Oh, the good old days of dating. Dating was simpler then. You met someone at a dance or through a friend, they came and picked you up at your home, met the parents, fell in love and you were married for 50 years. And you never thought about it again, dating that is until now.
Maybe you’ve lost the love of your life through death or divorce. You’re older now, but wiser? In some areas yes, but dating? Dating frightens everyone.

Dating is difficult at any age but especially as one advances in age and has a whole lot of baggage attached like kids who couldn’t imagine you replacing their mother. Or, grandchildren who view a new friend or lover a potential to their long-awaited inheritance. Or wrinkles.

But you never realized just how lonely being on your own could be. And loneliness is bad for your health. Loneliness and social isolation are risk factors for coronary heart disease and stroke. Loneliness does not necessarily mean being alone, rather it means the distressing feelings that are associated with discrepancies between desired and actual social relationships. In other words, meeting someone new is good for your health.

Meeting someone new is certainly better than finding partnership in a bottle or some other vice that may temporarily soothe your sorrows. But you’re probably asking yourself how to go about getting back to dating. How does one go about meeting someone in the golden years? The concept of dating began at the turn of the 20th century and has changed along with the times.

That said, dating at any age is fun and exciting and yes perhaps even a bit disappointing. Chances are you had a happy marriage which is a sure sign that you will end up in a new relationship and perhaps even sooner than you think. This is counterintuitive because most people would think the opposite is true. But think about it, if you were miserable in your marriage, why would you want to do that again? But if it was associated with happiness, you’ll certainly seek that again.

By now you’re probably wondering where and how to begin. Well, some things never grow old and that is the concept that having a friend fix you up with someone they know is a great first step. Let your friends know you’re looking. Also attend those events at the golf club or in the retirement community. Life is to be enjoyed, not endured especially after the loss of a loved one.

On-line dating is another option. It is the way of the world….the dating world anyway. And seniors are getting on the bandwagon. Seniors are one of the fastest demographics turning to technology,” says Jennifer Cairns, co-founder of eGurus a technology tutoring company for people over 55. You will want to do some research here and definitely read the fine print before signing up.

If you’re young at heart, check out some of the more popular on-line dating sites like Plenty of Fish, Match.com and EHarmony. Most on-line dating sites are now catering to the golden girls and boys. If you act more like your age, try some on-line dating websites for seniors specifically such as Senior Match, Senior Friend Finder and Senior People Meet.

There are a few rules of the on-line dating road. First you will want to create a separate email account specifically for your on-line dating. This helps to maintain your privacy and you won’t risk sending an email to your daughter-in-law by accident.

Once you’ve chosen the site you wish to sign up for, you’ll be asked to create an on-line profile. This is where honesty is the best policy, but not too much. Be yourself, be real but don’t give away too much personal information. You don’t want people to know where you live.

Next up is the profile picture. It is well known that profiles with photos get more action. Keeping in line with honesty, take a new photo so your picture will be current. You want to be recognizable. But also, you want to make sure that the photo has never been used on-line before so a person isn’t able to match your picture to a google search and find out where you live. It is recommended that you take an action photo, so perhaps one where you’re playing tennis or hiking.

If you do decide to meet up with someone you’ve met on-line, make sure you meet them in a public place. Recently, I had a sixty-year old woman in my office who met someone on-line and she thought the proper thing to do would be to have him pick her up at her house. This is old-fashioned, times have changed I said. Not to mention, many women are at risk for sexual assault, violent crime and fraud.

You’ll be surprised at how connected you can feel to someone you’ve never met especially if they’ve said all the right things “on-line.” Some people fall easily and hard. Many women have sent their life savings over the internet only to learn the person was a fraud. It is ALWAYS a RED FLAG when someone asks you for money on-line. If someone asks you for money on-line, say no and immediately notify the police. They’ve likely victimized many others on-line.

Be open to whomever you meet on line. Don’t discount them because of their age, height, weight or status in life. Before you go, be sure you tell someone you know where you’ll be going and with whom. Arrange to have a friend text or call you 15 minutes into the in-person date, just in case you need an out. Here’s a hot tip. You can always spill your coffee on yourself, run to get napkins and never return.

On-line dating can be fun but remember there are risks and they need to be taken seriously. Sadly, there are predators on line. Many women especially are at risk for sexual assault, violent crimes and fraud.

The Vancouver police has seen an uptake in the number of reported crimes and has set up a website called Catch You to offer tips on staying safe on-line. Have fun, be yourself and stay safe.

This is a repost from the Langley Times online special publication. Maureen McGrath is a sexpert, women’s health expert and hosts the CKNW Sunday Night Sex Show . Maureen’s TEDx Talk on No Sex Marriage: Masturbation, Loneliness, Cheating and Shame has 6.4 million views. Sexless marriage is a thing as is online dating. Maureen has a clinical practice in North Vancouver, British Columbia where she helps many couples in sexless marriages. Maureen is also available for Digital consults. Contact her at her website: Back To The BedroomBack To The Bedroom For more information about Mona Lisa Touch a new novel hormone-free therapy for vaginal dryness, painful sex, low sexual desire and urinary incontinence visit .

Maureen McGrath

Maureen McGrath

Host of the CKNW Sunday Night Health Show on Corus Radio. As a leading women's health expert and Registered Nurse, I understand the importance that sexual, vaginal, bladder and bowel health has on overall health and relationships.

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