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LucyGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 24-Jul-14 10:29:11

Online dating over 50: what not to do

Entering the dating game again after a long absence is hard for anyone, and it's no secret that the rules have changed radically in the last few years with the advent of online dating, Tinder, and even plain old social media. Author Margaret Goodwin gives us her essential guide to getting back out there - via the internet.

Margaret Goodwin

Online dating after 50

Posted on: Thu 24-Jul-14 10:29:11


Lead photo

The pitfalls (and pleasures) of entering the dating game after 50.

Online Dating is no longer sneered at, thank goodness, and is no longer thought of as the refuge of the "desperate". Millions of people the world over are seeking, and finding, a partner on the internet, so there should be no awkwardness about admitting that you have joined an online dating site. I do not profess to have all the answers - I have not found my own perfect partner yet - but through researching my book on the subject, I gained some invaluable insight into this brave new world. So if you are thinking of taking the plunge, here are some of my top tips for how not to do it - hopefully ensuring that you will get the best (and not the worst) out of the world of online dating.

1. Don't pretend to be someone you are not - if you would like to be loved for who you really are, be yourself!

In some ways we feel more relaxed as we get older but we have vulnerabilities, too. Don’t let your fear of rejection allow you to put on an act. You are exactly the person someone out there is looking for and they will appreciate you for yourself. Besides, it is hard work keeping up a front. Just relax, you will enjoy it more.

2. Don’t rush in - we may be "getting on" but this is not eBay!

I am an older woman, 68 this year, and I sympathise with the feeling that the clock is ticking but my tip, to take your time, is one of the more important pieces of advice I can offer. When on a dating site, you are not on eBay!

There is no time limit on any contacts you receive and you would be wise to consider carefully all the approaches made to you. Anyone genuine will be prepared to wait.

3. Do not be embarrassed – millions of people all over the world date online.

It is actually quite a trendy thing to do and, providing we all follow the

It is not easy to take your time when you feel as though it is marching on, but taking the first offer you get is not a good idea.

safety guidelines (found on most sites), there is no more risk involved than in any other form of dating.

4. Do not pussyfoot about, as my grandmother used to say!

Do not mislead or be un-clear, and watch for clues that might indicate you are being misled.

5. Don’t lie!

We are all still 21 in our heads but look in the mirror and at recent photographs and be honest. Would George Clooney be stopped in his tracks? If the answer is: "Possibly not" then set your sights at a more realistic level. That is not to say there are no attractive men online or that
the attractive ones are the worthwhile ones. By the time we pass 50, most of us want more than good looks but neither do we have to settle for someone we find un-attractive.

6. Don't expect the impossible.

Do not expect prospective partners to be perfect, we are all a little older. Please be courteous - a request to know you is a compliment, even if you are not interested; after all, everyone on a dating site is simply looking for someone in their life, just as you are. A clear but polite refusal is all that is required, never ignore a contact, acknowledge all communications.

7. Don't assume it's risk-free - a dating site, even a paid membership and reputable one, can have its dangers.

Although dating sites are monitored, that will not protect you. Safety guidelines available on most sites will help.

8. Don't feel pressured to respond - stand your ground.

9. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Once you have made a decision, stick to it. Some people online can be persistent. If you no longer wish to communicate with someone - say so. But please be polite. If they continue to pester you, the site administrators will deal with them.

10. Don’t assume sex is safe over 50

Many divorces are taking place among the over 50s and, as we get older, the chance of one partner pre-deceasing the other increases. Finding yourself alone later in life is difficult and confusing, even when it is from choice, and sex can be mistaken for love. Prevention of pregnancy is not the only reason to use a condom and sexually transmitted diseases among the over 50s are on the increase.

10. Don’t be impatient - your perfect partner will not appear overnight, nothing worth having ever does.

It is not easy to take your time when you feel as though it is marching on, but taking the first offer you get is not a good idea. Loneliness is not a happy state for human beings and we try to put an end to it as quickly as we can, but my advice would be to hold out for what you want. Do not settle for a relationship that will only end your solitary state - aim for happiness! You are not past feeling joy. Having a spring in your step (and a twinkle in your eye!) will melt away the years and give you a future you will be glad you waited for.

My couple of years’ research have been fun and I have met some delightful people, but not that special one. I long to have a love-interest in my life so I am determined to keep on searching for my dream man, although with fingers crossed - but that could be my arthritis!

Margaret's book Pulling in the 21st Century is available from Amazon in e-book form.

By Margaret Goodwin

Twitter: @pullingin21stC

morethanagranforsure58 Thu 31-Jul-14 15:09:07

I spent 5 years dating online and I think it is a fantastic opportunity to expand your social life and to greatly increase your chances of meeting someone special. I had little opportunity at work (all women) or at my gym (all women) or in my front room (no knights on chargers).

One of the main lessons I learned was about managing expectations. I never expected a date to be 'the one' and this would take most of the pressure off me and my date. In my mind, I was meeting new people. If we got on and wanted to meet each other again, we did and if we didn't really click, I tried to have an enjoyable evening and came up with an excuse if I wanted to end the evening early. I would give a cheery goodbye and wish them luck with their next date. Towards the end of my adventure, I only met dates for coffee, wore casual clothes and very little make up so if it didn't turn out well the impact felt much less. (I used a local dating service to make this possible). I'm been happily married to a wonderful man for the last 5 years and I knew from the moment I met him. He is also a great granddad!

Silverfish Thu 31-Jul-14 22:40:56

What on earth do people mean when they say the 'dating game' or 'dating scene', I have never had anyone tell me they are playing the game. How do you identify a 'gamer' or someone on the 'scene'. is it a secret club. Online dating sites are for the desperate and I would never use one.
Why does anyone need to play a 'game' to get a partner?
Why should anyone go to such lengths to get a
I always thought it is better to learn to live alone, and become self sufficient, get used to your own company and then if a man comes along who is suitable then of course try him out.
The young women who end a relationship and then go on the town the same day looking for a man make me feel sick, how can they have got over the last relationship. I lived on a large estate once where gangs of young single mothers would go out on a Friday night and at about 2 int he morning they would come back in couples, then the next day they would be going to the pub with the men having stayed overnight.
I also think that referring to a 'game' makes women feel pressured as soon as they are single to go out and produce a man just to show off to their friends that they can find a man.

Silverfish Thu 31-Jul-14 22:45:00

Isnt 'dating' a little outdated an expression. Most women I know just ask the men back to their homes as they cant have sex out on a date. They just plunge straight into a relationship. Don't men who advertise say 'can accomodate', meaning they have a home and privacy. Also adverts say OHAC meaning own home and car, which is a direct invite to staying in, also they advertise, 'nights in' which is self explanatory.

vovixis Tue 30-Jun-20 10:09:05

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