With Valentine’s Day upon us, many single seniors are thinking once again of trying the dating game. The idea of dating is frightening to many seniors as it may have been years since they have been out on a date. Though they may feel they don’t know how to date anymore, things haven’t changed too much and the tips for senior dating are much the same as those for any age group.

There are lots of places to meet new people and potential dates:

• Ask friends and family to introduce you to anyone they may know who they think will have similar interests to your own
• Church groups or hobby groups are often ways to meet new people in your area and those who like similar recreational activities
• Online dating is very popular now and there are sites available just for seniors. If you use an online dating service, don’t give out too much personal information. Make the meetings for your first several dates (that is, if you want more than one!) in a public area such as a restaurant, theatre or museum.

Dating tips:

• Don’t let yourself be pressured into rushing things. Just because you are older and don’t feel you have as much time left, is no reason to move in with your new male or female friend. Give yourselves time to get to know each other.
• Remember that everyone will be carrying some baggage with them. By the time you reach your senior years you’ve lived through many things and so has your date. It’s only when the same issues come up again and again that they are a problem.
• Spend your first few dates getting to know each other better. Try out hobbies or recreational activities that both of you enjoy. At this stage it’s best to leave your family out of your plans. Sometimes relatives don’t understand when a senior decides to date again. On the same note, don’t start out your first conversation talking about your previous husband or wife!
• Leave sex out of it for awhile. Many seniors, both men and women, are uncomfortable with the thought of developing a new sexual relationship. Everything takes time and right now you are just learning to get to know new people as potential mates.

Remember, dating is not always about marriage. It’s about friendship, companionship and developing new relationships with new people. Enjoy it, be yourself and don’t take yourself too seriously!