Senior dating – it’s all about knowing what button to press

Another aspect to take into consideration, and this is a point in history that will never recur, is that those now entering middle age, they are entering retirement with a full understanding of the Internet. Finding dating sites via a PC is perhaps easier than opening a jar of pickles. Whereas recent generations of seniors have shied away from that there new-fangled technology, online dating holds no such fear for the senior citizen looking to share their later years with someone new.

And for many more mature singles, as they reach that reflective time in their lives, using dating sites is not only a way of finding out about others, but also a time of self-discovery. After a lifetime of working to pay the bills and dedicating most waking hours making sure everyone else’s needs were catered for, the reward in retirement is often that mortgages are paid, the keys to the company car have been handed back for the last time – no new model this year! – and for the first time since early adulthood, seniors can really look back on their life and forward to the future with perhaps their own offsprings’ families, share their grandchildren with a new partner in a way that time has never afforded before.  What better way to do this than by selecting just the right person to share that future with, using the dating site as a keen tool, perhaps to even better effect than their younger online dating peers.

Whether that feat’s achieved through a stand alone, specifically tailored dating site for seniors or a mainstream one with a bespoke, integrated facility whereby the single can filter the ages brought up in search results, there is absolutely no reason why senior citizens shouldn’t be taking to the Internet to find the next love of their lives, just like them pesky kids do.

And here’s a scary statistic to finish this two-part article with, that proves that there’s life in these old dogs yet. According to a recent study undertaken on behalf of match.com, 91% of singles in the senior bracket reckon they achieve the mighty O every time they have sex. I don’t know about dating sites for the elderly, but it’s no wonder the cougar and sugar daddy sites are so popular if they have that level of success every time they hit the hay. Perhaps there’s another reason why 500 NYU female students have signed up to be sugar babies on seekingarrangement.com and it’s not just to pay their way through college, after all.

Why all the fuss about seniors using dating sites?

There has been quite a bit of fuss recently about the two sectors of dating land that head up the fastest growing bands in the industry. Namely, the senior dating set, those over 55 looking for love online, who are swiftly followed in the second highest-expanding market by the 45-55’s.  Needless to say, the explosion in populous of our senior citizens has caused much consternation with the younger generation – who wants to see their grandfather appear in a compatibility search on your matchmaking site?

But what is all the commotion about? There are some very human emotions involved as to why the baby boomers are making such a huge imprint on the world of online dating. Over the last twenty years, the divorce rate has rocketed, with one in three marriages now ending in a separation. There is the creation of one aspect of the market of senior dating that doesn’t take too much working out.

Furthermore, due to a better understanding of health, fitness, diet and the need to work past the recognised ‘retirement’ age, seniors are staying active for a lot longer. Therefore, should they be scorned or ashamed of taking to the Internet to find love online when they still have so much to contribute? Of course not.

No one genuinely wants to grow old alone, not when they perhaps have so much left to give or have a lifetime of happy memories to share with an appreciative kindred soul. Generations share similarities about the pattern their life has taken and how their world was shaped by events that, when shared with someone who experienced them similarly, take on a whole new dimension than with someone who only knows of those happenings because they’ve been told or read about them.

By taking the time on a dating site to get to know a potential partner, especially at an age when you can use a matchmaking facility to really drill down into the other singles profiles to find what you want and know there is less time to mess around and play the field as one may have done in the past can make dating algorithms into exceptionally useful tools. Profile photos are a bonus but for the baby boomers looking for love online, it’s all about sharing a knowledge of the past that will make the future rosier.

Not only are today’s senior citizens relationship savvy but they are for the first time, tach savvy, too. More about that, in the next article [read more]

Money no object for online romancers

Dating sites defy economic trends

With cut-backs and the tightening of budgets so prominent, you would expect luxuries to be the first thing to go. Accepting this to be true, it would appear that dating websites are considered a necessity, as membership numbers, even for paid dating sites, continue to rise.

This has been helped by an insurgence of members from mature dating singles, whose numbers have risen by almost 40% in the last two years.  Although, with the positive effect of social media has had on the UK dating scene, many younger individuals are so used to speaking to new friends and contacts over the cyberspace platform, that the step up to a matchmaking site is hardly noticeable.

One of the main reasons for the increase in individuals looking to dating websites for potential love interests is that, although there may be what is considered an expensive monthly subscription, it is ostensibly cheaper to pay that fee once a quarter than going out a few nights a week to bars and clubs where you have no guarantee that there will be any like-minded singles awaiting your arrival.

At least, when you log on to your dating site, you are guaranteed to be in a virtual room where other romantics looking for love on line. You have also skated around the headache of ironing a fresh top, a quick shave or wax and bolting down your tea after a long, hard slog at work to make it to your nearest pulling hotspot.

There is no reason why you can’t turn your dating site night in into a night on the town from within your own room.

After a while, you will have built up a database of several contacts who you know will be gracing the chatrooms and forums with regularity.  On those nights, what is stopping you filling your fridge with a few beers or a bottle of wine, get some snacks in, even get a mate around and make like you’re in a bar as you chat to potential online partners.

At least, with access to the dating site profiles before you initiate contact, hours of diatribe spent chatting up your target can be saved, and possibly several rounds of over-priced drinks, too.

Try not to go overboard with the alcohol, though. You do not want to get inebriated and find that you have proposed to seventeen other members of your dating site with the adrenilin-surge that dutch courage instigates.

Dating this way, if you are sensible and pragmatic about it, you really can narrow down your search for a long-term relationship. Or, if you’re not looking for lasting love, just someone local who you can have a mutual off-screen relationship with, without the headache of having to trapse bar upon bar to find them. The money you save on the hunt can be put towards an extra-special ‘first date’.

Silver surfers #1 in online dating searches

The thought of running a match against my online dating profile and the results bringing up my grandad are, well, just plain scarey, let alone what that eventuality would do for my self-confidence.  Needless to say, if our dating credentials were compatible, I’d probably never be able to look him in the eye again…
…and sitting on his knee at the Christmas get together – forget it.

But the odds of me meeting someone from the, shall we say, more mature dating crowd online are slimming by the day.  In contrast, just the thought of any compatability with the upper branches of my family tree through any type of online singles service has me reaching for comfort-chocolate and puts pounds on my hips, but that’s perhaps for another day.

According to the US Census Bureau, more than a third of men and women fifty-plus are not married.  That figure translates into new adult dating site memberships; the reported numbers from dating agencies suggest that sign-ups from the over fifty-five bracket has increased almost 40% in the last three years.

The reasoning behind these figures, those in the know suggest, is down to a combination of factors.

First and foremost, individuals looking to find love on line are a lot more au fait with the internet than previous generations classed as ‘seniors’.  Many have matured with the age of computing, therefore searching for their perfect partner online is not as alien a concept as it has been to this age-group in the past.

Online dating agencies are great tools for searching for your partner if you know what you’re looking for and you concede a fair amount of leeway in what you expect from the profile search results.  Maybe having been around the block a few times, the more mature members of society using an internet-based dating tool know precisely which character traits to filter out.

Not only can our mature dating seniors show us a thing or two about being honest in what you’re looking for, but also their experience of dating off-line brings realisation that you can spend all of your life looking for that one special relationship, which ticks all of your boxes, but miss out on helluva lot of fun with those who are darned close.

It is less than surprising, then, that singles in the fifty-five plus bracket are hitting dating sites more than any other age group. But they have some competition – the 45-54 group hold second spot in frequenting online dating sites.
So, I’m off to find a partner online quick, before the internet dating community is sponsored by Saga…

If at first you don’t succeed…

For every sector of the online market place that is the World Wide Web, there is always one company that does things differently. Online dating is in no way exempt from that scenario.

Many seasoned singles site users are used to one of only two different types of online dating service: free or premium.  By seasoned, I’m not merely referring to the more mature dating correspondents; there are many younger members, nowadays, who have not only fuelled the momentum behind this ever-growing market, but also, by their demands, have made dating websites take a step back and look at their role, in toto.

Whichever end of the timeline you’re closest to, or to whichever type of online dating you subscribe, one common complaint is the frustration when a member whose reaction you are trying to invoke is just not answering your private messages; this becomes all the more frustrating if your free dating limit or chosen premium only permits a certain volume of direct correspondence over a given timeframe.

It can take an awfully long time to realise that you’re either punching above your weight or that the target of your affection is simply not interested.  So, what to do? Be patient and risk missing other dating opportunities or go to plan b?

There is often very little you can do if the object of your desire is unresponsive. In the ‘real’ world, away from dating sites, however, when every other trick in the book has failed, there is always the last resort: throw cash at your problem. It is perhaps not the most tactful of deployments, but many long-term relationships have required such a kick-start in the past.

One online dating service recently saw the mileage in this tactic.

When alikened to a ‘charity auction’, the company’s CEO conceded that the mechanics were similar, however, the underlying motivator for his site remains solely for the purpose of guaranteeing its singles membership, who may otherwise pass unnoticed, a genuine chance of finding love on line.

If the tactic of selling first dates didn’t cause enough of a furore within the dating community, a process for which they have since applied for patent rights, the company’s more recent announcement has taken their outlandish stance to a whole new level.

To date, the CEO believes that the dating site’s growing ranks have come, in the main, by word of mouth. In an attempt to capitalise on its current popularity, the site has entered into a joint venture with an existing affiliate organisation.

This will give the online dating site a proven route to market, with the affiliate company’s huge network of publishers and webmasters primed and ready to promote the business.

The affiliate program offers each networker $1.00 for each new sign up to the dating agency’s main, free membership and a subsequent 40% chunk of every successful bid their sign-up’s win, if a new member joins within 30 days of clicking through the affiliate’s link.

