Recently I have been getting several questions sent to “Ask Honey” about dating later in life. I thought it was the perfect time to re-share and update this wonderful article about all the dos and don’ts of dating apps for women over 50! Happy dating.
Dipping your toe in the over 50 dating pool is like any other adventure: Scary, bewildering and exhilarating! Especially now with COVID-19, many (or all) of people looking for a love match are looking online.
To feel prepared, you need to prep: do you look your best, feel your best and sound your best? We’re so lucky, we have so many more resources available to us to find like-minded partners!
When thinking about using dating apps over 50, keep the pool idea in mind: The pool has a deep and shallow end and if you only paddle in the shallow end, you’re closing yourself off to meeting many wonderful people. Fortune favors the bold and if you don’t take risks, you won’t garner the reward!
Finding a Compatible Partner
Dating over 50 is less about finding “the one,” and more about finding a compatible partner who wants the same things as you.
Whether you are widowed, divorced, or enjoying an established career, it’s time to put energy toward your love life. Instead of finding someone to have a family with, our attentions turn to finding a person who can celebrate life’s joys with us. Using a dating app can be a simple way to start the process. Before I dive into the variety of dating apps for women over 50, let me give you a few tips to help you have a positive dating app experience and put your best profile forward.
Listen to Your Intuition
One of the first things women mention about app dating is that it is scary – what if I meet this stranger and he/she is creepy? It’s true and possible you may meet someone who makes you feel uncomfortable. Start by trusting your intuition. Without apology, if you feel unsafe, disrespected, or simply get a strange vibe, remember YOU are in control and you are absolutely allowed to cancel a date at any time. It is completely acceptable to excuse yourself from the conversation at any point without fear of judgment or insult. Trusting your intuition is about honoring your feelings at the moment and allowing them to keep you safe.
However, I must add: If you avoid app dating to avoid feeling awkward with strangers or think you’ll only date creepy people, you are closing yourself off to the process. I encourage you to open your heart to the possibilities. There are millions of wonderful people in the world and they are waiting patiently to meet you, so give the process, and love, a chance.
Have Realistic Expectations
Chemistry isn’t always immediate, you may not feel it on the first date. Instant chemistry on a first date is for the movies, not real life. That’s why we love Rom-Coms so much – they’re fantasies. As you know, it takes a long time to get to know someone, so adjust your expectations accordingly. If you like your new date, tell him/her. If you find you have something in common, suggest a second date to find out how you get along. Or, if you’re unsure if you have things in common, but feel a friendly connection, stick with it. He/she might turn out to be your new best friend.
If you’ve been out of the dating pool for a while, you might feel there’s so much to learn. Dating used to be a somewhat mysterious process, without study, algorithms, or specialists. Thankfully, there are now many, many blog posts, videos, and Ted Talks on the subject. For example, in a Ted Talk by Evan Marc Katz called No More Bad Dates, he discusses an essential conflict between speed and comfort. Some women want speed, preferring to meet up right away. Others want the comfort of knowing a little more about the person before they meet. He suggested a way to resolve this conflict by using the following plan:
- Two messages on the dating site or app
- Two messages in your personal email addresses
- Two phone calls
These take place BEFORE the first date. The intention is to know more about the person before you show up across a table from them, illustrating the title, “No more bad dates.” Communicating via personal email is more intimate than the dating site or app. A phone call is even more intimate. You can assess many things about a person by hearing their voice, asking questions, and having a short phone conversation. Evan Katz recommends scheduling the conversation so it doesn’t devolve into phone-tag. The whole process can take less than a week.
A Dating Coach
Another expert you might consult is a therapist or dating coach.
Do a quick Google search for “Dating Coach” in your city and you’re bound to find a sizable list of experts who can help boost your confidence, define your roadblocks and get you back on the path of happy, healthy dating. He/she will give you “homework” to help you gain confidence, enlist you in role-playing scenarios so you know what to expect, and help you decipher those internal obstacles that may get in your way to dating over 50 success.
How to Create a Compelling Dating Profile
Post a profile photo no less than two months old.
There’s nothing less trustworthy than meeting someone for the first time and finding they no longer look anything like their photo. Remember, you are glorious. The person for you will accept you as you are, the key is to be proud of yourself. Being proud of yourself is such a powerful signal and very sexy at all ages. But when we use outdated photos, we do ourselves and our new friend an extreme discredit. Outdated photos signal insecurity, which is never sexy, and also, it starts the friendship off with a misrepresentation, a lie. I think we can all agree, that’s no way to start a relationship.
