One of my best friends remarried this past year. After a 30-year first marriage, she was back on the dating scene ever so briefly, when almost magically, she ran into her high school sweetheart – also recently divorced. In fairy tale fashion and no time flat, they reunited, married and were off honeymooning in Hawaii.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s only natural that people’s thoughts turn to dating and the possibility of finding love online.
Did you know that more than 40 million Americans have used online dating services? And that 74% of singles have tried online dating services in the last year?
We’ve all heard stories about people misrepresenting themselves online, and princes in the virtual world being frogs in the real one, but the fact is that 17% of marriages in the last year were of couples who met online, with 2% of those coming from online dating leader Match.com.
It’s hard to argue with statistics like those. People are finding real love online and not just the young…
As we know at AVG, being tech-savvy isn’t limited to a demographic. People of all ages are using dating sites, and there are many baby boomers finding and celebrating true love online. It is only fitting, as our generation is so comfortable in the role of pioneers, that so many of us have adopted technology to help us with yet another chapter in our lives.
Besides the evolving technology and standard dating sites such as Match.com, niche sites have been built around boomers, with two of the most well-known sites being Our Time — for users aged 50 plus — and Senior People Meet, for those who are 60 plus. Of course, with the astonishing growth of niche sites, boomers don’t need to define themselves by age either: there are sites built to connect pet and book lovers, to name just a few shared interests that might lead to shared lives.
It’s great that technology is facilitating this second act in so many of our love lives. But for those who are looking for love online, I’d just like to add that note of caution: treat your virtual first dates just like you would your real-world ones. Use common sense. The basic rules of meeting someone still apply: Don’t reveal too much information about yourself right away. Set boundaries. Trust your intuition.
Also, be mindful that any content you share becomes proprietary to the dating site that you are using, and that any pictures you share can often be accessed via a photo ID search (for example, through Google).
For tips on this and more, we’ve created an eBook with tips on how to be safe while online dating at which you can download for free.
With these safety guidelines in mind, I’d encourage you to explore the world of online dating. And when it leads to a real world meeting….in a public place, after letting your friends know where you’ll be
I wish you the best of luck and a happy Valentine’s Day!
February 14, 2014