Attention to those over 50 – If you’re tired of going to the movies by yourself, or you’ve given up on meeting the “perfect companion” in the produce aisle, it may be time to take the plunge into online dating.
Online dating has actually turned out to be a great option for finding companionship after 50. Some studies say ten percent of all online daters are baby boomers, and according to eHarmony, 20 percent of people in new, “committed relationships” began that relationship online.
Online dating has been around for nearly 20 years at this point, and new sites have emerged to focus on helping baby boomers find companionship or love. You probably know someone who is actively dating people he or she meets online, and you probably also know people who are happily married to an online match.
Tips for Finding Companionship Online
Pick the dating site that is right for you. Like any business, dating sites market their services based on a specific niche. Some, like eHarmony.com, attract people who want to get married. ChristianMingle.com is, obviously, for those looking for other Christians. Tinder.com appeals to people who are looking for “casual romance,” or as the kids call it, “a hook-up.” There are others, including OurTime.com, for baby boomers, PlentyOFish.com, and EliteSingles.com. Do your research and know what type of individual the site attracts before you choose where you want to be.
Set Realistic Expectations
In the best of circumstances you’ll meet your soul mate, but more realistically, you’ll have the opportunity to communicate online with other baby boomers and you may find the occasional person you want to meet in “real life.” You get out of it what you put in, so be prepared to spend time and to do more than just “look” online. You’ll have to actually contact people – and respond — if you want to get to that “real date” stage.
Put Some Thought Into Your Profile
Every dating site requires a profile, with categories and checkboxes that work with the site’s matching algorithms, and short answers you provide to highlight your personality. Be honest. Don’t say things just because you think it will get you a date. Don’t claim you love to golf if you really hate it, and don’t say you love the theatre if you don’t.
Get a Friend Involved
As baby boomers and empty nesters, we don’t always grasp new technology easily, and it can be difficult to recognize or verbalize our best assets. Get a friend involved to help with the technology and your profile. He or she can tell you what they like best about you: your sense of humor, your loyalty, your willingness to try new things.
Be Open to New Friendships
Good friends are hard to find, especially as we get older. Baby boomers, in particular, use online dating sites to make friends and find companions. If that’s what you’re most interested in, be honest about it. You’ll likely find you’re not the only baby boomer who isn’t online for love.
Keep in mind that these people online are real people, and like you, they are looking for someone to spend time with. Be kind in your interactions. No one likes rejection. Consider the other person’s feelings, and if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
This goes without saying, but no article about online dating should end without reminding readers to be safe. This is common sense: never invite a stranger to your home. Always meet in a public place. Drive yourself, and tell a friend or family member where you are going.
Share your most interesting online dating experiences in the comments below.
Guest Contributor: Connie Holubar