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Finding true love after 50: How to do it, where to begin, what to do

Some people who have been in long-term relationships often ask themselves if it’s possible to find love after 50? Of course it is!

Maria Montgomery
· 13 min read

Sadly, in the early 20th century, finding love later in life wasn’t always encouraged. Sometimes it was even frowned upon. These days? You find 80-year-olds on Tinder! Many people even choose to stay single and date different people throughout their life. However, looking for love can be daunting if you’re newly single, especially if you’ve been in a relationship for a long time.

Here are some stellar tips for finding love after 50!

Accept yourself

Those who find love easily tend to be the ones who love themselves. That doesn’t mean they’re perfect, as perfection is an illusion, and no one is perfect. And when it comes to love, no one is looking for perfection, just for someone who fits into their life. The ideal match isn’t two perfect pieces of the puzzle, but simply two puzzle pieces that fit together.

Create a life you love

People who live a life they love are more likely to attract a partner, as people who love their lives are much more attractive. That doesn’t mean your life needs to be a fairy tale! You might have problems with one of your children, or maybe you’re a recovering addict or still paying off a credit card debt. That’s fine. The point is that you’re working tirelessly to create a life you love and enjoy.

Once we reach a certain age, we are more aware than ever that how we overcome struggles define us. That’s because we know that no one is immune to life and that struggles will come our way. When we meet people who are confident they can overcome said struggles and are doing everything to create a life they love, we find it attractive.

That doesn’t mean we aren’t human either. We want to date people who acknowledge that sometimes they’re sad, sometimes they hurt, sometimes they think life is a s**t show, but they don’t revel in it. They move forward. They create more things to enjoy.

Dating aside, if you create a life you love, you’ll be happy whether you fall in love with someone or not. It also helps when meeting new people that you don’t hold onto people who are “so-so” just because they give you some joy. You’re willing to hold out for people who bring you a lot of pleasure. You’re already happy, so why would you date someone who doesn’t “do it” for you? It’s easy to get swept away by a pink cloud when meeting someone new and miss the warning signals they aren’t suitable for you. By already leading a happy life where your calendar is full, you’re less likely to do so. 

Take responsibility for your past relationship hiccups

It seems those who find love after 50 are generally those who take responsibility for their part in failed relationships. They learn and move on. They aren’t bitter and blaming their partner for everything that went wrong in the past. Even if their partner turned out to be a narcissist, they accept they made a mistake by choosing that partner. That doesn’t make them feel bad about having made that mistake, and it’s not a reflection of them as a person. It’s just a poor choice they made. Now they know better and can make better choices.

When you start dating, imagine how you come across if you talk about love with bitterness and blame your exes for your failed relationships. Does that sound attractive to you? No! People want to meet others who are excited about finding love again. What’s more, they want to meet people who are excited at the prospect of creating a healthy relationship. A healthy relationship is one where both parties take responsibility for how they act.

Be willing to make mistakes

“The path of true love never did run smooth.” Shakespeare had a point. When you start dating again, you might be stood up, dumped, ghosted, told you don’t have what it takes for a particular person to like you, discover you still have something to learn about relationships, and so forth. You will stumble, and you will fall.

If you have the attitude that you will find true love in the end, you dust yourself off and keep going. You learn about what made you stumble, be that choosing the wrong person or doing something to put the right person off. That way, you know the next experience will be better. At no point do you stay lying on the ground, berating yourself for having made a mistake or deciding that all available singles are horrible people.

Yes, you might hit the jackpot and find true love right away. You might also have some adventures along the way. See it as a romantic comedy; nothing goes right the first time around, but it all comes right in the end if you’re willing to learn and keep moving forward.

Shakespeare also said, “All that’s well, ends well. “

Get out

OK, so with Covid-19 hanging around, you might have to wait to truly make the most of social occasions. However, you can join online groups and meet people for walks and hikes, even during current times. Do so.

The best way to find love is to meet new people. While you shouldn’t join social groups and partake in activities just to find love (this will lead to disappointment every time there aren’t any fun singles or said singles aren’t into you), it’s a great way to widen your social circle. And the wider it is, the more likely you are to meet a wonderful single person. Besides, by doing this, you will create a life you love.

You don’t have to be a social butterfly either—choose activities that suit your personality. Do things that genuinely excite you. And if you’re shy, get help. Being an introvert is one thing; shying away from others because you fear their opinion of you is another. You don’t want to live a life where you’re afraid. What’s more, it will negatively impact your relationship if you fear what your partner thinks about you.

Join online dating sites

You may not be a fan of technology, or you may love it. Either way, it’s an undisputed fact that you will find most singles online these days. Even platforms like Tinder that started up as a hookup app for young singletons have evolved to include those over 50 looking for serious dates.

A completely free dating site? Tinder and Bumble are both free unless you sign up for certain perks (which really isn’t necessary). Of the two, Bumble is the more “serious” and Tinder the more “casual.” Amongst dating sites, try big sites like Match, eHarmony, and Elite Singles that cater to singles of all ages. For 50+ dating sites, try Silver Singles, OurTime and Lumen (a free dating site for over 50s). If you want (virtual) speed dating, check out Original Dating. Parship might not be the biggest dating site, but it’s good to try if you’re looking for something serious. 

You can learn more about creating an online dating profile here and how to break the ice online here.

Things to know about online dating

A lot of people you talk with online fade away. After a few messages, you might realize someone isn’t as interesting as you first thought. Or they might meet someone in real life that they click with and forget about the online app they’ve been using.

When conversations end early on, most people online don’t feel obliged to give a reason. They just disappear. If you speak with someone for a longer amount of time, it’s different. While not everyone will give a reason for going MIA, it’s polite to do so. 

When you meet someone in a bar, you usually know immediately if there’s some kind of chemistry worth pursuing. Online, it’s more complicated. You don’t really know until you meet someone. Therefore, try to schedule a meeting early on.

When meeting up with someone, meet in a public space and make the meeting short and sweet. That way, there’s no pressure if you don't have tons to talk about in real life. To loosen tongues, doing an activity together is often preferred. However, during Covid-19 restrictions, that might be difficult. Grabbing a takeaway coffee (or bringing your own) and going for a walk in the park is an ideal socially distanced date.

If the date goes well, send them a text letting them know you enjoyed meeting them in the next 2-24 hours. If it didn’t go well, you could send them a text telling them it was lovely to meet them, but you don’t feel there’s any chemistry. Or you can say to them you’d love to be friends, but don’t think there’s anything more.

If you don’t hear from someone, you don’t have to text them to tell them you enjoyed meeting them but don't want to pursue it further. It is, however, a polite thing to do. If you do hear from them, you should let them know.

Often, it’s good to take two dates to make up your mind about someone. Contrary to popular belief, first impressions don’t last. We often become friends with people we didn’t like at first sight, if only we are forced into an environment where we get to know them. So don’t be hasty. 

Read our article about online dating for over 50s to learn more.

Learn to communicate your needs—and appreciate someone else’s

Unfortunately, we learned more about maths than relationships in school. While basic skills in maths are essential, so are fundamental skills in relationships. Yet, if you ask most people what their emotional needs are, they have no idea. Not really.

For example, a person sets out to buy a car saying they want an economical car. That's their primary requirement. But what do they come back with? A vehicle with the highest safety rating, not the best fuel efficiency.

Sandy Gerber says we have four main emotional needs—safety, achievement, value and experience. Some people like routines, while others like new experiences. Some people thrive on challenges, others on knowing that their time and money are invested as best as possible.

When you first meet someone, you might get on well because you have similar routines. But then comes the time when you’re starting to spend weekends together. They want to do something familiar and relaxing. You want to try new experiences. Come holiday time they want to go to the local coast, while you want to go to China. If they agree to go to China, they want the pre-planned group tour, while you want to make it up on the spot.

If you learn to understand what you want out of life—what satisfies your emotional needs—you’ll become better at communicating it. You’ll also become better at asking questions to find out the needs of a potential partner. Once you understand each other’s needs, you can help satisfy them. Instead of getting angry because your partner just doesn’t seem to understand you, you can appreciate that they have different needs. You can become supportive of one another.

Be positive

If you’re asking yourself, “How can I increase my chances of finding love?” one of the main keys is to focus on the positive.

Many relationships tank because couples focus more on what’s not working than on what’s working. To create happiness between people, you need to praise what’s good in the other person. And you need to focus on the good things you’re building in the relationship and create more of that.

If you want someone to like you when dating them, praise their good sides. And tell them when you did something together that you enjoyed—then create more of those kinds of experiences.

Learn to listen

When you go on a date, one of the key things to making it a great experience is to listen to what your date has to say. Most of us aren’t listening when someone is speaking. We are too busy figuring out how to solve their problems, judging their morals, thinking about similar experiences we’ve had, considering our response, and so forth.

Learn to truly listen and look at the person in front of you. What is their body language telling you? What is it that they are trying to communicate? Hear them out. Ask if you’ve interpreted what they just said correctly. Pay attention.

You can learn more about active listening by reading books about it or simply looking up articles online. While at it, why not learn more about communication at large? It will help any relationship.

Keep it sexy

No, you’re no longer a spring chicken. You’re a sexy hen or rooster. As we age, we change. That doesn’t make us less attractive, just attractive in a different way than when we were 25! And chances are, you're not trying to attract a 25-year-old!

How do you attract a man in your 50s? How do you attract a woman in your 50s? You do things that make you feel sexy. That could be going for a manicure, joining the gym, chopping wood, wearing a nice dress, reading a sexy book, or having a haircut. Foster your own sexuality. It’s not up to anyone else how sexy you feel—you determine that.

What do men and women want in a partner?

A lot of people start by asking, “What do men in their 50s want in a woman?” Or, “What do women in their 50s want in a man?” Honestly, every person is looking for someone who caters to their individual needs. What’s been mentioned already in this article—a positive attitude, a willingness to take responsibility for your relationships, a healthy self-image, feeling sexy, understanding your own and your partners need—are usually universally appreciated. Beyond that, it’s all about individual desires.

How do you find true love after 50?

If you want to find love in your 50s or later, start by accepting yourself and working on creating a life you love. Accept responsibility for your part in failed relationships and learn more about communication and relationships at large. Have a positive outlook—both when it comes to your dating journey at large and the person you eventually end up dating. Work on expanding your social circle, or simply attending online or offline events. Be sure to join an online dating site or two. 

That’s it. You’re in for a journey that will have its ups and downs, but if you remain grounded, you’ll have a great time.

Maria Montgomery

Maria Montgomery

Maria has lived in seven different countries around the globe. While trained as an actor, director and producer, mainly she’s been paid for putting her words to pieces of paper. She also has an entrepreneurial streak and is the owner of Magique and That Woman Is A Woman Productions. Her blog, Confessions of a Dizzy Blonde, offers her life learnings, sprinkled with a large dose of humour…and sex!