If you are over 65 and you have recently become divorced, when time has passed and you begin to feel ready again, the sound of starting over might appeal. If you have a small social circle and you don’t know where to start, online dating may be a good idea. A new study by Pew Research found that a majority of people believe online dating is a great way to meet people. Moreover, around 12% of mature daters reported using an online site at some point in their lives compared with only 6% in 2013. The fast pace of life in urban areas means that it can be difficult to meet new people with shared interests. The Golden Rules of Online Dating will enlighten you on the essentials of finding the perfect date while being honest and optimistic and enjoying the journey towards your new life.
Who can you meet online?
People from all walks of life sign up to dating sites to find the person of their dreams. If you thought you would never find someone who matches your interests, experiences, and abilities, think again! The fact is that ‘grey divorce’ – divorce in over 50s – is more common than ever before so there are many more interesting singles on the market than just a few decades ago. As noted by the Office of National Statistics, “In England and Wales, divorce is in decline – our most recent 10 years of data show a 28% fall in the number of divorces between 2005 and 2015. But older people are bucking the trend. In the same period, the number of men divorcing aged 65 and over went up by 23% and the number of women of the same age divorcing increased by 38%.” There are several reasons why people are getting divorced older. One is that life expectancy has increased considerably; people who turn 50 or 60 realise they have many decades left to enjoy life and wish to do so with someone who is compatible with them. Another important reason is the fact that second or third marriages tend to last shorter. This phenomenon leads to a higher percentage of single seniors.
What about non-age-limited dating sites?
What if you are over 50 but wish to not be defined by age? Some people can feel that limiting themselves to ‘mature dating sites’ can be limiting. After all, who is to say that the love of your life won’t belong to a different age bracket? The good news is that sites like Plenty of Fish have millions of active daily users. You can use an age filter when you are searching for a partner if you choose, making your search as wide or limited as you like. Ultimately, joining a site with a large percentage of active users is key, since it means your experience will be dynamic and that you will be getting messages and Likes/winks from day one.
What sites should you try?
Mature Dating UK is aimed at singles over 40 and 50. It does have a charge (ranging from a free three-day trial to £11.99 for six months?. The site has pretty cool features, including the fact that it allows you to upload many pictures and videos to your profile. You can flirt with users by sending them a ‘wink’, chat on the online forum, and send each other emails and instant messages. When you sign up, you will be asked to fill out a personality and lifestyle test. This will steer you in the right direction when it comes to finding compatible singles. Another popular site is Dating Over 50s. It encourages mature users to sign up and get to know other people with shared interests or hobbies. The site is free to join but you can also pay a small fee and enjoy membership privileges – such as sending and receiving private messages, chatting online with instant messenger, seeing who has viewed your profile, creating and reading dating diaries, and adding multiple photos to your profile.
How do seniors feel about online dating?
Research carried out by scientists at Swinburne University shows that older adults have taken to online dating like a house on fire. Some of the reasons that make this system so appealing include the difficulty of meeting other available singles in day-to-day life; the ability to find matches that are compatible in terms of interests and locality; and the excitement of meeting various prospective partners. The study showed that unlike younger online daters (who tend to date online for a brief period), seniors like taking it nice and easy, dating people for months before deciding to settle down.
Making the most of online dating
If you don’t find love as quickly as you’d like, stay positive and focus on increasing the size and quality of your network. The great thing about online sites is that they also allow you to meet friends on features such as online chats and forums. This in itself can lead to meetings that can indirectly open your circle and lead you to people who may not actually be members of the online dating site you are using. Some people find love surprisingly quickly; others wish to take it slower. Because your choice of partners is arguably one of the most important things in your life, being certain before making a commitment is key.
How to present yourself?
There is no point in using an old photo or presenting yourself as something you are not. The reality show Catfish shows how deeply painful and disconcerting it can be to be lied to by someone. Because your aim is to find someone that truly loves you, it is important to be honest from day one. List your real interests and hobbies; if you are a homebody, say so instead of trying to impress. You may be surprised to find that there are many people out there who appreciate the things you do – even if your ideal night involves snuggling by the fireplace and catching a great film on TV.
If you have just got divorced, online dating may be a good place to start once you are ready to meet someone new. Think about whether or not you would like to limit your search by age, and pick the appropriate site. Sign up on sites with many active users, and consider any membership fee an investment that will enable you to get to know others at a deeper level before agreeing to meet in person.