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Dating for Boomers, how to find new relationships in the middle years

By Mansi Ezilon.com articles Published 09/26/2008 | Relationships

Love sees no barriers, be it age, distance or gender!

Baby boomers are all those born from 1946 to 1960, so are generally between 40 and 60 years old. Many of them have careers, many have already had families, most will have already been married before. Hence their situation is somewhat different to the 20-somethings who are still footloose and fancy-free.

Dating for these baby-boomers is a more stressful situation than for the younger set, as most have been out of the social dating cycle for a couple of decades, and they come with more emotional baggage, namely any existing families, previous relationships etc. And to aggravate that, they also tend to be slightly more set in their ways and their habits, so that for many, to start dating again is getting outside their comfort zones.

The first challenge is how to actually meet other prospective partners for the first time. For those who have maintained an ongoing social life throughout their life, this is usually significantly easier, as they are already likely to have a number of social contacts that will allow them to meet new people in a social environment. However, for those who have had a more reduced social life during their previous marriage and family years, creating those initial social contacts is much more of a challenge.

There are a number of options here:

  • Using existing friends to put you in touch with other people of a similar age and interests (via a parties, barbecues etc)
  • joining local clubs and groups that share your interests, and are therefore likely to provide opportunities to meet other compatible people,
  • or joining any one of the number of web based dating sites available on-line.

Each of these options has both good and bad points.

Using existing friendships to try and meet new people can allow you to meet friends of friends at a reasonably neutral occasion such as a barbecue or dinner party, allowing you talk to a variety of other people and take your time about making any decisions. Of course, it can also expose you to matchmaking, where the well meaning friend tries to accelerate the process, sometimes beyond what you are comfortable with.

Joining local clubs and groups provides many opportunities to meet people of similar interests, and allows more time to slowly build relationships under less pressure.

Using online dating services allows you to open yourself to a whole range of people you might otherwise not meet. The good side of this is that everyone using the service are usually also looking for relationships, and that you have the potential to be placed in touch with many different (and compatible) people from a range of backgrounds. The hard side is that it requires you to open yourself to strangers in a way that may feel uncomfortable at first. However, another benefit of this is that via email etc, you have the opportunity to explore the relationship somewhat more anonymously before that first physical encounter, allowing you both to be a little more comfortable with each other.

The second challenge is to make a date with the new person, to get to know them more personally, and to try to develop a rapport. While this process is no different from that faced by the younger set, it is no less challenging, as the boomer has probably not had to face the situation in a long time. Still, all the same issues are in play. Where to go, what to do, what to talk about?

As always, the best answers remain much the same. The venue should be somewhere neutral where both will feel comfortable, and where you will be able to get to know each other. A restaurant for a meal, a show you will both enjoy, or just a cup of tea at a local café. The main thing is that you are both as comfortable and relaxed as possible, and you are able to talk without interruptions or distractions. Be honest, be open about yourself, and listen as much as you talk.

So no matter what your age, 20-something or baby-boomer, it's time for you to have some fun again, so go and enjoy life with some new friends!