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Going on a First Date as a RetireeGoing on a First Date as a Retiree

By freelance writer Jane Lester

Divorce among adults aged over 50 is on the rise in the United States, but statistics indicate that many are enjoying their newfound freedom to the full. According to Pew Research, divorce rates have tripled for persons over 65, with six in every 1,000 persons ending a marriage. Retirement and divorce can undoubtedly be challenging, but they can also open doors to meeting new people, interacting online, and experiencing the ‘pleasurable jitters’ that come before the very first date with someone one is interested in.

Subjects to Bring Up

Whether you have met a potential love interest online or through mutual friends or your local community, you should aim to keep the subject to ‘tried and tested’ topics during your first date. Psychologist Richard Wiseman carried out a study on the subject, finding that while only 9% of couples who talked about movies went on a second date, 18% of those who talked about travel saw each other again. Other studies have shown that you shouldn’t be wary about giving your true opinion on subjects of discussion, since shows that you are self-confident.

Keeping the Focus on Your Date

It is important to ask questions; keep it interesting by asking specific questions such as “What work project are you proudest of?” or “How important is seeing family to you?” or “What would your idea of a perfect day be?”. These questions will lead to longer discussions that will enable you and your date to really get to know each other. By all means, avoid talking about past relationships, especially about negative experiences with an ex. Also be sensitive to how long you talk about your opinions, thoughts, or interests. People like sharing information about themselves so allow your date to do so.

Discreetly Showing Off Your Savvy

Both men and women enjoy being with someone who has keen knowledge in culture and gastronomy. Research shows that over 40% of Americans’ food budget is spent eating out, so being with someone who is keen to share their knowledge of food and wine with you is a treat. Numerous studies have shown that red wine can promote better heart health, so don’t be surprised if your date asks you to recommend a good red or white. If you are a novice, there are numerous online guides that will provide a select list of bottles that pair well with particular dishes (e.g. try a fruity Pinot with vegetables, Chardonnay with fish, or Merlot with white meat). Instead of ordering a typical fish dish you can access at the supermarket, why not try scallops, lobster, or better yet, aphrodisiac oysters?

Dressing the Part

Take a look at your wardrobe before calling your love interest for a date. Are your suits cut to the latest trends? If you plan on dating regularly, one no-fail investment is in a good suit. As noted in a study published in 2015 in Social Psychological and Personality Science, what you wear affects the way you think; a good suit can make you feel more creative and ‘powerful’, which is great news for those feeling a little nervous before a diet. Opt for blue clothing to calm you down; red has been shown to actually raise the heart rate in a 2013 study published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology.

If you are very worried about an upcoming date, focus on being yourself; on sharing your interests, future plans, love of travel, and other subjects that your date will most likely be able to relate to. Positive energy tends to attract others, as does humor, so do include these elements in your conversation, while you impress your date with an excellent meal that reflects your interest in learning about the world and enjoying a wide array of experiences.