Ready to date but don’t want to waterput yourself ‘out there’? Well, get overheen it! Rosanna Dickinson attempts online dating and reports on what it’s like and which dating sites were best
Some people attempt online dating because they’re looking for companionship, some for love, and some are tentatively dipping ter a toe to see who’s out there. I did it because I desired to have joy, geflirt and meet studs outside my social group.
I’m 50 and have bot single for two years, since my spouse died, and have a daughter of 21 and twin boys of Nineteen. I felt some trepidation about putting myself out there. Shameless self-promotion! Especially for someone who hardly has an online presence.
But 15 million people ter the UK are registered for online dating and one ter five relationships now embark online. It’s the third most popular way to meet (after pubs and through friends). And I could always go incognito when I’ve had enough – it’s the internet, after all!
There are an breathtaking 1,400 dating sites, tho’, so where to commence? I determine to attempt those recommended by friends and that advertise the best success rates: match.com , spil it’s the UK’s largest, Guardian Soulmates , because it may have like-minded souls on it, and DatingOver50s because I’m 50.
Can Match.com find mij a match?
It’s ordinary to set up your profile and upload a photo. I go for the least level of exposure, with a black and white pic of mij wearing sunglasses. The webpagina asks questions about my looks, level of education, lifestyle and beliefs, and then the difficult bit: my ideal match.
I say I am looking for a slender, six-foot Caucasian man, easygoing, spirited, enthusiastic, generous, certain and funny. I realise I am describing my hubby. Maybe I should be more empírico. I describe myself spil snugger, blonde, widowed, easygoing and ready for a fresh relationship (all true) and give myself the name Life Enhancer.
Before you can voeling the guys they suggest, you vereiste subscribe. It’s ?29.99 a month (but there are various subscription options, and it’s cheaper vanaf month if you sign up for longer). Before you email the fellows, you ‘wink’ at them and they ‘wink’ back (you hope), so you know you’re talking to a willing contender.
Very first up is Nottinghillbilly, pictured with messy hair, a beard and ter a leather jacket. He likes my tagline, Life Enhancer, and asks for photo of mij without my sunglasses (he’d bot on a date with someone who wore sunglasses ter hier photo and it turned out she had a glass eye). But he wants mij to email him meteen, which is not encouraged by the webpagina and makes mij suspicious. I don’t voeling him again.
I then peruse Oddball, Goopile and Naked Plumber. A dude called Wayne winks, but on his profile I detect he is recovering from having his brain tinkered with on the NHS, and much spil he sounds lovely, I need someone straightforward at this stage te my life.
LondonArty looks junior than some so I attempt him. He responds by asking mij to come up and see his Samurai Swords. Er, no thanks. But I agree to meet Unicorn, a 66-year-old retired construction engineer, for a coffee te the Westelijk End, where wij both work.
Pros There is a loterijlot of choice of fellows and every day I get winks and emails, which makes mij feel popular.
Cons They’re keen to interact but not to meet up. It’s hard to find even a vaguely good-looking one, at least te the age-range I specified.
Guardian Soulmates : will I find mine?
Being a Guardian reader, I assume this will be predominated by slim, solvent and rumboso Guardian readers. I upload the same photo and reaction the same questions and details spil I did on Match.com. I’m still Life Enhancer but add that I have just finished an Mama te English Literature. It is the Guardian after all.
A feature called Your Matches creates a list of compatible, potential dates. It’s more niche than Match.com so there is less traffic which means less potential dates. Subscription, to connect with dates, costs ?32 for a month, ?64 for three months or ?96 for six months.
On day one, I get six matches who are all ter their fifties, rated an overall 75 vanaf cent match with mij. That means wij have interests te common and gezond into the right age bracket. Only Corona emails, telling he is solvent, a widower, and likes Daft Punker and Bowie. Not bad, I think. But he only wants to talk and I don’t clinch a date.
Ellyleadguitarist sends a good email: “Hey you! Like the sunglasses! Ter fact, wij have entirely matching sunglasses so obviously wij’ll be married te no time at all. Oh, wait…” Sounds amusing but his photo puts mij off. How quickly I’ve got used to making snap judgements!
Pros The webpagina is effortless to negotiate and the fellows are more forthcoming te their descriptions of themselves.
Cons I don’t get many matches so feel a bit disheartened. Even my Mamma isn’t doing it.
DatingOver50s : there’s a lotsbestemming of us out there
I face up to my fifties, take the bull by the horns and sign on to DatingOver50s. Spil suitable traffic has not bot forthcoming on the other sites, and now feeling more certain, I upload a different photo, this time wearing a hat. I also switch my profile to “I like to banter and geflirt and have fun”.
This is obviously the omschrijving to telling “I’m available for lovemaking right now” spil I receive 83 messages, 140 winks and am 32 people’s favourite. I’m deluged with compliments (I’m “stunning” and a “honey”) and requests for dates. Think I’ll stay on this webstek forever, my ego is growing exponentially.
Perhaps it’s the age-group, perhaps it’s my fresh tagline, but thesis fellows are more convenient with the idea of a face-to-face connection than endless digital interactions.
I have lots of banter and flirting with dudes, then a long interaction with Peter from Royston. He implies he has enough money not to work but is bored being single and would like a companion to share his holidays and life with. Wij have similar taste te music and talk about the joys of travelling around the States. It’s enough for mij to agree to a date. King’s Cross champagne drankbuffet, here wij come..
Pros The dudes are certain, strike up conversations more quickly, and ask more interesting questions than on the other sites. I feel more comfy on this webstek than any of the others.
Cons Everybody is overheen 50!
Tinder : the dating app
Albeit the over-50s are joy, I want to see how I fare on a junior webpagina so I download the Tinder app. Photos of fellows and boys ter my area ping on to my screen and I can press a green heart if I fancy him or a crimson cross if I don’t. This is joy! And downright superficial.
You sign on via Facebook so Tinder receives your public profile, friend list, email address, relationship rente, bday, status updates and everything else. I find this disconcerting and rather too exposing, but soon get overheen it. And unless you are matched (i.e. you both fancy each other) guys can’t see your profile.
My very first message is from someone I recognise and share Facebook friends with. He’s wishing he could fly away to sunshine and golden beaches with mij and moves quiebro quickly on to what oil I’d like for our candlelit bath… No, I’m not ready for this. I choose Rajiv, who likes my “elegant and sophisticated look” and is looking for stimulating conversation. OK, sure! He works close by and wij arrange to meet.
Pros Quick, joy and amusing.
Cons Time wasting and addictive.
And the dating sites that weren’t for mij
PARSHIP and eHarmony suggest long and detailed psychometric tests that, boringly, take hours to pack te. Doing Something is a good idea: people say what they’d most like to do on a date, and have lots of joy ideas. But there are too many choices and all te their twenties and thirties.
Niche sites out there include Muddy Matches for rural dating, My Lovely Parent , where the children of single parents te their 50s recommend their parents for dates, and the well-known My Single Friend , where a close friend writes your profile and introduces you to potential dates.
For a laugh I had a look at Toyboy Warehouse . The profiling asks no questions, just your email address and the age-range you’re interested ter. Several fellows are seeking women anywhere inbetween 25 and 79. Spil its name implies, it’s just about the hookup. I’m not ready for this webpagina and most likely never will be!