If in your sunset years, online greet-and-meet isn’t much different than for those in their sunrise era. Enjoy the experience, but be careful of problems and scams. Here’s some advice:
1. Before you begin with a specific online dating service, ask friends and family to suggest honest and effective websites where they’ve had actual contact. If you sign up for a dating website, be aware that some charge fees, while others are free.
2. If satisfied with the online service, and personal information is required, tell the truth and send recent photos. It’s natural to fib a little. However, when meeting face-to-face with that new person, you may no longer look like that 25-year-old photo nor converse as someone with a PhD.
3. For safety sake, make the first blind date meeting in neutral spot, such as a restaurant, park or theater. If the person shows up looking nothing like the photo or is much older, have a fast, polite drink. Then, make any excuse to get away. Permanently. The fake photo is often an indication of other problems to come.
4. If the first-time date begins to make a pitch for a sure-fire investment or other money-grabbing scam, excuse yourself and escape immediately. Also, if the pitch is personally offensive to you, get away.
5. When you meet that first blind date arranged online, give very little or no info about address, family or financial situation. Be wary at that first face-to-face session. Along with casual conversation, ask questions about education, career and other facts. If the person lives in the same city, it isn’t impolite to ask for local references you can contact.
6. You may form a favorable first impression when the person appears to be charming and interesting. However, as the date progresses, if there’s any reason to suspect some kind of danger, lying or attempts at a scam, get away ASAP.
7. If you’re in a wheelchair or otherwise physically-challenged, take a friend or relative with you on the date. An unobtrusive way to do that could be to tell the blind date in advance that someone will be with you, and suggest the new person does the same. .
Online dating for seniors can be an enjoyable experience. By adhering to some simple rules of personal safety and common sense, you may open a new, interesting chapter in your life.