Singles 55 and over make up one of the smaller groups using online dating apps, but their activity is on the rise. If we consider the possible life circumstances of someone in these age groups, it’s wonderful that online dating is a tool available to them. A woman who is online dating in her 50s may have never married but be surrounded by friends who are busy with their marriage and family lives, or she may be divorced or widowed. Fifty years ago, a woman in any of those circumstances would just be rather isolated. It’s hard to move into new social circles in the second half of your life and meet other singles. It’s hard to put yourself out there after the trauma of something like a divorce or the death of a spouse. Online dating opens up a whole new world for this age group that wasn’t available as recently as a few decades ago.
All that being said, whole new worlds are pretty intimidating and become harder to explore as we get older. By the time someone reaches 50 and up, they’ve been working with certain ideas about relationships and communication for a while. Online dating can disrupt all of those ideas, and being successful on the apps can require change that feels like learning a whole new language. So even though singles in their 50s and beyond may benefit the most from online dating since they’re short on conventional methods of meeting people, they can also be the singles who struggle the most with it. We spoke with TextNow dating expert Damona Hoffman (pictured below) about how singles in their 50s and up can thrive in online dating, and some mistakes to avoid.
Women are naturally better at it
Hoffman discusses some of the reasons women may be naturally better at curating their profiles – even women new to online dating. “I work a lot with women in this age group to manage their expectations for what men are going to come to the table with. In our culture in general, women are taught more about grooming. That is more a part of our consciousness or upbringing,” she says. “Women over 50 have photos of themselves. The men that I work with over 50 are not taking pictures of themselves and posting them on Facebook. Women are more groomed for presentation because it’s taught to us from a young age. So often with this age group I see women come in and say ‘Every profile from guys my age sucks.’”