Are you struggling to get past a first date or hold down a relationship for any length of time?
Jacqui Baker (the UK’s first Dating Expert who ONLY specialises in supporting singles in their 50s, 60s & 70s) & Select Connections, a Bespoke Introduction agency for mid-life & later-in-life singles who don’t want to date online.
Select Connections conducted a survey for mature singles in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, asking them to write down 20 things they would like to see or experience on a first date with a potential partner, and then rank them in order of importance.
The questions were focused on determining the desired qualities/characteristics of a partner and whether their values align with theirs.
I (Jacqui) have taken this information and broken it down into real-world terms. What I mean by 'real-world' terms is how it really is for us over 50 singles, but also, it is different for over 60s and over 70s.
I also thought we could have a bit of fun with it 😁
To start and to be brutally honest, none of us wants to be doing this dating thing for a long time or even again, simply because time is now of the essence to be with someone for the time that we have left on this planet and the good years that we have to enjoy our health - time is precious for us and we need to approach dating with an open mind and an open heart.
Let's get started.
1. A good sense of humour – this is something that many can overlook due to nerves or trying to be someone you are not.
I am a fan of this one and I am chuffed that it is number 1. My reason is if someone amuses you without trying to or makes you laugh, even if you are not initially physically attracted to them.
When you find someone who consistently makes you laugh, it helps build a sense of intimacy and closeness, leading to a deeper connection.
My advice: While humour alone is not enough to sustain a long-term relationship a shared sense of humour often reflects shared values, interests, and a similar way of looking at the world. You may find that after spending an hour with your date and finding yourself totally engaged in their humour you are suddenly feeling an attraction to them.
2. You pay your way – I am surprised that this comes in so high up in the requirements, but we are dealing with us mid-life & later-in-life daters!
This one has so many conflicting views and especially in respect of someone who may have left the dating world in the 1970s or 1980s when dating was very different from 2023 in the area of equality and fairness.
This is a values-based attribute and varies greatly depending on who you are talking to, opinions can vary.
Ladies in their 50s, 60s, and 70s want to pay their own way and do not expect a gentleman to pay for their dinner or drinks. Some older gentlemen take umbrage at this and see it as chivalrous and a dent in their masculinity if the bill is split.
My advice: I don't tend to give advice on this topic - only that we are in a cost-of-living crisis at the moment and everyone needs to pay their own way, unless the situation that you are in dictates something different (read the room).
3. You’re a considerate lover – well, well, well, we are a bunch of naughty oldies.😉
The desire for sex and intimacy is not limited to any particular age group. Many individuals over the age of 50 continue to have a strong desire for sexual expression and intimacy. While it is true that some people may experience age-related changes such as erectile dysfunction and vaginal dryness, these challenges do not necessarily diminish their interest in sexual activity or intimacy.
Younger people have this perception that sex is for them only and when you get to over 50 it is not a thing we should consider or even manage – WRONG if anything sex and intimacy is significant in our lives and this does not go away just because you age.
My advice: When I mentor singles who are in their mid-life and later-in-life and they are worried about meeting a new partner but maybe due to medical or the ageing body a full sex life is not possible, and they are low on self-esteem due to this worry.
My main advice on this issue is to go out and date confidently with your lovely personality, humour, and style and when the time comes in the relationship to discuss the next step – you will be surprised that the other person has also had the same concerns – don’t sweat it, there are other ways to be intimate and make each other feel loved and fulfilled…..that is for another blog. 😛
4. You do your share of the housework – from sexy to the not-so-sexy subject of household chores! I am not so sure why this came in at this stage, but it has!
Times have certainly changed in the last 40 years, when many of us married (boomer generation) and now in the 21st century the expectation of equal sharing of chores is becoming more common in relationships.
My advice: To ensure your concerns are addressed and your expectations are met, it’s important to have open and honest communication with your partner from the beginning. (For more on this, go to www.select-connections.com
5. You have a good relationship with your children – this surprised me as many of our over 60 clients don’t have children or their children have grown and long flown the nest!
But, obviously, for those who do, it is important to have that ‘family dynamic’, even though at this stage most of our children are grown up, away from home, married and have children of their own.
