Dating After 60: Rules, Advice & Tips

2018-02-09T22:34:22+00:00

60+ dating can be intimidating, especially after divorce.  Find out what to expect, how to start dating again, and join our community of like-minded women.

Dating After 60 For Divorced Women

Dating at any time can be scary and intimidating.  When we’re young, we’re figuring out who we are, and if anyone likes us.  If we’re single again after 30 or 40 years of being married, we’re back at that point, wondering if anyone is going to like us.  My advice:  First of all, like yourself!  

Dating after divorce is different from dating if our husband died.  The grief of death is very challenging, but there is not that personal devastation that happens when our husband leaves our marriage, especially because of an affair.

If our husband dies, we usually aren’t left with those ugly scars that happen with divorce.  If we’ve been through a long, messy divorce after 60, we may again be asking those terrifying questions.  Who am I now?  Will anyone find me attractive and desirable, especially now that I’m divorced and in my 60s?

Also, with after 60 divorce, we may have to still see our ex with his sweet young thing.  He seems happy as a clam, while we may still be wondering, “Will I ever find anyone I can love again?”  Because of the trauma of divorce, the thought of dating again at 60+ is often terrifying!

Remember, you are a good, fun, generous, woman.  Take the time to grieve and heal and then be open to the possibility of dating again, when the time is right.  Keep your standards high.  Be choosy.  Make a list of what you want in a possible partner.  Not everyone you go out with will be long-term material.  Relax.  Don’t feel pressured.

Take Your Time, There’s No Rush

Here’s the good news!  Sixty is the new 40!  Divorce and over 60 dating is more common than ever, but the worst thing you can do is to rush into another relationship before you’re ready.

You need to take time to do the grief and healing work that’s necessary after your divorce before you even begin to think about dating. Figure out your own best self after a 60+ divorce has most likely beaten down your self confidence, especially if your ex-husband left you for someone younger.

Many women think to themselves, “I’m over 60 years old. If I don’t find someone quickly, I may be alone forever!” That’s not true.  It’s better to get strong yourself and not rush into a second or third marriage that statistics say is more likely to end in divorce.   

How to Start Dating After 60

The best way to get started dating after 60 is to Get Comfortable With Yourself!  Your physical self is the best place to start, because getting healthy and fit is good for everything else.  Emotions smooth out.  You have more energy, self-confidence and optimism about the future.

Get Involved! Find those things that make you excited about life again.   Interact in positive ways with others.  Many churches and organizations have volunteer groups that stuff backpacks, load grocery sacks, or spend time reading to kids.  

Get Positive! Get your self-esteem back after divorce by taking a class at a community center or junior college.  Join a MeetUp group for something you’re passionate about.  Get a part-time job or throw yourself into new projects at work. Have fun!  Be Fun!

Get Brave!  In finding romance after 60, we’re all pretty much flying by the seat of our pants!  Being interested in life and solving problems in your community help make you a more desirable person. You’re more likely to come into contact with possible future partners than if you sit home feeling sorry for yourself, or if you feel desperate to find someone.

What To Expect

After my own divorce, I was out of practice dating to say the least!  I hadn’t had a date with anyone besides my husband for 35+ years!  When the sobbing and screaming phase of your divorce recovery is over, slowly start interacting again with safe family and friends.  Rediscover what you love to do, and then find ways to do it.

One simple thing that helps is to start referring to yourself as single instead of divorced.  Your divorce is in the past.  You’re a stronger, wiser, more interesting woman after the life lessons you’ve just endured.

When you actually launch out into the 60+ singles world, Relax!  Take a deep breath.  It’s not a life and death matter if your first connections don’t work out.  Remember, it’s not a judgement of your worth as a person if someone doesn’t call you back or respond to your “like.”  Keeping your sense of humor is the best dating after 60 advice I can give!  

Finding People From The Past

When you’re comfortable, tell your friends and family you’re thinking about dating again.  Many relationships are the result of someone we know introducing us to someone they know who might be a good match.

A 60+ friend of mine had been introduced to a friend of a friend, and they have now been dating for almost a year.  They are planning a wedding sometime in the future.  Yea love and dating after sixty!

High school, college, and business reunions are a good way to reconnect. There are lots of stories of old friends finding each other at school reunions after decades apart.  

WARNING!  Do not get involved with someone from the past who is in a current relationship!  Period!  Do not become “the other woman after 60,” no matter what kinds of feelings are rekindled in you about an old boyfriend.  That’s a recipe for after 60 divorce #2 or #3.  

