Remember that very first date? Sweaty palms. Awkward conversation. You probably even had a curfew. Once you hit 50, at least the curfew is gone.
The dating landscape can be a difficult one for single gay seniors looking for love. Singles at gay bars and clubs tend to glamorize youthful, boyish looks while overlooking the silver foxes and bears on the dance floor. Such ageism can be disappointing, to say the least, but it’s not inescapable. There are growing pockets of senior gay men branching out into the social scene, living their best life, and defying the conventions of who’s hot and who’s not.
Your senior years can be full of love, romance, and adventure if you embrace your age and the wisdom it brings. The right date venues and strategies can give you access to a world of possibility and promise.
We’ve put together some tried-and-true gay dating tips for seniors who are getting back in the saddle and date again.
Use a gay dating site.
You’d be forgiven for wanting to avoid online gay dating, but the truth is it’s one of the easiest ways to meet people. Online gay dating is great for over 50s dating and has also come a long way since its early days, with many sites now catering specifically for people looking for a genuine romantic connection.
Though certain dating sites are free, you tend to get a more tailored service through a subscription service. If you’re a regular Gay Men News reader, you may benefit from signing up to Gay Dating Solutions, where you can browse the profiles of gay men in your age range who share your opinions on politics and world events.
Age is just a number; don’t be shy about it.
The first thing that you need to do when you’re using a dating site is to realize that your age is just a number. There are people in their 70s still working and there are retirees at 55.
You have to be truthful in everything that you put on the site. Nobody will care if you’re 61 instead of 55, but they don’t like being lied to.
Truth is the foundation of every great relationship, so you should make sure you embody that all the time. If you start out lying in a relationship, the chances are that you are going to be found out at some point. That action could undo everything that you’ve tried to do with your partner to make them willing to date you.
Your age doesn’t define you one bit, so you should not be shy about sharing it right on your profile.
Don’t bond over your baggage.
Baggage bonding is when an early date shifts into deep conversation about some baggage you have in common. It starts off innocently with a question like “So what happened with your past relationships?” or “How has online dating been for you?” And off you go! You start comparing your horrific exes or your crazy awful dates.
Nothing positive can possibly come from this! Steer clear of these topics until you know each other better.
Freshen up your wardrobe.
Getting back into the dating scene is a great excuse to clear out your wardrobe and stock up on some stylish, well-fitting items that will make you feel fantastic.
Take clothes you haven’t worn in years to the charity shop to make room, and then invest in a couple of good-quality, non-workwear essentials – such as a smart coat, a good pair of jeans and a cashmere jumper – that you’ll wear for years. Feeling good in your clothes can do wonderful things for your self-confidence.
If you’re pretty clueless about fashion, consider hiring a personal shopper/stylist – a key benefit with this kind of service is that you can sit and relax while they scour the rails for you.
Do manage the date conversation.
Be the master of the segue if he talks too much, or the conversation swerves into uncomfortable topics. Make sure you get to talk about yourself in a meaningful way as well. If he walks away from the date having shared too much or hasn’t learned about you, then there won’t be a second date. Why is this up to you? Because you are better at it than he. Just do it, and you’ll both enjoy the date more.
Show up to your dates open, happy and being your already charming self. It will bring out the best in him and insure that you both have the best time possible. Remember, even if he is not Mr. I Love You, there is something valuable to learn from every date.
Start saying yes.
The guidance we’ve offered so far can essentially be summed up in one phrase: be more adventurous.
It can be difficult to break out of a routine that you’ve had for many years, but if you want to embark on a brand new relationship you’ll have to make some compromises on the way you live. The best way to do that is to get into the habit of going with the flow and generally saying “yes” to positive opportunities that fall into your lap.
And yes, that means taking your friends up on all those dinner-party invitations you may have been dodging.
Stay safe in the bedroom.
Returning to dating after a long period away can be challenging for a number of reasons – but many gay men in their fifties find it liberating when it comes to the bedroom. If you’ve been in a relationship for many years, having sex with a new person can be a real adventure.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things, but always remember the cardinal rule: use condoms and other forms of protection if you aren’t sure about your partner’s STI (sexually transmitted infection) status. You’d be surprised how common certain sexually transmitted infections are among the over-fifties.
Take your time.
Finally, always remember that it’s perfectly OK to take things slowly. While sex and relationships may not be a new experience, it can take time to feel comfortable with a new person.
Above all, remember that there’s no particular rush to meet somebody, and that it’s better to wait for the right kind of connection than to try and force something that’s not working.
Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?
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