Are you over 60, newly single, and looking to mingle? You may have noticed that the dating world has changed quite a bit over the last few decades.
Gone are the days of meeting through friends or marrying your high school sweetheart. Making connections at work happy hour or the church social are things of the past.
These days, people meet online. And in a world where we bank, shop, and set appointments from our computers, doesn’t that just make sense?
While online dating may sound daunting, it’s a total game-changer. Finding love online puts all the power in your hands, allowing you to “browse” the options before making any decisions.
And if thousands of other adults aged 60+ are doing it, why can’t you? All you need is an open mind, the ability to navigate some very basic technology, and a positive attitude!
Ready to jump in? Here’s what you need to know:
Choose the Right Dating Site
With so many dating sites out there, you may not know which one to choose. Our tip? Vet a few (specifically targeted at seniors) before you choose one or two to join.
Most sites will offer a free trial before they make you officially sign up. During that time, you can browse members to see if they seem like your type, note if they seem to be active, and (depending on the site) even message a few people.
Not sure where to start? According to Mashable, the top eight senior dating sites are:
• Senior FriendFinder
When it comes to the internet, people tend to only post the very best things about themselves: The most attractive photos, the wittiest quotes, the happiest announcements.
But that’s not real life.
If you’re hoping to start a quality relationship with someone new, it’s best to start off on the right (honest) foot.
Post current photographs that show what you look like now (not when you were 20 pounds lighter or 10 years younger). Share your actual interests (not made-up hobbies that you think will make you look interesting). And, most of all, be honest about what you want (whether that’s a long-term committed relationship, or a casual fling).
The over-60 dating pool keeps growing larger and larger as people live longer, healthier lives – but it’s still fairly limited.
If you go onto a dating site with very specific requirements (i.e. has a good pension, owns a home, and still has all his own hair), you may end up sorely disappointed.
Of course, you want to be attracted to the person you end up dating. But keep in mind, if you are dating someone in your own age range, there is likely to be evidence of that age. Don’t let a few (or a lot) of gray hairs turn you off!
Start a Conversation
Some people have a hard time starting a conversation in real life. The internet can be even worse – especially for a generation that didn’t grow up around technology.
Take the time to read other people’s profiles and pick up on their interests and desires. Likewise, make sure your bio has enough information about you to prompt others to ask questions or start a conversation.
Once you get the ball rolling, keep the message exchange moving until you can have a real, honest-to-goodness conversation.
Set a Date
Of course, the ultimate end goal of online dating is usually to meet someone in real life.
Once you’ve exchanged several emails or phone call and have determined that you find someone interesting, it’s time to grab a coffee.
Experts recommend having your first face-to-face in a neutral, public place. Tell a relative or friend where you are going to be and who you are meeting and choose a casual activity like breakfast or lunch.
After the date, make sure to follow up (email or text is fine) and don’t be worried if you didn’t feel any chemistry – there are other fish in the sea!
Keep browsing, make more connections, and enjoy the ride!