People who find themselves single later in life may start to wonder, “How do people even meet these days?” Perhaps you are newly single and considering dating again. Maybe your local pool of eligible singles has run dry. Or it’s very possible that the attempts to meet your match in bars or at social gatherings just aren’t going the way you would have hoped. Whatever the reason is that you find yourself still single, making the decision to sign up for a dating app can be daunting.
Swiping could seem impersonal. Profiles with limited text may seem shallow. Meeting up with a relative stranger for drinks at a local dive bar may make you uneasy. The downsides don’t change the facts: Dating apps have exploded in popularity, and there’s no longer stigma in saying, “We met online.” If you are planning on dipping your toe in the online dating pool, here is how to navigate all your options.
Realize now is the right time
Dating apps are not just for “young people.” There are apps and sites out there for everyone. According to Pew Research, 13 percent of people ages 45 to 54 and 12 percent of people ages 55 to 64 who were surveyed said they’ve used dating sites and mobile dating applications.
Pick a site or app that caters to the age range you are looking for
It will take a little work, but it will pay off to research and know the demographic that your chosen app caters to. If you don’t want to date someone who is older than 50 years old and a certain app is specifically for the 50-and-over crowd, you should know that in advance. Read up on a site or app’s “about” page to see if they have the type of connection you are looking for.
Use the settings to your advantage
You may not be looking for an age-specific app and want to stick with the larger, more general dating pool. Many apps will allow you to filter potential matches based on profile data so that you are only getting shown potential partners that you will click with. You can set preferences in your settings for everything from age and height to location so that you are only matching with people who have qualities you are looking for.
Set your relationship goals and stick to them
If you are looking for a serious relationship, make sure you are choosing the appropriate site and swiping for the right situations. You will find that some sites are for casual partnerships and friendships, and others have a more serious tone. If you are looking for a life partner, make it clear on your profile and find yourself on the right site for it.
Know the app’s rules
Do women have to message the men? Can anyone message first? Do you both have to like each other’s profiles before any messages can be sent? Understand how the app functions so that you don’t get discouraged. If you aren’t comfortable with the rules or limitations, then find a different site or app. There is one out there that will work for you to find a new romance.
Use good pictures
Like it or not, profiles on dating apps and sites are going to require pictures. Choose complimentary photos but also remain true to yourself. A silly-faced selfie could show your fun side, but it’s not always flattering. Ask a friend to take a nice picture to help you put your best foot forward.
Consider a mini makeover
Looking good leads to feeling good. Treat yourself to a fresh haircut or pick up a shirt that makes you feel confident before you have your profile photo shoot. That confidence will radiate through in your photos.