A guide to dating at 50

Dating at 50 – or any age, for that matter – can be a bit of a minefield, but it's also a fun and exciting way to forge new romantic connections later in life. After all, love and sex doesn't stop once you hit the big 5-0, and with the benefit of all your experience, dating in your 50s and beyond can be an even more fulfilling experience than it was in your twenties!

Dating in your 50s: online or organic?

Wondering how to start dating again after 50? Online dating sites are a great way to get back into the dating game, particularly if you're struggling to meet suitable matches out in the real world. It might be out of your comfort zone, but the reality is that online dating is now a completely normal way to meet someone special, whether you're 52 or 25. If you're not too sure where to start, don't worry! We've put together a couple of tips to help you get started with mature dating for over 50s:

1. Create an online profile that reflects your personality

First up, you'll need to set up an online dating profile. Honesty is key. While we all want to put the very best version of ourselves forward, it's also important not to misrepresent yourself. Use up-to-date photos and make sure that you're the only person in your pictures to avoid any confusion. Be sure to highlight your interests so that potential matches find it easier to identify any shared hobbies, but don't try to squeeze in your whole life story – it's important to hold some things back for the first date!

2. Know what you want and manage expectations

Before you dive into your matches, it may be a good idea to ask yourself what sort of relationship you're looking for. A casual fling? A long-term relationship? Companionship? When you start dating again in your 50s, it's important to remember that different people have different expectations – so being clear about what type of connection you're looking for from the get-go is always the best policy.

3. Don't worry too much about the first message

Communicating with confidence can be a challenge when it comes to mature dating for over 50s, but it's easy to overthink what should be a pretty simple interaction. Be brief, friendly, and light-hearted. Don't try to be too overt or jokey – just speak the way you would do in the real world. Also, avoid innuendo or come-ons. Even if you mean well, it's easy for things to get misinterpreted when you're communicating online.

4. Arrange to meet for an activity, not a coffee date

If you haven't been on a date for decades, it's natural to be a little nervous. Remember, you're probably not going to meet Mr. or Mrs. Right on day one, so try to treat every date like a new adventure – exciting, but not the be-all and end-all of your romantic life. Here's a great tip for dating at 50: instead of arranging to meet for a drink, organise a fun activity that you can do together. It's much less intimidating and provides you with plenty of conversation starters, unlike meeting up for a coffee or beverage, which can sometimes feel a little too much like an interview.

5. If you're not interested, just be honest about it

One of the biggest points of contention around online dating in your 50s is the concept of "ghosting" – disappearing without a call, text, or message. If you're not feeling that spark after a couple of dates, or even a few messages, just be upfront and honest about your feelings. There's no need to rush or feel pressured into a relationship that you're not 100% sure is right for you.

Online dating can be a little bit daunting, but it's also a wonderful way to meet people who you may not otherwise encounter in everyday life. Learn more about dating for over 50s in the UK with Free Dating.