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By Glenn Baja

Been out of the “loop” for awhile when it comes to dating? Feeling a bit nervous about the prospect of starting over again? Well, the good news is that the dating game hasn’t changed all that much fundamentally, but as with all things, the details have. You’ve landed a date and you’re nervous. It’s been years…decades…since you’ve done this. We’ve got you covered. Here’s 10 rules to keep in mind for dating after 50. At least enough to get through that most-important first date!

Whether you’re meeting at a coffee shop or heading out to a top local restaurant for a fine-dining experience, you’ll find the 10 rules listed below will cover any situation you may encounter!

Ten Rules For Dating After 50

10. Turn off your cell phone

In fact, leave it in the car or in your coat pocket on silent mode. It is disrespectful to show more interest in the cell phone than the person in front of you. Put it away!

9. Find something to compliment your date about

It could be their hair, their smile, their personality, or their captivating eyes. People like to hear nice things about themselves, but be sincere about it. Be complimentary, but don’t “overdo” it.

8. Ask questions

Do not do all the talking. Show a genuine interest in your date and the desire to know him/her better. Everyone has an interesting past that can be shared.

7. Observe your date’s body language and mimic it to get better connected

For example, if the person across from you talks timidly, do not be boisterous or overpowering. If the answers to questions you ask are straightforward and to the point, do not make yours drawn-out and long-winded. If they use their arms and hands to express themselves you may wish to do the same. Meet them at their same energy-level and head-space. Stay with the tempo of the conversation, the volume, and the tone. Listen attentively.

6. Find commonalities

Keep delving and asking questions about themselves until you find something that is of interest to you too, and then build on that. It may be golf, yoga, the love of travel, history, books, the outdoors, or basket-weaving. Whatever it is find one that you can both can relate to.

5. The male should pick up the check

But nowadays many will offer/insist on splitting the bill. If this is the case, suggest that they pick it up on the next date. If they continue to insist, split it.

4. Show your manners

Dress appropriately for the occasion and express thanks and appreciation for the opportunity to meet each other. A simple “thank-you for sharing your story with me,” opening a restaurant or car door for the lady, asking permission for a hug at the end of the night, sharing that you enjoyed yourself, guiding the lady to the table, or any other appropriate manners is important. I don’t care if your accustomed to drinking your soup from the bowl or bitching about your day…DON’T! Use your manners.

3. Talk about bright, uplifting, and positive subjects:

Avoid politics, religion, sharing your view on gun control, raging about the earth’s ice caps melting, or the latest oil spill in the Gulf. Keep the subjects light and positive. Do not talk about the exes. Acknowledging the fact that you are divorced is enough without expressing the nitty-gritty details. Remember, you wish to keep the conversation fun. Do not bring up past challenges or topics that may generate negative feelings or thoughts. Your mission, should you like the company of the person across from you, is to get a second date. Don’t blow it!

2. Be confidently yourself

Don’t mislead someone into thinking you’re someone that you’re not. Share who you are in a simple and uncomplicated manner. The complexities can slowly be introduced on later dates. Breathe deep, be present, and enjoy the experience at hand.

1. Follow-up

If you enjoyed yourself ask if they’d be willing to go out again. If they agree, call them within a couple of days to make arrangements. If you did not enjoy the date, let them know that this isn’t going to work for you. Be honest. Do not mislead the person. Thank the person for the evening and wish them good luck in their pursuit of happiness.

Remember, the purpose of dating someone is to get a feel for whether this person may be compatible or not. Don’t expect to learn everything about a person on the first date. If there is any kind of lingering interest, be open to going out again. Sometimes it is easy to judge another person too quickly, but we must ask ourselves if our hesitation is our stuff/baggage or theirs. Hopefully the information gained from that first date may make the second all that more interesting and exciting.

Good luck!

Dating after 50: Is it worth it? If you’ve been out-of-the-loop for years and are deciding whether or not to get back into it, how to get back in to it, and where to get back into it, click here.

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