The year is 2021. We are emerging from months of social dormancy. All of a sudden, online dating has become “virtually” the only way to meet people. And although many of us could’ve seen this coming in the future, I’m sure we weren’t prepared for this shift to happen so quickly.

Compounded with the isolation of a pandemic and everyone’s different socializing boundaries, the digital dating world is a really tricky place to navigate for your first time right now.

There’s many ways I can go with this article, but I’m feeling like extending some love and attention to the older single folks out there who are really struggling with where to begin in this unfamiliar and overwhelming process. My hope is to provide some guidance for where your attention should be directed if you decide that online dating is a path you want to explore. 

First, get very clear on what you’re looking for. Is emotional investment a priority for you, or are you looking for something with less strings and commitment? Do you want a romantic but non-sexual companionship? Are you looking for a long-term committed relationship? Trying your hand in the world of polyamory? Curious about exploring the kinky side of your personality?

The answers to these questions will guide and narrow the options for which platforms would be most conducive to fulfilling your needs. 

Next, choose the platforms you’re going to focus on.

From a historical standpoint, right now is the best time to be in the online dating world because there are platforms for almost any identity and relationship preference you could imagine. Having more than one profile will grow the audience you engage with.

The more reach you have, the more potential matches you can make. The more matches you make, the more options you have for choosing who you’d like to get to know more. This is not to say sign up for every platform you’ve ever heard of, but having two or three different profiles is a good start — you can always narrow it down if you are taking a liking to one platform over another. 

And lastly, having an engagement schedule that doesn’t disrupt your routine or take more than 30 minutes every day is a great strategy to reduce the likelihood that you will get burnt out or overwhelmed. Swiping during the week sounds good to me, but give yourself the weekend off — go out and live your life, do your hobbies, take care of yourself. Dating apps are meant to be tools of efficiency.

One of their purposes is to make our lives easier so we have more time to invest into activities that bring us joy. Being overly active on them might give off an impression that you’re very eager to get to know someone, and that intense enthusiasm might scare off or overwhelm potential connections. 

To learn more about what platforms work well with older folks, how to use dating apps to your advantage, and what maintaining online connections looks like, feel free to chat with me at marla@gspotcoaching.com.

You don’t need to go through this process alone, I am happy to be part of your love journey. For more bite-sized wisdom, tune into the relationship advice column here that will be rolling out in the weeks to come.

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