AARP Eye Center
In the real world, love can be hard to find, so daters are increasingly turning to the digital world instead.
Whether singles over 50 are looking for a long-term relationship, someone to travel with or just good conversation, connecting using apps and websites can expand the dating pool and make meeting people easier. But the way daters represent themselves online makes a big difference in who responds and how.
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For many older adults, the pandemic and social distancing boosted the use of digital dating. Data tracker Apptopia reported that there were 1.2 million more people using the top 50 dating apps in 2021 than a year earlier, before the pandemic. That group includes many older adults. Roughly a third of U.S. adults age 55-plus have used an online dating site or app, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center. Furthermore, two-thirds of them had a relationship with someone they met through the platform, according to a 2021 survey by Choice Mutual, an insurance company.
But dating when you’re over 50 is far different from dating when you’re 20. Taking the time to create an engaging online dating profile that contains a well-crafted bio with appealing photographs and maybe a video or audio message may encourage people to swipe right.
Your profile is vital, says San Francisco Bay Area dating and relationship coach Maya Diamond, because it says who you are and what kind of relationship you want. “When you’re creating that in a thoughtful and intentional way, it can really help you find the right partner,” she adds.
As always, use caution when interacting with others online. Don’t share personal data or financial information with others online and keep an eye out for red flags that could indicate the person’s profile is fake (see video below). Educate yourself about romance scams and how to avoid them.
Tips for writing an online dating profile
Most online dating profiles require you to use your real name and where you live, but nearly all other information is up to you.
One basic rule is to be yourself, online dating experts say. “Don’t write what you think people want to hear; write about what matters to you,” says Sophie Watson, spokeswoman for SilverSingles, a dating site exclusively for people age 50-plus. “If you have a quirky hobby or get delighted by something silly, make a reference to it. Chances are there’s someone out there who will share your passion.”
Avoid negativity in your profile, recommend experts. Focus on what you want in a partner and a relationship, not what you don’t want. Instead of saying you’re not interested in smokers, for instance, say you’re seeking an active, nature-loving person.