Online dating sites are making it easier than ever to meet new people - and no matter what your age, there are people out there looking for love. If you're in your 50s-plus and have been getting first dates but no second ones, it's worth checking that you're not making any of these mistakes. Some of the dating rules have changed...
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See also: Dating in your 50s-plus? What NOT to ask on a first date
See also: Dating after divorce - dos and don'ts
1. You didn't text to confirm when to meet again
The dating rules have changed. Don't wait for him to make the next move - send a short text or email to show your interest. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, so if you enjoyed his company, say so – and then either suggest meeting again, or let him take the lead. Equally, don't wait for her to get back to you. If you enjoyed the first date, suggest another.
Better still, if the first date is going well, try to find out what your date likes doing. Is there a new movie or play they want to see? A garden they've been meaning to visit, or something they've always wanted to learn? You can then either suggest seeing the movie or going to the theatre together – or research an event they might enjoy and invite them a few days later.
2. Your first date was too long
There's a reason why coffee shops make great first date venues. Sharing some java for an hour or so is a great icebreaker. If your date goes into hiding after the first date, consider whether you were too keen, too soon.
Taking someone for a romantic dinner and handing over a bunch of flowers is a risky strategy – she might love the gesture, or you might scare her off. Play it safe, and save the gifts and treats for the third or fourth date.
3. The first date was more like an interview
Going on a first date is like an interview in some ways – you ask questions and make judgements about the person based on their answers. But be careful! You need to let the conversation flow organically to have a chance of there being any chemistry.
Avoid firing off questions that make it seem like you have a checklist hidden up your sleeve, and focus on listening instead. When you really listen to what the other person says, you give them your full attention (which is always flattering) and the conversation is more likely to flow naturally.
Nobody likes being put on the spot. You might want to know if the person is financially solvent – but a first date is not the time to ask if they have paid off their mortgage. These kind of questions can wait until you've had a few dates – presuming that the first meeting goes well.
4. There wasn't any real chemistry
You can be charming, attentive and funny – and still not get a second date. If the other person simply wasn't into you, don't take it personally and move on.
Dating is a numbers game, and you sometimes need to meet lots of people until you find someone special. Try to look on these dates as a "practice" session and don't over-think things. Know that one day you will find someone who you click with.
5. You are burned out from dating and it shows
If you've been dating for a while, there's a danger that you can get burned out. If the last three dates you went on didn't come to anything, consider taking some time out. If you're feeling defeatest or jaded, your date is sure to pick up on it and if you're not enthusiastic about the experience, it can soon become a self-fulfilling prophecy. A break from dating may be in order before you start again.