You’re ready to give romance a try, but where do you start? First, relax! Now is the time to enjoy yourself, because it’s your time and you deserve it. Online dating is a great way to meet people outside of your usual social circle. It also takes the pressure of meeting face-to-face for the first time. Dating websites range from free to monthly subscriptions.
Monthly subscription options
• AARP (dating.aarp.org)
• PlentyOfFish (www.POD.com)
You can choose a one or a few sites, just be sure to keep track so you don’t get confused with too many accounts. I suggest you also set up a separate e-mail account for dating. It can help keep your inbox from getting cluttered and you won't have to feel like you can keep everything separate in case you stop online dating or meet someone later.
• Make sure you upload photos of you alone. Your friends and family might not want to be online and your potential date wants to see you, not your friends.
• Be honest. Upload a recent photo. A headshot and full body shot won’t leave anyone guessing.
• Try photos in natural lighting. It brings out your best features.
• Keep it simple. Reading long paragraphs about your life can be intimidating. Leave a little to the imagination and more for conversation later.
• Keep your word. If you say you enjoy traveling, then be prepared to travel! Don’t put what you wish you could do, but what you will do!
• Be honest but positive. People appreciate honesty, but sob stories are a turn-off. Save that for later dates.
• You are in control. Never let anyone pressure you into meeting alone or giving out your phone number or e-mail if you aren’t ready.
• Tell the people you trust that you’re dating again. It helps to have people look out for you.
• Dating is an emotional journey and there might be people out there trying to exploit you. Remember to use your best judgment. Meet in public places. Don’t divulge personal information. Never send money.
• If someone sends you a personal note or message on a dating website, send one back. Even if you aren’t interested, it’s a nice gesture to acknowledge that they noticed you.
• Remember that even though it’s online, the other end of the line is a real person.
• Have fun! This is your time!