If you’re starting your online dating journey and are looking for the senior dating scene, you might feel like you’re a little behind the game.
This is a completely natural feeling, and I’ve seen it happen to many people who have decided that they want to start online dating in their later years.
It feels not only terrifying, but it can also create an incredibly isolating feeling and circumstance to reenter the dating world, especially if you might not have expected to ever come back.
You might be feeling several emotions, and although you know that starting on a dating site and taking your love life into your own hands is for the best, that doesn’t mean that it will always be easy for you.
If you want to get back into the senior dating scene, especially the online dating scene, and you’re feeling any anxious thoughts or emotions, we’re here to help you and advise you on the beautiful online dating journey you’re about to start.
It can be an enriching and exciting experience, especially if you’ve been wanting to find love in the easiest and most accessible way possible. Still, we understand that you might need help figuring out where to start when you’re beginning your senior dating journey.
And your feelings are not only very valid, but they’re also extremely relatable. It’s no secret that in the past few years, the world of dating has changed the rules many times. But one of the ways senior dating has changed the most dramatically is the entrance of online dating and all that it has done for the dating world.
Suddenly, people can now connect with hundreds and thousands of interested matches from all over the world, and everyone can get a glimpse into each other’s lives with one click of a button.
But with all of these changing rules and all of the ways that online dating has created a new game of dating for so many people, it might be a good time for a refresher or a reintroduction to the rules of dating and how you can even begin navigating what is now the wild world of online senior dating.
How to Stay Safe Online: Senior Dating Guide
It’s no secret that, just by going online, you’re subjecting yourself to a larger number of scammers, schemers, and sketchy activity than you ever would have if you had just stuck to senior dating in real life, talking to the people who you already knew.
While we love senior dating sites and how they have helped open up the world to the possibility of dating and finding love for everyone who goes on them, it is always a good idea to stay safe online.
Because of all the new people and possible new threats that you’re opening yourself up to when you download a senior dating app, it is not only beneficial but also extremely integral to your online dating experience to know what signs you might want to look out for to stay safe online and have the best dating experience possible.
Today, we’re sharing our favorite safety tips that everyone on any online dating platform should use, especially those considered seniors or a little older than the typical online dating generation.
Senior Dating sites are a fantastic tool that people can use to find love and connect to others worldwide. And if you’re a senior, there are even sites like Silver Singles marketing to your demographic that make you feel less like a fish out of water. But online dating can be extremely dangerous if you don’t take the proper measures of precaution.
1. Never Share Your Personal Address
Many websites say ‘never share your personal information,’ but that’s not possible. If you’re on a senior dating site, you’ll have to get a little personal; it’s part of the app! But you’re going to want to make sure you don’t get too personal with the information you’re putting online.
A huge part of this section is what you’re comfortable with. Some websites ask their users to share where they work, just so when others are swiping on them, they’ll know their vocation. This might be too much personal information for you, and you might feel unsafe sharing your job’s location. That’s okay.
An app should never ask you to share your home address or anything else that might track back to you and put you in danger. Of course, if you’re meeting someone on a date and you would like for them to pick you up, you can share your address, but more on that later.
While senior dating sites use the algorithm and some essential information from you to find the best matches in your area, they will never share that information with other users on the app. They should also never know your exact location, just a general location, so they can find the best matches in your area and deliver them to your swipe deck.
If you notice that someone messaging you seems very interested in where you live or constantly asking for your address, you might want to raise a little red flag. You don’t necessarily have to write that person off, but you probably don’t want to give them your address.
2. Never Share Any Financial Information Online
If you choose a senior dating site that requires a subscription, or opt to find love more efficiently with a premium plan, most dating apps make that step super simple so that you only have to pull out your wallet once.
The majority of premium memberships auto-renew, so you won’t have to reenter any of your credit card or banking information after you’ve already done so. While this is an advantageous marketing strategy on the dating site’s part, it can also give you peace of mind when scrolling through your senior dating site.
If a user or a bot ever pops up and asks you to share your credit card information for whatever reason, a good rule of thumb is to ignore it, report it, and on the off chance that it’s actually from the company, you’ll know.
There are a lot of scammers who frequent senior dating websites, and they often target seniors who are just looking for love. If someone starts a conversation with you asking for money, you can go ahead and block them. You won’t miss out on much by not talking to them.
It’s also good to note that as much as you don’t want to give money away to every random stranger you see on a dating site, no normal person wants to provide you with cash, either.
For that reason, never accept any money that someone is offering you online or give them your bank account number, Venmo, Cash App, PayPal username, or anything else. If they want to send you thousands of dollars, they can hand that to you in cold hard cash. Otherwise, you might be opening yourself up not only to a major scam but also to a lot of danger.
In general, you should keep dating sites fun and light and keep money out of them. If you notice that someone is talking about money a little too much for your comfort level, it’s okay to protect yourself and block them, even if you’re not sure that they’re an actual threat. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially in the world of online senior dating.
3. Recognize the Common Signs of Online Scammers
Even though there are a few more scammers than we would like to deal with, the good news is that most of them are not very creative or good at their job.
