For Seniors: Explore Online Dating
Many seniors are making connections with others via online dating services. In fact, online dating 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.
Find a reputable online dating service
Select your online dating service carefully.
Look for an established, popular site with plenty of members and a philosophy that matches your own.
Review the site's policy regarding your privacy and its procedures for screening members. Make sure you're comfortable with these policies.
Use a service that provides an in-house e-mail system that you use for contacting other members (sometimes called private messaging). By using the site's e-mail rather than your own e-mail address, you can maintain your privacy.
Some sites, such as Safer Dates offer stronger levels of authenticating members. Safer Dates, for example, uses fingerprint identification and screening to make you more confident that you know who you're interacting with.
Visit a site such as OnlineDatingSites.net for comparisons of sites. Whether you choose a senior-specific dating site such as DatingForSeniors.com or a general-population site such as Match.com, reading reviews about the sites ahead of time will help you make the best choice.
Most people have good experiences with online dating, but if you try a site and experience an unpleasant incident involving another member, report it and make sure the service follows through to enforce its policies. If it doesn't, find another service.
After finding a reputable online dating site, jump in!
After you find a site that meets your needs and sensibilities, it's easy to jump in and start exploring the world of online dating.
Start by signing up for the service you selected, 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 has 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.
Formal dating sites aren't the only places that people meet online, but they typically have the best safeguards in place. 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).
Many dating sites screen participants and provide strong reporting measures that are missing on other types of sites, so be particularly careful. Take your time getting to know someone first before connecting.