#88 Dating Tips for the Over 40s
Embarking on the task of online dating can be a daunting prospect for many people. We recognise that it can very daunting for someone who has recently been divorced, lost a loved one or who have never been lucky in love. We asked 14 top Relationship Experts, Psychologists and Life Coaches to tailor their top online dating tips for singles over 45 who are looking for love, friendship and companionship.
How do I know I am ready to start online dating?
Whatever life has thrown at you, be that divorce, a death of a partner or bad luck in love, itís advisable to take some time understanding what it is you would like to achieve from online dating. The most important thing to do is to make sure youíre ready for it. Are you over past bad experiences? Are you feeling confident? Is your self esteem high? If yesÖ..get going with online dating, youíre ready.
Over 40s Dating Tip #1: Wait Until Youíre Ready
At our age, a lot of people are divorced or even widowed. After divorce or death of a spouse, allow at least one month for every year of marriage. - Phillip Petree
Over 40s Dating Tip #2: Take Time To Do Your Inner Work
Take the time to do your own inner work before you go looking for an outer mate. When you've done your work, you'll know what the best qualities are for your best partner, and they may have nothing to do with what the magazines, movies, or missives tell you you should want. - Rhoberta Shaler
Over 40s Dating Tip #3: Heal First
Do not go from break-up to online dating. Heal first. - Rhoberta Shaler
Over 40s Dating Tip #4: Get Busy Living
In the modern classic film, "The Shawshank Redemption," Tim Robbins' character, Andy Dufresne, says to Morgan Freeman's Red, "Get busy living or get busy dying." Get busy living? Buy your own home! Travel to all of the places you want to visit! Adopt a child! Write that novel! Engage in hobbies and activities that bring you joy! Chances are, when you start focusing on what will make you happy Ė not *who* will make you happy Ė you WILL be happy. - Lisa Becker
"Happiness makes you more interesting and more attractive to someone else. "
Over 40s Dating Tip #5: Be Happy
Happiness is evident and infectious. Happiness makes you more interesting and more attractive to someone else. And when that happens, you are more likely to meet the right person who is going to complement the amazing life youíve created for yourself. - Lisa Becker
Over 40s Dating Tip #6: Become Confident
Nothing is more attractive in a partner than confidence. Work on your self-esteem, believe in yourself and that energy will attract a partner who appreciates you for who you are. Be the partner you want to attract. It makes difference in your results. - Rosalind Sedacca
Now youíve established that youíre ready to start online dating, itís time to figure out what it is youíre looking to get out of it. Are you looking for friendship? Is it companionship youíre after? Are you looking for the love of your life? Whatever it is, keep an open mind, and you never know, you might just find what youíre looking for.
Over 40s Dating Tip #7: Figure Out What You Donít Want
We think a lot about what we want in a partner, but understanding what we don't want is just as important. It will help you recognize red flags and avoid investing too much time and energy in a relationship that won't work. Create a written no-no list of characteristics that you cannot accept in a partner. This will help you to clarify who you are looking for and allow you to make better choices, particularly when physical attraction takes over. - Venus Rouhani
Over 40s Dating Tip #8: Donít Be Embarrassed
Donít say Someone twisted your arm to join. Online dating has become mainstream, period. Celebrities and your neighbors are members of online dating site and so shall you be. - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #9: Know What You Need
Dating is not what it used to be when you were younger. It is very vital that you know what you need so that it becomes easier to meet someone who will compliment you based on your needs and be a good match. - Kemi Sogunle
"The fastest growing segment for online dating is 45+."
Over 40s Dating Tip #10: Know That Youíre Not The Only One
The fastest growing segment for online dating is 45+. This is because people are finding themselves newly divorced and are trying online dating for the first time. - Julie Spira
How do I choose a dating site?
There are an overwhelming amount of online dating sites available to you, and we know it can be hard to understand the differences between them all. Older-Dating.co.uk is a dating site that caters especially for singles over 45 with similar life experiences to yours. There are thousands of friendly singles chatting day and night, so you can be sure that friendships are made with people from all walks of life.
