Relationships

The new rules to midlife dating you need to know

Top relationship experts reveal just how you can find your forever person later in life.

Whether you’re newly divorced, a victim of countless dating disasters or just looking for love, the singles scene is a tricky one to navigate. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to go about it.

“There’s no reason to say mature people can’t find a good relationship again later in life,” insists psychologist and relationship coach Jacqui Manning. So now’s the time to go online and find yourself a date, with the help of these steps.

Perfect your dating profile

It’s said a first impression is a lasting impression and this applies to your online profile.

“A good profile is entertaining, lively, original and reveals what you like,” says social commentator and online dating coach Bettina Arndt.

“It isn’t a shopping list of demands – it’s more about what you have to offer.”

Having plenty of photos (of yourself, of course) is also a must and when it comes to writing your bio, keep it short and sweet.

“It does have to be more succinct because people don’t spend a huge amount of time reading profiles,” explains Jacqui. “I’ve found from my clients that it’s often a particular line they really resonate with.”

Get your flirt on

So, you’ve created your account and are one step closer to finding your forever person. Now what? Jacqui says, “Make an effort in conversation. Sometimes people say, ‘Hey,’ and that’s it – not very exciting.

Try something like, ‘Hi, I saw your profile. I think you look really interesting and I wanted to say hello.'”

Then comes the flirting – it’s easier than you think! “Flirting through the online world is about using emojis or actually saying things like, ‘This is fun.'”

As for the day you meet face to face, Jacqui says eye contact is key.

“Just smile and look them in their eyes,” she tells. “Also physical touch, so a touch of your hand on theirs or on their leg.”

Be patient

“Taking it slowly is one of the main rules of online dating,” continues Jacqui.

“It will be a challenge and make you feel out of your comfort zone, and that’s OK. Just go step by step. Remember you’re in control and can manage who you’re talking to.”

As for what not to do, dating coach Colin Quinn says it is important you should avoid coming across as “needy or try too hard to impress the other person”.

And most importantly of all, don’t give up just because things don’t work out with someone! “Take a breather,” advises Jacqui.

“Don’t force yourself to go back online, but don’t leave it for too long. Realise the next dating experience isn’t going to be dictated by the last.”

Plan your first date

You’ve chatted up a storm with a potential partner, so now it’s time to meet them. Exciting!

“I often find the most successful first date is going for a nice walk,” tells Jacqui. “Because it’s not too intense or like you’re in a job interview. You can even incorporate it with a drink or coffee.”

Avoid spending a first date at the other person’s home.

“Aim to go somewhere familiar,” says Jacqui. “So if you need to leave quickly, you know how to.”

If it’s been a while, Bettina says to just, well, practise!

“I advise my clients to start chatting and meeting up with a bunch of people because it helps them to relax and learn how to flirt again.”

Look outside the internet

Online dating isn’t the only way to find a new love. Try a social activity like a dance class or running club to meet someone new.

Great online dating sites for Kiwis

Sites to explore include:

neighbourly.co.nz,

tinder.com,

findsomeone.co.nz,

matchfinder.co.nz

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