It’s never too late to play the game of love. Meeting new people can be awkward and tricky, but with many resources available, the game of love is a game you can win.
With the help of technology and modern-day matchmakers, people are finding new loves at any age. More apps and websites are being tailored for the over-50 crowd to bring older adults together for more meaningful relationships.
Plus, matchmaking has evolved from the responsibility of the shadkhan in Fiddler on the Roof. The demand for 21st Century matchmakers has skyrocketed, as they help love seekers connect in our busy and crowded communities.
And when it comes to dating, local matchmakers say seniors may have the upper hand.
“It’s like they understand part of the joy in dating is dating itself. Not the endpoint,” said Jennifer Miotke, the President of One on One Matchmaking. “And I think that’s something seniors do really well. They’re trying to live every day to the fullest.”
“People are really believing you can have a life filled with love at every stage and every age,” said Lisa Lyngos, the co-owner of Atlanta Matchmakers.
Both women can confirm there is a dating pool for single seniors in and around Atlanta. Lyngos even coached an octogenarian. The 50+ dating scene is described as a melting pot of people from all religions, ethnicities, races, body types, and professional levels. Some have a little relationship experience, while others are widows or were in decades-long relationships. They’re educated and love to travel.
But what the older age group has more of than any other generation is confidence.
“Seniors are not asking their dates out via texts. They’re more old school in how they court people,” Miotke said. “They don’t want to play the field a lot. They’re not trying to have three different options. They just want one.”
But with so much of our communication happening via texts and social media, it helps to know the new rules in the game of love. So, before you run out into the dating world, run to your computer first. The matchmakers said the first place someone will try to find more information about you is on the internet.
“So, control the narrative by getting a professional photographer to take some good photos of just you and maybe your pet. Then post them to Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn,” Lyngos said.
There are a number of online dating services specifically for seniors – and some are free! Among the top-rated sites are OurTime.com, SilverSingles.com, SeniorMatch.com and 50plus-club.com. Websites like ChristianMingle.com and JDate.com match singles based on their faiths. Lyngos recommends keeping your online dating profile short and sweet.
“Introduce yourself the way a friend would introduce you,” Lyngos said. “Talk about your personality traits, hobbies and interests, and a fun fact that no one would guess about you.”
And once you meet a guy or gal that piques your interest, take the pressure off and have a good time.
“The main thing is, when people are dating, they just need to treat the other person like a friend. Like someone they would meet in their retirement community and not worry so much about their chemistry,” Miotke said. “Just concentrate on having fun.”
Miotke and Lyngos say the Atlanta area offers endless options for safe and entertaining dates. They recommend a day hike in the mountains or a walk along the BeltLine. Take a tour of the High Museum of Art and the Atlanta Botanical Garden. You could play golf or tennis. Visit The Avenue, The Battery, or watch an outdoor movie at Starlight Drive-In Theatre. And in our new, socially distant world, you could also have a lunch date over Zoom or FaceTime.
Another hot tip the matchmakers provided was to keep conversations fun and flirty. Stay away from discussing difficult times in your past, politics, or other uncomfortable subjects. Spend time getting to know each other before diving into more serious subjects.
It also doesn’t hurt to pick out a few books on dating to do your research. For those who need a little extra help, that’s where experienced matchmakers like Miotke and Lyngos can step in. Their years of work have led to thousands of dates, and even some marriages.
Businesses such as theirs offer a range of services: A consultation to get to know you and what you’re looking for. Setting clients up with vetted, compatible love interests. Constructing your perfect online profile.
Miotke’s agency also runs the Eight at Eight Dinner Club, where local singles meet for a group date, great conversations, good food, and a possible companion.
“I have a 75-year-old client, named John,” Miotke said. “He was married for 35 years before his wife died of cancer. He had never done blind dating. He just came in here and had a good time. Before we knew it, he was dating like a 25-year-old.”
“We had a couple that matched in 2019,” Lyngos said. “He’s a 66-year-old retired corporate executive. She’s 65 and runs a chemical company. They’ve already been to Italy, New York, Mexico, Portugal, Sea Island and so many other places. They even made it through the pandemic together.”
Dating can be frustrating. That’s why Miotke and Lyngos urge you to stay optimistic.
“Love is possible again in life. It’s about being hopeful,” Lyngos said. “New adventures, new beginnings, creating new memories, trying new things. That is what keeps us young. That is what keeps us going.”