Finding love at midlife in the digital age presents a unique set of challenges. While I’m not there yet in terms of age, I’ve been through a lot in terms of online dating (at times with middle-aged men). If you’re a Gen Xer or baby boomer taking a chance on love, you may want to hear out what a millennial has to say about surviving the online dating world.
Trust Your Instincts
Women have this natural ability to read signals that foretell something is amiss, like when a partner is having an affair. This we have our intuition to thank for.
However, some midlife singles tend to overlook this innate life skill when dating someone online, either out of overexcitement or desperation to get out of singlehood.
Let’s say you’re getting to know a guy you’ve just met on a dating website. He’s wonderful, attractive (at least in his profile photo), and smart. You two seem to be hitting it off, but then, something just doesn’t feel right about him. And now, you’re wondering if this is something worth pursuing.
If you find yourself in a such a situation, follow your instincts. Check the background of your date on people search websites, Google, social media, and any site to verify his identity.
Or you can meet your date in person. Ask him out! This way, you’ll know if his online persona matches his real-life, offline version.
Finding background information about a person you’re dating online and spotting the red flags early on may look like the most unromantic and paranoid thing to do. But it’s a sensible move to avoid a nasty heartbreak in the future.
Could he be my soulmate? Am I being ripped off? Whatever your gut is telling you, never ignore it. It may be right all along.
Embrace Your Imperfections
A lot of my friends complain about guys they met online, both young and old, who seem to be only on the lookout for younger, hot supermodels. This observation raises a valid point: that average women—let alone those who are dating at midlife—don’t often stand a chance of getting noticed. Is it really all about finding perfection?
As a midlife woman who’s out there in the online dating world, this shouldn’t dishearten you. Well, there are men who are on dating websites and apps just for hookups and casual dates. You can’t change that fact, but you can definitely change the way you view yourself. Rather than wasting your time and energy on supermodel-obsessed guys, invest them on boosting your confidence when dating. This way, you’ll attract men who deserve you and will accept you for who you are.
It all starts with embracing all your perceived flaws. While you can’t revert to your 20 or 30-year-old self, those wrinkles, fine lines, and spots are a reminder of the experiences and the resulting wisdom you’ve gained over the years. What’s more, celebrate the fact that you’re aging gracefully! Appreciate your inner beauty as well. You’re beautiful just the way you are.
Before you can love someone, you’ve got to learn how to love yourself wholeheartedly and unconditionally. Self-love means taking care of and being kind to yourself. Commit yourself to visiting the spa regularly, going on vacations with your family, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and anything that makes you feel loved and cared for.
Learn to Bounce Back after a Heartbreak
Social media and dating apps have given birth to the term “ghosting,” the act of silently dumping or disappearing from a person one has met online. It’s a very convenient—and cowardly—way to break up with someone you’re not interested in.
I myself was on the receiving end of a ghosting episode. A few years back, I met a guy on Facebook and got along so fine until our chats became less frequent and less friendly as months went by. Thinking he was just overly busy (he’s a college professor in his mid-50s back then), I would initiate most of our conversations and would get only curt replies at best and get seenzoned at worst. I haven’t heard from him since then.
It took quite a while for me to move forward and decide to do something better with my life. And I tell you, being ghosted on isn’t a pleasant experience at all. It sucked—I felt sorry for myself. However, I learned to value commitment better and avoid being emotionally invested in someone who can’t commit to a relationship as much as I can.
Women put dedication and hard work into everything they set their heart on. But you have the choice to hold on or to let go. If an online date makes you feel bad about yourself, it’s time to reconsider your relationship with the guy and prioritize your own emotional well-being.