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The Man's Guide to Dating After 50

8 things to know if you want to get back in the game

En español │After 20 years, you're single again and, heaven help you, on the brink of dating. Uh-oh! How should you begin? Maybe call that old high school flame? Approach that work colleague you always thought was kinda cute? Sign up for an online dating site? And once you do score a date, what should you expect in terms of s-e-x?

Men Dating After 50

— Brooke Pennington/Getty Images

These eight insights will make it all easier.

1. Some things don't change. It's always been challenging to meet women. Even with dozens of dating sites, it still is. Use the classic dating strategies: introductions through friends, blind dates, meeting through activities (work, recreation, religious, etc.), and plain old serendipity. Tell everyone you know that you're interested in dating. Ask to be fixed up. Get involved in activities you enjoy. Through them, you'll probably meet women who also enjoy them, women who might become friends — and eventually, maybe more.

2.  The numbers are on your side. It's not "two girls for every boy," like the Beach Boys sang, but demographics trend that way. First, the bad news: Men die younger than women. The good news: As the decades pass, women increasingly outnumber men, which subtly works in your favor. For every 1,000 births, by age 50, women outnumber men 954 to 920, according to a 2009 U.S. statistical report.  At 65, it's 871 to 791. So the odds are in men's favor — and women know it. That's one reason why Betty and Veronica no longer sit by the phone waiting for Archie to call. If a woman is interested in you, she'll probably initiate contact.

3. Google yourself. Women will, so you better know what they'll find. Try to correct misinformation, or at least be prepared to prove that you're not the escaped serial killer who shares your name. And while you're at it, make sure your Facebook page won't raise eyebrows.

4. Dating sites have advantages. One is that you cast a wide net. Tip: Upload smiling photos. Photos increase men's response rate 40 percent — for women, photos triple it! Another is that profiles provide good icebreakers. Beyond saying, "You're really cute and you live near me," you can add that like the woman you're contacting, you also play tennis and enjoy jazz.

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