Are you ready to try dating again? If you are, there’s good news and bad news.
The good news: it’s so much easier now than it was three decades ago. Online dating has increased the pool of potential dates exponentially. Before, you had to either be set up by friends or family, or meet the person in real life, perhaps at work, the gym, or a bar. Now, via online dating, you can find people of interest right there on your computer screen or smart phone. Contacting them couldn’t be easier, and any old taboos against women making the first move have disappeared.
But the bad news: you know very little about those potential dates, and have to be really careful.
Technology has changed so many aspects of our lives, and dating is no exception.
For many Divorced Over 50’s, the last time you dated involved a phone call over a land line, or perhaps a note written on a piece of lined notebook paper.
There’s no doubt that the new technology can make dating much easier, and give you many more opportunities to meet someone. But it would be a mistake to jump into that brave new world without doing some preparation.
Not surprisingly, the overwhelming winner for best was “freedom.” And the most common answer for worst was “loneliness.”
I wrote a piece for Huffington Post discussing the loneliness aspect, aimed at the Di-Curious. The premise is that loneliness can be attacked and overcome. And that a Di-Curious person, weighing his or her options, should not be scared off from Divorce due to that specific fear.
For the Divorced Over 50 community, that decision has already been made, whether by you, your ex-spouse, or mutual agreement. Because such a large percentage (including many who wanted the divorce or whose split was mutual) are facing loneliness, it’s important to discuss it on these pages as well.
I have believed, and written, that it’s best to be honest when putting together your online dating profile.
My thinking has been, if your primary online photo is ten years old, all you’re going to do is disappoint your date when you meet in person. Same thing if you’ve exaggerated or under-reported your height or weight. My belief has been that there’s no recovering from that initial deception.
Returning to work after a long absence, or resuming dating after not doing it for twenty-five years?
In a really nifty blog post, “Divorcierge” Karen Bigman takes the lessons she learned when returning to work after being a stay-at-home mom, and applies them to getting back into the dating game when her 25 year marriage ended.
For most of us, the Christmas/Hanukah and New Year’s holidays embody a number of traditions: Spending time with family (while trying to maintain sanity), making resolutions (which never get kept), watching college football bowl games (that are rarely very exciting).
And now, according to industry experts, there’s another seasonal tradition: It kicks off a boom in online dating.
A number of factors contribute to the uptick in online activity. Perhaps the disappointment of being alone over the holidays is inspiration. Some might even make going online a New Year’s resolution. And the cold weather may play a part — it’s only natural to want someone to stay in and cuddle up with.
So, if online dating is part of your plan, are you ready?
Recently I posted an article that offered Over 50’s a step-by-step guide for getting started on a full-profile online dating site. It included tips on choosing a screen name, adding pictures, and completing both the “essay” and “multiple choice” portions of their profile. It’s available here.
Now, let’s continue with the next steps after your profile has gone live.
Last month, I wrote a piece on the differences between what men worried about when they were dating in their teens (“Will she laugh at my peach fuzz?”) compared to their concerns when dating Over 50 (“Will she laugh at my back hair?”). You can read the other 24 here.
When it comes to overall changes in the world of dating between then and now, the very best improvement has to be online dating. Truly, it’s an historic innovation that ranks up there with the cotton gin, penicillin, and those lights in the parking garages that show you which spaces are empty.