Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Online Dating at Retirement


It does not look surprising to anyone that online dating services image for retired people is somehow blurry and suspicious. Paranoia that the Internet and Web is infested with dangerous characters, looking to steal our identity and money, stigmatized online dating for retired. In many cases, the mature adults, looking for relationship, are not so comfortable with modern computer gadgets and are afraid that lack of understanding of the technological threats may lead to unfortunate sad circumstances.

However, as increasing numbers of people discover love on the net, internet dating is getting a reputation revamp. According to research firm IBISWorld, baby boomers now represent about 20% of online daters, and growing. The number of online dating site users 50 or older jumped 8% from February 2010 to February 2011, compared to a 4% overall, according to research firm comScore.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Why you should consider online dating?

  1. Bigger Playfield
As the divorce rate for older Americans climbs, so does the number of potential singles. While the overall divorce rate has decreased slightly over the past 20 years, it has doubled for those over 50, according to the latest data from the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University -- leaving many seniors single and available. At the same time, internet use overall has tripled for older Americans in the past 10 years, according to the Pew Internet Project, and the stigma of online dating is significantly lower than it was even a few years ago, experts say. And since it can be harder for boomers to meet new people than it is for younger adults (college parties, weddings, clubs), it's only natural older Americans are turning to online dating.

  1. You are under control
With internet dating, you have a full control on with who, when and where you can meet up with the person, you feel a lot in common following online communication. You can go slowly, as you like, and disclose the information to the carefully considered pace, and agree for the face-to-face meeting when you feel it is a right thing to do, and you are ready for the live session. The amount of time you spend on your research will reflect on the level of success you have meeting new friends online and perhaps finding a potential new partner. It is not always going to be an instant success and you may well need to make many contacts before you meet a suitable person. It is therefore essential that you are always thorough in your research and have a fairly clear idea of your own criteria before you rush into relationships.

  1. Open communication
People sometimes point out that with regards to online dating for retired you can never ensure that what you are being told may be the truth. But tend to we have ever be? As with life normally, with internet dating it’s always best to use your instinct. Plus, it isn’t actually in anyone’s interest to lie on their own online profile. Any lies regarding your age or your height etc will teach you up whenever you meet someone directly. Generally everyone knows that honesty really is the better policy. To the bright point, if you are not talking to the person you know well, it might be easier to do so indirectly, not facing the person. So, at the initial stages, Internet communication may offer better opportunities to open yourself and to explore the person you are interesting in.

  1. Natural communication
Most of the retired are already spending a lot of time online, in social communities like Facebook. We shop online, we read online, we watch videos online. Then we speak about it, we share site and we broadcast our thoughts to hundreds of our friends. We have become an internet nation and online dating sites represent the natural progression for keyboard pounding, smartphone-worshipping lifestyles.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Pitfalls of online dating

  1. Common disadvantages
The pitfalls of online dating hold no matter what your age: weeding through profiles is exhausting, people are less-than-honest in their self-representation, and everyone's ideas about dating and commitment vary. But for older Americans, there are additional challenges, say experts. For one, many sites allow you to filter by age. That means you might not get to meet that potential soul mate simply because he or she filtered out everyone over 50 (or 60). Many older Americans may be less aware of the risks of courting people over the web simply because they've been out of the dating world for a while or don't have a lot of friends who have experience with it, says Dr. Leanna Wolfe, an L.A.-based sexologist. "You can get lulled into a false sense of knowing someone by chatting with them online, and then may be more willing to go out onto a date with them that isn't in the safest place," says Wolfe.

  1. Cost of services
Internet dating can be pricey. Annual memberships can cost $50 per month or more. And that's not counting the actual cost of dating. Roughly 60% of men spend more than $50 per date during the first few weeks of dating someone new, and 65% of women spend $50 or more on clothing and grooming to get ready, according to a recent survey by Match.com. Those costs are even higher in big cities and other expensive regions of the country.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


General Recommendations

  1. Start with a freebie
One way to explore the online dating pool is to join a free online dating site and see how it goes. However, what you consider as freebie, might be not viewed the same way by the site owners. For example, it may be free to create a profile, but sending or responding to the message from another member may be considered as premium service, which will cost you money. So, read carefully the fine print in the Terms and Conditions section and review the service before you spend your time on it. Also, some free sites tend to be hard to navigate and search for potential matches, and are filled with distracting ads.

Most paid sites for seniors, such as SeniorFriendFinder.com and OurTime.com, also offer free trials of their services. Boomers can shop around by signing up for a few free plans to determine which site fits them best.

Lastly, most dating sites regular run specials for discount memberships.

  1. Build a winning profile

Your profile is one of the two key elements that will determine if a person emails you on an online dating service. Thus it's important to make sure that your profile is lively, fun, and positive. Avoid negatives at all costs. Promote yourself. It will help if you focus on your positive traits and things that you can offer in a relationship.

Examine other profiles and determine what about it makes you more interested or less interested. If a person finds your profile interesting and not generic then you have increased your chances of someone showing interest in you. Make yours interesting!

  1. Post great recent photos
You have to admit - when you do your own search on an online dating service the first thing that grabs your attention is the photo. This is the single most important element to getting people to view that great profile you've written. These days, generic photos won't cut it. You need to determine what colors look best on you, dress nice, be clean cut, and have someone take various photos of you that are fun and lively.

  1. Learn effective communication techniques
Your very first email to someone you're interested in should be considered as the most important one because it will help determine whether or not they write back. It's important to personalize your introductory email and spend more time asking questions (based on the other person's profile) than providing information about yourself. Throwing a compliment in doesn't hurt either (i.e. "I love your smile" or "your profile is one of the best I've read").

In the course of online communication, be considerate and respectful. Being respectful means not just not being rude, but also not "dropping off the face of the earth" when you move on to the next potential candidate. It's very disrespectful when you don't send a polite message letting other people know that you are moving on. In brief, treat your correspondents the same way as you would like to be treated yourself.

5.      Say truth
In the world of online dating, obvious lies may take on many forms, including: posting a photo more than nine months old; lying about your age; lying about your income; lying about your job. The simple fact is that you are likely looking for your soul mate, so at some point in the dating relationship, this clear misrepresentation will likely to backfire. Always try to be honest and truthful in everything you say and post. By always telling the truth, you'll never have to remember what you said!

  1. Go slow
It's tempting to read someone's profile, shoot them a couple emails and jump right to the date. But one tactic that can save time and money is getting to know a potential date better before taking them out. Along with a few phone calls, you can setup a "Skype date" or video chat in order to see your match in person first. It helps you get a better sense of the person than just messaging or even taking on the phone with them does. And you can also see if the profile picture matches the person.

  1. Don't be too picky
Try to lessen your search criteria in order to get more possible matches. People who tend to be too picky end up not finding Mr. or Ms. Right. Be sure to set realistic and attainable expectations.

8.      Play safe
From the time you sign up for a service through the time you meet on a date, it's important to be safe. Never give out too much personal information; never give a home phone number; always meet in a public place for the first date; ask for a recent photo (or how old posted photos are); and trust your gut instinct.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic




Sources and Additional Information:


LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...