It’s easy to think of the dating world as a place filled with 20 or 30-somethings searching for the love of their lives. However, there is a whole other side of the dating universe that you may be unaware of, consisting of people over 50, looking to find their perfect match.
Yes, that’s right, there is a whole generation of singletons looking for love in their later years. Some may have not managed to find the one yet, or have found themselves getting back into the dating game after the breakdown of a marriage or the sudden loss of a partner.
Putting yourself back out into an intimidating dating scene can be a daunting thought for many, especially if they have been out of it for very long. So, who better to shed some light and advice on the matter than dating expert Maria Romano?
Maria, founder of True Love Knots, is a licensed wedding officiator in the wedding capital of the world, Las Vegas, Nevada. She has been witness to several love stories coming to flourish at the altar.
Getting back into dating
After losing her husband of 33 years in 2012, Maria decided to give dating another shot and put herself out there into what she describes as a very different scene. “When you’ve been in a long term relationship and then you get divorced or become widowed, it’s more difficult to get back into the dating world, and I realised there were a lot of people that needed help. A lot of people think I’m a matchmaker, but I’m not. You need to be your own matchmaker!”
Maria developed a program to help others in the over 50 dating game after her own personal dating struggles, and has since helped many over 50s find love! We were lucky enough to sit down with her and receive some pearls of wisdom for those looking to date in their older years.
You need to be your own matchmaker!”
Q: Is there any advice you would give to those getting back into dating over 50? To people who are overcoming a difficult divorce or the sudden loss of a partner?
A: When you have been in a long-term relationship and are bridging over that gap, you may think you’re ready, but sometimes you’re not. I have a course that I teach my clients called “dysfunctional detoxing”, and it focuses on shedding the residuals from your past relationship. If you’re a widower who had a great relationship, and you’re getting over that grief, that’s one thing. But if you’ve been divorced, then you can still harbour a lot of resentment depending on what happened. You really need to reconcile that. What happens is that people carry that over and then bring it up in conversation, or someone will say something and trigger that person. So, it’s important to address that.
I think it’s also important to get the right advice and support when you get back into the dating world. Something that’s important is bringing the person that you’re dating around your family and friends. They are probably a better judge of character, as you’re too busy with all these love hormones spewing up. You may not be able see who that person is.
Dating sites for people over 50
With COVID-19 hitting the dating world hard, Maria recommends getting online and meeting someone virtually instead of putting your dating life on hold. “The best thing about it is that you can get ready from the waist up and have the best lighting on!”
Q: What are the best dating websites for those dating over 50?
A: They say there are 2700 dating sites around the world and we know that match.com happens to be one of the largest dating sites in the US especially. I always recommend looking at Silver Singles, and also Our Time. You may also be looking ethnically on sites such as Black People Meet or maybe eHarmony for Christian dating.
I don’t recommend Tinder or OK Cupid. Now Bumble is a great site. It’s hit a 100 million users, where the woman talks first. This is great if you’re the type of woman who wants to see what’s out there and see if they respond to you. Remember that even if you’re virtually dating, you need to dress and make an effort. That makes all the difference!
Dating over 50 advice
Getting back into dating after a long time can be a tricky affair, especially at a much older age when you’ve been out of the loop for so long. Don’t fear as Maria is here to share some of her own pearls of wisdom and give the best advice on dating over 50:
Dating over 50 advice for men
Maria makes a point to coach men and women dating over 50 separately, as she believes they need very different advice on how to approach things and carry out their dating ventures.
Q: What main dating tips would you give men who are dating women over 50?
A: I always tell men: when you’re planning to set up an actual meet and greet to not make it all about you. If you’re going to set something up in real life, try to be mindful of going closer to where your date lives.
I also tell them to avoid talking about anything from their past that is negative. If you want to share a great trip, your experiences, children, or work – I think that’s all great. However, be mindful to avoid talking about past relationships that didn’t work out and AVOID POLITICS! This has been a big issue! I have met men and women who have said they won’t date someone if they are from a different political party – and it’s a real shame!
I also tell men to be mindful and if they don’t care for somebody not to be rude about it. Don’t ghost them either. If somebody reaches out to you – be respectful and polite. I think that’s what people need to understand – especially when getting back into the dating world. If you’ve been married a long time, then going out on your first date can be like breaking into new shoes. It’s ok to be honest and vulnerable about it if you’re nervous.
Dating over 50 advice for women
Q: What main dating tips would you give women who are dating men over 50?
A: Take your time. Most women hit a certain age and want to fast-track because they think they’re going to be ending their life. We’ve actually been given longer lifespans! People are living longer, we’re much healthier, so don’t fast-track dating! That’s what dating is all about. Because when you make a choice to be with someone, you hope it to be for the rest of your life and you want it to be a good choice. I always say dating is like a horse race. The more people in the race – the better. And if people fall off – it happens! When you get to a point in your 50’s and beyond, have faith because you are going to meet somebody.
Maria is a huge advocate for finding true love at any age and stage in life. She believes that love really does have no age. One of her fondest memories is of performing a wedding ceremony on February 14th, 2017, with Vivian (92) and Sam (87): Vivian was on a scooter and Sam was on a walker tying the knot. Love really has no age, limitations or boundaries!