The world of dating today is nothing like it used to be. The internet has invaded every inch of society, and the romance department is no exception. Now, teens and youths may mock older generations when it comes to their technological abilities, but that’s not to say they’re correct. Nor does that mean you can’t give it a good old go.
So how can you get started with online dating when you’re over fifty? Here are my top seven tips to help you jump into the electronic universe, find yourself some company and maybe discover a little of yourself along the way.
Tip #1: Take Your Time
Regardless of your age and experience in relationships, it can still take time to feel entirely comfortable in the company of a new person. It’s perfectly acceptable to wait for the right connection with a person, rather than push something that won’t work.
In much the same vein, don’t feel pressured into meeting someone in person straight away. Jumping straight back into dating can be daunting, and getting to know the person first can help you to feel more confident when you do decide to meet.
Tip #2: Don’t Limit Yourself
In the past, you may have had a ‘type,’ but that doesn’t mean you should stick to it. Expand your age limits to include younger and older than you once would have. Granted, the idea of dating someone twenty years younger in your late thirties may have felt somewhat promiscuous, but it is fair to say there might be little difference between a mature thirty-eight-year-old and a fun-loving fifty-eight-year-old.
Dating now is not the formal affair it was ‘back in the day’ so you needn’t worry about digging up your Sunday best just to grab a coffee in the local gaff. However, there are dating sites aimed specifically at an older audience if you don’t want your profile floating around in a sea of twenty-somethings.
Tip #3: Know Your Needs
Just because you’re no longer twenty-two doesn’t mean you should settle for any relationship thrown your way. You’re entitled to want to keep looking for the right person with the right passion. Similarly, don’t force yourself to fake interest in things. It’s always a great idea to try something new. But if you don’t like something, making yourself do it for the sake of a partner one or the both of you are going to be miserable.
Keep hold of your standards; they’re there for a reason! Age does not excuse manners or morals. If someone suggests you’re perhaps not the most attractive person they’ve spoken too, or if they belittle parts or your life – as the kids say these days: ‘sack them off’.
Tip #4: You’re Sexy and You Know It
Do not be ashamed of or try to hide your age. You are the youngest you’re ever going to be and as wise as you ever have been right now. What could be more perfect than that? Use images on your online profile that reflect what you look like now and avoid the ‘insta-filters’ because you don’t need them. Have confidence in yourself, ask someone out – even if you haven’t before. Ask them out again if you have a great time the first time and don’t adhere to the ‘three-day rule’ because that’s not really a thing.
Don’t feel like you need to stay inside the ‘gender norms’. When it comes to paying for a date ‘go Dutch’ and split the bill if that makes you feel good. When you’re chatting to prospective dates online, don’t try to come across young and ‘hip’ because aside from anything else, millennial words and phrases are ‘hella’ annoying. See what I did there?
Tip #5: Take It or Leave It
You do not have to meet someone in person if you don’t click. A polite ‘I’m sorry, I just don’t think we are a good fit’ is a fine thing to say to someone. You also do not have to enter exclusively serious relationships. Just because you’re no longer thirty does not mean you’re no longer flirty!
You can go on easy dates that aren’t going to lead to anything intense just to have a good time. That’s totally okay. It is also okay to want something serious. Many people are tying the knot or having children a lot later in life. Just don’t let that stop you from enjoying a couple of casual flings along the way.
Tip #6: Stay Safe
It may seem a little psycho but do a simple Google search of your potential date’s name before you agree to meet them. I’m not saying hire a PI or pay for a full criminal background check, but if you Google their name and they’re in the news with links to several crimes, perhaps you should give them a miss. All being well, no murder charges found, have your first few dates in public places. Tell someone where you’ll be and when. Knowing that you’re surrounded by people, and you have friends and family aware of your whereabouts, can be a huge confidence boost from the get-go.
Now, it may be well known that our gut health can deteriorate with age, but our gut never loses its power to feel, so trust your gut instincts. When you get a bad vibe from a date, you’re not obligated to go on another one with them. No one interested in dating you needs to know anything about your finances or medical history. If someone starts poking around those private files, see the red flag and send them politely packing.
Tip #7: Online Dating Is for Everyone
This is true. A common misconception is that online dating is a minefield of young people swiping left or right. No. There are so many online dating sites out there that cater to the needs of older singletons too. Online dating can allow you to rediscover that tingly butterfly feeling that you used to get in high school. The constant checking of your inbox to see if they’ve replied or not and the giddy feeling when you’re going on a date can all be rekindled.
So, there you have it: seven tips to help you get started with online dating. Go ahead, check out some sites, snap some selfies and most of all, enjoy yourself! Life is too short not to.