I sometimes forget that the whole world is not tuned into online dating. Television is full of ads for online dating sites promoting love and marriage, as are websites, blogs….they’re everywhere. It seems like we’re all meeting our partners through online dating sites.
NO? I met someone yesterday who has never considered online dating–until now. It’s not the automatic, go-to option for many people over 50 who are looking for a companion, lover, spouse or just a date for Saturday night.
Yet, online dating has a number of compelling reasons for you to give it a try.
- It beats hanging out in bars hoping to bump into that special person.
- There is a degree of anonymity for those who feel a little awkward about the process.
- If your job or lifestyle doesn’t naturally present you with opportunities to meet singles, where do you go?
- There are thousands of eligible partners out there looking for you.
What Will You See on an Online Dating Site?
While the sites may vary slightly, the premise is the same. There are profiles of men and women which can be sorted according to your preferences. You can decide how you want to search, randomly, by distance, age or other specifics. For example, you can set a height limit, chose smoker/non-smoker, specify income, education, political views and more. So, it is possible to search for a 60 year old man between 5’8” and 6’2” with a graduate degree, no pets, a non-smoker with a liberal point of view, who lives within 25 miles of your home.
Some sites let you send your dream date a Wink or a Flirt-which is an indication of interest without any other level of commitment. It’s a way to see if the person is interested. Okcupid has a rating feature; give him 4 stars and Okcupid will send him an email telling him you’re interested. This is a good way to cautiously test the waters without really putting yourself out there.
If you want to move faster, you can send an email. All email is routed through the dating site so your personal email address is not revealed. From there it’s up to you. You can choose to share contact information, do an online chat through the site or simply email back and forth until you’re ready for the next step.
How Do I Know Which Online Dating Site to Choose?
There are a variety of online dating sites catering to different needs. If you’re Jewish there is JDate.com. If you’re looking for naughty pleasures there are sites for that. There are sites which cater exclusively to ‘seniors’, like SeniorPeopleMeet.com and OurTime.com. With a little searching you’ll find sites for widows and widowers, specific ethnicities, belief-centered sites and just about anything else you can imagine.
The most often talked about sites are eHarmony, Match, Okcupid, Chemistry and PlentyofFish. Okcupid and PlentyofFish are free sites–lots of advertising but no restrictions on emailing and chatting with other members. The vast majority of sites will allow you some access for free, but have a monthly charge for contacting people you’re interested in talking to.
Which one you pick will depend on what your primary interest is. Everyone has an opinion and there are many websites dedicated to helping you find an online dating site. DatingDivaSites has lists of niche dating sites, all run through a company called TangoWire. Here’s a link to a review of senior dating sites. You can choose a site that is Senior-specific or use one of the other sites where you will find a range of ages.
The Pros and Cons of Over 50 Online Dating
On a positive note, using an online dating site allows you to move slowly. You can sit on the sidelines and watch without getting involved. When you are ready to interact, or you see someone who appeals to you, you can reach out. Depending on the distance you’re willing to travel, the pool of available partners is much larger than you will find in your day to day life.
The online dating sites for over 50 men and women offer a multitude of choices; you can find a wide variety of personalities, interests and professions to choose from. There are potential partners on the dating sites who want the same things you do. Casual dating, long-term relationships, casual sex, pen pals…all are possible options.
Cautionary Note: most of these dating sites are not monitored. There are no truth police here. And, on some sites there seem to be a growing number of spammers–taking the art of ‘asking’ for your money to a new height. You have to be alert and careful using online dating just as you would in meeting any person for the first time.
Have you tried online dating yet? What are your thoughts on the process? Do you need some help figuring out how to begin? Stay tuned for the next post in the series.