Online Dating After 60

After divorce as a senior, many of us are trying to rebuild our self-confidence after our ex often tried to tear it down.  When I felt strong and positive again (after several years!), I realized that if I could find the right person, I would love to be in another romantic relationship.

One of the easiest ways to get started finding another relationship is to explore online dating (yes, even after 60!) We get to see “The good, the bad and the ugly!”  My first bit of advice: be alert and go into this adventure with your antennae up!

  1. Watch for clues and discrepancies in conversations
  2. Never, ever share private, personal information
  3. Never get in a car with someone you have only met online.
  4. Make early dates in a very public place with lots of activity going on.
  5. Tell someone where you’re going, what time you’re going and when you are safely home.
  6. Be alert for scams.

According to FBI data, 82% of romance scams are on women over 50. The scammers spend months building a relationship only to break hearts and steal millions of dollars.

One common scam is veterans posing as online prospects.  They use (fake) pictures of men in uniform.  They are often “deployed unexpectedly,” and then later need money for an airplane ticket to visit.  Be alert!

Even with the possible pitfalls, online dating can be fun. The whole process of posting your picture, your profile and answering personal questions can help you clarify what you actually want in your life.  Try it.  If nothing goes right at first, hit the pause button and try again later.  

Over 60s Dating Sites

There are more and more dating sites for seniors.  Even general dating sites like match.com and eharmony.com have sections for seniors.  There are also interest-specific sites for just about everything you can imagine.  

Some sites are faith-based (keep those antennae on!), lifestyle based, (farmers, vegetarians, athletes).  Some are just plain weird:  Trek passions, clown dating, paranormal Date (The website’s slogan is “You are not alone!”, Sizzl (a tongue-in-cheek site for bacon lovers started by Kraft Foods!).

A few of the most popular online sites for 60+ seniors:

  • ZooskSeniors
  • SilverSingles
  • Match
  • eHarmony
  • OurTime
  • EliteSingles
  • SeniorPeopleMeet

Common Mistakes Men & Women Make

The most common mistakes 60+ seniors make when we start dating again:

  1. We rush into dating before we are ready.  We’re worried about being old and time running out. People who love us encourage us to “get back out there again,” before we’re ready.  The grief and healing of divorce is complicated and takes longer than we want it to, but don’t start dating until you are comfortable with your new single self.
  2. We haven’t figured out, “Why am I doing this?”  Figure out what exactly you want from the dating experience (other than a good-looking, rich, caring, fun, adventurous future partner!)  Seriously, we need to know why we want someone else and what kind of relationship we are looking for before we jump into dating after 60.
  3. We take the whole dating thing too seriously.  Be lighthearted and fun.  Be honest with the people you go out with.  Don’t be devastated if a date doesn’t work out like you want it to.  And don’t be afraid to cross someone off your list, if they’re not a good fit.  

Why Bother?

Being divorced after 60 often brings a devastating loneliness.  I went straight from my childhood home, to college to being married and having our four children over a span of 53 years.  Shortly after our divorce, I was alone for the first time in my life. I experienced a gut-wrenching loneliness that was hard to endure.  

After 60, we are also experiencing other losses …. our bodies are changing, children have usually left home, parents are declining, we may have retired … all contributing to the losses of being over 60.  

Sometimes we wonder, “Is all of this worth the trouble?”  Maybe I should just resign myself to the fact that I’m meant to be alone.  Find a support group of other women who are going through divorce in midlife.  See how they are coping.  

If you would like another relationship, go places and do things that will connect you with the kind of person you want to meet.  Be the kind of person you want to meet. Get involved in activities you enjoy.  People in the process of living a good, full life, often meet other people living their own good, full life.  It’s worth the effort!

My own personal online-dating story:

After my divorce, and after I had done the work of grief and healing, I prayed this quiet prayer:  “God, thank you for bringing me to this point in my life.  Thank you for all the good things in my life now.  If you see fit, I’d love to meet someone.  If not, that’s okay, too.”  Amen.  And I went on living my life the best I could every day.   

I was 56 when I started dating my new husband.  He was 61.  We met online. I believe it all started with a question on the site.  “If you could meet someone anyplace in the world, where would it be?”  I replied “Fly fishing in Wyoming.”  Among other things, he is an avid fisherman!  We corresponded for several months before we ever met.  He is an amazing gift in my life.  

This summer we will have been married 13 years and are looking forward to many more.  

Get the help you need to heal.  Re-discover your best single self.  Open up your heart again.  No telling what will happen!

About the Author:

Suzy developed Midlife Divorce Recovery as a safe refuge for people healing and surviving the overwhelm of divorce. Starting her first RADiCAL support group in 2003 she's been helping women navigate the journey of divorce ever since.

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