Online dating can be a bit daunting at first (especially when you’re older), but hey, I figure, what do you have to lose? Everyone you meet has a story to tell and life experiences to share, (and that’s heaps of experiences when you’re 50+) and your first date is usually glass of wine or coffee.
I took the plunge and it wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be, so why not go ahead and have a crack? Just make sure you always have an escape plan in case he is a shocker! That is, go to the bathroom and come back saying someone had just called/texted and your grandmother just died; your dog has been run over, etc.! But really, most people aren’t so terrible you can’t share a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.
I was soooo nervous when I first tried online dating, and I googled the best websites to list myself (my take on the most popular sites are below). When you first sign up you start by creating a profile on yourself. My first bit of advice here is to be as honest as you can. You’re going to meet the guy, right? He’s going to see the real you, so don’t upload pictures of your 20 year old self, or lie about your size. Some men only want the skinny ones (*sigh*) but hey, if they don’t like a bit of curve happening (as in my case) well there’s just no point in meeting!
Do try to make yourself sound interesting though, and it doesn’t hurt to elaborate a bit – but don’t bang on and on!
And if you like shopping, online dating is super fun because it’s like shopping for a man. You can even click on a them and putting them in your shopping cart! Well, pretty much – you can click, click, click away on your favourites and then view the “items” in your cart. Grab your bestie, and a glass (make that bottle) of champers and you can imagine the fun you can have with this.
My advice for successful online dating
- Meet over the phone fairly soon after your first online chat. You can usually gauge within a few minutes of phone discussion whether you’ll hit it off or not.
- When you do meet, don’t be shy to talk yourself up and make yourself sound interesting. This is no time for self deprecation.
- Always ask him lots of questions; everyone loves talking about themselves!
- When you meet in person, do it in a public place. It’s usually a café for first meetings for me. Sometimes I like to meet in the carpark or outside the venue so you can walk in together and it doesn’t look too obvious to others that this is a blind date.
- Eyeballing the person is crucial, so get that first meeting in asap. Did you know that a man can tell in the first 20 seconds whether he wants to sleep with you or not! You’ve got to have the right chemistry mix.
- Make the first meeting short. You want to finish the “date” with him wanting to see you again, so don’t spill all your secrets on meeting 1. Leave him wanting more.
- Be wary of the ones that just want sex, and believe you me there’s a damned hell of a lot of them out there. If that’s what you’re after too, well that’s totally fine then, but this 50-something sure doesn’t!
I’ve had a ball with dating and met some interesting characters. One told me he was a possum catcher, which made me laugh so much I nearly wet myself. Another one I spoke to (after me saying I loved Sunday brunches) said he knew of a great brunch spot – then he suggested one of the petrol stations on the M1 for their $8.99 bacon and eggs. You meet all sorts, and as long as you don’t take it too seriously, you’ll have loads of fun.
The best advice I can give, if you want to try online dating for yourself, is to go with your gut feeling. NEVER EVER meet at his house (or yours) and don’t exchange personal details too early on. Also, beware of scammers. If you haven’t been out with a guy in a while, you are very vulnerable, and you don’t want to lose your hard earned money to some scammer.
So, go on – get online and just do it!
Some of the big online dating sites are:
RSVP – one of the oldest dating sites around, with over 1200 singles joining every day. You send a “kiss” to someone you are interested in, and vice versa. You have to purchase “stamps” to send an email. If you don’t purchase stamps, your profile is very limited and you can’t email anyone.
eHarmony – I started to fill out their very lengthy questionnaire then got sick of it, so didn’t actually join. I did notice that they offer free dating advice and there’s an E-harmony support community. They say that their thorough questionnaire means they match you up with suitable matches – and they have loads of success stories.
Match.com – complete a brief profile of yourself, what you are seeking as well as interests, and the site matches you to someone compatible. An email arrives in your inbox of suitable matches each day, and you are also able to use search feature. I’ve met some nice men on this site, but not the one.
Be2 – you complete a personality test, and there is also a geographical search function. I have been harassed by scammers on this site, who I’ve reported to Be2.
Tinder is for a younger demographic – just swipe and connect with other local users. You can connect with multiple users and it’s more of quantity over quality but hey, if you’re young or quantity is your thing maybe that’s for you.
Above all, online dating requires an open mind, a go with the flow attitude, and a desire for meeting new people and sharing life experiences.