Over 40s Dating Tip #11: Join 2 - 3 Dating Sites
Most singles are on more than one dating site. Join one that has a large membership base, and try another niche site based on faith or hobbies. Youíll determine in time which site works best for you. - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #12: Keep Up To Date
Always stay up to date on the hot new sites by talking to friends and others who are in the know about online dating. Hot new sites are always cropping up, so it's important to stay abreast of the trends. - Karenna Alexander
How long does it take to find someone on an online dating site?
There is no particular timeframe that works with online dating, it could take a week, it could take a year. What you should understand is that online dating does time time and effort. The more effort you put in, the more you will get out of it.
Over 40s Dating Tip #13: Give It Time
I know you want to fall in love instantly. So does everyone, but just like looking for the perfect job, sometimes it takes time. I recommend joining an online dating site for a full year. If you meet ďthe oneĒ before that, how wonderful will that be. If not, youíll learn more about what youíre looking for. The more you date, the better dater you become. - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #14: Donít Give Up
Online dating will feel like work, like a second job. Finding love online may feel like a needle in a haystack, but don't give up. You wouldn't stop job searching if you were unemployed. You shouldn't stop online dating until you find the love of your life. - Karenna Alexander
How do I set up an online dating profile?
This is one of the hardest parts of online dating, but once itís done (well), you can get on with the fun stuff like finding your first date!
Over 40s Dating Tip #15: Create A Catchy Username
Some dating sites allow you to create a unique username. This will differentiate yourself from other profiles. I suggest using song titles or activities that youíre passionate about. For instance, if you enjoy yoga, have a screen name that contains the word, such as ďYogaLover.Ē If you enjoy music, how about ďGuitarMan.Ē - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #16: Consider Outsourcing Your Online Dating Life
That is to say, pay someone to write your profile, curate potential matches for you, and message them to schedule your dates. Why? It's a time saver. Nielsen data shows that 1 in 10 Americans spends at least an hour every day on a dating site or app. If you haven't dated in a while (or several years), it eases your entry into the world of online dating. You don't have to worry about what to write or what if he winks at you... Having a virtual dating assistants means all you have to do is show up to the date! Work with an expert who has written hundreds of profiles and nailed down hundreds of dates. - Michelle Malawer
Over 40s Dating Tip #17: Just Be You
To avoid others knowing what you perceive to be a negative, many will create a fake profile online or in reality. This created persona only leads you to dating a mismatched relationship which ends in disaster. Instead be honest with yourself and others. A perceived negative is also a positive. The introverted, who believes will come across too shy, can be seen as a good listener. By being you, you find someone who likes you for you. - Chris Delaney
How do I take the best online dating photos?
There are so many dos and doníts with an online dating piccie, but it doesnít have to be complicated. The most important tips are in this section, so be sure to read this before you get the camera out.
Over 40s Dating Tip #18: Do Learn To Use The Self Timer
If you take a selfie, make sure it doesn't look like a selfie. Get two or three attractive photos. A headshot and a body shot. - Karenna Alexander
Over 40s Dating Tip #19: Do Get Professional Pictures
Too many people refuse to do this, which leads you to be frustrated as well when your date doesn't look like what you thought. - Stefanie Safran
"Do Smile :)"
Over 40s Dating Tip #20: Do Smile
No one wants to date sourpuss. You may think the brooding shots are artsy looking. They may be. But they aren't the best photos to use for online dating. - Karenna Alexander
Over 40s Dating Tip #21: Do Wear Red
Research from the University of Rochester has shown that men respond more frequently to women wearing red in their profiles. I say ditch the little black dress and wear a red dress or sweater in your profile and on your first date. Red is the color of love, romance, Valentineís Day, and the stop sign. - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #22: Do Limit Yourself To 6 Photos
Mobile apps allow you to post up to 6 photos. I suggest you use them all. Other sites allow you to post huge amounts of photos. This is a dating site, not Facebook or Instagram. - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #23: Do Caption Your Photos
A picture tells a story, but it doesnít necessarily show when the photo was taken. I recommend captioning each photo and include the year the photo was taken. - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #24: Donít Post Group Photos
You need to make it easy for your date to know instantly who the person will be showing up for the date. Group photos give the feeling that youíre a party-person and arenít serious. Make your profile all about you. - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #25: Donít Post Photos Of Your Children
While itís important to say that you have children and that youíre a proud mother or father, donít post photos of them in your profile. You donít want to exploit your kids and you donít want someone to think they are signing up for an instant family. - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #26: Donít Post Shirtless Photos
Men often put up shirtless photos but it's a mistake. Just know that shirtless photos don't turn women on as much as men think they do. - Karenna Alexander
Over 40s Dating Tip #27: Donít Post Bathroom Selfies
Bathroom selfies are ubiquitous online. But they are the tackiest thing ever. I constantly hear from women about how much it turns them off. - Karenna Alexander
Over 40s Dating Tip #28: Donít Post Pictures Of Your Ex
Putting up photos with a bevy of women or past girlfriends or boyfriends is also a huge turnoff. People wonder what you are trying to prove. - Karenna Alexander
Over 40s Dating Tip #29: Donít Post Cliches
Try to avoid being the online dating cliche and don't post photos of yourself next to a tiger, or holding a fish, or in front of your car or your boat. - Karenna Alexander
Over 40s Dating Tip #30: Donít Post Old Photos
Don't put up photos from 20 years ago, when you were 100 pounds thinner. If you do, expect your date to be angry, and rightly so. Your date may ditch you right right away. It's better to post a recent flattering photo, no matter how overweight or old you think you look. It works better in the long run. - Karenna Alexander
Over 40s Dating Tip #31: Donít Hide Your Face
Make sure your face isn't hiding in your profile photos. Some people are uncomfortable about being online and shield their face by darkness or shadows or even sunglasses. Many people view that as suspicious - they wonder what you are hiding. - Karenna Alexander
How do I write an online dating profile description?
This is by far the hardest thing to do when it comes to your online dating journey. So many people skip writing a profile, but donít be tempted as it can seriously hinder your chances of success.
Over 40s Dating Tip #32: Be Honest
When entering the dating game your insecurities can quickly come to the surface. - Chris Delaney
"Be who you are, not who you think someone wants you to be."
Over 40s Dating Tip #33: Be Honest!
Don't have a fantasy life on dating websites. This goes along with being honest. Be who you are, not who you think someone wants you to be. - Rhoberta Shaler
Over 40s Dating Tip #34: Be Honest!!
You only prolong the process of finding a partner by fibbing about yourself, your age, your weight, your past. You want a real partner, so, be real from the start. - Rhoberta Shaler
Over 40s Dating Tip #35: Let Your Authenticity Shine
Don't lie about your age/weight/background or other details that ultimately will be found out. Sure, there are many liars on dating sites, but don't be one yourself. You can't attract a quality partner if you start by being deceitful and insecure about who you are. - Rosalind Sedacca
Over 40s Dating Tip #36: Get The Point Of View Right
Write your profile from the point of view of who you want to have in your life, rather than from the point of view of trying to be attractive to others reading it. - Rhoberta Shaler
Over 40s Dating Tip #37: Keep It Brief
There needs to be some mystery or a reason for someone to actually meet you. For a mainstream dating site, I recommend a word count of 125-150 words. For a mobile dating app, 2-3 sentences, max. - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #38: Be Individual
