Online dating in the world
And while niche sites that cater to specific religions, interests and even food preferences can be enticing (like vegetarian-focused Veggie Date.com), experts say to always pair searching on those platforms with one that has broader appeal. Don’t disclose personal information, such as your home address, when first getting to know someone, and never share banking information or transfer money.
“The pool on those niche sites is always smaller,” says Hoffman. Terms such as “poly” (for polyamory or consensual non-monogamy) or “fwb” (for friend with benefits) can indicate the type of relationships people seek. Carla Vande Weerd, a University of South Florida professor and coauthor of a report that explored the online dating experiences of women 50 and older, recommends doing a video chat before meeting someone in person.
“Anything big in life is going to require a plan and strategy, education and a lot of work,” says Bela Gandhi, founder of the Smart Dating Academy coaching service.
Yet, “when you learn how to online date the right way, it’s like a superpower.” And now’s an ideal time to start.
In her classes, Williams reviews the differences among dating sites, such as explaining that some use swipes for matches, while others use quizzes.
(While there is no one-size-fits-all site or app, the seniors she works with tend to use Our Time if they are paying, and Bumble, Ok Cupid or Plentyof Fish if they want to use a free site.) Sticking with one to three sites is best, as any more can feel overwhelming to manage, said the experts AARP interviewed.
Liars and scammers remain, as well as those who post misleading photos and fudge their age.However, there are also those who are genuine, honest and looking for love. Online dating “is a job, and is not easy,” says Brianne Porcelli, 56, who met now-husband Joe Porcelli, 66 on eharmony. I went to work and home.” Eharmony “took much of the legwork out of meeting someone,” she says.