Thinking of getting into the dating pool again

After my divorce a few years ago, I had no interest in dating. I did belong to several groups, hiking, bicycling, tennis etc. and met a lot of cool people, but most were couples or appeared to be uninterested in dating.

Then Covid arrived and I have been fairly isolated. I had one good friend who was my main social outlet until she caught it and passed away. Yes she was vaccinated and worked from home for over a year.

I’m slowly trying to rejoin some of the groups that I haven’t been involved with for a while but am also thinking of joining a dating site. I’m not really interested in a singles club or group. So my question is how are online dating sites these days? I know of a few people who met on and got married. Being 55 I’m looking for someone in this range, but from much of what I read online many dating sites are little more than scams with large numbers fake profiles. Many reviews go from great to awful, so I thought I’d ask here for any opinions or experiences. Many thanks!

Was on a couple 10 - 12 years ago and met my mate through one. So they can work.
Over the past year or so I’ve logged in a few times for no reason other than sheer boredom, some curiosity, and to see if I would see what I pretty much thought I’d see. That is; I recognized quite a few of the same profiles, along with the same photos as what I’d seen way back when. And it wasn’t just an old profile that these people had forgotten to remove. These people were still logging in daily - I checked & confirmed. Yes I know. Morbid curiosity.
The sites can work. There are some good people on them. But expect to work at it and possibly end up meeting several duds before either getting lucky or saying to hell with it. Believe about one tenth of what you read in the profiles. And you’ll learn that yes, photos do lie. I’m really glad I’m out of it and doubt I’d ever sign on again because of all the BS it entails.
Note of caution; all the sites have schemes to scam more money from you.
Good luck, I hope it works out for you.

I found my current wife on about 20 years ago, so I suppose it does work sometimes, but I think I was incredibly lucky. Most of the people I was matched with prior to my wife weren’t anything like what their profile said. I think people write profiles they think someone they want to marry would like to read, versus what they are really like.

If you can afford the monthly fee, and want to go out on lots of dates and practice dating, an online dating site can be a good thing, but don’t expect the people who show up to be anything like what their profile says.

The best way to find good people is by networking with friends and other people you know and trust. Everyone has a single friend that is looking to find someone new. They may not be exactly what you’re looking for, but they’re likely not trying to scam you. When people worked in an office it was easy to get to know somebody from working with them every day. Now that everyone works at home it’s harder to meet people out in the real world.

Going to disagree on the networking with friends. Yes, everyone has a single friend. Emphasis on singular. They have one friend that is single. They have no idea what you would like. So you dicker around for a couple of months to get together if it ever comes up. Yes, it can work, but it’s not any higher percentage than any other way.

My ex sister in law tried to fix me up. Again, the singular single friend. We never got together because she cancelled three times on me. Then I gave up. That’s not any different, no better, than you get in any other channel.

You want volume, and to not waste your time. The mainstream sites are your best bet. Don’t use free ones, and don’t waste money on more expensive methods. Just use the mainstream sites. There is likely coaching available on how to make your entry successful, get more hits. Do not waste time. Do not have too many deal breakers, no more than three, if that. If you do have an ironclad deal breaker, be clear about it and use it. Some people will probably lie to get around your deal breakers. Cut them off as soon as you know.

One thing I have seen on the online sites is women doing a pose where they have their arms lifted up. This is done to give an approximation of their actual body size. Evidently this is an issue. Goes to not wasting time. Don’t waste time with YOU having a bad or misleading entry. Other people will do that, but you can’t help that, you can only control yourself.

Do not waste time texting back and forth. Do face to face as soon as reasonable. Face to face is going to weed out a lot of people for various reasons. Don’t set up an online romance that blows up once you get face to face. Limit the chit chat.

Do not waste time on a particular individual. They can look perfect, but until you are dating EXCLUSIVELY that changes nothing. Keep all of your other irons in the fire. For one, this demonstrates that you have a life. For another, so many things fall apart for various reasons that you can’t afford to focus on a particular individual UNTIL YOU ARE DATING EXCLUSIVELY. Do not waste time doing this.

I’m not huge on clubs, unless they are particularly dating friendly. A few are, most are not, as you have found. Most have people preoccupied with the hobby or interest, or using the club as a refuge from relationships or dating, rather than as a conduit to it. It’s good to have a hobby or two, good to develop the ability to be spontaneous, not very good as a producer of volume candidates.

I used to like speed dating, I met my ex wife that way. Not sure if that’s still a thing. That went to volume, and got the in person out of the way right away, though you had to make snap decisions. Kind of showed you what different people thought of you, who selected you and who didn’t.

I met my current GF in person, at an event, so it can happen. It’s certainly good to be prepared for that, have your ability to chat and flirt in that context ready should it happen. Or ready for when you do get dates. So, if you’re somewhere anyway… sure, chat up someone that works there or strike up a conversation with someone else. That isn’t wasting your time, since it’s part of your life anyway. But a lot of those people aren’t going to be single.

In summary then, you need to produce volume and not waste time with ineffective strategies.

Understand that at 55 the dating pool is kind of spotty. Everyone’s married or in a relationship, so the singles pool can be slim. I mean, there’s plenty of people, but as @keith1 saw, there also seems to be a group that’s up there for years at a time, still single, which tells me they weren’t ever serious about finding someone (which is okay: some people just want to date and meet people and do that forever). And a lot of the possibles just haven’t taken care of themselves or have serious baggage. It’s tough to find the diamonds in all that roughage.

