It’s a Match! How To Navigate Online Dating Later in Life
Ready to stack the online dating odds in your favor? This is the busiest time of year on dating apps with tens of thousands of eligible singles signing up to search for love each day. So if you’re newly single or finally feel ready to meet your person, now’s the time to finesse your dating profile.
“You have to be on the app every single day,” explains Amy Nobile, a New York-based dating coach whose clients are split evenly between millennials and the over 40 crowd. “It’s a true side hustle and it takes an hour-plus a day of swiping and talking just to result in one or two dates a week.”
And if you’re thinking, I miss the old way of dating, we’ve got a news flash. “Online dating is now just dating,” Clare O’Connor, Bumble’s head of editorial content says. “We remember a time where we could go into the grocery store and chit chat in line to meet people, or go into a favorite coffee shop and strike up a conversation,” says Nobile, who recently got engaged to someone she met on Bumble after a 20-year marriage. “It doesn’t work like that anymore.” Now, it’s all about mastering the art of online dating to find your next romantic partner.
But does online dating really work for people who are dating later in life? Is there actually any potential to meet a match? The answer is yes. But it’s a number game. “ The reason my older clients don’t believe it works is that they dip their toe in for 10 seconds, take a look around, and then quit,” explains Nobile. “You really just have to practice at it. This is like flexing a new muscle or learning a new language.”
For millennials who grew up using technology, online dating feels a little more natural. “Millennials are so much more comfortable with technology transferring from online to offline. But for my clients over 40, they’re a little skeptical. This is sort of the first time they’ve really been vulnerable with technology in this way.” The best way to get over the initial virtual dating hump is to get clear with yourself on the type of partner or relationship you’re looking for.
For Nobile, it all starts with self-reflection. “You can only meet someone as deeply as you’ve met yourself,” she says. “I really believe that when you embark on this dating journey, you need to indulge in emotional self-care so that you can understand who you’re looking for from the inside out.” She even suggests bluntly stating what you’re looking for on your profile.
“Don’t be afraid to state, ‘I’m excited to press start on my second chapter.’ No matter what age you are, it’s important to state exactly what your goals are,” says Nobile. “Talking about being excited for this next chapter will really resonate with other people who are also excited about meeting their person.”
Below, we asked this dating guru for a step-by-step guide for older adults on how to date online – from the six types of pictures to use to the best conversation starters and how long you should spend each day swiping left and right.
Pick one dating app to download
For Nobile, there are three platforms to consider once you’re ready to flip the page on your next romantic chapter: Bumble, Hinge, and Match. “Bumble’s a really good app to start with because it has a very easy interface and women make the first move. It puts the power in women’s hands, which I really like,” she tells us. But only set up a profile on one app. “Don’t sign up for all three at once,” says Nobile. “Start with one.”