Let your personality shine through and be specific about the things that make you special including hobbies and interests. This is your chance to make a positive first impression while being in complete control of the messages you are delivering. The main character in my novel, Click: An Online Love Story, writes in her profile: "I cry at Hallmark commercials, love the band Spider Fire, enjoy baking and cooking (and make the world's greatest chocolate chip cookies Ė no exaggeration here!), sing (sometimes off key) with the radio while driving, own more pairs of black shoes than should be legal, and my fear of flying is rivaled only by my love for chocolate." This tells someone who she really is including her sense of humor, interests and confidence level. So be creative! - Lisa Becker
Over 40s Dating Tip #39: Be Specific About What Youíre Looking For
Some singles 45+ just want to learn to date again and want to meet a lot of people to rebuild their confidence. Others are ready to settle down, right now. Whatever your dating goals are, say so in your profile. - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #40: Be Safe
Don't reveal personal details in your public profile. - Karenna Alexander
Over 40s Dating Tip #41: Dump The Cliches
Profiles look so similar, donít they? Please avoid saying you want to go on a romantic beach walk or go from jeans to black tie. One of the best profiles I saw was unique where the man said, Iím comfortable in Venice, CA to Venice, Italy. - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #42: Donít Sell Sex
Respect yourself enough to not sell sex in your profile....unless that's your profession. Too many people put provocative profiles-and photos-up and then wonder why people who contact them are only interested in booty calls - Rhoberta Shaler
Over 40s Dating Tip #43: Donít Involve The Ex
Write as little as possible in your profile about your exes and try not to talk much about them on your first three dates, especially. There's time to get to know one another. - Karenna Alexander
Over 40s Dating Tip #44: Donít Bash The Ex
Chances are both you and your potential dates have an ex floating around somewhere. No one wants to hear about your divorce or the one who isnít paying the agreed upon support payments. Talking about an ex is an immediate buzz kill for online dating. - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #45: Leave The Drama Behind
There are certain off-limits subjects to be discussing online before you meet offline. This includes any medical conditions you might have that arenít life threatening and any financial problems you might be facing. No one wants to date a ďDebbie or Donnie Downer.Ē - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #46: Avoid Disclaimers
Some people actually write a list of what they arenít looking for in their profile. They will even label it their disclaimer. Donít go down that path. You should know what youíre looking for and not come up with a ďdonít contact me ifÖ.Ē list. The only thing your potential date will see is ďdonítĒ and I promise you, they wonít. - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #47: Punctuation And Spelling Matter
Know the difference between ďtheirĒ and ďthereĒ and ďyourĒ and ďyouíreĒ. An online dating site did a survey which showed that 88% of women and 75% of men said they cared about grammar most. Act as smart as you really are. - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #48: Keep Your Profile Short And Sweet
Less is more. No one wants to read War and Peace. Online dating is really just a means to get to the in-person date. No revealing of any deep dark secrets either. You wouldn't put all your failures out there on a resume for a job. The same goes for your online dating profile. - Karenna Alexander
Over 40s Dating Tip #49: Proofread
Proofread your profile to make sure itís perfect. You could even ask a trusted friend to look it over for you. Not only do you likely want to come across as literate and educated, but someone who takes pride in him or herself. - Lisa Becker
How often should I update my online dating profile?
Over 40s Dating Tip #50: Update Your Profile
Itís a little known secret in the Internet dating industry, that if you revise or tweak your profile, your profile will show up in the feed of some dating sites as updated, and in others will appear higher on a search just by tweaking it slightly. - Julie Spira
How often should I log in to an online dating site?
Over 40s Dating Tip #51: Login 2 - 3 Times A day
The more often you log in, the more often you might appear in a search. If youíre busy looking at Facebook during the day, take a moment to log onto your dating site or app as well. After all, this is your love life weíre talking about. - Julie Spira
What should I say when messaging people on online dating sites?
So youíve found some people you like the look of! Congratulations! The fun starts here. Before you press send, follow these important pieces of advice so that you get off on the right foot.
"Relax, get comfortable and be yourself."
