If we’re being honest here, we’d all have to admit to a time in our lives when we thought 50 was old. Or perhaps we think that dating after 50 just couldn’t happen. But those who have crossed that landmark age know they still have many more years to enjoy as active and vibrant individuals. And having a companion becomes more of a priority for many over-50-year-old singles. Moreover, many consider hiring a dating coach for over 50 singles to help them find that special person.
Even though overall divorce rates have been on the decline, divorce rates among those over 55 have actually gone the other direction. And, while many of those who go through a “gray divorce” are happy to embrace singlehood, many still want to be in a loving relationship for this special time in their lives. And many are among the marriage-minded people who still see “forever” with the right person as something they want.
For youthful Baby Boomers who find themselves single, dating isn’t what it was when they were younger. How you go about dating has changed with the times, and even what people expect from relationships has changed.
It therefore makes sense that, if you’re over 50, you might benefit from hiring a dating coach for over-50 singles.
Before you go on a search for a dating coach, there are some things you need to know beforehand. Some will have to do with you, and some will have to do with the coach.
Here are 8 things you need to know before hiring a dating coach for over-50 singles.
1. What’s your dream?
No one can create your dream but you. A dating coach can help you shape it, embellish it, crystallize it, and make it come true. But your life is yours to envision.
Do you know what you want — out of life? out of a relationship? A good coach will help you shape that vision so you can communicate the life you want succinctly to a potential partner. Then the coaching will help you build a customized plan specifically for you, based on who you are and what you want, your values, interests and other specifics.
A 2017 Match.com survey of singles over 50 found that 55% know exactly what they want. Perhaps even more telling is that 73% know what they don’t want.
Knowing who you are and what you want is one of the strongest qualities of this singles age group.
2. What are your deal-breakers?
It’s no surprise that, as people age, they become less willing to put up with what they don’t like. They don’t have tolerance for games. And they realize the value of time, as they have less of it left than they did in their youth.
When it comes to deal-breakers in a relationship, the 50-and-overs in the above survey had some definite ones. Smoking was a deal-breaker for 70%. Not having financial stability was a deal-breaker for 63%. And pessimism was a no-go for 58%.
So what are your deal breakers? Can you identify them?
3. What are your motivations, goals, and desires?
Your dream is the big picture for your life. But getting there will involve a lot of smaller goals. And accomplishing goals requires a burning desire and a lot of motivation.
What are your professional goals? Your retirement goals? Your family goals? What motivates you to work toward those goals? Are you a self-driven introvert who can motivate yourself? Or do you need the connection to and support from others to feel a sense of purpose?
All of this information will help your dating coach for over-50 singles tailor the coaching toward you and specifically for what you want.
4. Taking initiative isn’t for the guys only.
Ladies, the days of Jane Austen are long gone. While men may still take the lead in a lot of things, they won’t always make the first move in dating. Be willing and prepared to flirt, initiate conversation, and even ask a man to meet for coffee or happy hour.
A dating coach for over-50 singles can help both genders get comfortable with initiating and accepting flirtations and invitations. And also ask for what you need in a relationship of a potential partner and being okay with the outcome, no matter what.
By this point in life, both men and women have experienced the ups and downs of love. They’re also open to creating their own rules as long it stays in the realm of being respectful.
And women need to learn how to deal with rejection or “no thank you” just as the men have had to do.
Yes, it takes two to tango. And remember, you are not going to be a good fit for just anyone.
5. Keep your standards high, but have realistic expectations.
If your dream is to be married, you may feel a different kind of biological clock ticking after 50. However, I recommend that you don’t let that rush you into making poor choices.
By the same token, it can be easy for people over a certain age to be picky to the point of not giving great potential matches a chance.
Lead with your core values and non-negotiable character qualities. And don’t expect romance to be fast and furious.
Being comfortable with who you are and what you expect from life gives you a head start on building a healthy relationship. It also makes you less needy for a relationship.
Give things time. And remember that coffee is just coffee…and maybe you’ll meet a new friend. A dating coach for over-50 singles can help you strike that delicate balance between keeping high standards and maintaining realistic expectations.
6. What kind of support will your coach provide?
If you are entering or reentering the dating scene at a later stage of life, you most likely want unlimited access to your dating coach. Even if the two of you communicate by email or text, it’s nice to know that you don’t have to wait a day for a response. It’s also nice to know that you don’t have to worry about your communication being counted or timed.
Before you hire someone, know exactly what kind of support you are going to have. And make sure it’s a format that feels comfortable and easy for you. Millennials are, in general, a lot more comfortable with technology than Baby Boomers. Apps, FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Facebook Messenger and other means of communicating are second nature to them.
Make sure that your potential coach offers the kind of communication you will need to be successful in dating.
7. Does the coach focus on you and putting your best you forward?
An experienced and quality dating coach for over-50 singles will take the time upfront to get to know you. She will help you discern your strengths, weaknesses, dating and relationship patterns, and even the stories you have told yourself about love.
She’ll make sure your self-esteem and self-confidence are up to par with the dream of love you present. Only then will she set you loose to start putting those qualities to use.
It may be cliché, but you do need to love yourself before you can expect someone else to love you.
8. Is the coach able to help you identify quality people in quality places?
One thing that separates younger generations and those over 50 is the way they naturally and comfortably meet people.Over-50 singles need to consider all the ways to meet a potential partner, including social events and through your social connections. Plus, she’ll probably encourage you to create an awesome online dating presence, as well. You see, one-third of all marriages come from online dating these days. And over-50 singles are one of the most active groups dating online.
When thinking back about my successfully coupled over-50 clients, over 80% of them met their life partner online. So utilizing an online dating site to meet quality, seriously searching singles needs to be part of your overall dating plan.
Before you hire a dating coach for over-50-year-old singles, make sure you have done your own work to heal from any previous relationships that have caused you pain. Then make sure you can envision being in a loving relationship and share this with a potential coach.
The relationship you establish with a dating coach will be a close one. She is, after all, delving into your greatest hopes. She’ll see your weaknesses as well as your strengths. And she’ll hold you accountable to achieving the future you envision for yourself. And she will help you stay steadfast on track to your dreams.
Remember, be true to yourself, prepare honestly and choose wisely.