Dating is something which always has an element of risk attached to it. In our modern days seeing the growth of many different dating websites, meeting up with a potential stranger could expose us to potential dangers. This risk can be potentially amplified if we are in our 50’s, as some people might decide to take advantage of the fact that we might have been lonely for a long time. This is why when it comes to dating in our 50’s, there are a few things we can do to ensure our dating experiences are made safer.
1 – Picking up the right website – first off, we want to find a website where we can find like-minded people who are after the same thing we want. People in their 50’s will really benefit from single and mature dating. Those over 50’s dating websites help us to find people who are in a similar situation we are in; as opposed to picking up a site which is full of younger people with completely different intentions. Most dating websites will allow us to create a free profile with limited access to the website’s full functionality. This gives us a bit of room to practice getting familiar with this modern approach to dating.
2 – Creating the right profile – A lot of us find it difficult to describe ourselves, let alone making a good online dating profile. The best bet to write down a good profile is to know our own qualities and defaults, and who else knows those better than our friends or family? A great exercise is to sit down with the people we know and practice a fake ‘dating interview’. That way we get a much better idea of what to write by using the relevant points which come from that practice interview. We can then lay out our interest and qualities, as well as a few of our defaults (though lets no linger too much on those, just a few will do).
3 – Spotting fake profile pictures – When looking at other people’s profiles, it is a good practice to be weary of model-looking profile pictures which look like they’ve been shot in a professional studio. Most genuine profile photos will actually look like everyday pictures, with normal looking people and containing some sort of background. This may sound silly but if people look far too good, then there might be a catch to it.
4 – Spotting fake profile descriptions – We go through all sorts of walks in life, but people with a perfect life (self-made millionaires…) are rarely seen using dating websites. So if a person sounds like they are too perfect to be true, then they are most likely lying. Ideally, the most genuine profiles are those who are able to show both their qualities and defaults. So it is best to stick to profiles which actually sound like real human beings.
5 – Avoiding scammers – Any person we get in contact who says they need money to be able to meet-up with us is to be avoided. This might sound surprising but quite a lot of people attempt to do that; they will search online dating profiles and look for the most vulnerable sounding ones with the specific aim of scamming money from them. So if they say they need money, just say goodbye and move on to the next profile.
Choosing the right person
1 – Pick someone closest to us – This may sound like a bit of an obvious one but the best dates we can pick are the ones which we have the most in common with. So rather than picking up a person which we idealise and is the sort of person we were never able to get, the best picks are the ones we are the closest to. They say that ‘opposites attract each other’, but this is not the best approach to find a future partner. Instead let’s look for a person close to our own heart.
2 – Getting a second opinion – Being a good judge of character can be difficult so why not ask someone we know what they thing of the profiles we are potentially interested in? Our friends and families have our best interests at heart so their opinion matters. After all they might spot things we were unable to see, giving us a valuable second opinion about our potential future dates.
Meeting up with our date
1 – Getting a lift to and back from our date – This is a very good safety net which will show our date that we are not alone, and that someone expects us to make it back after the date. It is the best way to ensure our date sticks to what was planned. This also give the chance for our lift to briefly meet or see our dating partner, so that they know someone’s got an eye on them. This will deter some people who may have bad intentions; and it makes us less vulnerable.
2 – Take our cell phone – Again this is another fairly obvious thing to do but we tend to forget the most basic safeties when romance is in the air. Using that phone to give regular updates to our friends or family is the best way for them to know where we are at all times; also allowing them to step in if something goes wrong.
3 – Meet in a public place – Public places have people there, meaning that our date is very unlikely to try anything funny when being exposed to the general public. Let’s put it in another way: who would want to meet with a potential stranger in a place where no one can see or help us?
1 – Make a plan and stick to it – By doing this, we can act confident that everything is going along the way we planned it. This allows us to feel that we are in control, which will in turns help us make the most of our date. Feeling more comfortable and confident are two really close things, and not sticking to our plan could make us feel uncomfortable; which might put our confidence down.
2 – Avoid alcohol – Drinking might make us feel more confident but the reality is that we all look pretty silly when we are drunk. Being in that state often leads us to put ourselves in unflattering situations. So it’s always good to be at our best as we want to feel in control of the situation.
3 – Practicing our date – Similar to getting our friends to help us create our online dating profile, why not practice a ‘play date’ with one of our friends? I really puts us in a same situation as dating, just without the stranger and the feelings. This may not be for everyone but some of us don’t go out much, and this exercise in being social again will definitely benefit our future date.
A final word
Dating is all about planning, caution and confidence. As long as we don’t let our emotions get the better of us and treat dating as we treat any other informed decision we’ve made in the past, then we are certainly heading the right direction. And just like any difficult decision, we sometimes need a bit of help from our friends; so just because we are lonely doesn’t mean we have to act alone. Following our instinct for safety will ensure that dating in our 50’s can indeed be a very positive experience.