As older people become more digital savvy, dating apps are growing in popularity. Widows and other singles in their 60s and over are looking for mates, following in the footsteps of the younger generations.
While the pandemic has led to increased use of online date matching platforms, the trends were already in place before anyone heard of Covid-19. In 2019, nearly a fifth (19%) of people aged 55 to 64 tried dating apps with 13% of those over 64, according to the Pew Research Center.
“Over the past 10 years, 60+ has been one of the fastest growing online dating groups,” said Damona Hoffman, a Los Angeles-based certified dating coach. And that growth has accelerated over the past 18 months.
For newcomers, she offers three tips to get started:
1. Check the offers. With an ever-growing number of dating apps vying for your attention, focus on the group of attendees each service has and where they reside. Beware of generic rankings that do not take into account your specific situation.
“The best one-place dating app might not be the best for you where you live,” said Hoffman, host of the Podcast Dates and Friends. Determine how well a particular app attracts people of the same age range and geographic location.
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2. Look for simplicity. As the functionality of various apps improves, older users may find them easier to navigate and less intimidating. The sweep is fast, a sort of instant acceptance or rejection process. Some apps limit the number of connections to one per day, helping newbies slow down and not get overwhelmed.
3. Sample without risk. When it comes to dating apps, the barrier to entry is quite low. New entrants are constantly appearing, so it is difficult to track their efficiency, data security guarantees, quality of user experience and other criteria. “Most are free to create an account,” Hoffman said. “The only investment is your time to create a profile. “
One of the biggest hurdles for older singles, especially women, is the widespread belief that potential partners prefer dating much younger people. But Hoffman disputes this hypothesis.
“Studies show that even if a man is looking for a younger age range, he will still send you a message if he finds you attractive and you are above his stated age range,” he said. she declared. “Their actions are not necessarily in line with what they think they want. “
Hoffman urges singles in their 60s and 60s to rethink other assumptions as well. For example, they can expect a man to follow some chivalrous code and trigger an online dialogue.
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“I encourage women, especially older women, to be more willing to make contact,” she said. “Don’t get locked into those roles” where you wait for the man to start the conversation. Women who initiate messages perform better than those who react only after a man reaches out, she adds.
When exchanging messages with someone, distinguish between boilerplate language and personal content. Beware of people who appear romantic but don’t personalize their handwriting to refer to your profile.
Hoffman cites the example of an older woman who raves about a man’s gushing comments (“You are so beautiful. I can spend the rest of my life with you.”). But Hoffman knew better.
“I could tell in 15 seconds it was a scam,” she said. “He wrote with emotion but without being personal. It could have applied to anyone.
Another red flag: Potential partners cultivate a relationship online, start asking for things (gift cards, money, etc.) and gradually increase the requests.
In some cases, singles can pursue a seemingly desirable person who is strangely reluctant to meet in person. These SMS seductions rarely end well.
When advising clients, Hoffman insists they go from a few rounds of initial text messages to a live phone call or video chat.
“Some people think that if they chat online for a few weeks, they know the other person very well,” she said. “But they develop a false sense of security with this person. It is asynchronous communication; they had no real-time conversation. Then, when they actually meet face to face, there is often disappointment.