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Senior Dating Conversation No-Nos!

senior-couple13Even though I have touched on this subject in previous articles, I want to talk about it again in a little more detail, as it's so important!

Keep in mind you have probably been out of the dating scene for quite a while and you and your former partner probably shared the same feelings about politics, religion, family and finances — or at least you learned to live with each other's differing opinions on the topics over the years.   Now it's a whole new ball game.   You are in unchartered territory, meeting new people under new circumstances in a very different world.

Try to remember that in order to make a good first impression, it's extremely important to keep the conversation light, and positive.   As the relationship develops, so too will a  comfort level with your new partner meaning that things will naturally be revealed in time about both of you.   Hopefully by that time, mutual feelings about each other will trump differences in opinion about politics.   But discussing these things too early in the game may spoil your chances of seeing where the relationship could have gone. You may decide to go on a negative rant about a politician and then you learn that your date was a major financial contributor to that campaign.   Oops!

Or you may have lost your former spouse to a horrible illness and you decide to tell your date the whole story and you end up in tears.   As significant as that event was in your life, you have to understand that doing this will likely not only alter the positive mood that you need on a date, but alter your date's perception of you. They might think you are not over your former partner, so they may want to steer clear of getting involved with you.

So avoiding these 5 conversation topics will help you not to put your foot in your mouth!

(1)   Illness of yours or a family member (past or present).   If you have to bring it up, keep it very brief, and then say: "That is too depressing to talk about, I am here to get to know YOU!"

(2)   Death of a spouse — fine to mention that this is how you ended up single, but do not dwell on the details and run the risk of becoming emotional, and displaying all your baggage.

(3)   Divorce — like death, this can be a downer.   No one wants to hear how badly you were abused by your ex and all the details of your court battle.   It is fine to say you are divorced, but end it at that.

(4)   Financial issues, good or bad.   This is something that could indicate you are well off and make you easy prey for someone you don't yet really know.   Conversely if you are having a tough time, your date may think you are looking for a meal ticket.   Either way this topic is something you should be extremely guarded about.

(5) Religion, race and politics.   Very hot topics that can seriously blow any chances of moving the relationship forward if discussed too early when you haven't established enough of a rapport with someone.

If your date hasn't read my column and doesn't realize that these things are taboo and begins to delve into one or more of these areas, you can try to use your power of persuasion to steer them away from these downer subjects.   Say something like: "I can only imagine how you feel, but we have such little time on our date.   Let's talk about things right now that make us both feel good to talk about."

Hopefully they take the bait and change the subject so that you can see if this person is open-minded and not stuck in a negative mindset.   Some things you can overlook if you are genuinely interested in the person, other things can become huge stumbling blocks that cannot be overcome if the negatives outweigh the positives.   Let your instincts tell you if this person is right or not.

7 Responses to “Senior Dating Conversation No-Nos!”

  1.  Andrew Horan says:

    Hi Kathy,

    Thanks for what you're doing. I'm a widower–married very happily for thirty three years. My wife was fifty eight, fit, vibrant, beautiful, and looked fifty when I lost her. Even though I'm sixty five, I look and feel younger too. You're helping putting lives back together by explaining what we seniors need to do to get a second chance at love. Thanks again.

    Posted on 03-Apr-12 at 9:19 am | Permalink
  2.  Karen Perry says:

    Hi Kathy,
    A friend saw you article and sent me the link. I am so happy I read this as I am spot on with you. I have had this conversation with other single lady friends and felt that they were being too judgemental on certain topics that you have mentioned and I had told them that there are some topics to stay away from at least until getting to know a person better. I openly have said I don't discuss politics and religion but I do respect anothers point of view…This seems to really work well for me. Thanks for being there for all of us Seniors as it is definetly a different dating scene now than it was when we were teens or young adults. Kepe

    Posted on 01-Jan-13 at 3:32 pm | Permalink
  3.  Robin O'Connell says:

    Was married for 36 years, divorced a year ago. Started dating 4 months ago but have felt no physical attraction to any of the dates. Still dating one man – been on six or seven dates, but no sparks. We have kissed.

    Is this normal?

    Posted on 29-Apr-13 at 11:52 am | Permalink
  4.  Kathy Damer says:

    Hi Robin,
    Maybe you aren't quite ready for dating yet if the divorce is still relatively recent. Thirty six years is a long time to be with someone, and if it wasn't you who initiated the divorce, perhaps you haven't come to terms with it all yet. Maybe it's actually a good thing that you aren't jumping into another relationship with both feet right now. You need some time to reflect on what you want out of life and a partner and seriously think about all the things that make you happy. My advice to you is to keep doing what you're doing. Go out and have fun, and be honest with your dates that you are not ready for anything serious at the moment. I believe this will help you build your confidence and see what you are looking for (and NOT looking for) in potential partners. There is absolutely no need to rush into anything, and taking a more casual approach will alleviate all the pressure you are putting on yourself about finding the right one. Doing some casual dating is great experience for you since you have been off the market for such a long time. Slow down and stop worrying. You will be just fine.

    Posted on 04-May-13 at 11:14 am | Permalink
  5.  Linda Bruce says:

    I am new to the senior dating scene and need advise on dating.
    When I go on a date which is rare and we kiss I can hardly control my emotions.
    Has it been too long ?
    Am I over ready to act ?
    It scares me to get so worked up so fast on these dates.
    I am a normal, happy and healthy women in my early 60's who hates living alone.
    Please advise.

    Posted on 15-Jun-13 at 12:12 am | Permalink
  6.  Ms Boop's says:

    Hi Linda
    Hint to the wise is sufficient. Even though we are in a different time zone, be very careful of what you release and how soon. Men generally will know if you are an easy target. Take it slow, be calm, cool and collective. Don't be too anxious, even though you might feel that time is upon you, who cares. I'm a little older than you, I refuse to allow any type of romantic gestures directed towards me. To each its own. Good Luck.

    Posted on 15-Jan-15 at 5:06 pm | Permalink
  7.  Betty Murray says:

    I have been divorced for several years now. The man I am seeing a man that says that he doesn't want to live the rest of his life alone and is searching for a life companion. He has already talked about getting married. I like being with him, but am concerned about what he truly wants. We have only seen each other for a short time. He just recently became divorced. What do you think?

    Posted on 04-Sep-15 at 3:29 am | Permalink

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About This Site

Kathy Damer studied Sociology at University and has worked as a marketing executive in the Retirement and Senior care industries for many years. Kathy has a deep understanding of the issues unique to senior dating and relationships and has been featured on the radio.

Kathy founded senior-dating.org as a way to provide free advice and resources for anyone looking to enter the world of senior dating. Please feel free to send Kathy your questions, comments and suggestions for topics that you would like to see covered.

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