So, you’ve come to that time in your life that for some reason or another, you’re ready to meet someone. Maybe you’re looking for a companion or perhaps something more. You may have found it difficult finding that someone using the methods that you used as a young adult.
It seems harder to meet people as our circle of social activities diminish. More than likely you’re not in school anymore, a place where at one time you might have met someone, maybe most of your friends are married, and they may not know anyone to match you up with.
Well, nowadays, you do have a more modern way of meeting someone, and that is through online senior dating sites. It’s been reported that 39% of couples are meeting their partners online. That is up from 2% in 1993. From these statistics, it seems like online dating has become the norm.
However – Safety First
When you first venture out to date, you may be apprehensive. It may be that you haven’t dated in decades, and you’re not sure what to expect. With online dating, as with other types of interactions, you want to consider safety.
- When setting up your profile, don’t provide your address or phone number or any information that will allow someone to find you.
- You might consider using a nickname, so your actual name is not on the site.
- Also, if you take your communication off the online dating site, you might want to set up an email account that is separate from your personal email account. Doing this, you won’t be giving out your email address that someone could trace through the internet on other sites you’ve been on.
- Another factor you might want to consider is if you are interested in someone to ask them for a recent picture or ask if the picture they have uploaded on the site is current. You don’t want any surprises when your “handsome/pretty” date posted a photo from 10 or 20 years ago – yes, this happens.
- You also want to trust your gut – if you’re getting a strange feeling about someone or feeling something isn’t right trust your feelings. That doesn’t mean you have to cut off communication if you don’t want to but do proceed with caution.
- I had a friend who went online and started communicating with a man. Within two days, he was asking my friend if she was communicating with other men, and then he began to berate her verbally. If someone does something like this to you, I would suggest blocking him/her.
Remember, there are scammers out there. Don’t give out your banking or credit card information. Please don’t send anyone money. Scammers are good at what they do; that’s why they do it.
Once you start communicating with someone and once you reach the stage where you feel like you want to meet, remember you’ll be meeting a stranger. I strongly suggest for the first few meetups that you meet in public, maybe for coffee or lunch.
A short date like coffee or lunch allows you to meet the person and start to know him/her better. If you think it’s not a good match, you won’t be stuck on an extended date. You can leave within an hour or so if you don’t think you’re a match. Can you imagine being on a date with someone for hours and hours when you just can’t wait to get away?
Even at an in-person meeting, you want to be sure not to disclose too much personal information. I would suggest going on many public dates before revealing your address. It’s also a good idea to let a friend or relative know you will be going on this “date” and where you will be going.
Be alert and cautious.
So, You’ve Decided to Get your Toes Wet
Maybe you’ve been thinking about online dating for a while, or perhaps you are now in a situation where you want to give online dating a try. What now?
The first thing you’ll want to do is think about what you want in a partner. Are religious beliefs important to you? Do you mind smoking or drinking? Do you want someone fit? Do you want someone with kids?
After you think about what you want in a partner, then think about what you have to offer. Do you have children? Most sites will ask you about your physical attributes, your age, how you view your weight, your hobbies, etc.
Thinking of these things beforehand will help you when you sign up on a site.
Two Sites Reviewed
I’m going to review two sites. There are many more, and as I research, I’ll add them to this post.
One of the most popular online dating sites is eHarmony. I found the interface simple to use. You start by entering typical information such as your name (use your first, no last name), email address (either your personal email or create an email just for the online dating profiles), date of birth, and the number of children you have.
As you continue, you will be asked to click on information such as ethnicity, religious beliefs and denomination, level of education, occupation, income range, whether you smoke or drink, and height.
You’ll continue inputting your information (much is done by just clicking the answer). The intake questionnaire is quite lengthy, but think of it as the system trying to match you up with someone with similar likes and values.
There is also a compatibility portion that asks you questions based on a numbered scale. For instance, how outgoing are you and you click on your answer.
After completing the survey, you will be asked if you want to subscribe. You will still be able to access a few things like your profile and matches they found (the pictures are blurred out) without subscribing. Once you subscribe, you get full access to the site.
Standard Lite – 6-month subscription.
- Being able to see who’s viewed you.
- Being able to view unlimited photos.
Ability to access more matches.
There is a discount given for the first three months of $22.97 per month, and then after that, it goes to $45.95 a month. They give you the option of paying for the full six months upfront or dividing it into three payments. The total price is $206.76. This subscription will automatically renew, so be sure to cancel the autorenewal, or you will be billed $275.70 at the end of the six months. Credit Cards and Pay Pal are accepted for payment.
Premium Plus – is a 12-month subscription. The price is $14.97 for the first three months, and then the price goes to $29.95 a month. Again, you can pay the full 12 months upfront or three equal payments. The total cost for the year is $314.96. This subscription will automatically renew, so be sure to cancel the autorenewal, or you will be billed $359.40 at the end of 12 months for another year. Again, credit cards and PayPal are accepted for payment.
The Premium Plus comes with the features of the Standard Lite plan and the added features of:
- Browsing anonymously.
- This is a nice feature. When I first visited an online dating website (not eHarmony), I was casually clicking on profiles, and to my dismay, the people were notified I had viewed them. I was just moving around the website, not being interested in anyone just seeing how the site worked lol.
Getting read receipts on all messages you send.
Premium Extra – This is a two-year plan. The price is $10.47 for the first three months and then goes to $20.95 a month after. You can pay for the full 24 months upfront or in 3 equal payments. The total price for two years is $471.36. This subscription will automatically renew, so be sure to cancel the autorenewal, or you will be billed for $502.80 at the end of 24 months for another two years. Again, credit cards and PayPal are accepted for payment.
The Premium Extra comes with the benefits included in the Standard Lite and Premium Plus Plans. There are no added features other than the price being reduced for the two years subscription.
eHarmony does have a guarantee, but there are specific criteria you have to meet. If you’re not satisfied in 3 months, then you get three months free – if:
- You completed the questions in the profile set up.
- You have at least three photos and a completed profile.
- You sent or replied to at least five members.
- You subscribed to 3 months or more.
- You complied with the Terms & Conditions.
*PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT PRICES.
Catholicmatch, as the name implies, is an online dating site that caters to those of the Catholic faith. The interface is simple to use. You begin by entering your personal information – first and last name, email address, and date of birth.
You will be asked questions about your faith, such as what Diocese you are in, if you’re eligible to marry in the Catholic Church if you converted to the Catholic Church, etc.
You will also enter information as to your height, eye color, hair color, types of piercings, and tattoos, among other questions.
There is a free version that Catholicmatch offers that you can use to have use of some benefits.
With your free membership, you can:
- Create a profile
- Perform a search
- View other’s profiles
- You can like up to 3 profiles a day to show your interest in someone.
- Participate in matching (for free to marry members).
- See those who have viewed your profile.
- Read messages that others have sent you.
There are three paid plans to choose from.
1 month – the price as of this post is $29.99 a month
6 months – the price as of this post is $14.99 a month for 6 months.
12 months – the price breaks down to $9.99 a month
A paid membership includes all the benefits of the free account and also these additional features:
- Sending communications to others.
- Premium search filters.
- No limit on how many profiles you “like.”
- Able to see who likes your profile.
- Posting in forums.
- Discounted renewal rates for subscribers of 3 months plus subscriptions.
- Priority customer support (including profile reviews and coaching at no additional cost).
- Deep discounts on CatholicMatch products, like the Online Dating Course.
- You’ll be notified when someone reads the communication that you send. This is for the six month and 1-year subscribers.
- A free six-month subscription if you do not meet anyone (Qualifying 6-Month subscribers – see below for qualifications)
The CatholicMatch Guarantee is available only with the six-month subscription.
To qualify for six months free at the end of your subscription, you must:
- Have a complete and truthful profile with a profile photo and at least five other photos.
- Participate in the matching feature.
- Contact at least one person per week who you haven’t already communicated with. This must be a message or emotigram that includes personalized text.
- Be free to marry in the Catholic Church.
Catholicmatch does have an excellent help desk area that you can find many answers to frequently asked questions.
Discussion Forums that members can discuss many topics from dating, sports, prayers, and much more.
Are You Ready to Take the Plunge?
If you are considering senior dating sites, it can be a lot of fun. First and foremost, remember safety. Don’t be foolish thinking because you have messaged a person back and forth, and they are who they say they are. Be candid with who you are – don’t say you’re a different age or post an old profile picture. They’re going to find out you weren’t honest, and that’s no way to begin any relationship.
Have fun with your new endeavor, and always stay safe.
If you have experience with online dating, please share it in the comment section. I would love you hear how it went.