Dating—in general—is not easy. And while dating in your 50s has its challenges, there are also plenty of upsides. By that point, you most likely have enough experience to know exactly what you want and the days of thinking, “does he or does he not like me?” and hopelessly waiting by the phone are (fingers crossed) long behind you. Also, unlike dating in your 30s or even in your 40s, you probably have kids who don’t need your attention 24/7, so no need to hustle for a sitter. Still, there is plenty to consider when you’re a hot and happening 50-something-year-old on the market.
So, what is the number one trait quinquagenarians are searching for when it comes to dating? The answer: Great conversation.
A survey conducted by Silver Singles revealed that both men and women who are in their 50s are doing away with the small talk and are looking for someone who can bring a little extra pizazz to the table and carry a conversation. Though a higher percentage of women—76.5 percent—preferred this trait, men were not far behind at 71 percent. The results come as no surprise, given the fact that most people spent the past year hunkered down in quarantine with just their pets and close pod members. In other words, of course we want to talk to someone new and exciting.
Of course, when you’re searching for a partner-in-crime, you’re also looking for red flags. Approximately 58 percent of respondents said smoking is a big no-no and 51 percent said financial insecurity was also a turn-off. (The latter point was quite disproportionate, with 61 percent of women saying it’s a red flag while only 30 percent of men said the same.) Singles in their 50s also care a lot about how their potential partners view the pandemic. Overall, 47 percent said they would give their date a side-eye if they didn’t take COVID seriously. Women, again, indicated that this was a big factor at 52 percent compared to only 30 percent of men.
As for where these eligible singles are, don’t expect too many 50-something-year-olds to show up on the Tinder or Bumble feeds. Only 16 percent said they’d like to find a match via a mobile dating app, and most preferred to be set up by family or friends, meeting organically through a mutual hobby or—if they had to take it to the internet—favored going to sites such as Match.com, Plenty of Fish or eHarmony, that are geared toward their demo.