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for Love and Companionship Online
sites have become enormously popular among the older generation in
recent years. In fact, boomers and seniors make up about 20 percent
of online daters today, and the numbers keeps growing. Here’s
what you should know.
If you’re interested in dating again or are just looking for a friend to
spend time with, dating websites are an easy way to meet hundreds of new single
people without ever having to leave home.
If you’re feeling hesitant, a good way to ease into it is to visit a few
dating sites and look around. Most services allow you to check out their members
at no cost or obligation. Then, if you like what you see, you can sign up (fees
typically range between $15 and $60 per month, however some sites are free) and
start emailing members you’re interested in or they can email you. Here
are some other tips to help you get started.
Choose a site: With over 1,000 matchmaking sites on the Internet today, choosing
can be a bit overwhelming. Depending on your preferences here are some popular
options to look into.
If you don’t want to spend any money, free sites like PlentyofFish.comand OKCupid.com are good places to start, but beware that these sites have a
lot of ads.
If you’re interested lot’s of choices, consider mainstream sites
like Match.com and eHarmony.com which have huge memberships in all demographics.
Or, if you are looking to find a specific type of person, there are hundreds
of niche sites like OurTime.com and SeniorPeopleMeet.com for those 50 and older,
Alikewise.com for book lovers, DateMyPet.com for animal lovers, VeggieDate.orgfor vegetarians, JDate.com for Jewish singles, BlackPeopleMeet.com for African
Americans, and ChristianMingle.com whose slogan is “Find God’s Match
for You.” Or, check out AARP’s new dating website partner HowAboutWe.com.
Create a profile: When you join a dating site you’ll need to create a personality
profile that reflects who you are including recent photos, hobbies, interests,
favorite activities and more. If you need some help, sites like eFlirtExpert.comor VirtualDatingAssistants.com can write one for you for a fee.
Use caution: When you register with a dating site you remain anonymous. No one
gets access to your full name, address, phone number or email until you decide
to give it out. So be very prudent who you give your information to, and before
meeting, chat on the phone a few times or video chat online, and when you do
meet in person for the first time, meet in a public place or bring a friend along.
If you want to be extra cautious, you can do a quick background check on your
date for a few dollars at sites like valimate.com and mymatchchecker.com.
Don’t be naive: In an effort to get more responses, many people will exaggerate
or flat out lie in their profiles, or post pictures that are 10 years old or
20 pounds lighter. So don’t believe everything you see or read.
Make an effort: A lot of times, people – especially women – sit back
and let others come to them. Don’t be afraid to make the first move. When
you find someone you like, send a short note that says, “I really enjoyed
your profile. I think we have some things in common.” Keep it simple.
Don’t get discouraged: If you don’t get a response from someone,
don’t let it bother you. Just move on. There are many others that will
be interested in you and it only takes one person to make Internet dating worthwhile.
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