How older singles can find love again: speed dating, apps, and an open mind will help
For many mature Hongkongers it’s not easy to start a new relationship. The secret is to first step out to meet people. Dating experts offer some advice on how to embrace the possibilities
It’s never too late to find love, and getting older doesn’t mean it’s all over for a relationship.
Get out there, meet people and take some chances being single.
“Society has changed and there are lots of people who get divorced later in life and begin second relationships,” says Jacqueline Chia, co-founder of Mozaic HK Ltd, a dating agency. “There is a relatively large group of singles in the 40-plus age group who would like to start new relationships, and mature dating is only natural.”
Older potential partners are mostly intelligent, interesting and well-groomed, according to Chia. “People maintain their health and appearances better nowadays and live longer. It is the last chapter of their life and they want to have a companion or lover at this stage too,” she says.
For those reluctant to venture out alone to meet new people, a speed-dating session could be rewarding. You don’t have to take it too seriously, just use it as an opportunity to hone your social and interactive skills. You can have a casual flirt or test-run a few chat-up lines before you advance to a more serious stage.
“Speed dating offers an easy, friendly, fun and relaxed way to meet singles,” says Carol DeCandido, Mozaic’s managing partner. “We offer this to the over-40 demographic. We felt there was a void in the dating market in Hong Kong for mature singles, and that gave us the idea to offer events for them.”
Chia says Hong Kong’s mature dating scene is no more difficult than at other ages.
“In Hong Kong, there is an imbalance between single men and women. This imbalance is present in all demographics from 20 to 100 years old. There are more single women than men in the city.”
Being single again after a long relationship can present new challenges, DeCandido says.
“First, the rules and expectations of dating have changed a fair bit since the mature dater was last single. Then they have to adjust to new technology such as online dating, dating apps, texting, and WhatsApping instead of phoning. This is a large part of modern dating,” she says.
Once you have cleared the technology hurdle, there is the physical obstacle. Feeling comfortable and adjusting to someone new is not easy after years in one relationship. And people can feel emotionally crippled after the break-up of a long-term partnership.
“You must take yourself out of your comfort zone, and must try to make an effort to meet new people,” says DeCandido. “And if you don’t try you will have an even lower possibility of dating.”
Chia has this advice: “It is important to know yourself first. So ask yourself, ‘What are you looking for in the last chapter of your life?’; ‘what role would a new partner play in your life?’, and ‘what is your value system?’”
And she stresses that you need to be open-minded.
“It helps to be flexible and open-minded to new experiences and ideas and with your expectations.
“Your next partner could be totally different than your former one, which isn’t a bad thing. You should give it a try, nothing ventured nothing gained. You need to make an effort and get outside your comfort zone when meeting new people,” Chia says.
But it’s also important to remain true to yourself, she says. “Act natural and be comfortable with yourself. Putting on a face or trying to impress will not go too far if there is a second date. You will need to let go of your disguise eventually.”
The main difference between mature and younger singles is mindset. Younger singles may want to marry and have children but that’s not a priority for many mature singles. The mature singles have the luxury of focusing on their personal needs, wishes and desires as well as those of their partner, according to Chia.
I am an eternal optimist and believe love will find you in the most unexpected places. You just need to have an open heart and an open mind, then love will come to you.
Luisa Tam is a senior editor at the Post