If you don’t like the way you look RIGHT NOW, then do something about it BEFORE you date. Get new hair, a facial or start a new regimen that makes you feel confident. If you don’t have photos less than two months old, get some. Grab a friend, a nice outfit, and go outside to a park or somewhere open and snap a few. Better yet, get professional headshots taken. Headshots can be useful for your business, your social media profiles, and your online dating presence and they can be a real confidence booster. If you can’t afford to pay for headshots, do a trade with a photography student at a local art school. They use your shots for their portfolio and you get good recent photos.
Create a Well-Crafted Message
Give your potential date something engaging to respond to. Include your interests, your dreams. Be honest. If you don’t like long walks in the park, don’t say you do. If you wish you spent more time at a museum, say that. Or, if you’ve recently discovered the joys of a new hobby, say you’re new to it. Stay away from information that’s too personal and gives too many details about your neighborhood or family. You can say you have two adult children without listing their names and ages. Give enough information to start a conversation, but not so much that there’s nothing to discover.
Did you see someone who caught your eye? In the modern dating world, you can reach out to them. Women today are taking control of their own destinies and you are no exception. Even though this may seem intimidating, think about the way you’d like to be approached. Remember, the person you reach out to is probably also nervous. Texting a simple, “Hi there,” or “Hey,” is not engaging. Even a “I saw your profile and liked it, do you want to hang out sometime?” isn’t a good option either.
You want to give your potential date something COMPELLING to respond to. Something to reply to because he/she wants to know more. If you’re reaching out to someone, ask them something about their profile; tell them if you have something in common. Introducing yourself on a dating app isn’t much different than introducing yourself at a cocktail party except you have the benefit of a little more information with which to start a conversation.
Focus On What You Want
Focus on what you are looking for in a partner and what you enjoy doing. Be specific about your likes. If it is travel, give interesting examples of where you would like to go. If you like to read, name books you have read. A fun tip is to tell him/her about what you want TO DO, rather than what you’ve already done.
Don’t write too much.
Longer profiles do not lead to better matches. Spend some time crafting your profile into simple, effective, concise sentences. Use an active voice and avoid using the same sentence structure. Add details to your story when you meet the person for the first date.
Mention Your Children/Grandchildren
Don’t assume that potential dates do not want to hear about your family. Many people are open to kids/grandkids and will happily listen to your stories. Be sure to ask about your date’s family and remember that having people who love you in your life is very attractive.
Now you’ve clarified what you’re looking for, edited your photos, and done role-playing with your dating coach, you’re ready to sign up for a dating app. The most mainstream dating apps for women over 50 include:
Dating Apps for Women Over 50
- Ourtime.com – Focused specifically on the dating single age 50+, Ourtime.com features free browsing and a ton of success stories. OurTime.com celebrates this stage of dating and attracts others who are celebrating it too. For Women Seeking Men and Women Seeking Women.
- Match.com. A mix of people looking for marriage and casual relationships, Match is the mother of the most well-known online dating sites and claims it is “the leading online dating site for singles and personals.” Simply select if you are a woman seeking a man, a woman seeking a woman, the age range you prefer, and your zip code and voila! All the singles in your area appear in one easy to navigate list.
- SilverSingles.com As the “…fresh take on 50+ dating,” Silver Singles features a more modern online presence than other datings sites and promises matchmaking, expert profile advice and “a personality test that helps us pair people up based on their compatibility.”
- eHarmony.com According to eHarmony, their “Compatibility Matching System® is the key point of differentiation between our service and that of traditional senior dating sites.” The matching system takes at least 30-minutes to complete, but the advantage is you know others have also committed that much time, so you know people on this site are serious about finding partners. There are options for religious matching, and eHarmony offers the senior dater many, many options.
Final Tip: Patience
Ted Talk presenter Evan Katz went on 300 dates before finding his wife. He wasn’t upset about the high number because he was enjoying the dating process. He loved going on all those dates, meeting all those interesting women, and weeding out any potential bad dates by communicating thoroughly in his pre-date conversations.
Staying positive and communicating clearly are important parts of the process. If someone doesn’t respond, there are infinite numbers of reasons why that has absolutely nothing to do with rejection. You don’t even know this person or what he/she might be going through in life. A good phrase to have in your head if someone disappears or doesn’t want a second date is “Next Please!” There are a million amazing people out there and you are at a special point in your life to meet them! Go forth and find the love you deserve.
Have you been online dating? We want to hear your story in the comments at the bottom of this page!
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