DATING

Dating is an Exciting Time for Dating Seniors

Dating is an exciting time for any age, but particularly for dating seniors. Usually by this time children are adults, out on their own; and one or the other spouse is alone either through death or divorce. The desire to become involved with others and activities leads to other friends or associates. Most of us regardless of age want to feel wanted. Dating can be intimidating, yet exciting at the same time. Initially it will certainly force you to step outside your comfort zone. Yes, it has changed from the time of your youth to be sure. Yes, there are some points you might want to reflect on before you step out there and become a dating senior.

Points to Ponder:
Don’t take it personally, but understand that everyone you meet will not be the one for you. That decision will not always rest in your hands while maneuvering the dating world. Some of the values you grew up knowing still exist; such as trust, respect, caring, balance, willingness and discernment. Use the values you've developed to determine as a dating senior whether a relationship is right for you. Foremost, know yourself and what you are about. What exactly do you bring to the relationship? Can you pinpoint your own traits which will create a meaningful bond? Don't  forget, you have value too. Suzannah Galland a life advisor states, "our drive for perfection can often override our sense of self-worth, and obscure our desires, even to ourselves".

Keep in mind as well, that every person you get involved with may not have the same interests, background, outlook, principles or  life goals as you have. Understand, that’s fine because at first you should take it slow and allow yourself  time to mingle and get to know what it is you are looking for. It might even be wise to make a list of the character traits you are looking for in a mate. While you are doing this know that no one person is perfect. Make  a list also of those traits or habits you are not willing to tolerate.

Have a Little Faith:
As you evolve, trust yourself and or your instincts to know that you will recognize the qualities in a person that will bring about the joy and contentment you seek. Be aware, however, that the provision for happiness and contentment has to come from you as well. There is an old adage that says to have a friend you first must be a friend. Some, dating seniors out in the world are out there to simply have fun and enjoy life; while others are interested in a solid bond which will provide them with the companionship they desire. In all of this, know that any association takes time to develop. Try to leave whatever negative baggage you may have, out of the relationship. Lighten up and let empathy be present in your conduct and how you treat others. Share the love within you rather than expecting someone to be the all-in-all for you. You are responsible for your own well being and happiness. Remember to S-M-I-L-E, it is your tool for attraction.

For the aged, time has allowed them to hopefully develop wisdom. Use this attribute   to go through the dating process. Desperate people often make rash decisions which can hurt them and others. Dating seniors should read to be informed, for good conversation and to build your own self esteem and confidence. Whatever has happened to you in the past, learn from it and develop a positive attitude so that you might get a better outcome this time.

Trends:
So what’s new on the dating scene? Plenty! It’s not so much that things are new but, rather more overt. Online or cyberspace networks exist to help dating seniors make contact with persons interested in friendships, companionship, someone to talk with or someone to go out with from time to time. These networks ask you to develop a profile of yourself and what you are looking for in a mate. There are many social or dating networks out there; some charge a fee for their services, but it is wise to investigate before using them. A rather recent service is aarp.org/dating.    When using these services, try to talk with someone who has used the company, check with the Better Business Bureau, AARP, Consumer Report, etc., so you don’t find yourself involved in an organization which misrepresents itself.

Homosexuality has increased since your youth and you need to be aware of its’ existence. Same sex dating networks exist for those who choose this form of dating; these networks provide contacts also for those interested.

Precautions:
The world is not as innocent and trustworthy as in your youth. Dating seniors should educate themselves on the acceptable dating practices as much as possible. This information will give you the ways and means to be in step with what is acceptable for you and to better protect yourself from those who prey on the unknowing. You also need to know there are activities to be aware of that can put you in a dangerous position:

1)    Date Rape – An individual sexually forces themselves on you. Sometimes ill intentions, drugs and or alcohol bring out the worse in people.

2)    Stalking – Have you noticed or felt someone is following you? Have you noticed on numerous occasions that the person you broke off with continues to show up where you are?

3)    Drugs – It is not wise to even start a relationship with someone you suspect or know is involved in drugs. This will lead to a downhill spiral.
Be mindful of drinks you accept, they could be spiked. To help protect yourself, there is now a fingernail polish which detects " date rape drugs."

4)    Ulterior Motives – Sometimes there are those who choose to have a bond with someone to simply enlarge their own egos or because you work or live at a certain income level.

5)    S T D’s - Sexually Transmitted Disease – At no time should you indulge in sexual activity without protection. According to the CDC,  STD among seniors has doubled since 2000. The risk is too high, to find yourself infected with a STD or oral cancer. You might consider having conversation with your mate about previous sexual activity and having yourselves tested if this is going to be a long term monogamous relationship. Don't complicate or risk death from these viruses.  Abstinence, however is the only sure method of protection. 
Protect yourself!

6)    Violence – Never allow yourself to continue an association with someone who is either verbally or physically abusive. No matter what is said it will continue to get worse. Don’t wait until this becomes so serious that you get hurt, stop it from the beginning. Dating seniors should report activities to the police when actions involve bodily harm to you or others. Do not allow yourself to become a victim of violence. Reporting incidences helps to develop an official record for police action.

7)     HIV/AIDS - Health care has come a long way in the treatment of HIV/AIDS; while there is no cure for the disease there are medications which can improve the quality of life for those who have the disease. Seniors appear to be less knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS as opposed to young people. While you may know a person personally, you may not know about their sexual history. Before you make the decision to have a sexual relationship, you should discuss this and have yourselves tested if you plan for this to be a long term relationship. In your youth jumping from one sexual relationship to another did not render the consequences it does now, therefore it is important to also follow the following practices as well:

Use latex or polyurethane condoms while having sex
Do not share used needles or other equipment to inject drugs
Get tested if you or your partner had a blood transfusion between 1978 and 1985
Get tested if you or your partner had an operation or blood transfusion in a developing country at any time    

Because we are social beings we crave interaction with others. Friendships allow us to live longer and more wholesome lives. Having these relationships, provide us with support and an opportunity to step outside ourselves. Often those close to us possess a willingness to accept us as we are, thus diminishing feelings of loneliness and depression. The need for company increases as we age since our support system diminishes. However, confidence allows dating seniors to interact through various senior activities and acquire the joy they seek.

Dating Services:
EHarmony.com
Match.com
OurTime.com
SeniorPeopleMeet.com
SilverSingles.com
Zoosk.com
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