American dating sites are visited by more women and men over 55 than any other age group, reports the New York Times. Visits are up 39% in the last three years. Boomer interest has caused the birth of niche sites as well as growth in the large sites. (A list of names is provided at the end of the article.) Why has this happened? It’s because 37% of people over 50 are unmarried – and increasingly comfortable with the internet.
They’re embracing their time of life and want to share it with a good companion who has similar interests. The dating sites give them a much larger choice of people than they meet in their daily lives. After 50, they often more discerning about the qualities they’re looking for. They’ve learned from past experiences.
Helpful Tips to Be Successful:
1. A really good photograph is invaluable – the best lighting, hair styling, and flattering clothing. It’s probably not the squinty snapshot in the back yard. Most women agree – guys put up some strange photos. (Is that woman with you your daughter or your girlfriend?) Best to diplomatically ask if you’re wondering. Try not to use a photo more than 3 years old.
2. A professional photographer and a make-up artist can be very worthwhile for women. But beware of overdoing Photoshop improvements. You want to avoid surprises when you meet.
3. Almost everybody lies a little about their weight or their age or both – 3-5 years and 5-15 pounds. More than that can be a problem.
4. Best to come clean on age on the first or second date if you think the relationship could continue. The weight, they can figure out on their own.
5. Your profile – make it lighthearted, a little clever if you can – not a methodical list of your attributes and experience. It’s not a job resume but rather something to make you sound like you’d be good company.
6. The Usual Routine – On an internet dating site, the first contact is usually a short note or an online wink to see if there is interest. If there is, then it often goes like this A) Several e-mails, B) One or two discussions by phone, C) Meet for coffee or a drink, D) Finally, a real date.
7. Keep security in mind. Meet at a public place for the first couple of dates, until you feel comfortable.
8. You can fairly easily withdraw from contact at any point. In the early stages, you can just disappear. Later on, you can email that you’re going to be really busy or traveling.
9. Be kind. There is no need for bluntness or criticism.
10. Over 55, many people feel comfortable if the guy pays for at least the first few dates, unless the woman invites him somewhere or just prefers to go Dutch.
Now that you’re dating, settle together on the story you want to tell when asked “how did you meet?” Some people are proud of it and some like the “through mutual friends” story. Whatever works for the two of you.
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Long established sites to consider:
The Larger Ones: Match.com and eHarmony.com (sort by age brackets)
Special Demographics – JDate.com, ChristianMingle.com, and BlackSingles.com
Especially for Older People – SilverSingles.com , and OurTime.com
What are your experiences? What sites work best? Give your comments below
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