Over 40s Dating Tip #52: Be Yourself
Relax, get comfortable and be yourself. - Kemi Sogunle
Over 40s Dating Tip #53: Donít Say ďHeyĒ
Horses hang out in hay and you donít want to date a horse, right? Hey is too casual and is used often by someone who might be looking to hook up or not have a serious relationship. - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #54: Use Their First Name
When you make it personal and use their first name, itís a first step toward building a trusting relationship. It also shows someone that you are writing to them and not sending the same "cut and paste" email to everyone. - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #55: Spend Time On Personalised Messages
Don't send form letters that you cut and paste to 100 different potential dates online. Those are very easily spotted and a turn off. - Karenna Alexander
Over 40s Dating Tip #56: Quote Something From Their Profile
When you do approach someone online, say something about their profile to show you have read the profile. - Karenna Alexander
Over 40s Dating Tip #57: Ask Questions
Asking questions in emails to those you are writing to you and to those in your profile results in someone actually answering the question. Your profile shouldnít be a static billboard. Ask someone where their favorite vacation spot is, or whatís on their bucket list. - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #58: Keep The Email To 5 Sentences
I subscribe to the Steve Jobs rule about writing emails. Keep your emails to 5 sentences and remember to ask a question in one of them. No one wants to read a novel. - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #59: Donít Be Seen As Sloppy
Proofread your emails and texts as well. A typo here or there is not a killer, but beyond that is careless and sloppy - Karenna Alexander
Over 40s Dating Tip #60: Donít Chit Chat Too Much Online
The only way you will be able to tell if there is chemistry is if you make a date and meet in person. A few back and forth emails are OK, but beyond that, you become pen pals and that is not what you want. - Karenna Alexander
How many people should I message on an online dating site?
Over 40s Dating Tip #61: Itís All About Volume
The more people you match with, the more you will communicate with and the more you will ultimately go on a date with. This increases the likelihood that you will meet someone that you will connect with in a meaningful way. Thereís only a 2% chance that youíll actually meet the person for you. So keep your numbers high. - Venessa Perry
What do I do if I havenít had a reply to my message?
Over 40s Dating Tip #62: Keep An Open Mind
If you've applied to a job in the last 5 years, you've seen how many applicants apply, even if they aren't qualified. The same goes for online dating. - Stefanie Safran
Do I have to reply to every message I receive?
Over 40s Dating Tip #66: Pay Close Attention
Words often have actions tied in when spoken. Pay close attention to the words uttered so you can better get a feel for the actions therein. Be vulnerable but not gullible. - Kemi Sogunle
Over 40s Dating Tip #67: Not Everyone Will Be Suitable For You
Expect to get people who apply to date you who don't fit what you want. - Stefanie Safran
"Try not to read too much into everything that is said."
Over 40s Dating Tip #68: Donít Overanalyse
Try not to read too much into everything that is said. So if a person asks you what you do for a living, or where you live? Donít think theyíre trying to figure out if you have money or if they can move in. This is called getting to know you. Now, granted you should be careful in revealing too much information, but thatís just common sense. - Venessa Perry
How long should I wait before replying to someoneís online dating message?
Over 40s Dating Tip #69: Donít Play The Waiting Game
I always say, ďthe squeaky wheel gets the digital love deal.Ē Itís time to forget your grandmotherís rules. If you want a few days to reply to someone interesting, he or she might have already met someone who was more available. Respond to emails within 24 hours. - Julie Spira
Iíve found someone I like. How do I approach the subject of a date?
Over 40s Dating Tip #70: Donít Be A Digital Pen Pal
While itís flattering to fill up your date box, you need to take your relationship from online to offline after a few exchanges - Julie Spira
Over 40s Dating Tip #71: Have A Phone Date First
Thereís a secret to giving great phone. Schedule a phone date after a few email/text exchanges and donít talk for over 20 minutes. Stay positive and upbeat. The goal of your phone date is to put a date on the calendar. If you arenít clicking at all, just thank someone for their time and move on. A bad phone date will generally result in a bad date in person. - Julie Spira
Iíve just scheduled a first date, now what?
This is very exciting! Youíre going on a date! There are just a few things to understand before skipping off...
Over 40s Dating Tip #72: Limit The First Date To An Hour
When you make the date, try to limit it to coffee or a drink for only one hour. That way you can get in and out if you aren't into the date. If you click, then you can always make another longer date in the future. - Karenna Alexander
"Get to know and understand your partner and let things flow from the friendship level."
