Companionship in later life is very important.
One can’t add a price tag to having somebody at your side who will share your life, your time and your interests.
Research reveals that baby boomers have the fastest growing divorce rate in comparison to all other age categories. “Gray divorce” is on the rise, and is one of the reasons that the senior population is turning to online dating websites in their droves. What South African seniors are not necessarily prepared for, is the fact that the virtual world does come with some risk.
Dating in your 60’s or 70’s is very different to when your first wooed your spouse or partner. For starters, it is likely that you have grown-up children and a family of your own, so you may not be in a rush to find a companion, and you may be feeling a little cautious about online dating.
And rightly so, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Centre reports that in 2014, “romance scams” amounted to over $82 million dollars, with the majority of victims being women.
Seniors are targeted for fraud because of their assets. They tend to be isolated, and, in the case of online scams, don’t always understand the way people can manipulate technology to take advantage of them.
However, although online dating may seem downright scary, there are lots of pros to finding new friends and companionship online – you just need to be aware of the cons. The risks can be managed as long as you follow the basic safety rules.
The internet is in fact a great place to meet people. There are many online groups and forums where people with similar interests meet, and these sometimes lead to people getting together for all sorts of activities. There are many success stories “out there” with regard to online/ internet dating.
The basic safety rules are:
- Do your research – investigate several sites before you decide on one or more.
- Be prepared to be disappointed – words and an image on a screen do not necessarily reveal the personality behind the person.
- Get a second opinion – If someone interests you, get your friends to meet him/her.
- Be authentic on that first meeting – be the real you.
- Don’t settle for less than you want.
- Don’t behave like a lovestruck teenager!
- Protect yourself – don’t share personal information (email, phone numbers) until you really know and are comfortable with the person.
- When you meet for the first time, do so in a public place. Tell a friend where you are going and arrange that you will call him/her when the meeting is finished.
- Be aware of online dating scams and wary of online imposters. Don’t respond to calls or emails asking for money to help with a personal or family crisis, and never share your financial details.
- Be careful of the person who pressures you to leave the dating site to communicate via email or SMS, or someone who professes instant feelings of live.
Please refer to the Online Dating Protector when it comes to using an online dating site. The Online Dating Protector was created with you in mind. It is dedicated to protecting you from the dangers of online dating scams, and includes the following topics:
- What is a scammer?
- Who are the Moderation Team and what do they do?
- How do you report a suspicious profile?
- How to spot a scammer
A new listing in the YEI Directory
Golden Years Senior Dating – click here
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The protocol of internet dating – click here
Internet dating – a playground for boomers, seniors and retirees – click here
Never too old for romance – click here