Online dating when you are over 50 can be intimidating. Whether you are widowed, divorced, or never married, you may feel totally lost and ignorant of the dos and don’ts of dating in today’s world. Is it OK to be blunt and to the point? What are they expecting from me? How soon is too soon, and how long is long enough? These questions prevent some people from jumping into the dating field. While some fear is healthy, the paralyzing fear of online dating is unnecessary. You can absolutely navigate online dating, but you need patience and a strategy for success.
For me, I jumped into online dating during the COVID-19 lockdown. What else was there to do? I considered it and jumped in after a few weeks of procrastination. I made an alphabetical list of all the dating websites and created a profile on the first one. Then I began scrolling through the available matches. I kept seeing the same mistakes. The profiles I saw all read like the back of a bottle of bleach. Caution! Danger ahead! Proceed with care, was written between the lines in profile after profile.
Soon, I concluded that some words just do not belong in a dating profile. These words tell the reader that you are bossy, still nursing a broken heart, or that your boundaries are insurmountable. They tell your perspective beau that you are not ready to date. Keep reading to hear the four words you should delete from your dating profile.
The first word that you should eliminate from your profile is do not or don’t. This is a negative word all the way around. It is authoritative, harsh, and reads like a warning sign. Think of all the places where you have seen this word. It is always used to signal an action that you should not take. There are so many words that can be used to tell the world who you are, but instead, you focus on what you do not want. Don’t do this; don’t do that. Everyone who reads your profile is left wondering, “Hmmm, I wonder what she does want?” Instead of using the word don’t, try starting your sentences with “I like or I love.’ This is more positive. People who read your profile will love that you know what you like and you seem easy to please. This is a plus!
If! This is the next word that needs to leave your online profile. If is a condition, a boundary that usually heralds an ultimatum. Men absolutely hate these words. The implication is that there is a penalty to pay for engaging with you. You will come across as being difficult. It shows the world that, rather than focus on who you are, you take the opportunity to explain the punishment that will occur when your date steps over the line. Men will think that you are a potential headache. No man wants that. The good news is that this is easy to fix. Simply positively paraphrase your sentence. Instead of writing “If you’re looking for a short-term fling, I’m not for you.” Write, “I am excited to meet someone who wants a long-term relationship.” The fling-seekers will get the message. Trust me.
When? When what? When who? When is another word that must die a peaceful death and leave your dating profile? When sounds like pressure. Here is yet another conditional word highlighting tasks or milestones that a man must achieve to earn your attention. Sounds great right? Why shouldn’t he earn your time?
Well, let me tell you why you are totally off base here. The guy reading your profile is a potential beau. He is not yet your one and only. Potentials do not need to know about the hurdles that lay ahead. They are looking for information about who you are. They do not need to know about the hoops they need to jump through yet. You will read like a rulebook.
Were you hurt before? Are you creating a timeline because of past hurt? Maybe you are not ready for something real. Hmmm… maybe you are not the one for me. This is how men think. Instead of telling them about the assignments on the syllabus, give them an invitation; “let’s grab a coffee sometime.” They do not need to know when. You will know when the time is right. For now, sit back and let them show you who they are.
The last word to cross off your dating profile is no. This is a huge red flag. “No” tells the reader that your boundaries are up; you are closed off and have very little patience left. It is a bad move to use no in your profile. You tell the world that you have been put through the wringer. It will seem as if your past experiences are coloring your future relationships.
No long texting means that you are very eager. No pets means that you are not warm and welcoming. No people under a certain height means that you are focused on appearances versus character. No smokers, please, makes you seem judgmental. You are closing door after door before they are even opened. Instead of using the word no, write about what you like and what gives you joy. Then, swipe left on everyone who does not meet your criteria.
When you choose to date online, your swipe left muscle will get lots of exercise. The dating website is responsible for presenting available matches to you. Your job is to swipe left on all the people who do not qualify. That is your responsibility. There is no substitute for swiping left.
Lastly, the words don’t, when, if, and no, do not belong in your dating profile. When you insert these words into your profile, you are asking potential matches to evaluate and eliminate themselves. That is not their job; it is yours. You should have all the time in the world to swipe left until you find your match. Notice that I did not say perfect match. This is because there are no perfect people anywhere you choose to look. However, if you eliminate these words from your dating profile, you just might find that special someone. How easy is that!