Online Dating for Seniors (or anyone)
The Internet has changed our lives in many ways. One of those “in your face ways” is online dating. We hear commercials for sites like eHarmony and Match.com and if you Google “online dating” or “Internet dating sites” you will find pages of listings. There are even sites specifically for different groups such as Seniors. Yes, Seniors want to meet other seniors. Imagine that.
Meeting Someone in Your Age Group
I belonged to that group and I put my name and picture on a couple of those sites. It’s fun, exciting, sometimes rewarding, sometimes disappointing and sometimes just plain scary. It, like many things in life, has its good and its bad sides. You meet some very nice people there and you also meet some not-so-nice people. There are people who are sincerely seeking a serious, fulfilling relationship and those who are looking to take advantage of one who is emotionally needy. If you’re a senior you know enough about life to know that you find a wide mix of people everywhere you go and it’s no different online. You need to learn to read between the lines, trust your own instincts and proceed with caution. But proceed.
When we are young we seem to have the idea that when people get older their need for romance and love ends. Not true. Just because the face has wrinkles doesn’t mean the fire is out. As we approach the years of fifty and beyond some find themselves divorced after many years of marriage, or alone after the death of their spouse. Now is the time in their lifespan that they have time to devote to their own interests but are faced with doing it alone or finding a group somewhere to join so they have companionship of some sort. Those groups don’t always hold someone who’s a “match” and there is a need to look elsewhere. But where?
Online dating is a wonderful alternative. You will encounter the naysayers and the skeptics and you should listen to them. Those who had a negative experience will caution you not to do it and give you a number of reasons why you should not. You will hear from those who had a successful experience. Listen to them as well. Then make your own decision. Ask yourself the questions:
- What do I have to lose?
- Do I really want someone else in my life?
- Is it better to be alone than to take the risk?
- Do I trust my own judgment?
Depending on your answers go for it.
Good and Bad Apples
I spent several years on sites for seniors. I found some really “bad apples” in that barrel—some smooth talkers who lied, made up identities and/or wanted to take over my life. Some were downright frightening. But there were also a lot of “good apples.” who were fun and funny and, like me, were sincerely looking for a partner. I wasn’t it for them not they for me. But then “Mr. Right” came along and my life changed so much for the better. We have been together for two years now and, honestly, I have never been happier.
When you find someone of interest, spend time communicating online before you meet. Ask questions. Give honest answers. If he or she is feeding you bad information, you’ll pick up on it if you pay attention.
Talk on the phone for a while and, again, ask questions and give honest answers. Then use a video chat like Skype or Video Messinger or video on your phone so you can see each other. If he or she won’t do this, cross them off your list. Have several video sessions and then, when you meet, trust your gut. If you get signals that make you uncomfortable, excuse yourself and walk away. ALWAYS let a friend know where you are and when you should be home.
But if, after a lot of online and phone communication, you meet and everything seems right—Go For It!
Read what Ruth Carter Bourdon says about the risk of loving:
The Risk of Loving
The Risk of Loving
There is a risk involved in everything.
Every time you share a smile,
Every time you shed a tear,
You are opening yourself up to hurt.
Some people tread slowly through life,
Avoiding the closeness risk brings,
Sidestepping the things they can’t understand,
Turning away from those who care too much,
Those who care too long,
Those who hold too tightly.
There is never an easy way to love.
You cannot approach it cautiously.
It will not wait for you to arm yourself.
It does not care if you turn away.
It is everywhere, it is everything.
Love is the greatest of all risks.
It is not reliable, it is not cautious,
It is not sympathetic.
It is unprejudiced and unmerciful.
It strikes the strongest of mind.
And brings them to their knees in one blow.
Even in the best of times, love hurts.
It hurts to need, it hurts to belong,
It hurts to be the other part of someone else,
Without either of your consent,
But, from the moment it overtakes you,
It hurts worse to be alone.
By Ruth Carter-Bourdon
You are never too old to love and be loved. I wish you love and happiness.