Dating Issues for Seniors: Challenges, risks, and concerns facing seniors who date

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Older adults looking to start a new relationship can experience a number of challenges that may be entirely new to them. They are also frequent targets of scammers looking to take advantage of the elderly. On top of that, they may have their own concerns about dating. 

In this article we’ll discuss some of the common challenges, risks, and concerns that seniors face and what they can do to help themselves confront them. Read on to learn more about how seniors who are looking to date online can do so comfortably and with ease. 

What makes dating after 60 so hard?

Older people face a myriad of obstacles that can be put in place ahead of them as they try to date. From the simple logistical difficulties some seniors face of physically meeting other singles up to ageism and threats from scammers, it can make dating a real challenge. 

These represent some of the most frequently seen problems that seniors face as they try to date, both offline and online: 

Common challenges

These challenges that seniors face as they approach a modern dating scene can give them pause for thought, sometimes making them question whether they are up for dating at all. However, all of these are issues that can be dealt with given a little time and effort. 

vector art of an older man using a laptop

Unfamiliarity with modern online dating sites and apps

It’s no surprise that dating websites and dating apps can sometimes throw seniors for a loop. After all, these are modern applications and services only recently popularized in the past few decades by younger daters. 

That isn’t to say that senior daters aren’t able to learn how to use new technology. Far from it. Rather, the point is that the way people romantically meet and form relationships has drastically changed, and may present some unfamiliar ground for the elderly. 

In order to combat this, older people who feel like this can be a challenge for them should take the time to read up on different services and how websites and apps work for dating. Each service has a clear instruction so that they are very user-friendly, especially for seniors.

While you’re at it, take some time to brush up on dating etiquette for online dating. It can help to make your experience a little smoother. 

Issues of mobility and physical activities

Of course, not all seniors are physically able to move around well on their own. This can make the idea of face-to-face meetings with other singles seem impossible, especially if you want to take your date’s well-being, or your own, into consideration. 

Mobility issues can be tricky, and will vary from case to case. However, there’s far less to worry about than you may think. With online dating, you can freely connect to users locally or abroad from the comfort of your own home, assisted living, or other. 

That also means you can chat and see your date through video services and messaging. On top of that, services which cater to seniors dating can help facilitate meetups so long as there is a feasible way to make it work. 

illustration of elderly woman in a wheelchair

Meeting with daters outside of your local area

If you have been on the lookout for a new partner in your area, either by going to local events or just being familiar with your community, you may have gotten the idea that the well is a bit dry near you. 

Dating services that operate online are a perfect remedy for broadening your horizons. They can help match you up with people within a certain range of your own location, or you can choose to look for partners by city. This ensures that you will match up with potential daters. 

Common risks

It’s an unfortunate reality that seniors are often targeted by scam artists because of perceived vulnerabilities they may have. However, these aren’t the only risks that seniors may face when they start dating again later in life. 

Scammers and people looking to take advantage of the elderly

Scams against seniors make up some of the most dangerous risks that the elderly face as they date online. This is because they are more likely to mistake fake profiles and catfishers as being real people, when in reality they are just manipulating them to get their information.

Although being a senior doesn’t automatically mean you aren’t tech-savvy or able to identify someone trying to take advantage of you, it is true that older people have more resources available to them for scam artists to take from. 

This can be financial information and money, social security information, your personal identity, and more. 

The best way to protect yourself is to always be cautious with new matches who reach out to you. Try to verify their legitimacy as a real person by seeing them live on camera via a video feed. Social media pages like Facebook can be faked, so be wary of trusting those. 

If you can meet the person up in real life, even better, as you can verify their legitimacy more accurately there. To be safe when you do this, stick to public places until you are more familiar with them. Avoid sharing your phone number until you’ve met a few times, as well. 

Never send personal information, financial information, or any sort of identification online to someone, even if you have actually met them a few times. It just isn’t safe to do so. 

Stds and mistaken beliefs about sex in your old age

Contrary to what you may believe, stds are still a real concern for older women and men, especially if they think that their age means that they don’t need protection during sex. In reality, safe sex is still a very much recommended practice. 

On top of that, many seniors still enjoy casual hookups and dating, making use of apps like Tinder. Yes, seniors are still enjoying sex just as much as their younger counterparts. 

Being older may mean that your odds of accidentally getting pregnant, or getting your date pregnant, are non-existent, but stds can still be transmitted. If you or your partner have had stds in the past, it is better to be honest and up-front about it. 

Jumping the gun with potential partners for romantic relationships

Seniors may be more aware of what they want out of a relationship when they start dating, but that also means that there may be more of an impulse to turn a seemingly good first date into an intimate relationship. 

Just because you and your date seem to have a lot in common and are both essentially what you were looking for in a partner doesn’t actually mean you are both an automatic fit. There are a lot of things about your date you wouldn’t know about without spending time together.

Don’t feel as if you need to rush into anything. Take your time, enjoy dating each other, and be sure that you are both right for each other. 

illustration of senior swiping through dating profiles

Common concerns

There are also some concerns that seniors may have about dating which aren’t as serious as some of the risks and challenges that they may face, but are nevertheless important. They may even be more concerning depending on your individual situation. 

