.

This is an opportunity to get to know someone new, have fun and perhaps even embark on a brand-new romance. If you’re new to the older dating scene, read on for some helpful advice for preparing for a first date.

Pick the Right Location

Location is key to a first date as it is for buying a house.

You need somewhere with atmosphere but not crammed with people. Somewhere where you can talk but won’t feel awkward if you pause and most of all somewhere you both feel comfortable.

For many of us, this means expensive restaurants or jam-packed bars are out of the question. A comfortable local pub, relaxed restaurant or coffee shop can all make ideal first date locations.

If you feel more comfortable with an activity led date then a wander around your local art gallery or farmers market could help to keep the conversation flowing.

The cinema is often used as an easy first date option but it can be a lazy choice. A first date is about getting to know someone and figuring out if you would like to see them again, sitting in the dark and not talking won’t tell you anything at all.

Stay Safe

If you are setting out on over 50s dating then it can be easy to assume you are old enough and wise enough to keep yourself safe. This may be true but you are still meeting with a stranger and you should take simple steps to protect yourself.

You should always meet in a public place with plenty of people around. You should also let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back.

Older daters often like to keep their dating discreet but this no excuse for not telling at least one friend or loved one where you are. If you feel uncomfortable with your date at any point, leave and never feel under any pressure to continue a date that makes you feel upset or intimidated. Your safety should always come first.

Look Great and Feel Great

Dates are meant to be fun and a big part of that fun is picking out an outfit and spending some time ensuring you feel your best.

This might mean going for a swim, taking a long soak in the bath or treating yourself to a new dress or tie. It’s important, however, not to try and overhaul your image for a date.

Your date wants to go on a date with you and not some impossible version of yourself that simply isn’t real. Make sure you feel and look like yourself before you head out of the door.

Confidence is key. Before you go on an over 50s date, look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you’re great. You are desirable. You can do this.

Don’t Rely on Alcohol

A first date can be nerve-racking and if this is your first step into mature dating it could feel especially tough. It’s easy then, to fill up your wine glass one too many times and end up with a sore head and a bad date.

Alcohol on a first date is fine, but keep consumption sensible and never let it leave you feeling out of control or unsafe. A coffee shop makes a great first option for a drink-free day date that allows you to chat and find out more about each other in a low-pressure environment.

This ensures that any feelings or inclinations about a potential new partner aren’t filtered through the bottom of an empty glass.

Alcohol is great but too much can send a date sour. The last thing you want is to embarrass yourself and look back the next day with regrets.

Don’t Expect Too Much

You have probably had a long hiatus from the dating scene and this can lead to added pressure on the very first date you go on. Remember for mature dating or any dating at all you probably aren’t going to find your perfect match on day one or date one.

It’s likely there will be a few frogs involved before you uncover Mr or Mrs Charming. Treat every first date like an adventure, exciting but with no guarantees.

Enjoy meeting someone new and perhaps finding a new friend if nothing more. Building up expectations on yourself or your date can mean any potential relationship is doomed from the start.

Remember – first dates are first dates. You can’t expect to fall in love straight away. Dating is all about taking your time. So don’t expect too much

Be Open and Friendly

This may seem like a given but it is amazing what a few dating butterflies can do to your social skills. Maintain eye contact, smile often and ask relevant and interesting questions to your date.

Avoid the temptation to blurt out your life story without pausing for breath and remember he or she is likely to be just as nervous as you are.

If you are worried about keeping the conversation flowing make a few notes beforehand with questions you might ask or current affairs or culture that might be interesting to chat over. This can be a lifesaver and will help you feel a little more confident.

Remember – being friendly is the ticket to love and companionship. If you aren’t nice to people you can expect them to never want to meet you again. And even if your date goes sour, being nice will ensure a pleasant parting of ways.

Respect Personal Space

You may be a touchy-feely person by nature but on a first date, it’s very important to respect personal space until a potential relationship matures and develops.

Intruding on someone’s personal space before they are ready can leave them feeling cornered and is unlikely to end in a successful date. Keep touch to a minimum and make sure any physical interactions are friendly and warm without being intimidating.

A first date can be an amazing, fun and potentially life-changing opportunity. Go in with an open mind, an open heart and great first date etiquette. Choose a dating site for over 50s to connect with like-minded mature singles and enjoy this brand-new adventure!

First things first; what excites you? What are your interests? What are you passionate about? These are all very important questions to ask yourself when considering dating in your midlife.

By determining what gets you going, you are far more likely to find a genuine match with someone who shares similar interests.

For some of us, this may be a tricky exercise, you may like lots of stuff from holidaying to reading, watching movies to hiking, so try narrowing it down by elimination.

The more you know about your own likes and dislikes the more likely you are to meet people who have the same things in common with you, thus more likely to have satisfying dates.

By being crystal clear to yourself about who you are instantly saving you time and energy when it comes to dating unsuitable men or women.

Prepare yourself for dating 

Take a step back and look at your life. You may have a job, a house, children, grandchildren, hobbies; you are most likely a lot more settled physically, emotionally and mentally than you were when you dated as a youngster.

Realise that the pressure of dating to define yourself is now gone; you’ve built your little world – be proud of it and who you are!

Dating in your midlife is very different from dating back in the day. Dating should now be an exciting, positive experience that compliments all of the other areas of your life; not dominate it. Allow dating to enhance your lifestyle and remember to not lose sight of everything else.

Imagine you were signed up to run a marathon – you wouldn’t just show up to do it on the day with no training, would you? This is the same for dating. In order to truly enjoy and prevail in the dating game, one must undertake ongoing training in the form of looking after Number 1.

Start by making yourself feel good on the outside; new haircut, go to the gym, get a massage. Consider your diet, your quality of sleep, how active you are.

Once you begin to focus on yourself and take care of yourself you’ll gradually start to feel amazing on the inside and this will also shine through to potential dates. You might be an older woman dating or an over 50 man, but feeling good in yourself is the first step to finding the beautiful things in life.

Leave your expectations with your baggage at the door. It’s all too easy to get overly excited about someone only to be severely disappointed when they are not the perfect date we fantasized them to be.

Imagine, instead of entering the dating scene expecting to find Mr. or Mrs Right in everyone you meet, you simply see each encounter as a chance to meet someone new and have a few laughs.

This takes the pressure off reaching the destination of finding a partner and allows you to enjoy the dating journey.

And yes, we all have a past and we all have our problems but dating isn’t a therapy session. Never allow yourself to divulge in your personal, work, home, family, finance, ex-whatever – issues when dating. Keep the conversations light and fun.

With this knowledge applied, you can have the confidence to get out there and get back in the dating game. Whilst the advice here is sure to kick-start an enjoyable dating experience for you, it’s not a foolproof plan.

The world of dating can be a tough one filled with awkward moments, waiting anxiously for phone calls, having to let someone down, being let down and so much more – but if you enter with an open heart and open mind with little expectation, the good times are likely to far outweigh the bad.


First dates for the over 50s can seem daunting at first but we can assure you that you’ll have fun.

Dating is something everyone has reservations about but the more you do it the easier it gets. Remember to respect yourself, be honest with your date and establish common interests as early as possible.

Sign up to our mature dating site today to get started.

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