The internet has reshaped the way people communicate; it has also reshaped the way people find love. Courting no longer exists solely within the boundaries of blind dates and chance meetings. For seniors with a large community of family and social connections, it can be easy to meet potential companions in traditional settings. However, single or widowed seniors may find their circle of social companions much smaller.
Whether you’re seeking friendship, casual dating or a serious relationship, online dating can be a fun and effective way to meet new people. As with any internet activity, safety is a major concern for seniors when dating online. Here are a few simple rules and tips to remember when embarking on the journey of online dating.
Word of mouth
Ask friends and family about any experiences they’ve heard about or had themselves while dating online. Use the internet to search for site reviews instead of testimonials from others who have used those sites.
Find the right site
There are so many sites to choose from, it may take some time to find the right one for you. Many sites cater specifically to seniors, but popular sites like Match.com and eharmony.com also have significant user bases of “over 50.” Some sites focus more on serious relationships while others lean toward more casual situations. If you’re looking for a serious companion, you don’t want to be on a flirty, “hook up” site.
Never share personal details (address, phone number, banking info) with anyone you chat with online. Also, be careful sharing family information, names of close relatives and photos of your home. The occasional individual with malicious intent could seek out this type of information for nefarious means. If anyone asks you questions you’re not comfortable answering, end contact with them immediately.
Meeting and moving forward
So, you’re ready to meet your online friend in person. Here are some safety tips:
- Speak on the phone a few times before you meet. Make sure you feel comfortable with the person on the phone before meeting in person.
- Make sure a family member or friend knows where you’ll be meeting and has the contact information and profile name of your online friend.
- Make sure you select a well-lit public place where you feel safe, but that you don’t visit often.
Online dating can be your doorway to finding a new circle of friends and, maybe, that special someone. Please remember to protect yourself by opening it cautiously.