For some seniors, having a partner to share their lives with is something that feels very important.
In older age, the desire for companionship doesn’t go away. With seniors living longer than ever before and continuing to live fun, active, and full lives well into older age, seniors who have lost their partners as a result of death or divorce may find themselves wanting to seek out a new partner. For many seniors, it has been a long time since they were active in the dating scene, and it can feel overwhelming and difficult to know where to start. Seniors have grown, aged, matured, and changed since their younger dating years, so it can be a whole new experience navigating dating in a new time, with a new set of experiences behind them.
Helping Seniors Date
There are things that loved-ones and caregivers can do in order to make the experience of dating a little more comfortable for seniors. The biggest thing is helping seniors to meet new people with whom they can forge new relationships. Helping introduce seniors to new people their age by encouraging them to attend various groups and events can be a great place to start. There are many ways seniors can meet new people:
- Through Friends and Family
- In Clubs and Interest Groups
- In Places of Worship
- Through Shared Hobbies
- In Classes and Learning Groups
- On Dating Sites
Barriers for Seniors
A major challenge for many seniors is overcoming the barriers that they see for themselves around dating. A big one for many seniors is the fact that they feel undesirable and like they won’t be able to find anyone who is interested in them in their older age (even people who are around the same age as they are). Our society and culture views advanced age as a negative, and it can be hard for seniors to overcome those internalized feelings. As loved-ones and caregivers, it is important to do everything possible to remind seniors that they are valuable, desirable, and capable of finding meaningful romantic relationships that fulfill them. Another barrier for many seniors can be the fear of what their family members will think about them dating again, so in attempting to provide support, it is important that loved-ones and family members make sure they are very clear about their support by reminding seniors that they deserve to be happy and to have the companionship they desire.
Dating can be a challenging thing at any age, but for seniors it can feel like a whole different game. Providing support and helping to facilitate circumstances in which seniors can make positive connections with other seniors, while also reminding them that it is okay that they be out on the dating scene again in older age can help make seniors feel better entering back into the world of dating.