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Most senior singles are used to having to adapt to the times as dating rules and etiquette continue to change. The pandemic is no exception. Some of the questions you may be asking yourself include, “How do you have a socially distanced date and still connect with the person?” and “What if my date won’t wear a mask?”
There are so many variables to consider when dating during the pandemic. Read on to learn how to navigate this unprecedented time and emerge with an invigorated social life and possibly a new senior love.
Yes, seniors tend to need more social contact than other groups of people, but safety needs to be the top priority no matter what. Your date may be a healthcare worker on the frontlines, or you may be taking care of an elder family member. You don’t want to put anyone else’s life in jeopardy just for a date.
Being a senior means you’ll probably face less stigma if you’re really serious about protecting your health, but it’s still important to discuss your boundaries with your dates. You also need to adhere to your date’s particular boundaries. Talk about wearing masks, sitting inside vs. outside, and social distancing, among other topics.
Do you only wear masks when you get to the location, or do you wear them the whole time? Are you only comfortable sitting outside, or are you OK sitting inside a coffee shop for 20 minutes? Do you fist bump or hug, or will a simple wave suffice? Keep in mind the guidelines in your city as well.
It’s best to think about where you stand on these topics before having this discussion with your date, and it’s best to have this discussion with your date before you meet. Doing so will put you both at ease and increase your mutual enjoyment. Otherwise, one or both of you may cross a line that you didn’t mean to.
Online and mobile dating have spiked during the pandemic. Match Group, which owns Match, Tinder, and OkCupid, among other dating sites and apps, saw a 27% uptick in messaging since stay-at-home orders went into effect. You should join in on the fun. Here are some of our favorite senior dating platforms.
Once you choose the site or app that’s right for you, make sure you put your pandemic safety preferences in your profile, whether that’s your vaccine status or in-person vs. virtual dating preferences.
While we would normally love to have the option to take in each other’s pheromones in person, the pandemic has made that pretty difficult. If you’re still not comfortable going on an in-person date, go on a virtual date via FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts.
I’ve heard from several of my senior dating coaching clients that they actually prefer to have the first date online because it helps ease the tension a bit, and the conversations flow better. You can also tell if there’s chemistry right away.
Make a cup of coffee or pour a glass of wine and share with your date how you’ve been handling the pandemic and how it’s changed your life. Ask him or her what’s been most challenging, or maybe even fun, for them.
Your regular activities have probably been curtailed, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t talk about your passions with your date. And don’t forget to show enthusiasm for their passions as well. Sharing stories of hobbies and travels make for an exciting and engaging senior date. Common interests and values are romantic glue!
Additionally, many museums and art galleries are offering virtual tours, so that can be something unique to do. Both of you should do some Googling and make a list of the museums you’d love to “visit.” This strategizing and planning can be part of the fun as well.
Talk about your favorite artists and the memories you have going to museums. You’ll bond by sharing these stories.
If art isn’t your thing, that’s not a problem. A lot of national, state, and local parks have virtual tours, too. The point is to get creative!
Whether you’re not into virtual dating or you’ve already gone on a first virtual date, eventually you’ll meet your date in person. That’s when you’ll want to have some outdoor date ideas handy.
Take a walk in the park or on the beach, go on a leisurely hike, visit a dog park with your pups, play putt-putt, have a picnic, check out the local farmers market or botanical garden, or watch the sunset. The options are endless.
There’s a disadvantage to having to wear a face mask and cover your smiling visage on an early date. So much of senior first date flirting is done with your face. No matter the amount of banter, your unconscious mind may still read that this person wasn’t that interested because of the absence of facial expressions.
So many of the social niceties that we depend on to warm our hearts to our date are simply not an option right now. However, gentlemen can still open the door for the lady and step back a bit to allow for more of a social distance. Ladies can still smile with their eyes, bat their eyelashes, and thank the gentleman every time he does something nice.
A new flirting technique I’ve discovered is to always have a bottle of hand sanitizer on you. Not only does it show your date that you’re responsible and care about your health and the health of others, but you can offer some to your date to get the flirting started.
With the moving boom, you have another dating advantage to leverage. So many seniors moved during the pandemic to be closer to their children and grandchildren. You’re not from the area, which makes you a hot newbie in the local senior dating scene.
Ask your friends, your real estate agent, and your kids to show you around and introduce you to people. You want to accept romantic dates as well as friendship dates to quickly create a social circle for yourself. For safety, you’ll need to manage the size of the groups, but having small backyard barbecues can be a great way to meet seniors and singles in your area.
Lockdown restrictions are easing, businesses are opening, and people are getting vaccinated. These are all good signs that senior dating will get back to normal. By following these dating tips and strategies, you’ll stay safe and revive your social life. Not to mention your sense of happiness and well-being will increase. I feel a new senior love coming your way!
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