Dating in your 60s: It’s time to throw away the rule book from our youth 18



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When we first started out at the dating game, we lived in a very different world. There were rules that we followed, often because our parents told us to, and they made the world of dating an interesting one.

We had to introduce our potential suitor to our parents; the home phone in the kitchen was the only phone we had so everyone in the family knew if we made plans; we played games and made sure we were hard-to-get just to pique interest; we acted disinterested and pretended our schedules were a little too full to be appealing; and we rated each other on looks and through lust went after the handsome ones. This is the world of dating we know.

We polled the Starts at 60 community late last year and found that over 50 per cent of you are single. This means that for so many of us, jumping back in the dating game can be scary. Why? Because all of the things we know aren’t necessary or the done thing anymore.

Dating in your 60s can be daunting, so we’ve put together six new rules to think about when you get back in the dating game.


The old: You date to find someone to marry

The new: You date to find love, intimacy or companionship or friendship

When we were younger we had one goal in dating: to find someone to marry and raise a family with. Now, marriage isn’t so important and children aren’t usually in the picture. This means that people our age are looking for all sorts of things –love, intimacy or companionship. Be open to looking for any of these things and at the same time, be prepared to meet others who are looking for these things too.


The old: Dating is a chance to show off and impress

The new: Go for casual so you can get to know each other

When we’re doing this later in life we don’t have to show off, dine at fancy restaurants or go to elaborate and expensive shows. Friendships are built on conversation and shared interests so don’t be afraid to only meet for coffee or a casual lunch. Rather than going for the “wow factor”, go for the opportunity to converse. If you aim for a friendship, the rest will happen naturally.


The old: Aim for attractive

The new: We’ve all gotten older – looks don’t matter

Once upon a time we giggled with our girlfriends and high-fived our mates for finding the good looking birds and blokes. We’re naturally, instinctively attracted to good-looking people but there is one thing to remember in your 60s: everyone begins to look older at some point. We have to remember that those thoughts about the wrinkles, grey hair or slight beer belly aren’t nice, especially because we’ve also grown out of our 20-something looks!


The old: The more games you play the more interesting and desirable you are!

The new: Life is too short for games – just enjoy the company

We played games once upon a time to make us seem more interesting, more fun, more unattainable and more attractive. The truth is that none of us really want to do that anymore. There’s no harm in a bit of fun but keep the emotions out of it and enjoy the company.


The old: One at a time unless you’re up to no good

The new: Build friendships with as many people as you’d like

It was once scandalous to see more than one person at a time but now at our age we say, why not? If you’re just starting out and building a friendship with someone there is no harm in making lots of friends at the same time. See who else is out there and as long as it is all honest and nothing too serious is going on you will all be happy.


The exception to the rule

The old: Talk face to face

The new: Bring back talking face to face

This is the one thing that should go back to the way we had it. Communication was real – we spoke and we laughed together. Not emailed and texted. Try to focus on really communicating with each other, properly. Friendship can only be built on a real relationship and real understanding of each other so give yourselves the best chance of doing that.


So tell us, have you been dating in your 60s? How has it changed since your first round of dating when you were in your 20s? What are the important pieces of advice you can share with the community?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Fabulous article and some very good tips – friendship is so very important as we do get older – communication is also what’s needed and not just this new way of everyone texting – life is precious so let’s enjoy it with fun people around us.

  2. I am unexpectantly dating in my seventies and feel like a teenager. I find the absolute authenticity and easy companionship so refreshing coupled with a great deal of old fashioned romance has put a real spring in my step. There are no rules!

  3. I dunno about this. When I was young mothers used to say to their daughters You are not going out with THAT boy. Now it’s the daughters saying MUM. Your not going out with him are you?

  4. So very true. Our expectations when we are older are so different to when we were younger. Many people relish the independence they have in their older years. Both men and women. I’ve discovered, in the past few years that having few expectations of anyone is a lovely way to get to know somebody, as they really are, not as you would want them to be. Relax and enjoy the new people in your life, and as always, everything falls into place.

    1 REPLY
    • I agree with you Susanne, 100%.

  5. Yes I am now divorced!!!! But I don’t think I could go through dating again. At my ripe old age of 64 the nerves would set in, although your advice is great and yes so true!!!!

  6. Ok ,everything sounds great but WHERE do you FIND the date ?I’m 70 & think I would be a bit uneasy to go to a pub on my own .I do go to the trots on my own & a few other places,but there’s been no-one rushing up to me asking for a date !! Any hints …..welcome.

  7. Oh yes. A distinct lack of over 60 single men.

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