My advice: There is not a lot I can say on this one, however, in general, singles later in life often value and prioritise a good relationship between their new partner and their children. (For more details on this: go to our resources page at www.select-connections.com)
5. You don’t get too drunk – I am not surprised to see this one in here, and sometimes it quite simply happens because the person is nervous and yes, it can indeed be off-putting if one person gets drunk on a first date, regardless of their age.
My advice: When dealing with clients who I mentor or via the Introductions Agency the advice remains consistent and is always to try and meet initially for a coffee/tea/soft drink date or a walk. But if you are nervous, which many are in this whole new dating world, as well as some are desperate to meet their ‘happy ever after’ then a drink is needed to take ‘the edge off’.
There is no case to judge anyone who enjoys a drink or two, but it is always important for singles to be mindful of their alcohol intake. Excessive alcohol consumption can impair judgement, affect behaviour, and hinder meaningful communication, which are all crucial elements for a successful first date. It’s all about getting to know about your date and if you like them and want to see them again (and them, you).
6. You don’t carry too much emotional baggage – I thought this one would have been higher in the ranking.
Well, if you are totally honest with yourself and others – no one gets to mid-life and later-in-life without emotional baggage (I like to call it life experience) of any sort.
My advice: I recommend not being afraid to be open and honest about your expectations, desires and past experiences. This will encourage your potential partner to do the same and create a foundation of trust and understanding. (For more details on this: go to our resources page at www.select-connections.com)
7. You’re not afraid of getting older – I am so pleased to see this one in the top 10. Personally, I am not afraid of my age and I will be 59 in July 2023. I am happy to let anyone know this and I totally embrace the ageing process.
I do not date or want to date anyone much younger than me, (2 years younger) and I am happy to date up to 10 years older.
This is a big thing when dating and it frustrates me so much to see, mainly gentlemen, but some ladies are also guilty of it, looking for a partner up to 20 years younger than them.
For example; I had a guy in his early 40s (very handsome, in my opinion) who really took a shine to me and was very persistent in his pursuit. I was also equally persistent in my denial of any chance of dating, and although I was extremely flattered and could easily have started a relationship with him – my thinking was ‘why, at this age, would I set myself up to fail’? I am aged 57 and he is 43, the age difference is 14 years. So, my thinking was in 14 years’ time he would be 57 and I would be 71! What are the chances of this relationship surviving – and I don’t want to set myself up to fail at this stage in my life and find myself in the dating world again much later in life would be something I would like to avoid, if at all possible.
I do understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion on this, and it is important to remember that these are generalisations and not applicable to every older single man or younger woman in a relationship.
My advice: Each individual's motivation and preferences can vary significantly, and it is essential to approach relationships with an open mind and that irrespective of the age gap there will be both challenges and benefits to every situation.
8. You’re in good shape physically – It is a coincidence that this one comes after the ‘age-gap’ preference.
To be fair, most of my clients/members are happy to date their own age or close to it.
Men will rarely date older women, but women will happily date older men – just saying it how it is.
My advice: Most singles in mid-life and later-in-life are looking for a partner who looks after themselves and likes to be active and physically fit. No one wants to become a carer to a new partner.
Dating and companionship are not solely focused on physical activities.
Emotional and social connection are also important factors in relationships for singles in their 50s, 60s, & 70s who may not be able to engage in physical activities. In this respect other qualities, such as emotional compatibility, intellectual stimulation, or shared life experiences.
10. You have your own teeth – I did not expect to see this at number 10, but it seems that both older single ladies and gents are looking for potential dates with their own teeth!
Now, this is a difficult one for me to decide on – simply because dentures today are well made and can function exactly the same as natural teeth.
If they took their dentures out and put them in a glass every night – like my granda used to then this would have a slightly different effect on my attraction to them!! 😬
No, seriously, if you have a good fitting set of teeth that don’t rattle around or get stuck in your burger then I feel that this is something you can keep to yourself until a few dates down the line.
Very few people I know have false teeth. Dentistry has come a long way and most people tend to get single implants as they go along for any teeth that are giving them awful problems due to age, accidents or dental conditions and not necessarily poor oral hygiene.
That's it for the top 10 this week. Next weekend I will be back with 11-20. Watch out for my video on this subject coming over the weekend.
If you have any thoughts or worries on anything mentioned above then please get in touch with me by clicking the link here. @jacquibaker.com
I hope you all have a lovely weekend, enjoying the fabulous weather. 😎
All the very best. Jacqui B xx