iStock_000087931385_XXXLarge.jpgWhile many seniors are happily single, others are looking for love by entering the world of online dating.

Online dating presents a number of amazing opportunities to connect with like-minded people and potential romantic partners. Although some seniors may be intimidated by the idea of online dating, the reality is that it’s very easy get started. In fact, many people who have tried online dating can’t imagine doing it any other way!

Ready to get started? Read our online dating tips for seniors to learn about how to enter (or re-enter) the dating scene:

How to Get Started

The thing older adults must realize is that online dating is all about taking that first step. Once you begin, you can start to figure out what you like and don’t like. We recommend starting by…

  • Talk to friends who have utilized online dating to get advice (including which service to use)
  • Do research about different online dating sites.
  • Set up your online profile and answer questions
  • Get help with your profile from friends and family members if desired
  • Consider a trial program with an online dating site before committing to the cost
  • Review profiles and reaching out to those who you may be interested in

How to Write the Dating Site Profile

Now that you’ve tested the waters of senior online dating, time to dive in and start building your online profile. We recommend you do the following:

  • Have your profile tell a story as if you were talking to a friend
  • Think about the type of person you want to respond 
  • Don’t use too many words. Try to keep it succinct and to the point
  • Don’t list what you like to do but list your passions
  • Have a friend proofread your profile and use spellcheck
  • Review your profile with friends to see if you are projecting your true self

How to Take a Profile Picture

Arguably the most important part of the dating profile is the picture. It’s what a potential partner will see before deciding if they want to click on your profile and learn more. While this may make it seem like you need to take the perfect profile picture, the truth is it’s very simple to snap a photo that gets attention. We recommend the following:

  • Don’t use a selfie. Instead, try to have someone else take your picture. And don’t forget to smile
  • Look Natural and Age Appropriate. For instance, while it might seem like a good idea, resist the urge to use a camera filter that removes your wrinkles
  • Don’t have anyone else in your profile picture. Maybe this seems obvious, but surprisingly many seniors violate this online dating rule

Next Steps

Our next batch of advice for seniors interested in online dating considers what happens once you’ve found a potential match. This is where things get really fun and you start to explore how compatible you are with your online matches. We recommend….

  • Be yourself when responding to interested individuals
  • Ask your matches about their hobbies and their reasons for wanting to meet you
  • Write a genuine and honest response to all messages
  • Ask friends’ advice before responding to messages
  • Trust your instinct and not settling if you feel like someone isn’t a good match
  • Be realistic about expectations
  • Don’t give up if you don’t find someone right away
  • Talk to individuals on the phone and having numerous conversations before meeting
  • Don’t give out too much personal information on phone call. At least not until you feel comfortable doing so
  • Don’t be discouraged if the other person doesn’t schedule a date on first call

The Actual Date

Now that you’ve put in the work, followed our senior online dating tips, and did your research, you’re ready for the date. Understandably, you may be a bit nervous. Here’s our advice for how to have the most fun and rewarding dating experience possible:

  • Agree on a place to meet
  • Let a friend know where you are having your date
  • Go by yourself to meet your date
  • Acknowledge that dating is difficult and will often contribute to anxiety
  • Remember to have fun!

 Online dating is one way to meet new people. And while this article focuses on online dating tips for seniors, obviously there are many different ways to meet others. For example, seniors who move to independent living retirement communities are exposed to many new opportunities to meet people their age and pursue romantic, as well as platonic relationships.

Dating is both exciting and challenging for seniors. But it is important to not give up. And remember to continue to socialize with your friends and family and not put all of your efforts into dating. Most important of all is to give yourself credit for undertaking this new chapter in your life.

We at the Abramson Center pride ourselves on more than 150 years of care and research on senior health and well-being.