So as @jay_z said, it’s a numbers game. You want to meet as many people as you can, while doing everything you can to keep it fresh and not make it a grind. Don’t waste time on people who don’t want to meet, who want to have an online pal more than a real meeting and chat endlessly. Meet for coffee, face to face, make it real or don’t bother. If someone who doesn’t feel the same way, move on.

Do date people in their 50’s, don’t date young. 40-something’s are often recently divorced, have ex’s they hate and obsess over, and are figuring out how to be single parents and frankly don’t have time for you or dating and haven’t realized that yet. By 50’s they have it figured out, and their kids are older. Sadly they’ve also probably met someone and aren’t dating. :wink:

It’s important to try several (ok: all) dating sites. Some are more popular than others in some towns. Around here it seems to be Match, OKCupid, maaaybe POF. Someplace else it may be Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, Zoosk, Bumble, whatever. You don’t want to be on a site when everyone is going to another.

Also the sites are real, the people are 99.9% real (you do see an obvious Bot occasionally , e.g. “Meet BJ girls in your area! Go to now!!”) and there’s tons of success stories. I have a friend who was shy about dating sites as you are, OP, and me and another friend convinced her to give it a try. She met a man on E-Harmony six months ago, and is moving in with him shortly (which seems crazy optimistic to me, but she’s head over heels and at 61 not inexperienced at these things). Her first go on a dating site. It happens.

Thanks for the replies. I have started to go out and getting used to being around people again. Haven’t decided if I’ll do a dating app, but as has been said, it is a numbers game.

As to scams I doubt there are that many scammers pretending to be mid-50s. The scammers post as the 20 year-old very hot women who would be very interested in men in their mid-50s.

I will say from my experience, ignore anyone who contacts you first. Especially early on. Most likely they’re the scammers and players. You should do the picking. Send a quick note to people you find interesting, and don’t get invested in anyone. I will echo not wasting time writing back and forth, meet up quick, helps weed out the liars, like the guy that told me he was 6’, but me, at 5’8". could see the top of his head.

I can’t say if you’re a het woman I agree with this. I mean, go ahead and contact a man, no reason not to. But many women don’t feel that way and leave it up to the men to take the lead. So just because a guy contacts a woman it doesn’t mean he’s a scammer. He’s doing what’s expected on a dating site; if he didn’t the site would basically be a dial tone on his end.

My point was, and perhaps I wasn’t clear, if when you FIRST sign up, you get a lot of activity, just sit back. From my experience, 9 out of 10 of those early contacts are just rubbish.

Fair enough. I haven’t seen this, but I’m not new or a woman on a dating site.

I’ve recently tried a few dating sites, and I’ve given up on them. There are very few people I like, and very few of them seemed to like me. However, I’m a huge nerd, not athletic at all, and very picky about who I like, so others may have better experiences.

The few times I did talk to someone never went well. I think online dating tends to be fairly toxic, as I think you judge the quality of the person much more quickly then in real life. Recently I was talking to someone who was very attractive and interesting. I thought it was going well and we were going to meet up in real life, but then she just ghosted me (which is very difficult for me to handle). I suspect I’m just too socially awkward to make a good impression quickly. After this I’ve decided I’m not doing online dating anymore and I’ve deleted my accounts.

54yo straight guy here…

I guess my experiences have been a bit different - I’ve met some fantastic women on OK Cupid and Tinder, agree with the idea that one needs to meet pretty quickly, found them all to be relatively normal, and agree they (and I) are always initially concerned more about not repeating past mistakes. (The number of times I’ve been asked how often I watch football, for example, is surprising to me (likely as I never spent my weekend afternoons watching football).)

I still find that the 10:3:1 ratio still largely applies (10 swipes = 3 convos = 1 date), of course it helps that I’m in a large city (San Antonio) within driving distance to another large city (Austin) surrounded by relatively populous (and prosperous) rural areas, so the dating pool is pretty large.

Recurring accounts, eh, doesn’t bother me. There are people who just want to date. There are people who don’t want to date. There are people who are looking for a SO… but not a married SO. There are people who date… then don’t date… then date again. Humanity is legion, we contain multitudes, and I enjoy discussing the differing outlooks and experiencing the different personalities.

I assume the dating pool is much like a swimming pool. Full of noisy kids, unwashed masses and people pee in it.

This is the most romantic dating advice I have ever read in the last thirty seconds.

You’re doing a lot better than I am. I think my ratio is dozens : a few : once in a blue moon.

Sorry, that really should be ‘10 swipes and intro messages’.

I never swipe without sending a message and I don’t send a message unless they have something worth commenting on in their profile or pics, so I don’t just swipe, swipe, swipe. I first have to like what I see and then I have to like what I read, and then I’ll swipe and leave a message.

I don’t swipe right on everybody, either, and (on Tinder and Bumble, at least) rarely send an intro message, but I do have my profile filled out so someone should be able to get an idea of what I’m like.

At 50 years old, I’ve come to realize if I haven’t figured it out by now, perhaps the relationship thing just isn’t for me.

Now that I’ve come to accept this, there is so much less anxiety in my life.

I’m not ruling out relationship’s completely, I’m just not going to actively persue them anymore.

Too bad there’s not a “dating” site for people who just want to do stuff together and not have to complicate it with sex, or commitments, etc…