Perhaps the greatest shock to someone who's been married for the past 25 years or so is how much the dating scene has changed. It used to be that only "losers" had to look online for a mate.
Now, the ones who lose out are the ones who don't go to a dating website. Not only has the way to meet people changed but you have probably changed quite a bit from when you were in your 20s or 30s.
It's simply become the easiest and most efficient way to meet someone. And it's no longer stigmatized to say you met on Match. So where does someone begin? Knowing what site to go to can help but you also may just have to experiment with a few different sites to see which one feels best and seems like it has kindred spirits.
People often tell me they want different things now that they're older. For some, their standards are higher than before. Try This Writing Exercise: In order to get clarity on what you're looking for, it can sometimes be helpful to make a list of how you've changed as well as how what you're looking for has changed. The next hurdle is to create a profile. This is where lots of people get stuck. I find that people over 50 tend to believe that no one would possibly be interested in them because they perceive themselves to be "old.
There are more somethings out there than any other age demographic. The pool is much bigger than you think. While it is true that those in midlife probably have more complicated lives—an ex or two or three , children and relationship wounds—many of the folks will be wiser, more mature and will have a healthier perspective on what really matters in life than their younger counterparts.
You need to get to a place where it's no big deal to say, "next! If you date people, having one not work out is not as big a deal. It's a numbers game, after all, so if you widen the pool, you'll increase your chances of meeting someone compatible.
The bad news is that sometimes people lie or misrepresent themselves. This is particularly true, I'm told, when it comes to a person's age and, unfortunately, sometimes the marital status as well. You have to be careful and screen well. You may be tempted to fudge your age or status but let me just tell you that there will be no easy way to disclose the truth without risking anger and mistrust from the person you deceived.
It's not usually good to start out on a dishonest note, even if you think it's just a little white lie. Here's what she had to say. Your photo is everything.
Put your best self out there. One of my clients had a dating profile up for a couple of months with a lovely though faraway shot of her and her kids. Although she is an attractive woman, she got almost no winks or visits to her page. She took her profile down and changed her photo to a closer shot of her on a ski slope with a big smile on her face.
Needless to say, it was like night and day. She got lots and lots of attention and eventually entered a long-term relationship. Cathy advises either asking a friend who has a really good eye to take you out for a photo shoot or invest in a professional photographer.
And take photos outside in nature or with you doing one of your favorite activities. That's a dead giveaway that it either hasn't been very long since you ended that relationship, or you're not over your ex yet. Either way, trust me on this one, don't do it thinking no one can tell.
Although Cathy suggests leaving photos with the Fido out, it can certainly be another quick way to rule someone in or out. If you're an animal lover, you might want your potential mate to be one too. If you're not, seeing a pic of a prospect with a long-haired cat or four dogs might be enough to check him or her off the list immediately.
Two additional tips that Cathy added to her list were 1. To have at least one full body shot and, 2. No pics more than a year old or 50 pounds ago.
As far as what to write, Cathy suggests that you write something simple but unique. She says, "Three paragraphs is plenty. White space is your friend. People also use this precious small space to list what they aren't looking for. Keep a positive tone and focus on asking for what you do want in a mate. She adds that the best profiles are easy to read and give the flavor of the personality through photos or humor and levity.
Group sites like MeetUp. Even if you don't meet a potential mate, you will have enjoyed yourself. If you'd like more tips from Cathy, visit her website: