Dating After 50: How to Find a Partner While Staying Safe Online
Many women over 50 have been divorced, experienced the death of a partner, or never been married. So, it’s no surprise then that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 40% of Americans over age 45 are single. If you find yourself navigating the dating world for the first time in decades, it’s natural to feel a bit nervous. Fortunately, with attitudes about dating changing, and online dating technologies improving, there has never been a better time to get back into the game. As you explore, please be careful to put your safety (both physical and emotional) above all else. When it comes to dating after 50, it helps to know the “rules of the game” before you start to play. So, here are a few tips to get you started.
Online Dating – Not Just a Young Person’s Game Anymore
Online dating is often thought of as a young person’s game, but the fastest growing age group in online dating is people over age 50. American lifestyle guru and TV personality Martha Stewart (age 71) recently made headlines for signing up for online dating site Match.com.
I’ve personally been happy with the approach that online dating site How About We takes. It encourages people to offer creative ‘first date ideas’ that might be of interest to another member. So for example, a man might say, “How about we go to the farmers market together?” or “How about we visit the botanical gardens?” You agree and arrange to meet up for a specific fun activity together.
Online dating can be a good way to expand your pool of potential dates, and makes it easier to find people who are definitely available and interested to meet women like you. Here are a few tips for how to have a good time and stay safe with online dating.
Be Honest and Open
On your online dating profile, talk about what you love in life, what your passions are, and what you have to offer as a partner. Be positive and upbeat. If you’re having trouble “selling yourself,” ask your friends for advice – what do they love about you? Which aspects of your personality are most memorable?
But Don’t Reveal Too Much
You don’t need to give out your full name and contact details – most of the online dating sites have good privacy protections so you don’t have to reveal everything to everyone on the Internet.
Talk on the Phone First
If you find someone that seems interesting and you’d like to meet in person, take time to talk by phone first. That way you can find out if you have a good mental connection with them, aside from their typing skills. Take your time. There is no reason to rush to meet someone in person. If they are worth it, they will be patient.
Google Your Dates
Before you meet a man in person, get his full name and Google him. Make sure there are no red flags – court cases, domestic violence allegations, or complaints from other women who have dated him before. Most people are honest and trustworthy, but it doesn’t hurt to be diligent and do your research.
Meet in Public First
For a first date with someone you meet online, be sure to meet in a public location like a coffee shop or a park. If you feel uncomfortable with him, you can walk away. Or, on a milder note, if you just feel that the chemistry isn’t there, you can end the date on a gracious note without any pressure to go farther than an initial meeting. Again, How About We’s approach is great because even if you don’t click with your date, you are doing something you enjoy yourself!
Live a Full Life
It’s a bit of a paradox, but it’s true: men tend to be most attracted to women who seem happiest being single – who have a rich, happy, active life of their own. Online dating can be fun, but we don’t have to rely on technology to solve all of our problems for us.
Staying active, having hobbies, volunteering, exploring new interests, making new friends, and being generous with your time and talents generally are some of the best things that you can do to improve your life overall. And during the time you spend building a happier life as a single woman, you may just find someone who is perfect for you.
What have you learned from the process of dating after 50? What advice would you offer to other women who are interested in finding a companion in life? Please join the conversation.
Want specific, actionable advice on dating after 50? Watch my interview with dating expert, Lisa Copeland. I promise that some of her advice will surprise you!