Tips for Online Dating Baby Boomers
Dear April Masini,
I am 62 and recently divorced. I'd like to get back on the dating scene, but feel entirely ridiculous dating as a grandmother! And besides, where am I supposed to meet men?!"
My 25-year-old daughter thinks that I should start dating on the Internet. She thinks online dating is the perfect way for me to meet men, and I have to admit, it sounds too easy to be true, but I'm worried about the quality of men on these sites. Is it a good idea for me to date online at my age, or will I end up with a bunch of weirdos and perverts? And if I decide not to do it, do you have any advice on how else can I meet men?
Single and Ready to Mingle
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Single and Ready to Mingle,
Your daughter is right! Online dating is here to stay. It’s not going anywhere. It's so popular that there's no reason not to try it, no matter how old you are!
Singles – whether they’re “organic singles” or newly single after a divorce -- are more enterprising than ever because they have businesses, jobs, children, exes, parents living longer and therefore in their lives more, and family more spread out across the country and the globe. With all that going on, and the biological and social desire to couple, which is thriving – in spite of what divorce numbers tell you, remarriage is on the rise -- and online dating is the one way to "meet" the most people and "weed through the ones who are right and those who are not right" in the shortest amount of time.
Seniors Going Online:
Senior dating is nothing new -- except that the numbers of seniors dating is growing. Seniors have always sought companionship when they find themselves alone through divorce or death of a spouse, but life lasts longer now, and there are more seniors than ever, as well as medical supports (like Viagra and it's derivatives) that make active sex lives and companionship more of a reality now than ever before.
If you are looking to date, online senior dating services or segments of online dating services that cater to "the silver (haired) set" are very common these days.
Set Your Mind at Ease: Online Dating is Popular!
There are no official studies at present on the online dating industry, and the industry is still young and self-regulated, so aggregate statistics are hard to come by, but the number of marriages that are coming out of online dating service matches, from my perspective as a relation and dating expert, is growing.
In fact, it's only a matter of time before dating services offer "alert" systems that will alert you when a date who fits your prescribed criterion signs up for your mutual online dating service.
Federal regulation will probably come at some point in the future as the industry suffers growing pains. Just as the National Little League Organization has recently imposed a mandatory check for sexual offenders for all their volunteers, it’s just a matter of time before those same checks and balances are imposed on online dating services.
For now, my personal advice is that anyone who is truly serious about wanting to be in a long-term relationship and isn't in one, is foolish not to try online dating. And there’s a dating service for everyone – whether you want to draw dates from the largest pool in a general dating service, to religion or political party specific dating services – there’s even an online dating service that caters to vegans! As far as online dating goes, there's nothing to lose. In fact the only people who aren’t using the service may be those who have a fear of success at relationships!
Other Ways to Meet Men:
If you decide against online dating or want to expand your options, here are some other great places to meet men:
1. Fundraisers for favorite charities or social/political causes.
2. Church or synagogue.
3. The gym -- yes, seniors go to the gym!
4. The park -- more likely, however, are seniors strolling in the park or taking in some sun.
5. Local clubs and community events like parades, block parties, town fairs, church bake sales, etc.
Great Date Ideas:
Because you've been out of the dating scene for a while, here are some ideas for dates:
1. Lunch. This mid-day meal is less of a psychological or time commitment than dinner. Nighttime driving is not necessary for a lunch date.
2. A movie and ice cream. Matinees are great.
3. A museum visit that allows you to stroll and chat.
4. Go to the orchestra, ballet or theater where the social scene is not overwhelming the way it might be at a movie theater on a Saturday night.
5. If you’re invited to a wedding, Bar Mitzvah or other formal event, ask the host if you can bring a guest, then invite your single senior date.