The DONT's of Online Dating for Over 50s

Online dating is a whole different animal. Not like dating people you meet through people. Not like before when you have to wait, or make him wait, 3 days before you call, and you have to play hard to get.

Everyone who signs up with online dating comes there with the understanding that people they see there want to date. A lot of rules go out the window. And a few rules fly in.

You’ve probably read all the tips for a good online dating experience.

Perhaps more important are the DONT’s. It saves you time, energy and saves you from disappointment or heartache. And it makes you look good to others who’ll look at your profile, of course.

  • First, don’t get your hopes up. This will prevent you from getting discouraged. That’s a close second: don’t get discouraged.

  • Don’t expect your ideal man or woman to be served to you in a platter with your favourite trimmings and sauces. Browse and look around and message those you do like, instead of complaining about getting propositioned by those you don’t like.

  • Don't be picky. You’d be rejecting a lot of people if you are, and you might be turning off a lot, too.

  • Don’t lie and don’t withhold information. Complete your profile with all the important aspects of your person-hood. Age, photos, appearance details (height, body type, weight, etc), income, relationship history, children, hobbies-- stick to the truth. Chances are they’ll look you up anyway.

  • Don’t waste time. This goes two ways: wasting time writing back and forth for too long without meeting, and wasting time messaging someone you don’t like anyway. You don’t have to continue replying just to be polite. Move on. And chemistry is important, so after liking each other on paper (or screen, as it were), meet up and see if you mesh well in person.

  • Don’t play it too safe. If someone seems promising, take the leap and let that someone in, at the risk of rejection or hurt. As said above, don’t waste time. Time is wasted in too much caution and self-protection.

  • Don’t worry about what you wrote, women. Don’t stop worrying about what you wrote, men. Men are visual creatures. Posting good photos and nice enough answers are enough. Women, meanwhile, will notice your typos and misspellings, and will analyze your movie choices for possible mental problems.

  • Don’t forget safety. Inform people about every date. In fact, a friend can be your sounding board from the beginning, from proofreading your profile to helping you pick what photos to post, and of course, you should let your friend know when you meet up with a match on a date.

  • Don’t be a cheapskate. Or don’t go to dates if you can’t afford to.

  • Don’t rant about things.

  • Don’t take it too seriously. Don’t obsess over it. Don’t let it take over your life. Don’t tinker with your profile all the time. Don’t treat it like a fridge you check every five minutes.

  • Don’t answer all the questions, or set them to private. Give it the Mum-measure. If you can tell your mum about it, it’s ok in public.

  • Don’t be a rude rejector. Simply don’t message back. Don’t say “You’re not my type.” How would you know? Online dating can make us shallow. Don’t confirm it by rejecting a person you don’t know at all.

  • Don’t come off as desperate. Don’t talk down about yourself. Don’t fish for compliments.

  • Speaking of desperate, don’t use the 3-day rule just to appear cool. In online dating, everyone’s connected, and a response too long in coming is rude.

  • Don’t be confusing about your intentions. Be subtle but clear on what you’re looking for. Let your messages speak for you. In fact, let your profile speak for you. Dating sites always ask what you’re looking for: casual sex, friendship, short-term relationships, long-term relationships, marriage.