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Posted on July 15, 2020 by Christine Crosby in 

5 Dos and 5 Don’ts When Dating Online as a Senior

5 Dos and 5 Don’ts When Dating Online as a Senior

As a young person, the dating world can be full of nervousness, trepidation, and awkwardness. But guess what? When you get older, it does not get any easier; in fact, it probably gets worse.

One issue that tends to pose a problem is technology, or, more aptly, the fact people are more likely to interact through virtual means. We tend to patronize older people when it comes to using technology, and, indeed, that’s not the issue. Instead, it’s the seismic change in how you interact, the etiquette you use, and the expectations involved.

Below we are going to look at five do’s and five don’ts you should follow when engaging with online dating as a senior.

Do Choose a Specialist Dating Site

While most dating apps will have filters that allow you to search for like-minded people, it’s much better to ‘shop in the right aisle’ from the get-go. Dating sites over 50 are on the rise, and there is a wealth of different specialist options to suit everyone’s dating style.

Don’t Give Too Much Away About Yourself

A lesson for everyone and not just seniors. It’s important to strike a balance between being friendly and open without giving too much away about yourself in a personal sense. Save that for when you get to know your date in person.

Do Be Patient and Picky

Online dating does not offer a magic wand, and it can take time to meet the right person. There can be a lot of trial and error, but that’s natural. Being patient means realizing that online dating does not involve a limited pool of people; new users will join all the time, and many will re-join. Take your time and don’t settle for second-best.

Don’t Meet in a Bar or Restaurant

It’s almost a reflex to think that having a meal or a few drinks is the best option for that first date. However, the psychology of formal dining can weigh upon us in a restaurant, and bars can be too rowdy a location for breaking the ice. Opt for a coffee first, and then branch out on the second date.

Do Be Clear About Your Relationship Goals

It’s okay to sign up for a dating site without knowing exactly what you are looking for in a relationship, but you certainly shouldn’t state what you don’t want. Be as clear as possible, so that there are no issues with miscommunication further down the line.

Don’t Present Yourself As Something You Are Not

We all have that photo of ourselves looking particularly fantastic. The only issue, of course, is that it was taken back in 1987. There is nothing wrong with choosing a flattering photo; in fact, it’s encouraged. But make sure it is a reasonably accurate reflection of how you look.

Do Keep An Open Mind

Many of us will have an idealized concept of the person with whom we enter a relationship, and we did say earlier that you should be patient and picky. However, that does not mean you shouldn’t keep an open mind about the type of person you date. With life-experience comes baggage, but it can be rewarding to get out of your comfort zone. Take a chance on someone who doesn’t fit your typical criteria.

Don’t Worry About Perceived Stigma

One concern that keeps cropping up with older people is that some believe, wrongly, that online dating smacks of desperation. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The world has changed, and virtual connections are just as valid as real-world ones regardless if you are an 18-year-old or an 80-year-old.

Do Let Someone Else Know Your Plans

No matter your age, it’s always best to be cautious when meeting someone for the first time. Agree that your date takes place in a public place, and always let a friend know where you are going. You should also make sure your phone is fully charged. It might sound drastic, but it’s the smart thing to do.

And Finally, Don’t Get Discouraged

Dating can be hard. And while online dating sites have facilitated better ways to connect for seniors, it can still be difficult. But you should not get discouraged with a trial and error approach. In fact, it takes a bit of practice – just like dating in the real world.

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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