If you’ve come out of a long-term relationship and found yourself single in your fifties or sixties, you may be worrying that dating has changed a lot since you were last single. An increasing number of new relationships start online these days, and we promise that using a dating app isn’t as scary or complicated as you might expect. Here are seven reasons why you should try dating online.
1. You can meet more people: One of the biggest appeals of online dating is that you can meet so many more people than you do in day to day life. If you’ve lived in the same area for some time, and not changed job for a while, you may not encounter many new people, so online dating can be a great way to broaden your options and make some new friends.
2. You are safe: Using a dating app, you don’t have to share your phone number or personal details with a stranger until you are completely sure you know them. By keeping your conversations on the app, you can easily stop the conversation if you need to, and the apps monitor behaviour to prevent scammers from targeting daters. On Lumen, our new dating app for over 50s, every user is photo-verified. They have to take a selfie which is checked against their photos to confirm they are who they say they are. This way you can trust you are talking to a real person.
3. You are in control: Dating apps allow you to control who you speak to. You can choose who you chat to, easily ignore anyone you don’t wish to speak to, and if someone acts inappropriately you can very simply block or report them. You can also decide when you want to look for someone, and when you’d rather take a break from dating.
4. You can be clear about what you want: Dating sites and apps normally have a section where you can explain what you are looking for, so you can be very clear about the type of relationship which you are seeking out. Whether it’s companionship, a long-term commitment, or something more casual, you have the freedom to make that clear in your profile and not waste anyone’s time. On Lumen there is a section called ‘I’m looking for …’ which you complete when you sign up.
5. You can present yourself in your best light: On a dating app you create a profile when you sign up. You choose the photos of yourself that others see, and describe yourself in the ‘About Me’ section. On Lumen everyone has to upload at least three photos, so that you can properly see what they look like. We suggest using recent photos, where you are wearing clothes which you still own and wear! Choose photos where you are smiling, include at least one full length shot so others can easily see what you look like, and if you have regular hobbies, consider using a photo which shows you doing that activity.
6. You can always change stuff: One of the great things about online dating profiles is that they are flexible – you can easily make changes. Once you have registered for the app, why not send a photo of your profile to a friend, and ask if there is anything they would change about the way you’ve described yourself, or if there are any photos you should add to your profile. It can be great to get a second opinion, and a good friend will boost your confidence and help make the dating process an enjoyable one.
7. You can try new things: The whole point of online dating is to find someone to meet up with offline. Once you are confident that there is enough of a connection to meet up in real life, why not plan a first date doing something you’ve wanted to try for a while. Rather than simply go for a coffee or a drink at the pub, consider being a tourist in your own town or city. Visit an art gallery, take a boat trip, or explore the zoo. Doing something fun can help if you’re nervous, because your surroundings will provide automatic ice-breakers which make conversation a bit easier.
Charly Lester is the co-founder of Lumen, a new dating app for over 50s. She is a dating expert who has previously worked at The Guardian and Time Out, and before creating Lumen she ran the dating industry awards, judging dating apps and websites for safety and customer service. Lumen is available to users in the UK and can be downloaded now, free of charge, from the App Store and Google Play Store.
tagged in Online Dating