While many people think that online dating is reserved for today’s youth, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, more than 12% of seniors use dating sites and apps today with numbers only increasing and the elderly population grows. When you’re enjoying the freedom of an independent living community, it makes sense that you’d want to see what the fuss is about.
If you’re looking to start dating online, you’re opening up yourself to a world of possibilities. But that doesn’t mean it’s all fun and games. When you invest in online dating, you have to take precautions to keep yourself safe. Even though we all like to think people on these sites have good intentions, some might abuse the site and try to steal your information for fraudulent, illegal activities.
Here are some of the top ways to stay safe when you start dating online as a senior.
It’s easy to start caring for people online, especially when the conversation is great from the get-go. Unfortunately, some people will try to take advantage of your generosity and request money online. Don’t do it.
If a person is in truly dire straights, they will be able to rely on friends or loved ones before a stranger on the internet. In this case, it’s likely someone trying to take advantage of you. If someone asks you for money on the app, promptly report them to the online dating site. You’re here to go on dates, not fund someone’s side hustle.
When you’re finally ready to meet up with your date, make sure you invite them somewhere public. This could be to your favorite restaurant or a stroll in the park in your senior living community. Meeting in public ensures that no funny business will happen on the date. It also ensures that you’ll be able to rely on help from passersby if something goes wrong. Get to know them over a cup of coffee to see if the chemistry you had on the app is alive when you’re in person. If the date is going well, you can always invite them back to your independent housing complex, but initial meet-ups should always be in public to ensure your safety and comfort. You can always ask a senior living community service member to pick you up and drop you off if you want to indulge in a couple of drinks, too.
Dating apps are constantly evolving, updating, and changing. If you need help navigating these apps or identifying suspicious behavior, there’s no shame in asking for help. After all, they have an entire television show based on people concealing their identity online. If you think a question is strange or you’re getting harassed by someone, reach out to a friend or the app team to get to the bottom of it.
Dating is often a part of independent living, but you need to stay safe. Rely on these tips when you’re ready to start online dating this year.