If you are returning to the dating scene after divorce or bereavement it can be a challenge. You might find the prospect of joining a dating site daunting, and the features on the site might seem bewildering at first, but help is at hand. Here are some tips for matures singles and the over 50s who want to use online dating but are a little unsure of how to make the best of it.
1. Use your profile to create a spark of interest. This may seem obvious at first but it’s surprising just how many online daters either write out their life story or write so little that there is nothing of interest to read. Your profile should convey enough information about you to encourage others to make contact with you, or to respond if you initiated contact with them.
2. Upload three good photos. Profile photos are essential for obvious reasons, but it’s worth taking the time to create three good photos that show you in your best light. Your main profile photo should be a head and shoulders shot so that other members can clearly see your face (and don’t forget to smile!). The other two photos could be of you in your home or garden, or perhaps on holiday or engaged in your favourite sport or pastime. Avoid using old photos or those cut from pictures of you with your ex-partner. Ask a friend to take a picture of you and experiment until you are satisfied with the results. Use your webcam if you have one.
3. Be polite and courteous. If someone sends you a message but you don’t want to take things any further then don’t just ignore it. Instead, send a polite reply expressing thanks for the interest and briefly explaining that you’re exploring other opportunities. If your admirer becomes persistent and annoying then most reputable dating sites have a blocking feature which prevents the user from sending any more messages.
4. Take it slowly and protect your privacy. If you find yourself drooling over someone’s profile it can be tempting to reveal your personal phone number and email address. However, take things slowly at first. Wait until you’ve spent some time getting to know each other using the website’s messaging system first. Use the time to build up a mental picture of the individual. Do the messages you receive match the impression given by the profile? Online dating is very safe provided you follow some simple precautions, just as you would when driving a car or crossing the road. Keep your wits about you and don’t let your heart cloud your judgment.
5. Make best use of the site’s features. Most good dating sites evolve over time and add new features and facilities to make use of the latest advances in technology. For example, you’ll probably be able to upload photos from your mobile phone, or you could record a short video of yourself in front of your webcam and which could then be added to your profile. This is an excellent way to convey a good impression of yourself and makes a much bigger impact than photos alone.
6. Be active on the site. Members like to check to see who’s online and who has been online recently. Profiles that seem rarely used are often passed by in favour of more recent visitors. Even if you’ve completed a profile and added a photo or two you need to be proactive in order to succeed. Make contact with other members and respond to those who contact you. The trick to successful online dating for the over 50s, mature singles and any other single men and women is to be active and engaging. It’s fun and it does work, but like a dance you have to take part in order to enjoy the event.