In general, you can spot a scammer from a mile away. Here are some key signs to look out for if you’re avoiding scammers.
If they have bad grammar in their profiles and when they’re messaging you. And we’re not talking about a comma splice or a run-on sentence. But more along the lines of they don’t know how to spell very common and ‘easy’ words, or they sound a bit robotic in their language.
If you find it challenging to understand every message they’re sending you, and you have a weird feeling about their choices of words or their grammatical errors, they might be a computer program trying to scam you.
You’ll also want to make sure that everyone with whom you’re matching has a few different profile pictures, and none of them look like they were taken offline from a stock image. You can usually tell the difference based on if their background is real or just a sterile white one.
Another way you can assess whether or not someone is a scammer or a bot is if they filled out their profile. Scammers often will leave that part blank or write one sentence that doesn’t go anywhere or have any originality. Of course, a lackluster profile might be a user error, but it’s always something to think about!
The last thing you’ll want to keep in mind is what your conversation is like. If it seems like the person you’re talking to just wants to get personal information out of you and not get to know you, they’re probably a scammer.
4. Tell People Where You’re Going On Your Date
This tip is especially crucial if you live alone. If you’re about to go on a date with someone you met online, always let other people around you know that you’re going out, where you’re going, and when you should be back.
My mother is a senior who’s been on some online dates, and she always tells my sister and me that she’s going out and makes sure to share her location, but then she also alerts her next-door neighbor where she’s going because the neighbor can check up on her by the end of the night.
While you may not want to broadcast to the world that you’re going out on a date, it is in your best interest to at least let one other person know about your plans, just in case.
Also, if you don’t want to share your location with anyone, even your family, we get it; your privacy matters. But if you choose not to do that, please communicate with at least one other person during the date, just so they know that it’s going well and if they need to rescue you.
5. Drive Yourself to Your First Date
This is a highly debated topic for several people, especially those who are starting to date again in their later years.
Of course, we want the gentleman to pick us up for our dates and whisk us off on a surprise night on the town. It also saves us time and gas, if we’re being really honest.
But if you’re meeting someone you’ve only talked to online, it’s not the wisest decision to have them pick you up from your house on the first date.
For one reason, you don’t want too many people to know your home address, so you shouldn’t give that out to anyone too soon, or even at all, if you only know them from online.
Another reason is that you want to have control throughout the date. That can mean whatever you want it to mean. I liked driving myself to dates because I knew that if I wasn’t feeling it, I could leave. While this isn’t as much of a safety issue as a personal choice, if you want that extra layer of assurance that you can think of an excuse and pop out at any time, you should probably drive yourself to your first date.
The more practical and safety-related issue is that once you get in a car with someone, you and your safety are in their hands. This might be a problem with something so minute as they’re not the best driver, or it could lead to something as terrible as a real safety issue where your life is in jeopardy.
No matter the circumstance and how much you might like the person you’re messaging, it will always be in your best interest to just drive yourself to your first date. Play some great music and have fun with it, but always be safe.
6. Meet in Public on Your First Date
As a general rule of thumb, it’s always best to meet anyone you met on the internet in a public place, at least on your first date.
We’re not saying that you have to go to the mall or Disney World, but, for the most part, when you’re deciding on where you should go for the first date, try to think of a place where you would feel safe, and one that you know is well-lit and well populated.
Something that I always like to keep in mind when I’m thinking about the best places to go on a first date is what the surrounding area looks like as well. I know it might sound a bit crazy, but it’s good to think about what the parking lot situation looks like, if everything around that area is well-lit and safe, or if you wouldn’t feel comfortable going there alone.
Try to think of restaurants that are a good blend of not too busy but not too slow. You’ll more than likely feel more at ease if there are many people around you and you know that your date couldn’t do anything dangerous without getting caught.
It also might be worth meeting your date during the daytime or afternoon, especially if you’re a little concerned about going out by yourself after dark. A lovely afternoon wine and fries date is always a fantastic option for the two of you to get to know each other and assess whether or not you feel comfortable continuing to date one another.
7. Trust Your Gut
I know this isn’t the most universal or easy-to-apply step when it comes to senior dating safety, but it does not usually fail.
In general, when you’re approaching online dating and dating in general, your gut will often be right in the majority of situations.
If you’re messaging someone who seems perfect on paper, but your stomach does a little twitch every time their name comes up, and it’s not just because of the fun butterflies, you might want to listen to your intuition in these circumstances.
Of course, it’s not a fool-proof plan, and your gut can always be incorrect, but it’s nice to at least proceed with caution and be a little more alert to anything that might be off if your gut is telling you something’s wrong.
No matter what, you are entitled to your happily ever after and your fairytale, no matter how late in life you’re chasing after it. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable or uneasy while you’re trying to find it, they’re not only not worth your time to continue to talk to them, but it might be safer to write them off at their first red flag.
Trust your gut, and don’t let anyone bring you down on your journey to finding love. It can be hard sometimes and might not be what you expected, but it’s an adventure, and you’re going to do great.