Online Dating After 50: Is It Worth It?

Online dating can be pretty scary the older you get and after age 50 is no exception. I want to share with you some of my experiences I went through in the online dating world and how you can discover it is not as daunting as it may seem.

Tip 1: Online Dating Sites Vary

I was raised in a household to believe in the concept of family, hard work and being kind to your fellow man. When it came to dating, that social scene was usually tied in with either going on a blind date from someone who knew the family, a friend of a friend of a friend or online dating sites. As a late bloomer, I didn’t start online dating until well into my 30s. I was curious about how that all worked out and came across a few early sites like LAVALIFE, e-HARMONY and MATCH. While they all had the common thread of providing potential matches based on profile preferences, each site has various options.

Online dating sites will feature a specific feature to target different audiences. When I first started creating a profile, I found that it can be exhausting trying to make your profile attractive and it was very tempting to create a totally different persona than what I was but that was wrong. It was also misleading.

So I viewed other profiles and finally decided it was just best to be honest, sincere and stick to what I liked in hobbies, a little bit about myself as far as background and even a bit about my career. One of the great things about online dating sites is you could also select what age range you are looking for, gender, and even criteria like location (local, regional, overseas).

You also need to be aware that these sites have rules and don’t allow certain kind of photographs that may depict sexually explicit themes, violence or visual content that are not appropriate or in alignment to the site’s privacy policy and guidelines. So be sensible. Select a photo of yourself or an image that you can identify with so that others can view what you’re all about. You can have a fun, catchy title such as MusicLoverofthe80s or something as corny but romantic like JulietSeeksRomeo. But stay light-hearted and don’t take online dating so seriously. The important thing is to have fun, connect with some great like-minded individuals and also learn more about yourself from how others perceive you.

Tip 2: Read profiles carefully!

Keep in mind that creating a list of traits or attributes on the kind of person you may find of interest actually helps you determine which profiles are closer in alignment to your values, likes, hobbies, dislikes, etc. But you can’t just have expectations of the other person. You also need to be honest about who you are and not start creating a fantasy depiction.

It’s important to take a honest, self-assessment of your own profile. The last thing you want to do is exaggerate about your age, for example. Women and men alike are sensitive about their age but I found it more common among women, even those younger than me. Do not be ashamed of your age, especially if you are older. Part of the delight of learning about oneself is to be at ease with your own identity and be confident in the life experiences you have attained throughout the years.

It took me a few decades to become comfortable with who I was, what I looked like, what I could change about myself and what I couldn’t. I had to also learn to be assertive and stand firm on what I valued and what i wouldn’t compromise on no matter how tempting it was to slack off and take the easy road.

Your self-worth and integrity is important and it is important other people see that as well, especially at online dating sites. Your credability and reputation is important. Respecting yourself will clue people in based on what you write in your profile – so be honest! You don’t have to write your life story – you share that over time with those that you want to meet and feel comfortable with, but don’t lie in your profile. Be clear, concise and considerate. Sooner or later, there will be individuals who will seek you out because your profile will reflect what they are seeking in a person.

At the same time, profiles you find of interest should be scrutinized and reviewed carefully! If the profile sounds too good to be true, and maybe the picture of the person doesn’t look their real age, keep that in mind. Also be aware that you will get silly, sleazy and stupid (yes, stupid) replies at times, often people trying to figure out if your worth scamming. I hate these internet vultures. It takes the fun out of the experience for people who genuinely try to seek friends and it happened a lot to me.

Be vigilant and be smart. Do not respond to those who ask for money, or send obvious photo-shop images of exotic looking beauties or hunks wanting you because they think you are the perfect object of desire. Avoid the bullshit, basically – and hit that DELETE button or see if you can BLOCK them. D&B became my favorite buttons while navlgating thru those sites and they can be yours as well, so use them wisely to filter out the fake profiles.

Tip 3: Understand the Law of Attraction

Simply put: you attract what you focus on. One of my favorite book series was “Chicken Soup For The Soul” by Jack Canfield. He also had put out other books about maximizing one’s potential, motivation for success and many others that more or less use that law of attraction.

If you want to attract success, you focus on things that reflect success. You take action to work on a plan for success. You talk to others who have reached the success you want. Everyone’s definition of success is different but it is the same application when wanting a successful dating relationship.

We all want to be loved, found attractive, admired and respected. Online dating sites are just tools to help you achieve your goal in finding the right person, or seeking a fun dating partner or establishing a new friendship. Whatever the motivation is, you want to focus on having an image, a character and a lifestyle that mirrors what you seek in a mate, partner, spouse and best friend.

Having healthy hygiene habits will definitely help. Being well-groomed, sporting a positive attitude, being open to try different things and having a plan for success in every aspect of one’s life will definitely turn heads your way. This falls in alignment with being self-confident, not being afraid to ask for help or be mentored, not compromising your values and self-worth and being around like-minded people who are success-oriented and share similar life philosophies.

Is online dating worth venturing into? Millions of people have done it as well as myself. Many have had successful and meaningful marriages or long-term relationships established.  I had several dating experiences with various men from various backgrounds.Most were engaging, some more fun than others and others…well, let’s just say after one date, I already knew they were not what I was looking for; and of course, I eventually met the man who I would end up marrying for nearly 10 years. Although the marriage ended, that didn’t sway me from dumping romance altogether. I still believe in happily-ever-after!

Life is meant to be enjoyed – whether you are single or attached. The point is this: give yourself time to develop connections that truly count and will add meaning to your life. Online dating is just one experience and it can certainly add value to your life that can be shared with others seeking the same thing: to love and be loved.