While some people look at boundaries as some scary , hard-to-talk about thing, they don’t have to be. In fact, boundaries when dating as a senior can help to remove any awkward situations, increase your level of comfort, and make you more safe.
But boundaries don’t just create and enforce themselves. Senior singles need to know how to set boundaries, how to share those boundaries, and how to enforce them. When you do that, dating as a senior becomes that much more exciting!
In this article, we’re going to share seven of the most important tips and rules to help seniors set boundaries while dating.
1. Define your boundaries on paper first.
Before you can even think about sharing and enforcing your personal dating boundaries with someone else, you have to make sure you know what those boundaries are. There’s a great country song lyric that says, “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything”.
This is something we think is wise and extremely applicable to senior singles. Take the time to determine what you are comfortable with and what is too far. Additionally, we highly recommend you write these boundaries down on paper so that you can always refer back to them if you need to remind yourself where you stand on an issue.
Some of the most important categories to consider for boundaries include:
- Finances – What you will and will not do with your money
- Emotional – How quickly will you let yourself fall in love? Are there areas of your life that you will keep private for a while?
- Physical – At what point (if any) are you okay with kissing or being physically intimate? There are no wrong answers here (like with every category on the list).
- Safety – Will you let them pick you up on a first date? Are you going to share where you live with them? There are a lot of things to consider here.
- Access – What parts of your life will you let them have access to? Will you share information about your family? These are just a few examples.
Take the time to really dig into what you are okay with and what is a hard no for you. Additionally, identify things that you might not be okay with upfront but as you get to know someone or reach certain milestones might become okay.
2. Identify areas where you might be vulnerable.
Once you know what you’re going to stand for and where your boundaries are, it’s time to take an honest assessment of yourself and see where you might be vulnerable.
- Are there areas you’ve had issues in the past?
- Are there certain things that are the most important to you?
- Do you see boundaries that you think might be hard to articulate to someone?
The more honest you can be with yourself here, the better the results.
3. Have a plan for times of vulnerability.
For each area of your dating boundaries you’ve defined, have a plan so that you won’t waiver. Dating as a senior can sometimes feel vulnerable, but you can prepare for these instances to have success.
Some of the best strategies include:
- Know what you’re going to say when you feel you are vulnerable.
- Determine how to identify when you are wavering before it is too late.
- Find a support person you can call or text message when you are worried.
While we’d hope that when you set boundaries as a senior dating that everyone else would just respect those. The problem, though, is sometimes that isn’t the case, and sometimes, other people just don’t know where you stand. Being prepared can help you stick to what you want to stick to.
4. Convey your boundaries clearly.
If you’ll notice, everything so far we’ve covered with senior dating boundaries is work you can do on your own. Having that firm foundation will go a long way to making these later steps easier.
At some point, though, you have to share your boundaries with others. You can’t expect someone to respect your boundaries if they don’t know what they are.
Now, we’re not saying that you need to come out on day one and share a list of all your boundaries. While this might be effective, it’s not very helpful in the romantic department. What you should do instead is share your stance on each individual boundary when it is appropriate.
And when you do share your stance, you have to do it clearly. Don’t beat around the bush and expect someone to be able to read through the lines. Yes, there are times that this may seem awkward, but it’s wildly better than having your boundaries crossed.
5. Set your boundaries from day one.
If you read our last section, you may be wondering—when is the appropriate time to share your stance on your dating boundaries? The answer is the second it becomes applicable. Don’t let things get too far along where it becomes too late or super awkward to discuss boundaries.
For example, let’s say you’re not comfortable going to a bar. If your date invites you out to a bar, that’s the time to have that conversation and share your boundaries. If you wait until the day of the date or when you show up that you don’t want to go in, that’s not fair to anyone.
6. Don’t date anyone who pushes you in unhealthy ways.
Most senior singles are going to be highly respectful of your boundaries. However, that doesn’t mean everyone. This tip is simple. If you meet someone or are dating someone who will not respect your boundaries, it’s time to find someone new.
7. Consistently reassess.
The last tip for singles looking to set and enforce boundaries when dating as a senior is to be prepared to constantly reassess. How well are you sticking to the principles and boundaries you came up with? How are you doing in the areas you identified that you might be vulnerable? Are there new areas where you feel vulnerable? Are the singles you’re dating helping to support you?
Answering these questions on a regular basis will make sure you’re seeing the success you want to see while dating!