Have you just rejoined the dating scene? Are you recently divorced or separated and wondering if dating etiquette has changed or fretting about your first date? Whether you’re in your twenties or heading into your seventh decade, there are some dating rules you should never forget. Here are five dating rules to live by, whatever your age…
1) Honesty is the best policy
It can be tempting to tell a little white lie about your age or to post a flattering picture from a few too many years ago on your profile, but honestly really is the best policy when it comes to finding a good dating match. No one wants to have to awkwardly admit their real age later down the line. And if you use a dating site that’s specifically for your age group – like over 60s dating website – there’s already an expectation that you’ll be around the same age as potential suitors, so there’s no need to fib.
2) Strike while the iron’s hot
Whether you’ve made a connection online or in the queue at the supermarket checkout, there’s no point putting things off. Once you’ve exchanged numbers, messages or phone calls it’s a good idea not to prolong the initial communication phase and to push on with getting out on a date. Why? While the lead up to a date can be lovely, if you let it last too long you may find you’re left more disappointed if it’s not the date you’ve been daydreaming about. In short, less build up means less potential disappointment.
3) Talk before your date
Yes, it’s wise to limit the lead up to a date but it really is wise to properly sound out potential partners at the pre-date stage. Fixing up a call to see how you get on can help you to narrow the field and potentially prevent you from wasting time and money on a date if you’re not well matched. Just remember to be cautious about sharing personal details such as your address or other identifiers. It’s a good idea to only exchange phone numbers once a date has been agreed, even though you may technically use a call as a pre-qualifier.
4) Be clear about your goals
Are you looking for love or feeling a little lustful? Maybe it’s a bit of both? Sometimes matters of the heart aren’t completely black and white, but being as honest with yourself and your dates as possible about what you’re looking for will certainly help dating to go more smoothly. If you’re not into long-term commitment, you’ll find plenty of people are also searching for no-strings fun. But if you do happen to be looking for someone special to settle down with, you’re certainly not alone. According to ONS figures, more over 65 are getting married in the UK with the number of marriages for this age group rising by 46% in the decade 2004-2014.
5) Think safety first
You should always fix your first date in a public place and let a friend or family member know when or where you are going to be and when you’re safely home. When you’re communicating with strangers online or over the phone or text, it can quickly feel like you know them when this isn’t really the reality. Be very careful about sharing personal details with potential dates. And when you do meet up, have a backup plan for if you need to make a quick exit. You may want to have a friend on call who can pick them up or phone you to give you an excuse if you want to leave.
Thinking safety first is also essential if you do decide to get intimate with a date. Statistics from Public Health England published this year show that instances over STIs such as herpes and gonorrhea have increased in the over 65 age group. It’s important to remember that condoms don’t just protect against pregnancy, they also help to prevent the spread of many STIs too. To help protect yourself against infection, you can ask new partners to take an STI test before you consider having unprotected sex. Not sure how to approach the conversation or what you need to consider? The Family Planning Association has some great information on sexual health for over 50s.
What are the rules you live by for dating? Do you like to fix up a date within a week or vet all potential dates with a pre-date phone call? And do you think dating gets harder or easier with age?