Dating can be a challenge at any age, but if you didn't grow up attached to an iPhone but want to start dating again, it can be particularly daunting. After all, your early dating experiences were never this technical and definitely didn't include seemingly endless possibilities. But if you are going to give it a try, and you definitely should, there are some things to keep in mind. "You should know that online dating requires a certain skill set," Carmelia Ray, celebrity matchmaker and online dating expert, says. "Online dating is a numbers game. It's about quantity over quality."
Ray notes that the demographic of singles over the age of 40 probably needs the most guidance in this realm since online dating can be a particularly detailed obstacle course. For instance, singles always had to be discerning about dating prospects in the past, but they have to be even more critical of others online. And at the same time, however, Ray also stresses that daters need to keep an open mind about who they come across online, too, since "people generally have a hard time describing themselves, so it creates an environment for error and misrepresentation." Sounds complicated, right? That's why we asked Ray to give us even more pointers about online dating for the over-40 crowd.
Ray spoke to MyDomaine about the ways in which someone in this demographic can see success with online dating by describing what should and shouldn't be done when swiping through various sites. By using her tips, including her suggestions for the dating sites to try, Ray is confident that anyone over 40 can find love online. All you have to do is get started.
What are some things those new to online dating in the over-40 demographic should know going in?
"If you're an older single person considering online dating, it's important you know there are both good and bad people dating online," she says. "Older singles dating online might experience disappointment and be overwhelmed if they are expecting to meet a great partner too quickly and too easily. They need to be open to rejection and staying positive even when things don't work out the way they want them to."
"And many singles in this age range are dating after a divorce or a long-term relationship," Ray continues. "Before they begin dating seriously, it's important that they've dealt with the pain associated with the breakdown of that previous relationship. It can be more challenging to date when you're not emotionally ready to let someone into your life as a romantic partner."
What should someone have in their dating profile to create the best chance of meeting someone in real life?
A fun and interesting profile photo. "It's important that you stand out," she says. "Don't mislead your potential date with an old photo of yourself."
A list of at least three important questions or qualifiers they'd like to know about the person they are interested in before meeting in real life.
"For instance, maybe you don't want to meet someone who still has obligations to young children or is in the middle of a separation," Ray notes.
A description of the kind of person they want to meet. "It's best to leave out a 'don't' list, such as, 'you don't want to meet a cheater' or 'you don't want to meet a gambler,'" she adds. "Rather, say you're interested in meeting someone who's loyal and who is financially responsible."
They should do their best to complete the entire profile. "Most dating sites use algorithms to help find matches, and this works best when a profile is completed with up-to-date information," Ray says.
What should someone never do on online dating?
Never write a list of the things you don't want. "Again, it's best to stay positive," she says.
Never lie about your height, weight, or body type. "This is misleading, and your potential mate can often get upset about it," Ray notes. "A relationship that starts off with a lie is a bad idea."
Never post a group photo as your main profile photo. "No one wants to have to guess who the correct person is," Ray adds.
Never give out any personal information, such as your home address or workplace. "It's important to guard your safety and security to avoid scammers from taking advantage of you," she says.
Never post a photo of your kids when you're dating online. "It's always best to leave your children or grandchildren off a dating site," she says. "Online dating sites are a place where the good, the bad, and the ugly are present. Protect your kids and personal information until you can establish trust."
What are some online dating sites that are ideal for people who are at least 40 years old?
OurTime: "OurTime is part of the Match.com group of dating sites and was specifically created for singles over 55," Ray says. "It's a premiere dating site for mature singles."
SilverSingles: "SilverSingles is meant to attract older, well-educated professional seniors, specifically those living in Canada," she says.
Match.com: "This the most popular and widely recognized dating site for singles of all ages," Ray notes. "There are sure to be singles over 50 here."
eHarmony: "eHarmony is known to attract singles who are serious about meeting someone for a long-term relationship," she continues.
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