Online dating can be nerve-wracking at any age; after all, it takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there. If you’re writing a dating profile for the first time as a senior, you might wonder how to make it stand out from the crowd and help you find the type of person you’re looking to date.
Who Will Read Your Senior Dating Profile?
A dating profile is a specific genre with a very targeted audience. What kind of person are you hoping will read it and want to know more about you? Before you start writing, think about who that person is and what messages you’d like to convey to them.
Do you want to find someone who is outdoorsy? Mention that you enjoy skiing or hiking every weekend with your friends. Do you hope to find a religious person? Mention your daily Scripture study. Do you hope your potential mate will enjoy your sense of humor? Tell a few jokes. By playing to your audience, you’ll be more likely to attract the kind of person you want to meet.
Choose a Great Profile Photo
Most people glance at the photo before deciding whether to read the rest of the profile, so it is one of the most important elements of your profile. Your photo will go a long way in communicating your personality and whether you might be a good match for the reader. How do you choose the right photo to include on your profile? Here are a few tips:
Pick a photo you love: Pick a photo that shows off your personality, perhaps one showing you laughing or smiling or engaging in a favorite activity like gardening or golfing. Your sincerity will come through in the photo.
Candids, not professional shots: These days most people choose a flattering candid image, not a formal professional shot. Choose one with good lighting, with no sunglasses or hats to obscure your appearance.
Avoid selfies: Although young people often post selfies as their profile picture, selfies are not usually the most flattering option. If you don’t have any photos you want to use, ask a friend or family member to take a photo of you in natural lighting.
Choose a photo with no one else in it: You might have an adorable grandbaby or a gorgeous daughter, but leave them out of the shot. It’s OK if your pet is in the shot, but be sure you are the only person in the picture. This helps ensure you get all the attention and doesn’t violate anyone else’s privacy.
Choose an honest photo: It can be tempting to post a photo from ten years ago or an angle that doesn’t show your laugh lines or the few extra pounds you’ve gained. But an honest, current photo is a better option for two reasons: It ensures your potential match will be attracted to you as you are, and not as you would like to be, and it helps to avoid frustration or confusion when they finally meet you in person.
Tell Your Story, But Not All of It
Your profile should be totally honest (no lying about your age!), but you don’t have to tell everything. Remember, your profile is an invitation for someone to contact you to learn more.
Keep it Positive: Your profile is a great place to talk about your favorite foods, fond memories, or plans for the future. Avoid mentioning health issues, family troubles, or any other less-than-pleasant topics.
Focus on You: It can be hard for older people to talk about themselves. You may have spent your life defining yourself by your relationship to a previous spouse, children, or grandchildren; but now, the focus should be on you.
Keep the information you share focused on yourself. You can mention that you are widowed or divorced, for instance, without going into any details. Similarly, you can mention that you have children or grandchildren, but your potential mate doesn’t yet need to know that your grandson is an aspiring guitarist.
Keep an Open Mind, but Mention Non-Negotiables: In your later years, you may find that having a kind companion is more important than checking off all the boxes for compatibility you might have cared about before. It is not unusual for people to find a lasting companion of a different race, religious preference, or someone who is ten or more years older (or younger). You might find their different perspective enriching.
Be Safe: Sharing information about yourself online always comes with some risks. You can minimize those risks and play it safe by avoiding senior dating scams. Be sure to never include personal information like specifics about where you live, your last name, or your telephone number in the profile. Make sure your photo also doesn’t have any personal information in it (such as a photo in front of your home with the house number showing, or a photo of you at recognizable community location you frequent). Also, avoid mentioning or showing images of anything that might convey you have considerable wealth since most dating scams are financial.
While it’s great to keep your options open, if you have any non-negotiables you’re looking for in a potential date, feel free to mention them. For example, maybe you’ll only consider dates with someone who shares your political or religious views. You don’t have to give any justification for what you’re looking for. This helps both you and your potential dates avoid any misunderstandings or wasted time.
|Be truthful in what you want and who you are||Don’t highlight dislikes (be positive)|
|Mention your values (key for compatibility)||Don’t be demanding (ex. “you must be…”)|
|Be specific (everyone loves traveling. Talk about your bucketlist)||Don’t share identifying information (ex. profile photo with your house #)|
|Show your uniquness (again, key for compatibility)||Don’t brag. Use humble language & tone|
Make Your Senior Dating Profile Intriguing
Remember, a profile is just a glimpse into who you are. It’s not your whole story. Make the reader want to get to know you better by:
- Asking thought-provoking questions (“If you could know the real answer to one question, what would you ask?”).
- Sharing your passions, like volunteer work at the local animal shelter, growing the perfect tomato, or watercolor painting en plein air.
- Avoiding cliches–we all like long walks on the beach, after all.
- Telling a funny story about something you and your friend did recently (“My best friend and I spend our Saturday mornings waking at dawn to hit the best rummage sales. Imagine her surprise when last week I miscalculated and showed up at her door at 5 a.m. on Friday.”).
- Offering a vignette from your life that tells readers something interesting or endearing about you they should know (“On Sunday mornings, you’ll find me buying donuts for the Sunday School class… and I always grab a maple one for myself.”).
Add Final Touches to Your Senior Dating Profile
Once you’ve finished writing up your profile, ask a trusted family member or friend to look through it. They can check for grammar and spelling errors and readability and also offer some feedback about what you’ve written. Now that you’ve built the perfect dating profile, it’s time to hit “submit” and put yourself out there into the dating world. Your profile won’t attract every potential match. But with a little luck, it will attract the right one.