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One of the biggest obstacles to dating is simply getting started. Taking that first step is the hardest part. I think a lot of women worry that the rules have changed, or just don’t know how to begin. The process seems daunting. So today I’m going to talk about how to start.

The traditional way to meet men has previously been through work, mutual friends, social gatherings, sporting events, places of worship, charity events, or community clubs. However, I’m going to be honest and admit that I actually prefer online dating to those other methods. Why? Well, for number of reasons!  Firstly, it allows you to cast a wider net. With online dating, you’re no longer limited by a 25 mile radius around your neighborhood, and that opens you up to a lot more possibilities, especially for those that live in small towns. So if the pickings are slim in your area, online dating allows you to expand your horizons elsewhere. It also allows you to get specific about what you’re looking for. Quite often we meet men by chance and fall into a relationship without taking the time to consider exactly what we’re looking for. This isn’t the ideal way to begin dating. It’s important to have some idea of what values, characteristics and interests are important to you in a man. Creating an online dating profile forces us to examine those things before we begin.

You will also want to do some research to determine which dating sites are best for you. A few of the top senior dating sites (in the US) are Our Time, Zoosk, or If you are specifically interested in someone of the same religion, you may want to try Christian Mingle or J Date.  Many dating sites will let you browse through and see their members prior to joining and you should do that. It’s also a good idea to check out the ladies in your age group to assess the competition and review their profiles and photos so you can get a feel for how your want to design your own profile to stand out amongst the crowd!

I recommend that you try joining more than one site and enroll for no more than a month or two to see if it is a good fit for you. Personally my best results came from Our Time as they are a site just for the over 50 daters, however the success of the site is probably also influenced by location, so if one site isn’t producing the results that you’re looking for, simply try another.

Every dating site will request that you upload photos and then create a personal profile. Your picture is the first thing that men will see, so it’s important to make sure you have at least 5 or 6 flattering shots that you love. The best way to do that is to take some new pictures, perhaps wearing a few different outfits, taken in a few different locations. This will give you a variety of images to choose from.

Not everyone likes having their picture taken, but it can be a fun experience rather than a chore. Invite a friend to come over and play stylist and photographer for the day. You two can go through your wardrobe and decide which outfits are the most flattering on camera. Not everything we love to wear looks great through a lens, so it’s best to test-shoot your outfits to make sure they photograph well. I’d also suggest choosing solids over patterns, in a flattering color. That puts the emphasis on you, rather than your clothing. It’s also a good idea to do your hair and make up. Your pictures are the first thing prospective dates will see, so it’s worth making the effort!

When shooting your new pictures, keep in mind that you should have a least one close up, or head shot as they are called, which should be from the chest up, as well as a few full length pictures. These pictures should be a mix….with some posed, and some more natural, doing things of interest, like walking the dog or cooking or whatever it is that genuinely puts a smile on your face. Pictures that show you doing things in your daily life are always great. Please don’t be afraid to show your body. Hiding behind pictures that only show our face, or make us look 20 pounds slimmer, is not doing anyone any favors. I cannot emphasize how important it is to be honest about what you look like in real life. The number one issue on dating sites is that people misrepresent what they look like. I think that is a dishonest way to begin the dating experience and can lead to disappointing dates. So let’s not do that.

Please don’t post old pictures, even if we were a stunner back in the day. Throw back photos should not be included on your profile. The real you, who you are today, is the person we are introducing to the world, and she is beautiful. Let’s post some recent, gorgeous photos of her.

Also, please don’t post pictures with your friends, family, grandchildren or any men. This is about you, and only you. Also please don’t take any “selfies.” They aren’t flattering and no one wants to see your bathroom or the camera covering your face in the mirror. So enlist the help of a friend to take pretty pictures of you in a lovely setting with beautiful natural light. Usually pictures outdoors, an hour or so before sunset have gorgeous light.

Okeydokey…now that you have great photos, let’s move onto writing your profile. Be honest about who you are. Write a profile like you’re talking to friend. Describe your lifestyle. Where do you live? What is it like there? What do you do with your days? What are your interests? Do you have any hobbies that you’re passionate about?  Are you still working? If not, what was your previous profession? If religion is a big part of your life, it should get a brief mention. Keep it light and positive. Don’t talk about past relationships, kids or anything too personal in your profile. Keep it fun and charming and remember that injecting a bit of humor is always a good thing.

Most dating sites will “match you” with men that are compatible with your profile, specified age range and within the distance range you request.  I suggest keeping your initial searches flexible. You can always change the scope of your search to a more narrow parameter later on. If you do not specify men within a certain distance you will end up with pen pals all over the country. Once you are activated, within a few days you will be flooded with interested men, and then comes the process of elimination, which we will address in the next blog, along with how to tell the difference between Mr. Right from Mr. Wrong!

It’s a lot to think about, and I’d be happy to address any specific questions that you may have in the comments section!

~ Dorrie

Senior Style Bible


  1. Tom Burnett says:

    Hi Dorrie,

    As a male friend, I would like to offer my opinions regarding my experience as a new member of the OurTime online dating site. From my perspective the pictures are the most important aspect of the profile, and especially to us men. In reading your suggestions, I also found out that I violated some of your photo no-no’s – selfie, shot with grandchildren, etc. If I had read this blog before I started I would not have made that mistake. I agree with you that online dating is much more likely to find a good match as opposed to meeting ladies at the gym, a bar, or the grocery store! As I said, I did not have a very good profile (pictures), even though I think the words regarding who I am and what I am looking for were adequate. So I did not get much attention, except for many out of state people wanting pen-pals. Some of my dates mentioned that they had several hundred men reply to their profile! I’m looking forward to more on this topic. By the way, your profile caught my eye, so ladies – learn from Dorrie and remember to be honest in your profile.


  2. Melissa Lee says:

    Yes, my mother in law, lost her husband when she was 65, she remarried at age 70 and her second husband, whom she meet on J Date was 80, that was in 2006, now they have been traveling the world for over 10 years and spend half the year in Connecticut and half in Palm Beach…

  3. Kelly says:

    These are such great tips, even for a 25-year old on online dating!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

    • With few exceptions, senior dating is very much the same as it was when we were in our teens. On line dating has added some great opportunities for meeting new people and a few possible problems. Just be careful and have fun.

  4. Annie says:

    I’d like to offer my opinion as, at age 69 I have been through the on-line dating experience. Definitely check out the “other women” to see who your “competition” is; and most important, don’t wait for replies to your profile, take the first step and contact prospective dates. After a few meetings that I knew right off weren’t right I met a great guy and we are very happy together!