Archive for February, 2008

50+ Dating Scene

More than 25 million baby boomers are single, according to recent studies. But if you’re 50+ and new to the dating scene – or simply tired of meeting the wrong types of people – it’s not always easy to find potential mates who fit your needs.

Some baby boomers try local pickup joints, which are typically filled with 20-somethings who seem like they’re speaking another language. And even the most dedicated 50+ single can get overwhelmed by the pumping music, the pierced noses and lips, and the sheer number of young people who pour into these clubs like lemmings to a cliff.

Others may check online dating services, like eHarmony.com. Although the pool of possible candidates is much larger, the impersonal service and almost non-existent screening process means you could easily end up on a date with someone who claims to be the Frank Sinatra type but instead resembles Archie Bunker.

For baby boomer singles, finding a potential mate can be like searching for a decent TV show. You have to sift through a lot of dirt before you find a gem. Fortunately, there are a few options that can help you filter out the trash and find your perfect match:

Get a commitment-free first impression!

A relative newcomer to the dating scene, speed dating services allow you to meet with a selection of potential mates for a short period of time. At a speed dating session, the women sit at individual stations in a room. At the sound of a bell, each man pairs up with a woman for a few minutes–usually about five. When the bell rings again, the men rotate seats and spend five minutes with another woman. This continues until all the men have met all the women. At the end of the session, you decide if you’re interested in any of your “speed dates.” If you choose a person who’s also expressed an interest in you, the service will help you connect. Many speed dating sessions are narrowed into categories, so you can find one for single baby boomers, older professionals or even retirees.

Find it: Check your local yellow pages for speed dating services.

Have a shared interest before you even meet!

You’re a dog person, and she owns nine cats. Or you prefer sushi and the opera, and he wants fried chicken and monster truck shows. Meet someone through an online dating service or a blind date “setup,” and you could be halfway through dinner before you discover that your lifestyles are too divergent for any real relationship success. But wouldn’t it be great if you knew you had a common interest before you went on a date? According to researchers, almost one-third of baby boomers participate in volunteer work. If you choose a charity or cause that you find personally fulfilling–whether it’s walking dogs at your local animal shelter or building houses for Habitat for Humanity–you’re likely to connect with fellow singles who share the same passions and values.

Find it: Search for volunteer opportunities at VolunteerMatch.org

Find a match that’s hand-picked for you!

A matchmaking service offers personalized consultations to learn about you and your lifestyle, so you’re not just a number or another face in the crowd. Then the service chooses your potential date based on your personal profile, which helps ensure that you find someone who suits your personality. The professionals do all the pre-date screening, so you won’t have to waste your time on countless first dates that end before dessert! Instead, you’ll get a hand-picked match that fits your preferences. The best matchmaking services include coaching, too, so newcomers to the dating scene don’t need to worry about fumbling through a date. You’ll be prepped and ready to dive into the world of singles. And since the service is tailored to your needs, it’s easier to find a gem–no need to sift through the dirt!

Find it: Visit TableFor2.com for Minnesota’s premier matching service.

As a professional matchmaker, I’ve found that the majority of baby boomer singles want to join the dating scene without hanging out in seedy pickup joints or wading through pages of online dating profiles. By narrowing your search to people who already fit certain criteria, you’re likely to find a perfect match with fewer hassles and less wasted time.

1 comment February 3rd, 2008