Tips for dating when you are in your fifties

Searching for a partner in your fifties can be a great experience for a number of reasons. Many people grow more comfortable in their skin as they get older and have a better idea of what they are looking for in a partner. A recent survey found 60% of over-50 daters say they make better decisions about compatibility than when they were younger.

However, dating can present plenty of challenges if you’ve not been single for a long time, especially because the dating landscape has changed so much in the past decade. Even if you’ve been dating on and off through the years, the modern dating world can present many of unexpected – and unpleasant – experiences.

The most significant change you may come up against is just how much the modern dating scene has changed due to the prevalence of dating apps and chatting online. It can bear no resemblance to how you had been used to meeting people and can be bewildering to encounter for the first time. The bad behaviour and commitment issues you can encounter on the apps can be an unwelcome challenge to navigate.

The good news is you can best prepare yourself for the dating world by taking into account some hard-won advice from daters who have been in your shoes. Despite the changed landscape, there is so much to enjoy in embarking on a search for love. Read on for our top tips for ensuring you’ll really enjoy meeting new people and get the most out of every single date.

Be content with being single:  It’s important to be secure in who you are before you start searching for love. Ensure you are ready to meet somebody rather than craving it because you are lonely. There are many benefits to being single, including privacy, independence and sharing great relationships with friends and family, so make the most of this time until you feel you are truly ready to date. It’s much better to have a fulfilling single life than settling for somebody who doesn’t set your world alight. It can take time to rebuild confidence after a bad break-up so really take the time to find your feet again before you jump into dating.

Don’t be afraid of online dating: You may be new to the apps, but using online dating for the first time can be a great way to introduce you to people you never would have come across in real life. Keep the conservation to the dating app – be wary of anybody who tries to get you to leave the site to chat elsewhere away from the moderation policies and monitoring of the team behind the app. Really pay attention to what the person is saying. What people do and say online often reflects how they’ll behave offline so keep an eye out for red flags. Be wary if it appears they are attempting to cover up something in their photo, such as wearing hats, sunglasses or posing miles away from the camera, as they may be concealing something. There are apps specialising in over-fifties dating or you may find the mainstream big names work best for you. Decide what you want from the experience and search for likeminded people, whether it’s for something more casual or a committed relationship.

Don’t get hung up on baggage: You’ve both probably been through some big things in your life at this point, including perhaps health issues, horrific exes, and a string of awful dates. However, the first date is not the time to share them. The first few dates should be used to suss out the person’s personality, seeing what you’ve got in common and deciding if you are both curious enough about each other to take things further. Bonding over baggage is not a great way to get to know each other and should be saved until you know each other better.

Work with a matchmaker: If you are looking for support and expertise to get your dating journey on track, it can really pay to work with a matchmaker. They can take all the hard work out of finding somebody special, working hard to understand what you are looking for and actively making introductions to amazing people. Here at Ignite Dating we headhunt suitable matches, leaving you free to enjoy an easy and stress-free search for love. 

If you’d like a helping hand to get your dating journey on the track for success, then give the experts at Ignite a call today


Who pays when you go on a first date?

It’s always been a thorny issue but the debate about who pays on dates is becoming more relevant than ever given the rising cost of living.

Even before prices skyrocketed, it was a hotly debated topic of who is responsible for paying for the first and subsequent dates. Ask for opinions on the matter on who pays the bill, and you’ll hear plenty of different responses. Some believe it’s firmly in the man’s ballpark to pick up the tab for the first meeting. For others, the notion the gentleman should always pay the bill is outdated. In a recent survey, 78% of respondents said they think men should pay for the first date, with men more likely than women to think it’s a man’s role to foot the bill.

Another view is you navigate the conundrum by ensuring you always split the bill. It’s even further complicated by those who think responsibility falls to who did the asking out, believing it’s the person who initiated the date that should pay.

Things aren’t made easier with the escalating cost of living, which is leading to some single people cutting down on the amount of dates they go on. A separate survey found 40% of people aren’t dating as frequently due to the financial burden associated with a night out. 

So how to you tackle the situation when you are (hopefully) enjoying a night out together? You can gauge how the other person feels about it by asking them if they mind if you pay on this occasion or asking them how they feel about splitting the bill down the middle. It’s also best not to just assume your date will pay. First dates can be confusing enough without a tense back-and-forth about who pays, so usually it’s polite to offer to contribute after somebody has offered to pay, but graciously accept if they turn down your offer.

