Online Dating for Boomers
The Internet has revolutionized many areas of our lives - including the way we find love. Back in the Stone Age, as hard as this may be to believe, it was usually necessary to actually leave home to meet new and interesting people. But now in this more advanced age we live in, there are literally millions of fascinating people just a mouse click away, as anxious to meet us as we are to meet them.
Up until now, Internet usage among adults over the age of 50 has lagged behind that of younger generations, as computer-age technophobia has had a tendency to scare away people afraid they are too old to learn something new. Thankfully, however, this has begun to change, and more and more older people are logging on and learning the ropes of the cyberworld. As a result, many older boomers and seniors are now discovering the exciting opportunities available for those seeking love through the world of online dating.
Whether widowed, divorced or never married, there are many 50-plus lonely men and women out there who would love nothing better than to find someone new and interesting with whom to share their lives. Unfortunately, finding love at any age can be difficult, and even more so for those in an age range where the majority are already attached. There have always been plenty of single older men and women looking for someone to spend time with, but before the Internet it was almost impossible for these lonely people to find each other. But online dating has provided a whole new way for boomers looking for love to connect with the like-minded.
Ever since the beginning of the Internet revolution, one of the great attractions for the computer-savvy has been the possibility of connecting with others who share their interests and worldviews.
As computer usage has become more generalized and widespread, internet socializing has taken off, and many websites have sprung up catering to those who want to find friendship and romance. Apart from the expanded opportunities offered by this technology, there is a certain excitement, a thrill that comes along with finding people from other parts of the country, and even other parts of the world who share your most passionate interests.
Online dating websites can connect people with common interests who live in the same geographic area; but it can also bring people together even when they are separated by great distances. For older people, opportunities for companionship can be especially hard to find, so finding someone who lives near to spend time with can be a godsend. On the other hand, retired older people are often not tied to a particular geographical region, and it may be easier for them to move to be closer to someone they would like to get to know better. For these reasons, online dating may be the perfect choice for boomersand seniors looking to escape their loneliness.
Internet dating sites are not hard to find. Currently, about 16 percent of the members at the top five online dating sites are past the age of 50. Joining is easy – you simply pay a small fee, and then post a profile of yourself that other members can read while you read their profiles in turn. You can then contact others who interest you, or wait for other members to make the first move. Once contact has been initiated, from there the options can include e-mails, online chats, text messages, phone calls, and face-to-face meetings – how to proceed (or not to proceed) will be entirely up to the two of you. One relatively new development is that sites reserved for adults 50 and over have begun to come online, and these specialty sites may be a better bet for boomers because they are specifically catering to the needs of older singles.
Some sites worth investigating include:
These sites are all incredibly user-friendly, and you do not have to be a computer expert to get online and begin meeting people. Of course it is not necessary to be looking for love; these sites will connect people who are only looking for friends or penpals, if that is what you prefer.
It must be acknowledged, however, that online dating presents some dangers and risks. Boomers and others need to be aware of this before they decide to seek companionship by virtual means.
Caution! Beware of Scams Designed to Steal Your Money
If someone you meet online asks for money, especially in the early stages of your relationship, all of your inner alarm bells should begin going off immediately. Lying online is incredibly easy, and no matter how convincing someone’s story sounds, if they are asking for money there is an extremely good chance that this person is trying to scam you.
Caution! Never Give Out Personal Information to Someone You Have Just Met
Phone numbers, addresses, real names, even e-mail addresses – these are the kinds of details you should never give out to someone who you have just met and do not know well. Most of the online dating sites have anonymous e-mail services, and they let you pick user names that disguise your true identity. This is to protect you from the possibility of identity theft, or from stalkers or criminals who could conceivably find out where you live by simply tracing you through your personal information.
Caution! Have Your First Meetings in Public
If you decide to get together after meeting on a dating website, your initial encounters should be in public places. Each of you should arrive separately and leave separately, and if you are traveling from far away you should definitely stay in a hotel as opposed to staying at the home of your new friend.
Caution! Run a Background Check
Running a background check on someone you have met on the Internet does not show a lack of trust. Rather, it shows you are a careful and cautious person, and no one should take offense if you do this. If they do take offense that may be a pretty good sign they really do have something to hide.
Love May be Waiting for You
When friends and family find out you are looking for love over the Internet, they may warn you that this is very dangerous and that the internet is filled with untrustworthy people. But the reality is that tens of thousands of successful relationships have resulted from initial meetings on online dating sites, and the risks can be dramatically reduced if you take some simple, basic precautions.
And age should be no factor - whether you are a young adult, a middle-aged boomer, or a senior residing in assisted living housing or a retirement community, that special person you would love to share your life with may be just around the virtual corner, waiting to come into your life and sweep you off of your feet.
Publish Date: Thu, 02/10/2011 - 19:21