tips for seniors dating

A recent report from the Commissioner for Senior Victorians highlights that social isolation or loneliness is a problem for more than 10% of seniors aged 60 and over. It also affirms the fact that seniors with active social relationships are healthier and happier than those who lack connections. Health risks for seniors suffering from loneliness include:

  • sleeplessness
  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease or stroke
  • inadequate diet
  • poor mental state e.g. depression
  • greater chance of developing Alzheimer’s

Therefore, if you or your loved one decides to start dating again in the silver years, there are many positive health reasons for doing so. Here are some tips for seniors dating again.

Making Connections

The best way to find a suitable companion in your silver years is to be socially active. Simply going out and participating in the community will be good for your physical and mental well-being. Here are just a few activities that can help you strengthen social connections and increase your chances of finding a partner.

Fitness groups: From exercise classes to orienteering, there is a senior fitness group for you. Ask your local council for information.

Volunteering: Select an area of interest and help others by participating in a volunteer program that will gladly use your skills and expertise.

Geocaching: Enjoy the great outdoors and meet other enthusiasts by attending geocaching events. You’ll meet people of all ages, including plenty of seniors.

RSL: Your local RSL may hold dance sessions during the day or try attending a trivia evening.

Online: Seniors are increasingly turning to social media to connect with like-minded people. There are numerous Facebook groups and single seniors' dating sites. Exercise caution and commonsense when talking to someone you don’t know. If you doubt, ask a younger family member or home helper for assistance.

Family Concerns

Whilst it can be exciting to date again, there are a number of obstacles to overcome. When you were younger, your parents would fret about your dating choices. In your silver years, children and caregivers are likely to be concerned about seniors dating. Make sure you tell your family about your intentions before you start dating and explain your reasons. Perhaps you can ask for help and advice, allowing them to become involved in the process and allaying fears that you will abscond with the first person you meet.

Challenges for Caregivers

Whilst your loved one has the right to be independent, you can set up processes which provide peace of mind for you both. Reassure your loved one that you have his/her best interests at heart and that you support his/her decisions. Make sure that:

  • your loved one tells you where s/he is going and an approximate time for return. S/he can message if there’s a delay.
  • your loved one has you on speed dial in case of an emergency.
  • you encourage your loved one to enjoy socialising for its own sake.
  • you discretely canvas family and friends for suitable senior singles.
  • you gently monitor your loved one’s online activity to avoid scams.
  • you accept your loved one’s choices and show respect when introduced to potential partners.

General Happiness

Enjoy the journey rather than the destination. Even if it takes some time to find a suitable partner, you are sure to make some wonderful new friends along the way. Take time to nurture and appreciate these friendships rather than just single-mindedly looking for a partner. Good luck with your search for silver romance!

Image credit: "40 Years" (cropped) by Gwenn Seemel. (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)

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