by Lee Johnson
This part of dating in retirement is about the online experience. Some say about 20% to 25% of all relationships start online. I’m sure this figure is higher for the retired because we spend more time at home and have fewer social engagements. But, is this a good idea for women?
Let’s examine the pros and cons as to why this is becoming so popular. Lets start with the PROS:
1. KNOWLEDGE: You know something about the person before any contact is made. It’s an enlightening experience to read about a person’s interests and traits before you meet them. This information instantly gives both parties something in common to talk about. 2. EFFICIENCY: You waste less time. Picking from a list of interested people is far better than trying to figure out who might be interested.
3. CONVENIENCE: You never leave the comfort of your home until you are ready. The days of going to places just because men are there are over.
4. EQUALITY: You can contact whom you want rather than wait to be contacted. The archaic system of only the men starting the conversation or asking the women out is over.
5. SOCIAL: It's social networking. It’s not all about romance as many people end up being friends. Many people are online to meet platonic or activity partners
6. COST EFFECTIVE: Many of the online sites are free. Frankly, I can’t see much difference between them and the paid ones. One might think that the paid sites have more affluent people. This could be true, but I find there is a wide range of socioeconomic status on all sites.
7. MORE CONTROL: Some of us are bothered by getting propositioned by undesirables when we are out. If this happens online, you just delete the message from the privacy of your home.
8. SAFETY: You don’t have to give out your name or number until ready and I recommend you do an online background search on someone before you go out.
|ONLINE DATING IN RETIREMENT|
One woman complained that she doesn’t want her personal information "out there" on the Internet. Well, you are only offering general information about yourself with, just an optional photo. Your name, phone and address are not listed, of course. You will need a password to access your account. So, I suppose there is some risk if someone hacks the website and copies your ad to You Tube, but its entrainment value is very low, and there is no payoff for the hacker. THE CONS:
1. MISREPRESENTATION: By far the most common complaint is insincerity or lying to make themselves look better. Men can be married or multiple daters. Of course, this happens off line too, but when you are anonymous it’s easier to be deceptive. So, you ask a lot of questions and do a background check.
2. RECOGNITION: Someone you know may recognize you online. This is not a problem if you tell people you are looking.
3. RUDENESS: Some men can be curt or suggestive. Some are going to say dumb things. Rather than get annoyed with this, it’s so easy to just delete them and move on. If they get really out of line, you complain and get them removed from the site.
4. CONFUSION: Dating too many people at once can be confusing for some. This is more likely to happen online than off. If anybody has more to add, please let me know.
If you decide to give online dating a try, you will be asked to summarize yourself. Creating a "profile" gives some people pause, but a well-thought-out summary attracts the right person. Some websites have questionnaires to help match people with similar answers. They attempt to match your interests and your personality traits.
You’re encouraged to add photos to your ad if you want to get more responses. This is important because you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. People look at your photo first and must find it acceptable before they read your profile. It’s important to put your best foot forward without exaggeration. If your date catches you misrepresenting yourself, it’s generally a deal breaker.
Once you have an online ad, expect to receive emails from people tying to find out if you have enough in common. You will progress to a phone conversation, then to a coffee or lunch date, when ready. You’ll usually know after the first date if you want to continue. Just like any other dating, you need to meet many people before you meet the right person. This may be your last romantic relationship, so taking time to choose correctly is important.
Common Sense Conclusion: More seniors are dating in their retirement years, and are more likely to use Internet platforms for meeting their next partner.
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