If you’re reading this, then the chances are you’re single, or you have a friend who is. Charly Lester, Co-founder of dating app, Lumen, shares her tips to getting back into the dating game after 50 and creating your best online profile.
Perhaps you’ve come out of a divorce, or are widowed, and haven’t been single for many years. To be honest, the world of courtship has changed immensely in the last decade, so don’t panic if you feel a bit like you don’t even know where to start!
Last year, I launched a dating app called Lumen, specifically designed to make dating more fun in midlife. We recognised that existing apps were designed for people in their 20s, and that often those in their 50s and 60s were targeted by catfish and scammers on existing dating websites. And so we wanted to create a place where single over 50s could meet like-minded singles, in a fun way, but while also feeling safe.
So, where should you start when it comes to online dating?
Creating a profile
Whichever dating app or site you choose to date on, you will need to write a profile. Research has shown that the more you write about yourself, the more likely you are to get a response, so try to write at least 2 paragraphs in the ‘About Me’ section of your dating profile.
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Honesty is the best policy
This applies both to your written profile, and also to the photos which you choose to represent yourself. Remember that in an ideal world, you will be meeting the people you speak to online offline too. They will see what you look like in real life soon enough. Resist the urge to use older photos, and try to make sure that you describe your real life, not your aspirational one. Trust me – it will help you attract the right person for you.
Phone a friend
Involving a friend (whether they are single or not) in the dating process can make it a lot more fun. Enlist the help of an honest friend or family member when you create your profile. They should be able to tell you whether it truly represents you. Keep them in the loop when you get messages and let someone know when you’re heading out on a date. Not only does this help protect your safety, but it means you can debrief someone after the date and tell them how it went!
Think out of the box
The older we get, the more we know ourselves. While life experience can definitely provide us with a list of scenarios we’d rather not repeat, try not to let your past dictate too long a list of ‘must haves’ in a partner. Online dating can feel a bit like a shop. You can choose matches based on their height, age, location, hair colour etc. But in reality, how many of those things really matter? The less restrictive you are at the first stage, the more possibilities you open yourself up to. Yes, we all have deal breakers, jJust think carefully about what exactly yours are, and which qualities you’re prepared to be more flexible with.
Once you begin online dating, you’ll realise just how much information you glean from a photo. What clothes is the person wearing? Where was the photo taken? Is there someone else in the image? Who are they? Remember that potential matches will be asking the same things when they look at your photos, so choose them carefully. Make sure they are recent, realistic images. Ideally include at least a couple of good clear headshots, where you are smiling at the camera and not obstructed by sunglasses or hats. Include at least one full length shot so suitors can see your height and body shape. Photos taken outdoors tend to be more flattering because of the light, and try to avoid using selfies and filters.
Don’t just say ‘hi’
Making the first move can be daunting, but if you decide to break the ice with someone, spend a bit of time on the message. Read their profile, and tailor the first message to that person. Ask about something in their profile or one of their photos. Show that you have chosen to speak to them over all of the thousands of other people on the app or site. It will make them feel special, and also hopefully make it easier for them to reply.
Dating should be fun
The dating game takes time and effort. In reality, it’s unlikely you will end up in a relationship with the very first person you send a message to. Don’t be disheartened, the key is to enjoy the process for what it is. Use dates to explore fun experiences and places you wanted to visit anyway. Make it about more than just whether you are attracted to the other person. And if the whole thing begins to feel like a chore, know when to take a break. You can always return in a few weeks.
Website: lumenapp.com or download the app directly from your app store