If there’s any truth that could truly be considered universal, it’s that first dates never get any easier. They’re the culmination of weeks, months or even years of anticipation – the moment where our hopes and dreams come up against reality.
In our youth, many of us imagined that first-date nerves would pass by the time we’d reached full maturity but here we are, firmly over 50 and still getting nervous about what other people will think about us.
It’s a little reminder that no matter how old we get we’re still the same person inside, nervous, eager and hopeful.
Nevertheless, there is truth in the notion that over 50 dating is different to dating in your youth. The rules shift somewhat and expectations migrate to places that might feel unfamiliar for those of us who haven’t been on a date in a while.
At Maturity Dating, we’ve been helping to bring together single over 50 folks for years, and in that time we’ve learned some amazing tips on how to navigate that nerve-wracking first date. Here are our top tips:
Let the Date Location Do the Heavy Lifting
Largely, the nerves we before and during our first dates are to do with ourselves. Most commonly, anxieties come from that age-old panic ‘what will I talk about?’. We’re all afraid that the conversational well will run dry, but if you’re smart with the location for your date, you won’t have to worry about it.
By choosing a first date location which involves more than simply sitting opposite each other and talking, you’ll let the date location do a lot of the heavy lifting, providing an endless source of conversation from which you can better get to know each other. Walks through parks, a trip to an art gallery or museum or even a comedy show followed by dinner will provide a rich vein of conversation for both you and your date.
Avoid Bill Discussions
It might be fashionable to split the bill but unless your date is exceptionally keen to split, follow the rule that if you invited them, you should pay the bill. If they’re uncomfortable, just let them know that they can pick up the bill next time (even if you’re not sure there’ll be a next time). Nobody wants to feel cheap, but by taking a quick stance and being gracious you’ll cut out the awkward debate and relax the situation.
Don’t Be Afraid of Intimacy
Many of us believe we belong to a generation which has much longer courting periods than the generations that came after us. However, research shows us that that isn’t always the case. In fact, over 50 daters are actually much quicker to becoming intimate than younger people are.
So, if you feel like the moments right for a first kiss or even a night between the sheets, don’t be afraid to pursue it. Of course, if they’re not interested, don’t push it.
Always Follow Up
Regardless of whether your date went well or not, take the time to follow up the next day, either to let them know that you’re interested in seeing them again or that you think it’s better if you go your separate ways.
With online dating’s instant messaging facilities, it’s incredibly easy to get in touch, so don’t be cruel – follow up.