HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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Take your time meeting someone, but don’t wait too long because you want to ensure the other person is actually serious about getting together. Tinder says you’ll save a lot of time, energy and emotional investment by meeting as soon as possible. Reveal information about yourself slowly but surely. Online and during the first few dates, the person is still a stranger, so don’t reveal your home address or workplace right away. Always meet in public places while it is still daylight and tell a trusted friend or family member about your plans.


Don’t give up! There is sure to be someone out there who is sincere and looking for the same things you are in a relationship. Remember it may take many dates to find the perfect match. It’s about learning from your experiences, getting to know new people and exploring in your community. When you go about online dating the right way it can be safe and fun – and it could lead to long-term romance.


RESOURCES


With the help of the Internet, seniors can find matches from the comfort of their own homes. The trend of online dating spans across all age groups. It can be a successful venture as long as both people are open-minded, confident and willing to try new things together. The most important dating component for seniors is mindset. SilverSingles.com says being positive is one of the most important traits to have when dating as an older person.


Online dating is great for people who know what they want. The more you can narrow down what you’re looking for in a partner, the easier it is to find the right person for you. Seniors generally are mature and have plenty of life experience, as well as hobbies and family. This means they have a lot to bring to a relationship.


If you’re wondering where to begin, consider whether you’re looking for a free service or if you’re willing to pay for dating leads. The main advantage to paying is the Web sites verify people’s identities and look out for your safety as best they can. Free sites may attract people who are not going to take dating as seriously as you may hope.


Appearance matters because this is the first thing someone notices about you. When you take your photo to use on a dating Web site, SilverSingles.com suggests you show your face and make sure not to wear sunglasses or a hat. Choose a solo photo instead of a group

ONLINE DATING FOR SENIORS

shot and don’t upload a photo that’s more than two years old. Have a friend take pictures of you when you’re out and about. Be truthful with the information you share. EHarmony.com recommends not being vague. Fill your profile with details that reflect you as an individual. If you write something like, “I enjoy spending time with friends and family” or “I like to have fun,” you’re going to blend in with everyone else. Dare to be different. Get creative.


Some Web sites such as EliteSingles.com give comprehensive personality tests that ask questions based on the Five Factor Model developed by Robert McCrae and Paul Costa. This test will calculate your levels of neuroticism, agreeableness, extra- version, conscientiousness and openness. The developers say using personality tests helps create matches where the people both complement and enhance each another.


When you make a move (it doesn’t matter if the man or the woman makes the first move), comment on something other than the person’s looks. Say something about what the person wrote in their profile that caught your attention. Tinder found people who are proactive and send the first message are often more satisfied with their online dating experience.

JAMIE LOBER





Jamie Lober is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine