Dating is not exactly a brave new world for women over 50, but it certainly looks different from a few decades ago. Navigating the 21st-century dating scene can be confusing and intimidating for anyone. Here’s how to combat uncertainties you may be feeling as you embark on this new chapter of life:
1. Take your time.
Yes, that’s advice that transcends time and age group … but you should pay close attention to your pace. Advancing technology has quickened the speed of communication, and relationships can now progress with blinding swiftness. While the desire to move quickly is understandable, there are risks to moving too fast. You and your potential partner have stories to share, layers of personality to explore, and entrenched habits and opinions that may require some finessing. Remember, you’re seeking a significant other, not just an other!
2. Let go (of some) of your deal breakers.
Over the years we all develop high standards – and that’s okay. Whether through the lessons of past relationships or long-festering pet peeves, everyone has a constantly expanding list of deal breakers.
But if your standards are reaching Mt. Everest heights and beginning to lack for oxygen, you’ve got a problem. Don’t let your deal breakers stop you from experiencing something (or someone) new. Save your must-haves, but don’t be afraid to trim down the list. An open mind could be the spark that lights a fire you’d otherwise miss.
3. Stay strong.
Dating is not easy and it requires persistence. That’s true at all ages. But with the advances of digital communication and online dating, the pool of potential love interests is larger than ever. Don’t let a few misfires get you down. Stay confident, stay committed, and move on to the next adventure!
4. Find the right dating site.
Not all dating sites are suited to the needs of the 50+ demographic. Be sure to spend some time researching which sites are recommended for older singles. Here are a few that have a good track record:
5. Don’t stuff your online profile with boring clichés.
You may find it difficult to show your true personality online, but a dating profile full of clichés is not an ideal first impression (even if you really do like sunset walks on the beach). You want to grab attention and stand out, not gloss over eyes with tired, overused phrases. This is your story, and it’s wholly unique. So don’t be afraid to show it.
6. Beware of scammers.
Sadly, many scammers use dating sites to take advantage of seniors who are less experienced with spotting trouble on the digital horizon. That’s not to say you should live in constant fear and paranoia, but it’s important to always keep an eye out for these red flags:
• Falling head over heels too quickly. Scammers prey on vulnerability, and attempt to draw out this vulnerability through a fast pace of blossoming romance. Be wary of those who are a bit too eager to take things to the next level.
• Asking for personal information. Things are bound to get personal on a dating site, but not this personal. Don’t pass on banking or financial information or let on about the value of your assets. Especially if you’ve never met in person.
• Asking for money. According to the Better Business Bureau, more and more seniors are falling victim to money scams on dating sites. If your current online fling is “stationed abroad” and has run into sudden “financial trouble,” run the other way. Another favorite scam is the need for emergency funds to get home while he’s stranded traveling.
7. Plan your first date in a safe public place.
A sound piece of advice whether you met online or in person — and an effective barometer for his own standards of etiquette! Whether at a coffee shop or restaurant, be sure to meet at an open, well-populated location. If your date balks at the request, it’s a pretty good indicator that he or she may be a less-than-legitimate member of the senior dating community — and certainly not worth your time either way.
8. Shake things up in the looks department.
Sharpening your dating skills after years — maybe decades — since your last dinner-and-a-movie is no easy task. It can be uncomfortable to come out from the quiet, peaceful shell you’ve developed throughout your life. Whether you try out a new wardrobe, brave a contemporary hairstyle (including appreciating your gray) or just accessorize with a colorful scarf or stylish wig, a new look is a great way to shock your system into action.
9. Get fit.
Nothing boosts your confidence and your energy like getting (and staying) in shape. Whether you pick up daily walking, learn healthy cooking techniques, or sign up for yoga classes, invest in your mind and body. There are dozens of easy-to-use fitness apps and devices that will keep you on track. No matter the outcome of your romantic life, there’s no downside to healthy living.
Over 55 Internet Dating – 10 Tips to Help