7 Tips for Safe Senior Dating


Safe online dating for seniors

By Ken Solin

Seniors need to feel safe dating online or they won’t fully engage in the process. Women in particular need to know the person they’re communicating with is the person he’s represented himself to be. While online dating is safe, it’s important to stay alert. Here’s how.

1. Gentlemen First

When you've exchanged emails with a senior prospect and you feel it's time to exchange phone numbers, the man should offer his phone number first. If he doesn't, the woman should ask him to. There are simply no valid reasons for a legitimately eligible man to withhold his telephone number, and if he does, that’s enough to make you feel unsafe. Think potential scam and give this guy a pass. Feeling uneasy? Check out these 5 types of online daters to avoid at all costs.

2. Pick a Safe Spot for a First Date

A busy cafe during the daylight hours is perfect. It may not be as intimate, but the ambient noise actually offers some anonymity and if an unpleasant situation happens to develop you'll be grateful to have a lot of people around. If your senior date refuses to meet at a cafe or insists on a less public place, tell him thanks but no thanks and move on.

3. Know When to Walk Away

I had a coffee date with a boomer woman who grew increasingly angry and vitriolic about mistreatment by an ex-boyfriend. And it became really unsettling when she turned her anger on me. In fact I became sufficiently concerned that I got up and left. I was grateful there was a small crowd in the cafe that witnessed my exit. At situations of continuous discomfort, don’t be afraid to just leave. Dating is all about enjoying your company and not feel threatened by it. 

4. Call for Backup, Part 1

If a coffee date shows up with a bad attitude, a bad temper or a foul mouth, say no thanks and head for the door. Also look for the exit if he or she talks about becoming sexual after 15 minutes or attempts to corral you into a relationship. If you feel truly threatened, explain your concerns to the cafe manager and request they walk you to your car. Senior dating may not be simple or easy but it’s never supposed to be frightening.

5. A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed

Cellphone call during date

We were enjoying a second date at a restaurant when my date received a cellphone call during dinner. It was pretty obvious what was going on. "I'm fine and I’m having fun," she told the caller, then stowed the phone in her purse with an apologetic smile. "What would your friend have done if you hadn't picked up?" I asked her. "She had instructions to call the police," she replied. Good tip. Smart woman.

6. Ask the Right Questions.

If certain specific questions are asked they can reveal considerable information about someone in a short period of time even on a first date. For example, you might ask if your senior date has close friends: A "yes" indicates he or she is capable of connecting with others; a "no" suggests a lack of intimacy skills and/or trust issues.

7. Your Home is Your Safe Zone.

As I learned the hard way with my would-be Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction date, it's unwise to welcome anyone you don’t know well into your home. And if you're unsure, consider asking another couple to join you for the evening. I had to call a neighbor to help remove my senior Fatal Attraction date after she insisted she didn’t have to leave because she lived in my home too. Scary? Very! I met my boomer partner online and she invited me into her home after our second date. I accepted and thanked her for her trust, but I gave her some online dating advice. I mentioned that she could have been putting herself at risk. We all want to believe the best about people, but a date you don't really know, initially only deserves minimal trust. So rather than rolling the dice when it comes to your personal safety, try following the tips mentioned. They might also prove to be a shortcut to helping you find a life partner. Thankfully, leading dating sites today including Zoosk and eHarmony are programmed to protect users. Through offering photo, phone number and Facebook verification, Zoosk proves to online daters that it is committed to offering high-quality matchmaking services exclusively for real daters who show up-to-date honest photos and information. Note: Dating websites' official rules for dating online are located under their websites' terms of use. They suggest appropriate behavior, but I strongly urge daters use the tips above to create their own personal safety zone. Keep in mind that you can block another member if you ever feel your safety is at risk. While it may sound difficult to have fun after reading these online dating tips, they’re actually meant to ensure that you do. 

Safety is clearly a top priority for senior dating sites. Check out the safety features available on the top 5 senior dating sites to see which site satisfies your safety concerns.

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