Does the thought of dating make you want to run the opposite direction? No matter what your age is, dating can be intimidating. And for those who have been out of the dating scene for some time, it can even be stressful. But there's good news, folks! According to many studies senior dating is a healthy part of life and can actually be fun! Let's put a spin on your daunting thoughts and see how these tips can help alleviate those stressful feelings and allow you more ease as you adventure out to meet new people. 

1. Have a playful attitude.

Most important tip here.  WRITE THIS DOWN. It’s all about perspective, so go about each date with a playful attitude. It’s easy to have a negative perspective which can lead to the overwhelming feelings dating can bring. Let’s be honest, we are scared of the unknown. That’s why it’s extremely important to go into each date with a playful attitude. When you were younger and you played, it was so much fun, right?  Use that same perspective. At this point in your life, you aren’t looking for your next marriage, but more looking for a companion to share stories, experiences, and activities together. Keep it light. There are no rules here so have fun with it. Maybe you can simply go for a walk, take a dance class together, catch a local concert, take a drive, extravagantly dine, visit a local museum, or whatever interests you and your date. By going about it with a playful attitude with no strings attached, it will help alleviate the nerves many experience with dating.

2. Do this for you.

Many times our kids and family members like to subtly, or in some cases not so subtly, offer their opinion thinking they know what’s best. Granted, they did spend many years with us so one can understand why they think this way. Truthfully, it's no ones’ life but yours and only you know what's going on inside of you. So with that being said, keep the opinions of your kids and family at home and be present with your new interaction. Allow yourself to develop your own opinions about your new experiences without entering toting a biased view.

3. Be present.

Most of us have had painful experiences that got us to this point, and it may be easy to allow these experiences to dominate your conversation. This keeps you from truly getting to know things about this new person. Try to keep the focus on things you like about this person (and life) and the common interests you share.  If this person is worth your time, there will be plenty future conversations to let them in on some of your painful experiences along your journey. Just don’t do it on a first date. It sounds cliché, but stay in the present moment.

4. Go at your own pace.

There is no rush to this process. If you’ve been on your own for a while, or are hesitant on dating because you feel you’re betraying a deceased husband or wife, it can be frightening to connect emotionally with someone new. Take it slow. Allow yourself time to evaluate the person, the situation, and if it’s a good fit for you. You are the one in control, so go at your own pace.

Hopefully after reading these tips, you have a more positive perspective about putting yourself out there with people to develop relationships again.  Don’t forget that you are the one who knows you so take it slow, ensure you are doing this for you and not others.

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