Starting dating can be exciting, and a little bit daunting whatever your age, the thrill of meeting someone new, of finding a person whose company you enjoy and getting to know them, and hopefully, finding love. For the young it can seem like the world is your oyster when it comes to finding places to enjoy dates, from the hottest nightclubs and cocktail bars, to festivals, concerts and gatherings. But dating is no longer the preserve of the young, with more and more of the over 50s age group dipping their toes into the dating pool, many through a free older singles dating site which can match you up to someone in your area.
There are many reasons why someone over the age of 40 would turn again to dating sites in order to find love. One reason is divorce. Marriage is sacred, but many find that it is not necessarily for life, and the easier divorce laws allow people to get out of unhappy relationships and start again. There are also people who have never been married, or decide to start dating as they get older, possibly down to growing confidence and maturity that maybe they didn’t have in their younger years. Of course, there is always the chance that a previous partner has died, and after a period of grief a person decides that they want to look for companionship. We are living to be older, and many decide they don’t want to do this alone.
Taboos are also being addressed and ripped down. For years it has been acceptable for older men to date younger women with no real stigma applied. Nightclub boss Peter Stringfellow, who died today, was notorious for this, marrying a 27-year-old former Royal Ballet dancer, Bella Wright when he was 68. But now the fact that some woman want to meet younger men is also being addressed, leading to the rise of the brilliantly named cougar dating sites which match mature women with younger men for both friendship and relationships.
As I’ve already mentioned, dating for the younger generation gives plenty of choice when it comes to venue, but what about if you feel your nightclubbing days are in the past and you are not keen to revisit them? Where can the older generation enjoy their dating?
The cinema works well for everyone, but if you are enjoying dates and are not in the first flush of youth, I would suggest you avoid the multiplex, especially on a Saturday night. These may be teenage heaven, but that can be teenage hell for everyone else, particularly if the film you are planning to see is the latest superhero/Marvel delight.
Look instead for beautiful independent cinema’s that may also show classic movies as well as the latest hits. Or look at a chain cinema like Everyman, which has the height of luxury and comfort as its aim. Everyman cinemas have gorgeous velvet seats and sofas, serve alcohol as well as soft drinks and have a seriously impressive food menu too. You are also less likely to be sat by a giggling group of teens throwing popcorn.
Having a meal is a great way to talk to someone and really get to know them. You just need to be careful about the place you book. Make sure it is a cuisine that suits both of you, something you both like and will enjoy. Try not to be too adventurous for that first date, keep it simple – but not too simple, no one wants to be queuing up at a carvery for their very first date.
Try not to drink too much, even for Dutch Courage, and try to keep the conversation light, avoiding controversial topics and issues. Ask questions and show interest in what your date is saying and this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.
Special Summer Events
Summer is a great time to start dating as there are so many lovely Summer events where you can indulge in a bit of dressing up, take a picnic, and generally have a fun time. Lots of the vintage steam trains hold special events, I love the Severn Valley Railway that has a 1940s weekend, complete with Big Band sounds, a beer festival at each stop and lots of stores to browse.
Llandudno in Wales has a famous Victorian weekend where you can enjoy all the fun of the seaside by looking back to its heyday, a real treat of ice creams, candy floss and walks on the prom.
The BBC Proms in the Park are always fabulous, with a range of musical guests that span the gamut from pop to opera, and then you have the great flagwaving, fireworks finale that is always just incredible fun.
Where would you go for a great first date?