It can be hard for the experienced gentleman to be single after years of being in a relationship. The good news is that the more things change, the more things stay the same. Everything you’ve learned about people and relationships will help you when you get back out there. Here are what older men need to know before they hit the dating scene.
The quick and dirty guide to age range is the rule of seven. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it states the youngest socially acceptable person that you can date is half your age plus seven years. So, for a 60-year-old man, the youngest person he could date would be a 37-year-old. Obviously, this has no scientific basis behind it, but there are two takeaways for dating after 50. First, the age range widens as you get older. While a senior going out on a date with a freshman may have been scandalous in high school, obviously a four-year age gap won’t cause any raised eyebrows for you now. Second, it’s a cliché but: age really is just a number. It is more socially acceptable for a man to date someone older or younger than it is for a woman. Look for the qualities you want in a partner first and worry about age later.
Some of you may be wondering about whether feminism has crushed chivalry; far from it! Just because women have more freedom and independence now doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate gentlemanly behavior. Men who invite women out on dates and pay the bill are not considered misogynistic dinosaurs. Usually both parties are so nervous that neither of them really want to do the asking. Women are thrilled when they get invited out. While a surprising number of women are willing to go Dutch these days, the majority still appreciate when a man offers to settle the bill. If she seems hesitant to let you pay, try saying, “It’s my treat tonight, you can get next time.” You’re not being pushy and it’s also a subtle invitation for a second date.
People learn nearly as much from watching as from doing. After decades of observing meetings, interviews, and relationships, you know how to interact with other people. As you get back into the dating scene, pay attention to your instincts; you’ll be surprised how often subtle cues let you know what to do next. If you adapt to your new circumstances, you’ll find that going on dates isn’t nearly as scary as you imagined it would be.