Dating when you are over 60

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Many older people are under the impression that online dating is for youngsters or that they haven’t got the necessary skills or knowledge to participate even though they would love to find a new partner.

Finding yourself alone either as a result of bereavement, divorce or simply because you have devoted your life to a career or caring for others – can be difficult and it is the most natural thing in the world for you to want to find someone to share your life with – no matter what age you are. The easiest and most successful way of finding a new partner is through online dating but the very idea of using a computer to date can raise serious concerns for older people who are less used to conducting their lives online. Here we try to address some of those concerns.

Staying Safe

The most immediate concern older people have about meeting people online is their personal safety,  not surprisingly when the media is full of scare stories about pensioners being robbed or scammed out of their life savings. You will be relieved to know that by using the guided communication on eHarmony, and the safety advice provided, meeting people in this way is probably much safer than more traditional dating methods.

When you are chatting to someone online they will not know where you live, your email address, phone number or even real name until you want to give them that information. There is no pressure to move from chatting online to meeting face to face until you are sure the person you are talking to is genuine. If you do have any concerns, or if anyone pressures you to meet up before you are ready, you can call customer care who are always on hand with help and advice.

When you do feel ready to meet in person there are many articles on the advice site to ensure you stay safe. Remember you are never on your own and your safety is our priority.

Using a computer

Many older people are put off online dating because it requires them to use a computer – something which many people find intimidating and confusing. The fear of computer use is usually down to lack of familiarity rather than any lack of skillYoung people have often used computers since they were small children which is why they are so good at it. And it can make them your best teachers if you are serious about wanting to learn.

If you have a young relative be brave and ask them to help you with your internet skills. They may be able to help you get an email address, write a profile and take and upload pictures (profiles with photos get a lot more responses than those without) which is all that is required to start online dating – and regular access to a computer.

Don’t worry if you don’t know any young people who can help you or if you don’t own a computer. Check your local area for beginner’s computer classes. Public libraries usually provide internet access and may run special classes for the over 60s which can help get you started. Once you are reasonably proficient you may be able to book time slots on the library computers and there will usually be staff on hand to help if you get stuck.

The rules

Online dating is different from traditional dating and many older people are put off because they feel like they don’t know the rules. To help you there are lots of advice articles on the site to inform you about how things are done in the virtual dating world. The main difference from traditional dating is that it is OK to be dating more than one person at a time. As you are likely get a large number of matches, it is good to meet as many as possible, even if only for a drink – this gives you the best chance of finding someone you really connect with.

Stigma

Internet dating used to carry some social stigma but this has changed a lot in recent years as more and more of life is conducted online. It is now commonplace for the internet to be used in all aspects of life – including the search for love. Be open about what you are doing and get the help and support of your family and friends. You never know, your proactive and positive approach might inspire them to sign up too.


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