Whether you've met a man through friends or an online dating site (which can be a great way to meet singles in your area) it's only natural to feel nervous on when you get back in the dating game. Everyone is different, of course, but here are four things men in their 50s-plus want from a woman.
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See also: Online dating in your 50s-plus
See also: Dating after divorce - dos and don'ts
1. A woman who takes care of herself
Not every man over 50 wants a younger woman, but the vast majority will be hoping to find a date who puts effort into her appearance.
Post-menopause, it's all too easy for women to feel "invisible". You might not turn heads like you did in your 20s, but you can still make the most of what you've got. Take a friend clothes shopping with you and be willing to experiment – just because you've never been one for bright colours, jewellery or scarves doesn't mean they won't look good on you. If you haven't updated your makeup for a decade, visit the beauty counter of a big department store and ask for advice on the best colours to suit you.
2. A woman who enjoys life
Most men in their 50s are no longer driven by career ambitions and without young children to care for, they want to enjoy their spare time, preferably with a woman who knows how to enjoy life.
If you're feeling negative about what life has to offer, don't expect a man to fill that void. You need to feel good about yourself and life – and that means having your own interests, friends and passions, which you can then share with someone special. Find ways to enjoy yourself and be happy – and you will become instantly more attractive.
3. A woman who lets him play a role in her life
While it's important to have friends and interests, you need to leave time for a new man. At this stage in life, there's less impetus to set up home together but a man still likes to feel that he has a role and that he's appreciated.
Women are generally better at expressing their emotions with words, but men like to do things for you. His way of caring may be to cut your lawn, change a light bulb, or put up a shelf – and if you want to make him feel good, you'll let him and show your gratitude (and that means not criticizing his methods or complaining about the finished result).
4. A woman who shows that she's interested
Many men over 50 will have been rejected by women many times and will feel insecure about dating. While he may like to do the chasing and ask you out, a man likes to know that you are interested in him to begin with.
Forget playing hard to get. If you like him, encourage him with eye contact and a friendly smile, compliment him and answer his emails/phone calls. Let him take the lead in asking for a date, but be willing to suggest what you could do together. Older men want a woman who is strong and feminine, and who can be an equal partner - so don't be afraid to share your opinions.