Online dating sites for seniors is one of the fastest growing market segments. This means that there are more and more seniors like you, looking for companionship at a later stage in life.
Although online dating is quite different from dating back then, it is not as alien as you might think. It can be a fun and exciting experience that leads you to new friends and possibly even romance.
If this sounds appealing to you, then continue reading. We will cover everything you need to know about online dating and finding love as a senior.
Where Can Seniors Meet New People?
Although online dating is becoming more popular, it is not the only way to meet new people. There are plenty of alternatives for finding companionship at an older age.
At Neighborhood and Group Activities
Most communities organize activities specifically for seniors. Look out for activities organized by your local community center, a retirement home and other local organizations.
Sometimes these events and activities are not specifically for seniors but the whole neighborhood is invited. That includes you and other seniors so you never know who you might meet.
In the Park
A lovely stroll in a nearby park is a great way to keep your body moving and enjoy nature. You are not the only one taking a walk in the park, though.
If you visit the same park often enough, you may start to recognize a few faces. Say hello to them and engage in conversation while sitting on a park bench - it might lead to many more conversations.
At a Coffee Shop or Eatery
Most neighborhoods have cozy coffee shop or eatery nearby. If you like to go to these places, choose a spot where you can strike up a conversation more easily.
For example, sit at the bar or counter or at a shared table. You can also talk to fellow seniors waiting in the same line to make a coffee order.
At a Club
Think of your hobbies and find out whether there is a club nearby. Perhaps there is a group of musicians that like to jam together, or a walking group or a painting class.
Joining these clubs is a great way to meet like-minded people. The advantage of meeting a date through these clubs is that you already have a shared interest to talk about.
What is Online Dating?
Meeting someone in real life is the best way to find out whether there is a click. However, it sometimes takes looking beyond your direct surroundings to find romance.
That is what online dating is for. It brings together people from all walks of life that are interested in finding love, in whatever form that may come.
Online dating is joining a dating app or dating website and actively searching for people to date. It involves creating a personal profile and looking for other profiles that match with you.
When you find someone interesting or if someone found your profile and is interested in you, you can start messaging with each other. How exactly the messaging works depends on the specific app or website but it is usually through email or an instant messaging feature on the platform itself.
Communicating online first has many advantages for seniors interested in dating.
Advantages of Online Dating for Seniors
- With the right precautions it is safer than a blind date
- Possibility to talk to a large number of people
- Chance to meet other seniors interested in dating
- Option to only talk to people with an interesting profile
- Way to meet people living nearby but in different social circles
- Online communication can feel like less pressure
- No need for an in-person date unless both parties are truly interested
- Online dating can act as a simpler transition to dating after losing a loved one
- Many seniors on online dating sites are also interested in friendship
- Profiles let you know exactly what kind of relationship the person is looking for
- Many online dating companies organize real life events for social mingling
How to Start Online Dating if You are a Senior
There is a good chance that you are not the first person in your group of family and friends that have tried online dating. Even if your senior buddies have not tried it, someone from the younger generation like your children or nieces and nephews may have.
Ask them what online dating is like and whether they recommend it to others. They can also share with you which dating sites or mobile apps they have had good experiences with.
It is a good idea to have someone help you, especially if it is your first time trying online dating. They can show you how to get through the first steps and give some tips on how to get the most out of the experience.
Here are some tips on the most important steps in setting up an online dating account.
1. Ask Friends About Their Experiences
Every online dating platform works slightly different but in most cases the paid options are more trustworthy. There is no need to spend a lot of money trying each one out when you can go on the recommendations of friends that have already tried them.
2. Start with a Trial to Test the Waters
Join an online dating platform that offers a free trial period (we recommend SilverSingles). Even if your friends recommend it, you might have a different experience yourself.
Online dating site pricing can be a little tricky. Most let you create an account for free but then communicating with other members requires a paid upgrade.
It is okay to set up a free account at first just to get a feel for the website. You can always upgrade when you feel ready to start chatting with other members.
3. Take Your Time with Your Profile
Your online dating profile is the key to attracting the right type of people so take your time in filling it out. Some dating sites ask for more detailed profiles than others but we recommend filling out each field.
