Revealed: first date anxieties of the over-50s

Warner Leisure Hotels explores how dating has changed for the UK’s baby-boomers

  • One-third (32 per cent) of the over-50s surveyed claim they are more carefree, with 27 per cent going against the industry norm of losing your libido by admitting they are more sexually liberated
  • 23 per cent have become less fussy about dating in their 50s than when they were dating in their 20s
  • A staggering 43% worry about their date being boring and one-third (33 per cent) say they’d be put off by bad manners

A record number of ‘baby boomers’ are now single and entering a new stage in their life by attempting to join the dating game and it can be a daunting prospect.

Whilst there’s a distinct increase in the number of over-50s seeking love – in 2016, double the number of over-50s considered online dating to find romance compared to 2013 – it seems first date nerves exists at all ages. So, what do the UK’s over 50s really worry about when it comes to dating?

According to new research from Warner Leisure Hotels, one-third (33 per cent) of the 2,000* over-50s surveyed claim they worry they will look too old, 27 per cent are concerned about feeling nervous and almost one-in-ten (9 per cent) panic about their own fashion sense. However, the UK’s over 50s seem to be less concerned about themselves and more anxious about their date’s peculiarities.

43 per cent worry about their date being boring, one-third (33 per cent) say they’d be put off with bad manners and over one quarter (26 per cent) are anxious about their date making inappropriate advances. And, despite over-50s claiming they are less fussy, 18% say they worry about their date having tattoos.

The research from Warner Leisure Hotels also revealed that men in their 50s are feeling friskier with age. One-third (33 per cent) of men claim they are more sexually liberated now than they were in their 20s, compared to just 20 per cent of women who feel the same. Men also claim to being less fussy about image (27 per cent versus 19 per cent).

Whilst the UK’s over-50s appear to be embracing new dating ventures, almost half (48 per cent) claim they were most confident about dating in their 20s, whilst they pin-point their 60s and 70s as the least confident phase for seeking a new companion.

Mat Finch, Marketing Director of Warner Leisure Hotels, comments: “Younger people have so many places that they can go to meet new people; bars, clubs, work etc, but as you get older this changes and it gets harder to meet someone new.

At Warner it’s not uncommon to see a dance floor filled at 11pm on a Tuesday night with guests having a laugh and enjoying time together. We celebrate every relationship no matter what the age and we have helped create a few new ones. We have even been asked to connect guests via Facebook after they have met at a Warner hotel.

We enjoy providing a sociable atmosphere, welcoming guests whether they’re coming with friends, a loved one or alone. Where else do the over 50s go to dance, laugh, celebrate, have fun and meet new and old friends?

So, what’s the most romantic location for a hotel getaway? A country escape (38 per cent), seafront spot (22 per cent) and city break (18 per cent) top the chart for the UK’s over-50s.Warner Leisure Hotels specialises in UK short activity breaks just for grown-ups. The regional chain of 13 hotels hosts accommodation ranging from listed manor houses to coastal resorts and villages, find out more at