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Thinking about dating

Getting older doesn’t mean that our need for closeness and companionship goes away. Many people in their 50s and older find themselves newly single, or simply decide now’s the time to find a partner.

Whether you’re separated or bereaved, or have been single for some time, it’s never too late to start a new relationship.

It’s not unusual to feel lonely, particularly if you’ve just lost a partner or decided to go your separate ways. You may have more free time and want to share that time with somebody, or you may miss having physical contact.

But the thought of meeting someone new can feel daunting, especially if you’ve spent years, or decades, in the same relationship or been on your own for a long time. So before you start looking for someone new, think carefully about whether you’re ready for a new relationship.

If you’re newly single, this means coming to terms with the end of your previous relationship and giving yourself time to process your feelings. If you’re bereaved, you may need to give yourself a chance to take in what has happened. See our pages on bereavement for more information about coping with loss.

Once you start to feel ready to think about a new relationship, you may want to prepare yourself physically, as well as emotionally. Why not consider a new hairstyle, which can be a real confidence booster. If you have put on some weight, you could start to get active and get fitter. This will be great for your health and your overall wellbeing. Trying some new activities, or doing something you enjoy but haven’t done in ages, such as swimming, dancing, badminton, or yoga, can also have the added benefit of helping you to meet new people. See our guides to Healthy eating and Healthy living for more ideas about improving your health.

When you feel ready to start looking for love, you may not be sure where to start. Read on through our advice on dating to get some ideas.

Further information

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174

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