As the cost-of-living increases, you may want to set boundaries as you continue to get to know each other. Make sure you are both on the same page about what you can afford to avoid a scenario where one person feels they are struggling to keep up with the dates you have planned. Casual drinks can have a different date etiquette, with rounds making it easier to sort out who pays for what. This sort of night out can take the pressure of facing a bill at the end of the night out and having to decide how you’ll deal with it.

Perhaps a good way to swerve the issue is to suggest cheap date ideas, which are rising in popularity as an antidote to the rising cost of a night out. These days it’s not unusual to suggest a picnic in the park, or a chilled walk with a takeaway coffee in hand. Some single people want to be sure a date will be worth the financial outlay before committing to an expensive meal and drinks. A low-key first date can help you decide if there may be a connection there before you arrange more fancy date night which costs a lot more. Nobody wants to be left with a big hole in their pocket because of a date which didn’t set the world on fire.

It is good etiquette to be conscious of what your date’s budget before suggesting an expensive night out. There are other benefits to a modest date idea, whatever your budget. With the pressure being taken off with a low-stakes activity, you may feel more relaxed, and it can sometimes be a better way to judge the character of your date. You may find it useful to carry out an element of pre-screening before meeting for a date by leaving voice notes and having a few phone calls to ensure you are curious to find out more about each other before committing to a date.

While there may not be right and wrong answers, it is clear it really pays to be mindful about how your date may feel about an expensive night out when budgets are stretched. The bill doesn’t have to be a massive issue if you are prepared to discuss it and being prepared to contribute can be a lot fairer than just assuming the other person will pay. We’d love to know what you think about who pays on dates – share your thoughts over on our Facebook and Instagram pages!

Are you keen to meet somebody special? Then turn to the experts at Ignite Dating! We are experts at understanding what you want from a partner and can provide you with an easy and stress-free search for love. Get in touch today to find out more!


How to handle breakup guilt

A lot of attention after a breakup is directed at the person who was dumped. There is lots of advice out there on how to cope if your partner ended a relationship you’d hoped was going somewhere. Friends and family are on-hand with plenty of tea and sympathy to offer their support as you deal with the heartache. But what about the person who initiated the breakup? In a lot of cases the other person in the relationship is also left carrying a burden, whether it’s also coming to terms with the end of the relationship or guilt over being the person who instigated it.

Relationships end for many different reasons and it’s important to realise that it’s usually not just one person’s fault. However, feelings of guilt are common after you’ve broken up with somebody, even though it’s in nobody’s best interests to stay together in an unfulfilling relationship. You can feel bad about the upset you’ve caused the other person, especially if they were against going your separate ways. You may also regret your decision to leave and blame yourself for not working harder on making things work. Breakups are bad enough and the situation is a whole lot worse if you are beating yourself up and feeling extremely guilty.

Dealing with feeling guilty

It can be important to remember instead of having done something wrong, you’ve made the right choice for you. If somebody isn’t the right person for you, it’s much better to call time on the relationship, as you know deep down you are doing the best thing in the long run. Staying with somebody to avoid hurting their feelings ends up making things worse in the long run as it hurts more to drag things out.

We’ve shared our top tips for getting over breakup guilt and moving on when you feel ready to do so.

Acknowledge there doesn’t have to be a ‘good’ reason to leave: It’s fair enough to stick in a relationship if you are happy putting in lots of work to try and save it. But if you are unhappy – but too afraid to end it because there’s no glaringly obvious reason to call time on the relationship – you’ll end up miserable. Waiting for the ‘right time’ to end it may leave you unhappy and unsatisfied, when a clean break is really the only option. Breakups don’t have to be the result of an obvious cause, like infidelity or excessive jealousy, and it’s fine to acknowledge you’ve just grown apart, or this person is not who you see yourself staying with. You can end up feeling guilty that you didn’t fight harder to save the relationship but it’s important to trust your gut and remember the reasons you made the break in the first place.

You need to put yourself first: Nobody likes to hurt other people, so it can be tough to be the cause of somebody else’s pain and hurt feelings. However, sometimes you need to put your own feelings first and recognise that the other person can achieve support outside the relationship to deal with their own healing. Forgiving yourself is an important part of the process as well as looking to the future. It doesn’t help to keep dwelling on the past because it can make it impossible to move on.

