If you’ve been divorced, widowed, or have simply been single for many years, you may find the idea of modern dating rather daunting. Courtship has changed substantially in recent years, with most new relationships now beginning online. While online dating might seem like a whole new world, it can be a brilliant way to meet people, make new friends, and even find a new romantic partner.
Here is advice from Lumen, a new dating app for over 50s, on how to get the most out of online dating.
One of the ways to make the dating process more fun is to involve a friend or family member. That way you have someone to share the stories with, and to check in with throughout the process. If you’re nervous about writing your dating profile, why not sit down with a friend and a glass of wine and do it together?
Creating a profile on a dating site can feel a bit like you are marketing yourself, but the key is to be honest about who you are and what you look like. There is no point creating a profile of the ‘ideal you’ rather than the ‘real you’ if you plan to meet up with dates in person. If you own a gym membership, but haven’t used it for a few years, don’t call yourself a gym-goer. You won’t attract the right type of people! Think carefully about the things you love to do, and include those in your profile.
Honesty applies to your photos too. Don’t use photos which are years old, or where you know the angle is super flattering. Again this is where an honest friend can be of help – ask them which photos really look like you, and use those ones.
The more time you spend on your profile, the more people you’re likely to hear from. On Lumen we have a maximum of six photos per profile, and we recommend using all six.
Choose photos which are taken outside, as the light is more flattering. Don’t use selfies or filters, and avoid photos with other people or where you are wearing sunglasses. Choose pictures where you are smiling – it makes you seem more approachable.
Fill out all the written sections of the profile. On Lumen, we ask you to tell people ‘about you’ and ‘what you are looking for’. Write at least four or five sentences for each answer, and remember you can always change your answers at any time.
A key part of online dating is working out where to invest your time. Our suggestion is to work out which apps and sites have the most people who fit the profile you are looking for. So if your driving force is to meet a fellow Christian, consider Christian dating apps or websites. If you specifically want to meet someone the same age as you, consider dating apps like Lumen which target over 50s and over 60s.
One mistake people often make with online dating is to keep conversations online for too long.
While you want to get to know someone a bit before taking the time to meet in person, once you’ve established you might be interested in another single, try to arrange to meet up within the first few weeks. This stops you from building up an unrealistic picture of the other person, which they will then not live up to. It also allows you to work out if there is a spark in real life.
Also, if someone constantly makes excuses not to meet in person this should be a red flag and will tell you early on that they are not worth spending time on.
Remember that you are meeting strangers, no matter how long you may have been chatting to them before the date.
Never give out private information, such as your address, date of birth, or bank details, to someone you meet online. Be careful not to provide data such as your mother’s maiden name which could be used by hackers.
When you arrange to meet someone for the first time, meet in a public place and make sure that someone always knows where you are. Never leave drinks or bags unattended with your date, and make your own way to and from dates.
Take your time getting to know someone before you trust them in your home or with valuable possessions. Use your head as well as your heart, and if something doesn’t feel right, leave. Your safety is always paramount.
If you are worried about scammers and catfishing (where people use fake photos online), use a verified service like Lumen. We photo-verify every single member to assure you they are who they say they are.
If you’ve come out of a very long relationship, it can be easy to constantly look back and to compare people you meet to your former partner. Try not to dwell on the past too much.
If you have been divorced or widowed, you may find you need to talk about your previous relationship and partner to process what has happened, however particularly in the early stages of dating, try to keep these conversations for friends and family. Yes, everyone has a past, and there is no point acting like your previous partner never existed, but try not to talk too much about exes in the early stages of dating.
Also, try to keep an open mind when meeting new people. We all change a lot over time, and so you may well find that the best match for you after 60 is very different to the person you settled down with in your twenties or thirties.
Finally, enjoy! Dating can be an incredible way to meet new people, find friendship, remind yourself of how incredible you are, and to find love. It just requires a first step. So sign up today, and start writing a profile. What have you got to lose?
Lumen is a dating app specifically designed for over-50s to meet genuine likeminded singles.
With a focus on the interests that matter to our users, we want to encourage quality conversations and connections.