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First Date Anxiety for Seniors

Updated on April 23, 2013

About the Author

L.L. Woodard re-entered the dating world at age 45, using both traditional methods of meeting people and via Internet dating websites. With a handful of first date experiences under his belt, the author is happy to share what he's learned.

How to Overcome First Date Anxiety

You've met someone new, either in person or perhaps online through a dating site for older adults. You're a little longer in the tooth than you were as a teenager going out on a first date -- after all, you are now over 40, over 50, over 60 or more. You're filled with questions about what to wear, what to say, how to act.

It would be great if there was a list of ten things you could do to put your first date jitters at rest, but there is no definitive list. There are a number of common sense ideas that you can choose to use so that you can actually enjoy that first date, no matter your age.

Simple Tips on Body Language for that First Date

Determine if Your Date Is Fibbing or Truth-Telling

Focus on the Positive to Reduce First Date Jitters

No one gets to age 40, 50 or more without a few nicks and dings; focus instead on your many positive assets and traits.
No one gets to age 40, 50 or more without a few nicks and dings; focus instead on your many positive assets and traits. | Source

Preparation Is the Key to First Date Confidence

In your earlier dating years, you were likely to have met an intended date through personal contact, through a friend or family member, or through the dreaded blind date. Now, you have the potential to meet an interesting person through interaction on the world wide web via senior dating sites, chat rooms or forums. The way that you prepare yourself for that important first date is going to be a little different depending on the way you've initially met this person.

  • Safety: Your safety is of first and foremost importance, no matter the mode of introduction. While many people know to be wary of someone they've only interacted with online, a person you've met in person or have been set-up with by a mutual acquaintance may not be all they seem to be on the surface.

I'm not suggesting you arm yourself with weaponry, but strongly advise that first dates occur in a public place. Let a trusted friend or family member know when and where you are going to be. If you've been picked up by your date at home, ask that confidante if they would "rescue" you if the date goes wonky for any reason or be prepared to call a cab. It's not likely that these precautions will be necessary to use, but you're going to feel more at ease and maintain control of the situation if something untoward happens.

  • Body Language: Do you know how to read other people's body language? Nonverbal communication -- body language, voice inflections, etc. comprise 80 percent or more of the communication between people.

For first dates and for any interpersonal communication, you might want to become familiar with basic body language signals to improve your understanding of any interaction. If you're able to tell from your date's body language that he or she is genuinely interested in you or is becoming comfortable in your presence, you might be able to better relax and enjoy the outing with your new companion.

  • Spruce Up: Do whatever preparations make you feel good about yourself. It will increase your confidence tenfold. This first date isn't only about whether the other person likes you or not -- it's as much about whether you like yourself. People in general are attracted to a person who has self-confidence.

Maybe the only prep you need is a good self pep talk; if so, go for it. Shine your shoes, iron creases in your slacks or jeans, select underwear without holes. No, you needn't -- and maybe shouldn't -- have sex on the first date, but don't you feel great when you have on beautiful lingerie or hole-less drawers?

Put your best foot forward, first for yourself and then for that first date. The value of a first impression is tough to overcome, so make certain you'll have no regrets.

Over 40? Over 50? Still Plenty of Opportunities to Have Fun Dating


Your Date is Nervous Too

Chances are that the anxiety and anticipation that you are feeling about that first date is also being experienced by the other person. Very few people are so suave and self-confident that they won't be jittery about a first date. If a relationship ensues, those first date jitters will likely be a topic of humor, wondering how you could have ever felt so nervous.

Go on that first date armed with healthy self-esteem and a sense of humor and you've already tackled half the battle.

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    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Thanks, Alison, for the read and the special wishes.

    • Alison Graham profile image

      Alison Graham 5 years ago from UK

      Great advice here - I hope you find that extra-special someone soon, too!

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Hi Pamela, thanks for the read and comment. Young people probably don't give a lot of thought to older adults dating -- who wants to think of grandma or grandpa dating -- and although some of the advice for younger folks apply, dating tips written by contemporaries has a ring of "been there, done that" to it.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great tips. You see all sorts of advice and information geared to young people but not so much for the older generation. I'm not single but can see this being helpful to those reentering the dating market.