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Some top tips on returning to dating in mid-life and later

PUBLISHED: 09:55 20 September 2018

Shutterstock/Darren Baker

Shutterstock/Darren Baker


Professional matchmaker Hayley Bystram discusses how to overcome the challenges of returning to dating in mid-life and later

Reluctantly single

Marriages are hard work. They are challenging at best and at worst, they can fail. But this doesn’t mean we all want to be single. For those overcoming the loss of a spouse or divorce, the dating scene can seem daunting and far from fun. Fraught with issues of wondering how dating is even done these days, the newly single can find themselves at a loss as to where to begin. Sometimes, it is just a matter of time, and healing. Other times, it’s a case of taking the leap because life is too short to stand on the side lines. Everyone deserves to share their life with someone, so if you need help, why not ask?

Help of the old-fashioned kind

Whilst the twenty and early thirty somethings are as happy on a dating app as they are on snapchat and Instagram, the more mature dater is wary of technology and where their profile may end up. Whilst apps offer quantity they don’t always offer quality. Then there are the security concerns of online dating. At a basic level, the issue with online dating is that no one has been vetted so there is no guarantee the person will match their profile. Of course, all profiles (like photographs) are intended to highlight your future matches’ most positive angle, but there is doing some small PR work on yourself and telling out and out lies. Professional matchmaking services meet all their members to check they are who they say they are, delivering peace of mind and saving time.

Some things never change

Don’t let the jargon around dating convince you that the dating world has changed and therefore passed you by. Many of the frustrations of dating have been around for years, it is only now that they have acquired names for behaviour previously just classed as rude. Whilst the apps are new and dating more than one person at a time is new to some, not much else has changed. Boy meets girl, and both hope for a fun night of good conversation and chemistry. Sometimes neither want to meet again, sometimes one person is disappointed, and at the most exciting of times, both want to meet again. In essence, the story of romance remains the same. It is not out of your reach, whatever your age.

Ensuring a good first date

Nothing in life is guaranteed, but meeting like-minded individuals, who have been selected especially for you, will increase the likelihood of a good date. Shared interests can be used to break the ice and first impressions can be helped by dressing well and being on time. It isn’t rocket science; manners and charm still go a long way. Keep the date short because you can always meet again. In fact, often people expect too much from the first date and some of the greatest relationships grow more slowly from friendships. This is what the older generation do better than the young. We know that the elusive spark cannot be guaranteed and should be allowed to blossom over longer than just date one.

Life is meant to be enjoyed and shared. Any new era of life comes with challenges as it feels unfamiliar. But, this too will pass. The goal of finding someone to be with is worth the risks. But equally, you don’t have to go it alone.

Hayley BystramHayley Bystram

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