And the limit? There is none. Each affiliate will get paid for as many sign-ups as they can direct to the site.

No doubt this latest foray into uncharted waters for dating websites will upset a few of the established old-guard…
…but only, perhaps, because they wish that they had conceived the idea, first.

Hot to foxtrot

More often used to scoring professional dancers and their ‘star’ partners on screen, Dancing With The Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba has scored off-screen, dating online!

As is the want, this year, of contestants sharing the intimacies of their personal relationships, Carrie Ann has followed suit, giving us the background of her online dating experiece with Jesse Sloan, choosing the platform of ‘Access Hollywood’ to do so.

So, exactly how did Miss Inaba floor her man?

Following a succession of dates with a younger singles base, Carrie Ann decided to chance throwing someone with a more mature dating perspective into the mix. Jesse’s profile picture prepossessed an element of familiarity, as she confessed to ‘Access’ a sense of already knowing him, before they even made contact.

And there’s a lesson about online dating that we can all heed: taking time to choose a picture that does yourself justice on dating sites proves its merit here as in March, on ‘Live! With Regis & Kelly’, Sloan got down on one knee to cement their relationship once and for all.

From Mr Sloan’s viewpoint, being the exception that breaks the above rule, Carrie Ann posted neither profile picture, nor information about her celebrity status, instead relying on solid, honest content. It was not until their online relationship had progressed a deal further than the standard introductions that Jesse was granted a photograph.

Even then, and this was several months down the line, the picture was one of Miss Inaba stripped of all make-up, very much as nature intended. The transition from online dating to actually meeting, albeit a supervised date to one of Carrie Ann’s friends places, occurred not long afterwards.

Following a steady courtship, their relationship appears to be building pace. When questioned about when the engagement will lead to the inevitable wedding, Carrie Ann told ‘Access’ that other needs were more pressing than formalising their current dating status by placing rings on their fingers.

With Jesse approaching the age at which life begins, and Miss Inaba slightly past that milestone, she is very conscious of the speed dating and engagement has taken thus far, and would welcome the patter of tiny feet just as much, if not more than, settling on dates for nuptials.

In her own words, she ‘suck[s]’ at wedding planning, so getting ‘moving on the baby’ front may be the priority.

All of us here at dating.org.uk offer our heartiest congratulations to the happy couple, as a real-life testament that online dating works. And hurry up and get out of that studio and away on that honeymoon, Carrie-Ann – before the wedding, you do not want to see the last of your tan go!

Dating game over down under

If you think your monthly online dating membership may be a little steep, take a time out to consider the current plight of our Antipodean cousins.

Queensland’s Fraud and Corporate Crime Group, headed up by Det. Supt. Brian Hay, believes that $10M Australian Dollars are being fraudulently extracted to Nigeria via internet scams every single month. Much of that ‘investment’ is being willingly handed over in the name of love from members of dating sites, being coerced by African nationals who spend all day, every day wooing vulnerable singles online.

Australian police had hoped the country’s populous had learned its lesson, following an e-mail scam some five years ago involving similar trafficking to African shores; however, it seems that the Nigerian scammers have moved with the times and, through dating websites, continue to fleece money from unsuspecting online dating site members.

Brian and his team have recorded some initial success, but warns that the fraudsters will soon be targeting UK dating agencies and plan to go even further into Europe, where free dating memberships are on the rise.

Following a tip-off from the sibling of a 53-year old mature dating site member, the fraud squad, assisted by a p.i., intercepted a money transfer for thousands of dollars in Kuala Lumpur. In a cunning plan, they created a make-believe personals profile, which the gang fell for and were subsequently arrested.

Det. Supt. Hay believes that this is just the tip of the iceberg; Rosalie, the target whose plight instigated this sting, is just one of 10,000 Australians who, through free dating sites or other internet platforms, contribute to this vast flow of elicited money to Africa. However, it is uncertain how much of the AUS$90,000 that Rosalie endowed upon this fraudulent individual, after falling in love online with him, she will be able to retrieve.

In an interview with 60 minutes, on air Sunday, Julia Robson explains how her career as a Datescreen private investigator involves assessing the backgrounds of singles dating online. She has short shrift with people involved with this scam and has ‘…no sympathy for these people, none whatsoever.’

So how will we catch wind of potential unscrupulous partners if considering entering into a relationship?

Other than a voyeur continually badgering you through the dating site personals messages or forums, professing their undying love, there are other tell-tale signs.

Beware of someone who is gaining your trust suddenly introducing a friend with a life-changing opportunity. Even with ‘pictorial’ evidence, never send money overseas without independent advice.

Invest in Skype. It is free and you can video-link to your online dating partner to ensure the person at least matches their profile through your laptop interface.

And finally, when the tru.ly app comes into force (as it looks like catching on for UK dating sites, as well as the US), make sure they have no objection to sharing that information.

These conmen are only after one thing!