Dating for the first time in a long time

A good portion of seniors who start dating again later in life were once married to a loved one, and either through divorce or the unfortunate passing of a spouse, are now on their own.

You may be feeling like you are out of your element or just not someone who is going to be good at dating, either online or in person. 

Self-esteem issues are common with the elderly when they use online dating services for the first time. However, you aren’t alone, and many other seniors are in a similar situation. Join the online communities connected to dating services. These can offer advice and help you. 

How family members will react to you dating

Your family will naturally be concerned about your wellness, especially if they aren’t used to the idea of you dating somebody. For adult children, this can be an awkward situation and they may make comparisons to your previous partner. 

This is natural, and you may have to be patient with them before they understand you looking to date. Take your time and explain to them why you want to date again and that it shouldn’t have any bearing on your previous relationships and how you felt. 

illustration of a younger man explaining something on the laptop to an older man

Dating while living in assisted living or senior centers

Geriatrics who are living in assisted living or senior centers that provide caregiving might feel like their situation is such that they couldn’t possibly make use of dating options others can. However, regardless of mobility or your living situation, you aren’t precluded from dating.

Finding a way to date is all about being open to the resources that are available to you, and finding one that fits your needs and capabilities. You can even request the assistance of a caregiver to help you out as you write your profile, message others, and meet people. 

You can also consider dating within the community your are in, as you are bound to not be the only senior there looking to date. 

Ageism and common stereotypes in senior dating

Ageism is a common occurrence that impacts people from all walks of life and in many age ranges, not just seniors. However, many of the ageist ideas about seniors tend to be negative and discriminatory, negatively impacting them. 

Some of these common stereotypes include physical impairment and an inability to take care of yourself, forgetfulness and poor memory, as well as an inability to learn new tools and technologies. This includes dating apps, despite many services existing for seniors there. 

vector art of older woman hurting her leg

The best way to deal with these ageist stereotypes is to openly defy them when faced with them. Prove that they aren’t valid and improve your own self-confidence by asserting your independence, adaptability, and capability. 

How to approach the challenges faced when dating as a senior

Approaching these challenges and risks requires patience, a willingness to adapt and learn, and a cool head. Take your time and analyze the situations as they come and consider what the best approach can be. 

The worst thing you can do is to impulsively act out or panic. Don’t lash out at people near you and don’t shut yourself away from help that your loved ones may offer. Don’t give up on trying to date either, as some bumps are bound to be ahead of you as you go forward. 

With a little time and effort, and a cool head, you can overcome any of the challenges that may come your way as you start to date.

Date ideas for seniors

If you are having trouble coming up with date ideas as a senior, then our recommendation is to think about what you and your date are capable of doing. A good starting point is to consider going out for a meal together, as this is both public and something everyone does.

If you are both able to, a nice long walk is also a great activity for a date to enjoy each other’s company. You can also take your date to a local farmer’s market, or consider seeing a type of show, like a play or a movie. 

Try to think about what you are comfortable doing and what your date might enjoy. Don’t force a situation on either you or your date, as it is a guaranteed way for the date to end poorly. 

Why dating later in life can be better and easier

On top of having a better understanding of what it is you want out of a relationship, seniors also tend to have more experience with romantic partners. This can help a lot when it comes to empathizing with your date, and can improve how well you build romantic bonds. 

You also have more resources at your disposal for dating than you did when you were younger, which means more freedom and more options to date the way you want to. 

There are also a number of services which cater exclusively to seniors who want to date, including Ourtime, Silver Singles, and Seniors to Date. You can also find active communities of senior daters on larger sites like eHarmony and 

FAQ on dating issues for seniors

There are many more areas to touch on when it comes to dating for seniors, and no one article can cover all the topics. However, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions to help get you started. 

Why can it be harder to date when you get older?

As seniors may have clearer ideas on what their ideal partner is, it is also true that they may have more stringent expectations about what their relationship and partner will be like. This can make it harder to find a person who is really perfect. 
Additionally, there is also the issue of mobility and what one is capable of doing as they grow older. It is inevitable that at a certain age we aren’t able to do the things we could when we were younger, and this can make dating harder. 

What problems do seniors face?

Aside from issues of moving around and having to deal with scammers, many seniors deal with some form of a chronic disease which can limit their ability to date. This includes heart disease, strokes, cancer, diabetes, and more. 
These conditions can leave seniors doubtful about what they are able to do, and may make them feel as if their future is already set in stone. 

What does a 60 year old woman want in a relationship?

Some of the most important factors for older women when they date later in life is to find a partner who shares the same interests and hobbies that they do. They also prefer it when their partners share similar goals and aspirations, as well as a shared worldview. 
Rather than someone who conflicts with how they ideally want to see themselves and their life, they want a true partner to have fun and go on adventures with.

What attracts a younger woman to an older man?

Women tend to be more mature than men of their same age, and many women find men who are on a similar level of maturity as them to be an attractive quality. Additionally, older men tend to have a stronger grasp on where they want to go and have even gotten there already.