Did you know you can sell all or part of a life insurance policy, even term insurance?
(3 min read)
Retirees who want to start dating may find the scene is quite different than when they dated at a young age. Over the last 5 years, online dating has become a popular way for individuals to connect. On the positive side, this means more opportunity to connect with other singles that share your values and interests, even when they live far away. On the other hand, the Internet can make a genuine connection feel difficult to find. Here are some dating tips for any individual who might be new to the online dating scene, and especially those at or near retirement age.
Choose Dating Sites Carefully
There are now over 1,500 dating apps and websites. While many of these services have become household names, it’s challenging to know which of the renowned options might be best for mature adults to find a meaningful connection. Some of the best-reviewed dating sites by seniors are:
- Eharmony is the go-to option for the marriage-minded looking for a long-term commitment
- com is the original dating site, known for connecting users with a wide range of options for commitment through a tested matchmaking process
- SilverSingles is tailored for older individuals who have been married before, and like many options requires the completion of an extensive questionnaire when you sign up
- Zoosk is one option for those who want to skip the lengthy process of signup and just dip a toe into online dating
- OurTime is another site for those over 50 where users can seek pen pals, travel buddies, and friendship in addition to romance
The good news is that from 2013-2015, the number of users age 55-64 that registered on dating apps like these doubled from 6% to 12%. In the five years since, these sites have continued to grow in popularity. No matter where you choose to create your profile, odds are good you will be able to see and be seen by interesting people. All these sites offer the option for a free account or paid accounts for those who want more services from the app.
Reveal Personal Details Slowly
The general rules of social media etiquette especially apply to online dating. Beyond common politeness and sticking to your own values, online dating requires more consideration of what information and perspective you decide to share and at what time. Strangers who you don’t even know can still look at your profile and secure details like specific names, the number of children or grandchildren in your family, and photos, if you share them. Consumer Reports has published articles reminding consumers that this information will not just be available to your prospective partner but also the app you are using.
In addition to general online dating privacy concerns, the Federal Trade Commission has also released information about online dating scams. Here is what you need to know.
- Romance scammers create profiles on dating sites and apps but may also reach out through traditional social media like Facebook.
- The common story is they are someone who works abroad, like on an oil rig, in the military, or a doctor travelling on a mission trip.
- These scammers ask for money they claim will cover travel expenses, medical expenses, customs fees, a visa, or even gambling debts.
- They will ask this money be wired or paid through gift cards so they can remain anonymous.
The average reported loss for a romance scam in 2018 was $2,600, which is seven times higher than the average loss from scams in general. But even when someone doesn’t lose money, these crimes can be emotionally devastating. This is why it’s a good idea to share details slowly. The “hookup culture” online dating is criticized to have created is notorious for a reason. Remember that while new emotional connections are powerful and exciting, the individual is still a stranger. Trust your instincts and when in doubt, wait to share information.
Go by Yourself, Meet in Public
Once you find someone to meet up with, whether online or through more traditional channels, the planning and anticipation of a first date begins. Whether you are calling the shots or the other person is planning the evening, remember you should meet in a public place. Don’t be so untrusting as to ask for a chaperone, but make sure to protect yourself at the same time.
Get Creative and Focus on New Memories
If you’ve had a successful long-term relationship in the past, dating now may feel a little surreal. As you get to know new acquaintances, it’s essential to focus on the new person or people as distinct individuals. Constantly comparing them to old flames—or to each other—may have you on a carousel of first date after first date. Anyone looking for a longer-term connection should use skills like active listening to get to know the person and find opportunity to make new memories together. Dating is meant to be exciting and fun, right?
Know the Other Party’s Expectations
This brings us to the last tip for retirees that want to start dating, which is to make sure you respect the other party and share your expectations for the encounter out the gate. This may, but doesn’t always, prevent situations of heartbreak or disappointment when one person wants more of a commitment than the other individual. If you don’t know what you want, it’s fair to say that too. But candid conversations about emotional availability, goals for the future, and ideal qualities in a partner are part of the dating process. Don’t be afraid to speak your truth.
Dating as a retiree today means a mashup of old traditions and new technology. The Internet may help you connect with the perfect individual, but once you spot them, the basic rules of courtesy, politeness, and having a good time still apply. With this basic awareness of some of the online dating options for seniors, Internet dating risks, and dating best practices for adults, we hope you get out there and find just what you’re looking for this Valentine’s Day.
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