This is your introduction to other senior singles. You want to show what kind of person you are but also what you are looking for - always be honest.
4. Put Time into Your Pictures
Dating profiles require at least a profile photo but most also let you upload other photos as an online album. The profile photo is non-negotiable but we also recommend adding extra photos to show more of your personality.
Consider adding photos of your favorite vacations, a hobby, a job or you and your pet. Profiles with more photos often get more interaction.
5. Be Honest
Everybody tries to set themselves up in the best light on dating profiles but it is never okay to make yourself appear as something that you are not. Be honest when you are creating your dating profile so that you don’t get yourself into a situation that is hard to come back from.
Just think about how disappointed you would be if you finally met someone in person and they were nothing like their profile said. It is poor start to dating.
6. Don't Include Sensitive Information
It is always important to stay safe when you are online. Unfortunately, there is a chance of scammers on online dating sites or people making use of sensitive information.
Never share your physical address, your phone number, your email address or financial information on your profile. Most dating apps and platforms don’t even allow it.
7. Choose Matches Carefully
In online dating, it is completely acceptable to communicate with several people at the same time. After all, it is a platform to get to know someone before embarking on an actual date.
However, this is not a reason to randomly start conversations with every single profile you see. Pick out the profiles that really speak to you so that your online conversations can be more genuine.
8. Have a Friend Check Your Profile
It is always good to have a second opinion. After completing all the fields in your dating profile, ask a friend to check it for you and evaluate how likely they would choose your profile.
Red Flags to be Aware of
Anybody that has tried online dating will have probably told you about red flags. These are signs that there is something fishy going on and you should not trust the person. In such cases, it is best to break off the communication.
Examples of red flags include:
- Incomplete profiles without photos
- Blurry photos or angles that make it difficult to see the person
- Photos that don’t match up
- Lots of spelling and grammar mistakes
- Too eager to communicate offline
- Asking about your financial situation
- Asking for financial support
- Sending unwanted offensive photos
- Not wanting to meet in person even after several weeks
- Claiming to live abroad
- Suggesting marriage very quickly
- Profile of someone much younger on a senior dating site
- Photos or profile that seems too good to be true
- Changing their story, story that doesn’t make sense
- Asking for photos or a video call without showing themselves
How to Start a Conversation Online
Once your profile is complete, you can begin searching for interesting profiles and strike up a conversation. How to start a conversation is one of the most asked questions about online dating, regardless of age.
The thing is that there is no rulebook. What works for you might not work for someone else and vice versa. However, there are a few general tips that may help.
1. Comment on Something Specific to Their Profile
There is a reason why you are messaging them. What is it about their profile that caught your eye? Start the conversation with that.
2. Pay a Compliment!
Say something nice about them. It can be something as simple as ‘I like your profile photo’ or ‘Your bio is quite funny’.
3. Ask a Question
Give them something to continue the conversation with. Ask them a question about something on their profile for example, ‘how long have you been playing that instrument?’ or ‘I saw you enjoy reading. What book that you recently read would you recommend?’
How to Plan the First Date
Met someone interesting online and have you been having great online conversations for a while? Congratulations! Now it is time to plan for an actual date.
Here are our tips on how to plan a fun but safe first date.
Plan a Daytime Activity
You might not want to be out late at night, meeting someone you have never met before. That is why a daytime activity is the better first date choice.
This could be having tea at a local tea house or meeting for lunch. If the date goes well you could always extend it with a walk in the park, for example.
Meet Somewhere Public
Remember that you never met them before so you want to be around other people when you first meet them. Don’t agree to meeting at your home, meet at the date spot.
Make sure you know the area and know how to get home by yourself. Or even better, have a friend or relative pick you up after the date.
Don’t Share Contact Information Until After the Date
One of the advantages of online dating is that you get to keep your personal life private. It is recommended to not share personal contact information until the end of the date, when you have a good feel for the person.
To make sure that you can find each other, agree on the date spot and time via the dating site and choose a specific piece of clothing you’ll both be wearing.
Being a senior doesn’t mean that you can no longer date. In fact, there are hordes of seniors finding friendship, companionship and love via online dating sites. Why don’t you give it a try?