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Is Online Dating Worth the Work for Women Over 50?

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

Many of our clients find it difficult to date online. That number seems to rise when you ask our ladies over age 50. They say they get tired of . . .

  • introducing themselves and initiating conversation over and over... going through the same superficial introductory chit chat

  • how much energy it takes just to get the guy to show interest or ask for the first meet... and then how much energy it takes to decipher his intentions

  • the innate ugly-but-unspoken competitive nature of dating -- trying to get men to notice them first and “like” them before they get distracted

  • knowing the numbers are against them because there are more single women than single men in their bracket

  • worrying they might have to settle because there aren’t any fun/interesting/passionate/healthy men on the app

Most digital dating experts say the dating field is uneven for women over 50, but my job as your comprehensive dating coach is to show you the ways around that. Here are some things to consider: Dating apps by their very nature are overwhelming -- there can be a lot of traffic of varying caliber, they are an easy target for romance scammers, and there will always be people who present better online than they do in person. Additionally, many middle-aged and older men want to date younger women; most women prefer to date a partner who is similar in age and are very aware of men's shorter life expectancies! Again, acknowledging these factors can help a user manage their expectations. You will need a positive, strong, empowered mindset. This is why all of our comprehensive coaching programs begin with our Power Mindset module. It's the first month of every ongoing date coaching program and it will serve you well as you are looking for and essentially interviewing the person who you hope will be your best friend, companion, lover, and partner in life. You will have to search with a set of a criteria and a set of preferences, just like organizations do when they seek that "perfect fit" for a CFO, CMO, etc. You are filling the most important position in your life.

When you put your power mindset into action and apply it to your online dating activities, it looks like this:

1. You don’t commit to the first person who shows interest, meaning you don't spend all your online time and energy on one person. At the same time, you don't try to spread yourself too thin with so many conversations going that you can't keep track of who's who. It's good to talk to more than one candidate at a time, but keeping too many balls in the air can be a recipe for burn-out -- and for conversational blunders to occur. 2. Your short list of must have's and non-negotiables (one we start to make on day 1 of coaching) is your guide, not whether sparks fly. This means you prioritize compatibility over chemistry. Attraction often develops when someone delivers on friendship, fun and laughter, consistency, and romance. 3. You consider the person's "relationship resume" (not just their profile) which you will slowly -- through the progressive revelation of conversation -- start to piece together in your mind over a series of phone calls, dates, and experiences together. Who a person was in the past is often a meaningful predictor of who they are now and who they will be in the future. Yes, people can change with the proper discipline, leverage, and motivation... but their dating track record should be a factor you consider. 4. Know what red flags to look out for: anxious or avoidant attachment; a severe negativity bias or unbridled pessimism; rampant insecurity / jealousy / possessiveness; emotional or financial instability; other relationships that are marked by drama and disruption; controlling or manipulative behaviors; narcissism, etc. KNOW what these looks like and how you want to react before you're actually confronted with it. 5. The sheer volume of online dating options (in terms of both apps and singles) may overwhelm you. You may have to release some social norms and expectations of yourself when it comes to what's courteous and polite! That means:

  • You don’t have to reply to everyone -- but try to reply to everyone who's a yes or a maybe in a timely manner!

  • You don’t necessarily have to give people the benefit of the doubt or make excuses for them if they exhibit bad behavior. It seems like it's a female tendency to make up stories our heads to make other people's disrespectful or thoughtless behavior make sense... but it's not the best and highest use of your mental energy online.

In addition, I recommend that you

  • Set time limits for how long you're going to be on the app. This helps keep your energy up; if it feels like a chore or like drudgery, that spirit is likely to be imbued in your messages! You might also set a soft limit on how many days or weeks you're willing to do the "pen pal" thing before a real date happens. Most single women aren't online with the intention to continue messaging back and forth indefinitely.

  • Set up a Gmail account and maybe even a second phone number JUST for dating. Keep it compartmentalized. This is for endurance, for safety and for peace of mind. It also keeps your personal life separate from your professional life.

  • Keep your photos current and make sure there aren't any sunglasses, floppy hats, etc. obscuring your face -- at least on your primary profile picture! You know it annoys you when the guys don't show you their full face on their lead pic!

Remember that any dating platform is just one tool -- but not the only tool. We advocate you use as many of the tools at your disposal as you can. (If you aren't sure what the other tools are, we will gladly cover that in your coaching program!) No one is claiming that a dating site is a perfect tool, so you would be wise to learn ways to handle the tool so the tool doesn’t mess with your head!

Yes, generally speaking, dating apps probably do favor the young. Women over 50 are not always well served. But don't throw the baby out with the bathwater and reject online dating wholesale. It doesn't have to be that way; our job as dating coaches is to give you a major edge! Understanding the realities of the dating landscape online and managing your expectations accordingly is part of the approach.

You can decide to have fun. You really can choose to enjoy online dating! It rests on being able to release the expectation that other people should behave exactly the way you want them to or that their behavior should obviously make sense or match what you would do. This is simply not the case. if you can let go of that expectation and give grace, you'll be a lot less stressed by online dating!

Finally, strive to live a balanced life with healthy habits and activities, friendships that nurture and support you, meaningful work that gives you purpose and satisfaction, and goals. That way, as you're living a full, rich life, you're attracting and magnetizing the kind of people who value the same and would be glad to share it with you!

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