Depending on your personal situation, online dating might be a completely new thing to you. For many who are over 50, the internet didn’t even exist when they were dating, let alone meeting someone on the Worldwide Web.
Even for the internet savvy, online dating still can bring about some anxiety. Age notwithstanding, the idea that you can meet someone from a picture and a few paragraphs and fall madly in love with them just blows your mind. You’ve seen plenty of movies where it’s worked out, but you’ve also lived enough life to know how hard marriage is and the idea of falling in love with a completely random stranger that you met on a website or app is a lot to process too.
But to quote Truvy in Steel Magnolias, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.”
You never know what could happen so step outside of your own personal comfort zone and just give it a try. Maybe don’t think about marriage at this point. Just think about dating and going to dinner or coffee with someone. That’s not bad, is it?
But where do you even begin? It’s a lot to figure out and, again, it can make you nervous—maybe even a little overwhelmed. We’re here to help. Here are some suggestions that might make getting your feet wet in the world of online dating a little easier…
1. Don’t Be Afraid of Traditional Online Dating Sites
Online dating sites like eharmony, Match.com, and Our Time are what we call “traditional online dating sites.” What that means is you set up an account, pay for a membership (1, 3, 6, or 12 months), and receive matches based on the parameters you set for yourself. Most traditional online dating sites also have apps, but the majority of the setting up process is usually done from your computer instead of via mobile.
If you’ve never used online dating, it can seem a bit daunting or nerve-wracking. Are you setting up your profile correctly? Are your privacy settings the way you want them? Are your pictures honest yet still good? How many pictures? What interesting information can you tell about yourself in your profile?
Don’t let those questions scare you away. It’s similar to setting up your Facebook profile. But one good idea is to get a trusted friend to help you or to look over it when you’re finished. They can advise you on the best pictures to post and review your profile and let you know if you need to share more about yourself or reel it in.
Which should you begin with? Check out our post for the Best Online Dating Sites for Over 50. Also, scroll down to the bottom of the page for the latest discounts and deals.
2. Don’t Be Afraid of Dating Apps
You’ve probably heard stories of Millennials and Gen Z’ers who use dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge and swipe right for sexual hook-ups. That’s definitely one use of them. However, apps are also a useful tool for just plain ol’ dating.
Since you’re in the Over 50 Club, though, chances are you’re not going to find as many matches in your age range because, at the moment, it’s primarily a younger generation thing. That said, there ARE people who are over 50 who are using dating apps successfully. It’s just that if there are fewer people in your age bracket who are using dating apps, then it stands to reason that there would be even fewer Christians who are over 50 and using them. That in no way means there are none, but it just means there are fewer.
But since dating apps are free, why not download and set up a profile on one of them? Most connect via your Facebook account so they’re even quicker and simpler to set up than a traditional online dating profile.
However, manage your expectations when using a dating app. There’s something to be said for people who pay to play, like the traditional online dating sites. Those folks have some skin in the game and are usually more committed because they’ve got dollar bills behind their efforts. When it comes to dating apps, you might find that your matches flake out on you a little easier because they’re not paying for that membership. They have no need to hurry because their subscription won’t run out soon and they can play the field and disappear easier when no money is involved. Don’t take it personally—it happens on dating apps all the time.
Check out our review of the Best Dating Apps for Christians.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Use Both an App and a Traditional Online Dating Site
Once you’re comfortable with either the app or the traditional online dating site, add the other one to your dating game.
Since the apps are free and many of them are location-based, they can be a good addition to a traditional site, especially if you feel like you’ve run out of matches for a little bit. Likewise, if you’re solely using a dating app and you’re tiring of the swiping, add a traditional online dating site membership to your rotation. You’ll probably find more serious online dating users who give you more information upfront than the 1-2 questions posed on the dating apps.
Check out our review of the Best Christian Dating Sites.
4. Don’t Give Up Too Quickly
Rome wasn’t built in a day. There might be a few people who fall in love at first sight on the traditional sites or dating apps, but most people take longer than a few days or weeks to find a date. Everyone is different, though, and you can always hold out hope that you’re going to find the love of your life within a matter of days.
But if you don’t…
Don’t give up. In fact, it’s recommended—by us and others—that you give online dating at least 3 months before walking away. It takes a while to get your profile set up the way you like it, to communicate back and forth with your matches, and to really get in an online dating rhythm. Don’t throw in the towel with frustration if you don’t see immediate results. Even though you might think you don’t have all the time in the world to wait, dating at any age—whether online or in real life—really is a sprint and not a marathon.
For a more thorough discussion on why you shouldn’t quit too soon, check out our post on why you should give online dating at least 3 months before quitting.
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