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For Seniors: Explore Online Dating

Many seniors are making connections with others via online dating services. In fact, finding a possible partner online can be a good way to gradually get to know somebody (and make sure he or she is right for you) before you meet in person. If you've been wondering if this route could be for you, here's how you can jump into the world of online dating:

  • Choose a reputable dating site. (See the next task.)

  • Sign up and provide information about your likes, dislikes, preferences, and so on. This often takes the form of a self-guided interview process.

  • Create and modify your profile to both avoid exposing too much personal information and ensure that you're sending the right message about yourself to prospective dates.

  • Use search features on the site to find people who interest you and send them messages or invitations to view your profile.

  • You'll get messages from other members of the site, to which you can respond (or not). Use the site's chat and e-mail features to interact with potential dates. You may also be able to read comments about the person from others who've dated him or her, if the site offers that feature.

  • When you're comfortable with the person and feel there might be a spark, decide whether you want to meet the person offline.

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Formal dating sites aren't the only places that people meet online, but they typically have the best privacy safeguards in place. Many dating sites screen participants and provide strong reporting measures that are missing on other types of sites, so be particularly careful if you’re trying to find love on general interest sites.

If you want to interact with people you meet on other sites, you should provide your own safeguards. Create a separate e-mail account (so you can remain anonymous and abandon the e-mail address if needed). Take your time getting to know someone first before connecting in person.

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