Online dating for over 40s

There are more and more online dating sites popping up, almost on a daily basis. Online dating is used by people from all walks of life, and all ages. What are the risks, we hear all kinds of stories about women and men being scammed, raped, robbed, are they the exceptions?
It seems that men and women in theirs 40s and 50s, and beyond, are finding that the internet offers a way to meet and screen potential partners. Young people probably find it easier to meet people socially, they are still connected to social groups where meeting and dating is part of the expected activity. Young people go out in groups, some people in the group may be couples but several will be single, older people have moved out of this scene and if they have recently come out of a long term relationship they may well find that all of their friends are couples, therefore their chances of meeting a new partner are limited. When you are part of a group your friends or acquaintances will probably know, or know of, anyone you might be dating; or if they don’t, they will meet them soon after you start going out so you’ll be able to judge how they fit in with your group. Likewise you’ll meet their friends and you can gather some information about them and get a feel for the bigger picture.

When you meet someone online you really have no way of knowing if their online persona is what they are like in real life. The online dating rules are worth repeating here,
• Always meet in a public place for the first few times you meet.
• Never send money to anyone.
• Don’t travel abroad to meet someone unless you book your own accommodation and make sure you leave a travel plan and contact details with your family. Be aware that in one well publicised case a man traveled to an African country to meet a woman he had been emailing for several months only to be kidnapped and held to ransom when he got there.
• I may be old fashioned but I think you should insist on HIV and STD tests before you have intimate relations or sex with someone you know little about. If your new friend is genuine this shouldn’t be a problem. At the very least practice safe sex. STDs are on the rise in this older age group, it is thought that people in this age group are not as aware as they might be about the risks of having unprotected sex.
• Arrange for your new friend to meet your friends and family as soon as you can, they will be able to get to know them and give you some feedback. This may sound over cautious, but some people are very good at playing a part to get your confidence to get what they want. It’s harder to fool several people. If they are reluctant to meet your friends and family, ask your self why, what do they have to hide?

Having said all that, I do believe there are thousands of genuine people out there looking for opportunities to have a happy relationship and online dating is an effective way of meeting many people and having a choice. Choose the dating site you use carefully, ask them how they screen their members, do they check for criminal records? What control do you have over who your profile is sent to? How much are you going to pay, is it a one off payment or a monthly fee? What criteria do they use to match potential introductions, or is it a ‘free for all’? Will you get a personal interview or is everything done online? Where is their office, can you go and see it?

Do you know what you are looking for in a potential partner?
What qualities would you like?
What don’t you want?

It really is worth making a list, use your list to narrow down the introductions you are offered, remember you don’t have to meet any of them if you don’t feel they match what you are looking for. If you would like advice on relationships and finding the right person for you, treat yourself to our e-book, it’s packed full of information that will help you choose the right person and make the relationship work.

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