Off-Line Dating for Boomers and Seniors

The Off-Line Dating Scene

Raising children, caring for aging parents and getting over a divorce or death of a loved one are among the many reasons boomers and seniors have for putting off getting back into the dating game. If you have finally reached a point where obligations and responsibilities are dwindling down, now may be the perfect time to take the plunge. While on-line dating has become increasingly popular, it is not the only way to meet the love of your life. There are a variety of new options that help you find a compatible partner, including…

Video Dating

Video Dating is one way to get a sense of a potential match without meeting in person. When video dating first started, you had to go to a store to watch the videos. Now with the internet you can watch videos whenever you like without leaving home.

When creating your video profile make sure you have a quality webcam for your computer. Lighting is also a critical component; the area should be well-lit, without shadows. A light source slightly above and a bit to the side will offer the most flattering image. Introducing yourself in a dark room, or deliberately trying to hide your appearance will make you seem untrustworthy, even creepy. Men, be clean-shaven. Five o' clock shadows give off that just-out-of-prison-look. Women should apply the proper amount of make-up, with hair pulled back slightly, so it does not cover your eyes. Dress to impress, as though you were meeting your date for dinner in a public place.

With your appearance in order, focus on what info to include in your video profile. The types of questions you should (and should not) ask your date are important to consider before taping your introduction video. First, appropriately describe yourself. Include interests, hobbies, likes, and dislikes. Second, provide the ideal description of someone you would like to date. You may also include activities you would like to do together, or your idea of the perfect date. Do not offer too much personal information. For example include only your first name - an important safety precaution. Make sure your questions are not too personal. It is okay to ask about values and views on issues that are potential deal breakers. Ask yourself if you would be comfortable with the same question being posed to you. If at all skeptical, save the question for a later time. You may feel more comfortable by putting a few basic points on a large cue card near the camera lens to prompt you. Practice until you are comfortable and remember to smile and relax. Looking for a local video dating firm? Enter "video dating+your town" in your search engine.

Speed Dating

Speed Dating has become increasingly popular in the over 40s dating scene. While it may seem intimidating at first, it is actually an easy way to get back into dating with very little pressure. At a speed dating event you will meet several people and no commitment is expected. Typically you make your reservation and pay up front. The event may start with a cocktail reception, giving everyone a chance to mingle. Then you will meet 8 to 10 people, rotating in a specific order, usually for 5 to 10 minutes each. You keep a diary of your impressions of each person you meet. At the end of the event you turn in the list of those you are interested in meeting again to the organizer of the event. They compare your list with others and let you know of the people who are also interested in meeting you again. Contact info (first name, city/state, occupation and education - not last names or addresses) is shared with those who share a mutual interest.

The most difficult thing about speed dating is figuring out what to say and what to ask in such a short time. Rehearse a brief list of things you want a potential date to know about you. Popular information to share includes what you do for a living, what you enjoy doing for fun, interest in pets, children, travel, idea of the perfect date. A great resource for specific questions to ask is http://www.futurescopes.com/speed-dating/139/45-best-speed-dating-questions-you-can-ask-prospective-date .

Skype's Skyecandy Version of Speed Dating

With Skype (the internet subscription software that lets you video chat over your computer using a webcam) you can participate in speed dating through its feature called Skyecandy. Every six minutes, Skype offers live five-minute video chats to users world-wide. Skyecandy provides assistance by matching you with other users based upon pre-determined factors. After a five-minute video call you will be prompted to "rate the date," simply a "yes" or "no." Both parties must rate the other as a "yes" before Skype contact information is exchanged. In the event that both parties agree on "yes," the two will be able to enjoy live video chats via Skype, free. Skype will never match you with the same person twice. This new trend has many benefits. The registration is free; users are able to have many dates in one day, and all from the comfort of home, anonymously. The key disadvantage is that there may not be many Skype users in your local area, reducing your pool of possible candidates.

Personal Classified Ads

Some people prefer the anonymity of posting a personal ad in the local newspaper or on a website, such as seniorfriendfinder.com. There are a number of websites for this purpose, many of which are free. Include a picture of yourself and get creative! Humor is a great way to ease the tension between yourself and interested readers. Be sure to include information about your best traits and what you are looking for in a relationship.

Back to Basics: Traditional Methods to Meet Dates

If you are not into the on-line dating scene and don't care to video or speed date, there are still plenty of ways to meet someone. By engaging in things you like to do, you are likely to meet people with the same interest and values. If you like to garden, join the garden club. Or walk your dog at the dog park, volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, go on a bird watching hike. Meet other book lovers by joining a book club or volunteering at the local library. Join a health club, take a pottery or cooking class. Into motorcycles? Join the local bike club. Like Wine? Then sign up for local wine tastings. You can also organize your own club to meet others that share your passions. Any activity you engage in will be a possible setting to meet someone with whom you already share at least one interest in common. And never estimate the potential of a blind date. Your friends may have just met the perfect person for you. The key is to make yourself available and open to the idea of dating.

Playing it Safe while Playing the Dating Game

Whether video dating, speed dating or answering a personal ad, the next step is to set up a time and place to meet. For the first few dates, meeting in a public place is the smart way to go. Do not have anyone pick you up at your place or meet at theirs, and do not give out your home address. Instead insist that you meet at a restaurant or café. Make sure to bring your cell phone and tell a friend where you are going. Also be wary of giving out your last name on your first date. While this may seem paranoid, with today's internet technology, it is easy to find out the address of anyone if you have their full name.

Learn more about on-line dating services for boomers and seniors.