Dating always seems like a very complicated dance. It’s hard to know whether you’re talking too much or too little, whether you should’ve gone in for a kiss or taken the hints, how long you should wait before sending a post-date text. With so many different ways you could mess up, it’s difficult to remember the most important thing: to be yourself. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the 7 most common dating mistakes men over 50 make (and how to avoid them). Keep these in mind, remember to be yourself, and you’ll find the dating world is much easier to navigate.
- Use a flattering photo of what you currently look like. We’re sure you look incredible in your high school yearbook photo, but it’s probably best if you use a more recent photo for your dating profile. Show her what she can expect to see when she meets you for a date. Don’t use a photo from before your dramatic weight gain/loss, don’t use one from 20 years ago, and don’t take a photo from right below your chin (trust us, no one looks better this way). She’s going to figure out what you look like eventually, so why hide? Show her how handsome you are!
- Only invite women on dates you can afford to pay for. Sure, you might agree to split the bill, but you should still only choose something you’re capable of paying for entirely. One of the worst dating mistakes men make is showing up with the expectation that you’ll split the bill. Especially when the men can’t afford to. Don’t live outside your means or try to impress her with something unrealistic. Show her the great nights you’d have regularly if you hit it off. She’ll know what she’s in store for, and you won’t have to spend money you don’t have. If in doubt, try a coffee shop. It’s the best place for a first date anyway.
- Dress to impress. It may sound like a cliché, but one of the biggest dating mistakes men over 50 make is dressing like a slob. We understand that you want to be comfortable, but find a way to feel good while looking good. There’s a very good chance that your date will have spent time on her hair and clothes, so show her the same respect. Put in a little time and effort and save the sweatpants for a rainy Sunday.
- Don’t complain about your former relationships. It’s fine to acknowledge your past — we all have one — but keep it light. Let her know that you’re divorced and have kids, but don’t get too heavy or dark. Remember that you’re on a date, not in a therapy session. Save the bitter details for a night out with friends or an afternoon with your psychologist.
- LISTEN. One of the biggest complaints women have about dating men over 50 is that they don’t listen. Try not to lecture her or carry on a one-sided conversation (especially about politics). You’re on a date with her in order for you both to get to know each other. Be sure she has a chance to tell you a bit more about herself, and when she does… listen! That’s the only way a date will lead to anything more enjoyable for either of you.
- Don’t get physical too soon. One of the most common dating mistakes women say men make is touching them weirdly or inappropriately on a first date. There’s nothing worse than going on a date, enjoying a person’s company, and then feeling physically uncomfortable. Ask permission before trying to hold her hand or kiss her. And, whatever you do, don’t just shove your tongue in her mouth. Nobody ever really enjoys that move.
- Don’t play emotional games. If you like her and had a nice time on your date, let her know. Don’t wait three days (or whatever rule you have) before reaching out. It might be too late by then! Do you really want her to associate anxiety and confusion with you, instead of feeling excited and smitten? That said, don’t text her 35 times before either of you get home after the date. There’s a line between being overenthusiastic and playing too hard-to-get. Be as forthcoming as you’d like someone to be with you.