Over 40s Dating Tip #73: Learn To Be Friends First
Don't rush the dating process. Get to know and understand your partner and let things flow from the friendship level. - Kemi Sogunle
Over 40s Dating Tip #74: Consider Your Appearance And Attitude
First impressions are lasting. Take some time to consider your appearance and attitude particularly on a first date. Thereís no need to wear a suit or stilettos if youíre going hiking but dress to impress and make sure you show your best self. - Venessa Perry
Over 40s Dating Tip #75: Donít Take Your First Date That Seriously
If you have a great first date, don't start planning to introduce them to your friends; it takes time to see if someone's intentions are to move forward. - Stefanie Safran
Over 40s Dating Tip #76: Donít Look At Your Phone
Don't take your phone out on the first meeting. It's very rude and a pet peeve of almost everybody! - Karenna Alexander
Over 40s Dating Tip #77: Donít Bitch
When you are on the date, don't bitch about how much you hate online dating. You sound like a complainer. Plus, you just met your date on the site, it can't be that bad, right? - Karenna Alexander
Over 40s Dating Tip #78: Donít Drill Your Date
Don't drill your date about their online dating experiences. Talk about real life and get to know them in real life. - Karenna Alexander
Over 40s Dating Tip #79: Donít Stalk Online
Once you are back from your date, don't stalk your date online. Many users can tell when someone views their profile. It looks juvenile and stalker-ish if you are creeping on their profile after the date. - Karenna Alexander
Over 40s Dating Tip #80: Be Safe
Be safe always. Let someone know when you are heading out to a date. - Karenna Alexander
Over 40s Dating Tip #81: Be Comfortable
If you don't feel comfortable, cut the date short and always make sure you aren't being followed home. - Karenna Alexander
What if the first date didnít work out? How do I let them down?
This is not a nice thing to experience, but you know whatÖ itís their loss. Pick yourself up and get back online. Youíll be sure to find someone new in no time. Good luck.
Over 40s Dating Tip #82: Move On
If youíre not into him or her, move on. Donít waste your time or theirs. If he doesnít work for you, tell them and keep moving. Donít spend time and energy in situations that donít serve you well. Theyíll appreciate and respect you more if you tell them you donít see the relationship working out between the two of you. Make sure you communicate this without getting into a long conversation and please, donít ghost on the person. Be mature about the situation. - Venessa Perry
What if they donít want to see me again after the first date, how do I handle the rejection?
So the first date went well! Thatís great! This might the end of your online dating journey, and if your second, third and fourth dates well, you may even consider entering into a relationship. Keep an open mind, go slowly, and who knows what may happen in the future!
Over 40s Dating Tip #83: Decide If Youíd Like To Remain Friends
If your partner does not want to go on a second date, do not feel rejected but thank them for the first date. If you feel rejected after the first date, it may be that your partner is second-guessing themselves or they donít know what they need. You can also decide if you want to remain friends. It does not hurt to keep mutual friendship as you never know what can happen later on in life. - Kemi Sogunle
Over 40s Dating Tip #84: Youíre Just Not Their Cookie
If you're walking down the aisle of the grocery store you don't buy every type of cookie. You don't like every type. You have two or three favorites. It doesn't mean that all the other cookies are bad, it just means they're not the kind of cookie you want. The same applies to dating and being rejected. You're just not their cookie. But just like the cookies at the grocery store, if you watch, eventually every cookie gets taken home. - Phillip Petree
Over 40s Dating Tip #85: Keep Trying
Nothing beats a failure but a try. If a date doesnít work out, go out with someone else. Just because a few dates or even a relationship doesnít work out, doesnít mean that thereís not someone out there for you. - Venessa Perry
I think this one is a keeper. What now?
"If you like them, let them know."
Over 40s Dating Tip #86: Stop Playing It Cool
If you like them, let them know. If you want to call them and talk for hours, then do it. Donít succumb to societal pressures that say, donít text them until they text you, or donít call them because theyíll think youíre really into them. These things only feed into the anxiety around dating. Playing it cool may have you miss out on a great potential mate. - Venessa Perry
Over 40s Dating Tip #87: Date Smart
Spend as much time as you can with a potential partner in a variety of situations with a variety of people. This will help you to understand many sides of their personality. - Venus Rouhani
Over 40s Dating Tip #88: Donít Be In An Instant Relationship
I know you want to fall in love and meet the one, but it takes time to get to know someone. Often it can take all four seasons. Donít rush to become Facebook official until you both are on the same digital page. - Julie Spira