Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained - Online Dating For the Over-60s
While you will undoubtedly have heard of internet dating, the term could be all you know about it.
having convinced yourself that it's for the younger generation.
But internet dating isn't the prerogative of the young; it's there for everyone.
And if you're having difficulty finding a potential partner then it's worth a try.
After all, there's no reason why you should miss out on the chance to meet someone special just because you've reached your 60s.
The following advice will help you navigate the waters of online dating and give you the confidence, at least, to take a look at what it's all about.
There are hundreds of online dating sites on the web, which is why it can be difficult for the uninitiated to know where to start.
While most sites are free to join, if you want to contact someone you'll almost certainly have to pay.
This may seem an obvious disadvantage but in some respects it's not.
That's because the general consensus where internet dating is concerned is that anyone who's serious about meeting someone is going to be prepared to pay to do so.
Conversely, those who aren't serious about finding a mate won't want to spend a penny.
Therefore, while it's worth taking a look at the sites offering free services, be prepared to pay if you're serious about meeting a partner.
There are a number of sites dedicated to the over-50s and over-60s.
However, that doesn't mean that only those people over 50 and 60 will be registered on these sites: some of them may very well be registered on the sites catering for people of all ages.
So, again, there are pros and cons: The bigger, more general sites will have a larger number of people registered, and the small age-specific sites will have only people of their target age range registered.
Again, it's worth taking a look to see which site you feel is right for you.
but bear in mind that while you may be convinced that romance couldn't blossom between you and a woman twenty years your senior, you shouldn't rule it out (unless you want to, of course!).
It's important to remember that internet dating is a little different to meeting someone in the more conventional way.
For starters, if you meet a man or woman through friends, you're very likely to get a little background information on him or her.
This is always useful when deciding whether or not to embark on a relationship, should the opportunity arise.
However, with online dating, you get no such background information.
All you get to go on is what the other person tells you.
Therefore, it pays to keep your feet firmly on the ground and not let any romantic expectations lead you astray.
Furthermore, if you feel that time is of the essence and you want to meet a partner sooner rather than later, it may be tempting to ignore any doubts you have about someone you've met online and tell yourself that, yes, this is the one.
There's no fool like an old fool, so the saying goes.
But it's not only the older daters who get their fingers burned online dating - it can happen to anyone.
So just take your time and keep your expectations realistic.
When the time does come to meet someone outside the world of the internet, remember that it doesn't matter how old you are, safety's always important.
Whenever arranging to meet someone you've struck up a friendship with online always take your personal safety into consideration.
Most dating sites provide advice about meeting so always read this before agreeing to go for coffee or lunch with someone.
Always use common sense: Meet in a crowded place, during daylight hours, and let a friend or relative know where you're going and what time you intend returning.
And never be pressured into doing anything you don't feel comfortable with- For example, don't give out your phone number unless you're completely comfortable with the other person having it.
There is romance to be found online, whatever your age.
It's a great way to get to know people, and to strike up a friendship that could very easily develop into a loving and lasting relationship.
The ritual of internet dating may differ from that of conventional dating some decades ago, but it doesn't take long to get the hang of it - and you're never too old to learn!