Dating sites report that their fastest growing segment are people over 50. My clients, women ranging from 35 – 65, are having great success with it. Face it: online dating is the new hot spot for people who wouldn’t dream of meeting someone in a bar anymore.
You know I’m a huge proponent of online dating. I met my husband on Match.com when I was 47. He was 57. That man is the best part of my life. I love the idea of finding companionship and love using online dating.
More from YourTango: Should Women Be Responsible For Confirming Their Dates With Men?
I want you all online. Here are my tips for when you get there.
1. Be the Boss
No, I don't mean be bossy. I mean be in control of your experience. Online dating opens you up to thousands more possibilities, and it’s a completely new way of meeting people. Make some decisions and set some personal guidelines about how you want to integrate it into your life. How many hours will you spend each day? (Warning: this can get addictive!) What things can you do to ensure your physical and emotional well being as you talk to and meet people? What can you learn or change to be a successful dater? Intuition and special situations will create forks in the road. As time goes on, you’ll likely tweak some of these decisions. Considering some things up front, however, gives you a tentative roadmap and, more importantly, an expanded awareness. I want you to have fun, be open to new things, and enjoy the experience; just do it consciously and like the grownup woman that you are.
2. Stand out
Plain and simple: you have competition girlfriend. As we age, the ratio of women to men grows further apart. Some statistics say it’s as much as 11 women to each man after 55. Yikes! So when you get online, I want you to stand up and stand out. Make sure your pictures are great. Get them done professionally. (Come on…$150 is too much to spend to attract a fabulous man??) Your profile needs to be unique and speak to men. (Tip: If your best girlfriend loves it; it probably sucks.) Every communication needs to scream how special you are, show your personality, and tell him you're interested. (“Hi” on the subject line means you wait in line or get deleted.)
3. Be honest
You are online, but your goal is to actually meet men, yes? One of the top complaints of men is that we post pictures that are…let’s say…out of date. Just don't do it. Post lovely, yet current, pictures. It’s disingenuous and a waste of time to do otherwise. Also, be clear about what you're looking for. I find that at 50, 60, and beyond there is a wide spectrum of what type of partner men and women are looking for. Whether you want a dinner partner or a husband; put it out there. There’s no need to scream it, but weave it into your profile. If you want a life partner, you don't attract that man who is out there “just having fun.” (Trust me, with Viagra and a computer…a man can have a lot of fun!)
4. Consider a makeover
When is the last time you updated your look? Have you changed the way you apply your makeup or wear your hair? Have you bought any new styled clothes? Doing this is as much about looking good for a man, as it is about feeling good for yourself. A confident woman who takes care of herself and looks healthy is a man magnet. Go to your local department store and have a free makeup session. (All the lines do this, did you know?) Splurge for a fancy hair style. Check out catalogs like Coldwater Creek, J Jill, or Chicos. You don't have to necessarily buy -- but check out what's hot (and what's not).
More from YourTango: Dating Rules That Change With Age
More Juicy Content From YourTango: