The internet can seem like it’s a safe place to spend your time, and by and large, this is very true.
But that’s because mostly, while you’re accessing the web, you are doing so from the safety of your living, dining or bed room. You’re safe there, and nobody can touch you.
As an older person, you will have been through a number of phases of your life, and there’s a good chance that you will find yourself single, and on your own.
Again, or maybe still. It doesn’t matter.
First of all, try understand that this is not a bad thing: it’s often a good thing to be on your own: nobody can tell you to pick up the clothes or clean up the mess that you made.
On the other hand, there are times when it’s nice to have some company around: you might want to talk about the day’s events, or your day at work. Perhaps the movie that you’ve just seen, or maybe you just want to cook up a nice meal for someone.
That’s where internet dating sites come into their own: they can be a great way to meet people, without the drawbacks of many other methods.
For instance, I find the bar scene to be intimidating and noisy; I really don’t know what to say, and far too often, I can’t hear myself think because of the noise that often gets confused with music at many of the venues around town. And of course, the bar scene is often regarded as a meat market. That’s not, I think, conducive to starting a good relationship.
By way of contrast, internet dating sites provide a very different means of meeting people. You can, hopefully, gauge a person’s character by the dialogue that you will engage in with them: can they carry a conversation? Are they literate? Can they spell and use grammar? Are the funny?
Are they rude or crude?
But let’s stop there for a moment: the internet offers you a level of protection and anonymity that other methods of meeting people don’t provide. And just as you are provided that level of protection and anonymity, so too are those that you make contact with.
So, be wary, and take what you read about others with a grain of salt. They may be embellishing things a little. Someone who describes themselves as 57 might turn out to be 61. And a little overweight might be more than just “a little”.
By all means, be open and honest, but try to not give away too much personal information about yourself. Giving your true age is fine, but not your date of birth.
Letting them know your email address also means that you may be letting them know your full name, so perhaps a bit of caution here might be in order.
And certainly, be more than a little wary about giving away your phone numbers and address details. Your mobile phone number can be good to help organise that first meeting, but keep your home and work numbers a little more guarded.
On the subject of that first meeting, again, caution is the order of the day. Choose somewhere that’s open and public. A cafe that you know and feel comfortable at is a good start.
And at a time of day that’s good for you, too.
The selected location should not be too noisy: after all, you’re there to talk and to meet, and to start to get to know this person. That’s very difficult in the darkened movie theatre, or in a nightclub where all you can hear is the doof doof of the disco, or the guitarist turning his amp all the way up to eleven.
Most importantly, relax. You’re wanting to enjoy the time out, and regardless of whether this person is a match for you, he or she is, at the very least, a potential new friend. Don’t go there with too many preconceptions, but just take things as they fall, and see where the ride takes you.
<p><a href=”http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1499″>Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>