Be prepared to move on: Don’t feel bad about creating healthy boundaries – if you want to remove an ex from social media, then do so. You don’t have to remain friends and if you want to cut off contact it can sometimes be healthier than going through painful meetups where neither of you are over the break-up yet. It’s often advisable to take a break before you attempt friendship to give both of you time to move on. You also don’t have to feel guilty about wanting to pursue a new relationship when you feel the time is right. You are now officially single and it’s up to you to decide what works for you.

Focus on what went right: A relationship isn’t a failure just because it ended. You will have enjoyed plenty of good times together and learned a lot about yourself along the way. Just because it didn’t go the distance, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t important. So, try not to feel guilty about the conclusion and focus on what did go right.

Have you ever considered matchmaking? Here at Ignite Dating we offer an easy and stress-free search for love, offering a dedicated matchmaker who is with you every step of the way. Working together, we will establish the values and characteristics that are important to you and search our extensive database and private network for the right person. Get in touch today to find out the next exciting steps in your search for love!


The best date ideas for spring

Do you feel a lot more optimistic about dating when spring finally rolls around? According to a recent survey, 74% of single people reported a positive impact on their dating lives when the weather finally starts to improve after the long winter months. Dubbed ‘blue sky dating’42% of those polled said the lighter evenings made dating feel easier and more than a third said they feel happier in general at this time of year.

The arrival of spring can be the perfect time to revamp your dating journey, allowing you to take advantage of a range of exciting date ideas now the weather is finally warming up. The changing seasons can energise your dating habits, with the desire to hibernate during the colder months a thing of the past. This time of year can also be a good catalyst for change as well, perhaps giving you the push you need to shed lingering exes or situationships that are going nowhere. The warmer months tempt a lot more people to get out the house and social calendars are more packed as a result. Data also shows a huge spike in messages being sent on dating apps at this time of year.

There is something so refreshing about being able to finally pack away your winter gear and dress up for exciting evening outings that are packed full of potential.  We’ve shared a selection of spring date ideas to provide inspiration, whether you are meeting somebody new or looking to mix up your date nights with your long-term partner.

Get outside: Are you itching to get out of the house? Sometimes the simplest date ideas are the best, and you could do worse than taking a stroll at your local park. You could take a romantic getting-to-know-you better walk to admire the flowers in bloom or pause for a picnic if it is warm enough. As the cost of living continues to bite, it’s a nifty cheap date idea and allows for plenty of chat if it’s the first time you’ve met. If you are both animal lovers, you could even bring your four-legged friends along.

Share an activity: Make the most of the (hopefully) milder weather by planning an active date. You don’t have to don your activewear to take on a shared activity, a casual bike ride can be a lovely way to spend time together and explore different areas. Feeling competitive? Mini golf can be a lot of fun and gives you plenty of conversation starters if it’s the first time you’ve met. Feeling brave? There are plenty of outdoor lidos if you don’t mind a slightly bracing dip!

Seek out tasty food trucks: Street food has become incredibly popular in recent years and can be found dotted around various city and rural locations. Take advantage of the warmer weather and perch on a bench once you’ve got your hands on some tasty treats. It’s not as formal as a restaurant date but gives you plenty of time to bond over some truly delicious food, whether it’s tasty tacos, diving into a selection of sushi or sampling new flavours of artisan ice cream. 

Enjoy al fresco drinks: Those beer gardens and rooftop terraces are finally reopening, throwing open all sorts of possibilities to mix up your date nights. It can be a lovely feeling to soak up the last rays of sunshine as you take in the view, or settling down with a bottle of wine at a quaint village pub. You also benefit from instant shelter if you encounter an unfortunate April shower!

Take a day trip: Longer days give you plenty of time to take a trip somewhere new for a fun day out. Perhaps you fancy getting to the seaside for a long shoreline walk and sharing fish and chips as the sun sets. You could visit a theme park to share in an adrenaline-fuelled date to remember, or perhaps a sedate trip to a stately home is more up your street. An escape from your day-to-day can be a refreshing way to switch off and really make the most of your time together.

Have you decided spring is the perfect opportunity to reinvigorate your dating journey? Chat to the experts at Ignite Dating, who are here to help you achieve your dream of a loving long-term relationship. Your matchmaker will ask the right questions to gain an insight into what you are looking for in a partner, as well as making recommendations of people who could be a good match, leaving you free to enjoy some truly amazing dates!