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Online dating for seniors

by Kim Jacobs

Posted on May 2, 2012 at 4:00 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 30 at 3:00 PM


Online dating is a great way to meet fantastic people who share similar interests and passions.  For those seniors that have lost a loved one or experienced divorce, online dating can lead to a new companion or an opportunity to socialize with other seniors experiencing similar struggles. Millions of people are dating on line. Overall, it is a wonderful way to meet potential dates. However, anytime you meet a stranger, safety precautions should be taken.  Below are tips that will help you educate yourself regarding dating online as a senior.

#1. Sign up on a reputable site.  Make sure you check with friends and family to see if they know about that site. Check online reviews about the site. Also read the privacy policy of each site that you are considering.  Believe it or not, the privacy policy clearly describes the information that they will collect, how that information may be used, with whom it may be shared, and your choices about such uses and disclosures. Everything is laid out in their privacy policy so take the time to read it.

#2. Be honest but don’t give too much information. I recommend that you be honest about your age and description so that you can find a match that is truly interested in what you offer. Do not give out too much personal information too soon. Do not reveal your full name instead use your real initials. Create an email address just for this purpose, but make sure your first and last name is not under the account owner section. Do not reveal your home or work address and phone number unless you are absolutely sure that you can completely trust the person and that the date is real.

#3. Don’t be Naive. Many people who visit Internet dating sites are not completely honest. Although I recommend that you to be honest, please realize that others might stretch the truth a little or a lot.  That is why it is good to sign up with a site that will do a background check to make sure that everyone participating on the site is who they say they are.

#4. Request a recent Photo. Appearance can help you determine whether the person is someone with whom you want to correspond with. Ask your potential online date to share a recent photo with you. If the person doesn’t send a photo or makes excuses, immediately STOP corresponding with them.

#5.  Don’t use your real phone.  When you feel you are ready to have live conversation with your online date, please be careful how you communicate. People can identify who you are by receiving your home telephone number.   Use Skype or Tango to communicate with your online date if you wish to talk live with the person.  You can also purchase a track cell phone to communicate or use Magic Jack or some type of Voice over Internet Phone device.


#6.  Watch out for the Married one.  It is truly disheartening to know that there are lots of married people use online dating services too to trick singles into dating them. You can typically tell if a person is married if they won’t post a picture or even if they do post a picture it is blurry, if they are very irregular in their communication with you, and when you call to talk live, you are always forced to leave a voice mail. These are just a few signs that reveal they might be married.  Trust your instincts they usually won’t steer you wrong.

#7. Observe their characteristics. As you chat online, via email, or by phone with your potential date pay attention to their characteristics. Are they controlling and possessive? Do they seem get upset quickly? Do they totally avoid answering your questions specifically? If they do some of these things it might be a sign that it is time to move on.

#8. Be extra careful when you meet. You might think you know the person because you have been chatting online or communicating via email, but remember to use common sense when you decide to connect in person with an online date.  Make sure you meet your online date at a public place, such as a restaurant or theatre or some type of social gathering. I recommend that you meet during the day on your first date. Drive yourself to the meeting place.  Do not agree to ride in the other person’s vehicle or drive separately to a private location for any reason on the first date. Please tell a friend where you are going and give them a photo and some basic information about the person you plan to meet.  Ask them to check on you if they haven’t heard from you by a certain time. 

Below are a few websites for seniors to date other seniors online: