Swipe left. Swipe left. Swipe…right? Shit. Online dating is for the birds. Specifically young lovebirds. They have more time to sift through images of men holding beer cans, bros, and often times babies with blurred faces cause…privacy! As I try to decipher whether a profile photo is from this era (stop posting pics of your 20-year-old self, 40-year-old!), I wonder, can I find love online after 40? Is online dating at 40 my…destiny?
If it is, I’m in trouble because I hate it. I hate the small talk, especially the “hey’s,” “hi’s” and my all-time favorite, “Here’s my number.” Can you ask for my name first? (I do not show my name on my profile.) Sure, I’m slightly flattered when I hear, “You’re gorgeous,” but for the love of God can we get offline already?! We must meet in person at some point to see if we have chemistry. Plus, I need to make sure you’re not a 65-year-old ogre pretending to be 45!
You see, online dating after 40 is much like online dating at any age: long and drawn out. According to a Pew Research Study, 45% of online daters feel frustrated with the process. So only 28% feel hopeful. The math speaks for itself, folks.
Alas, here I am, trying to find lurve online again. It’s the way of the world. The good, old fashion way of dating is long gone. So online dating at 40 it is. Are you with me still? If so, here are some ways to survive our plight:
Don’t stress it. Online dating at 40 is supposed to be “fun.”
If the thought of online dating makes you hyperventilate, it’s time to take a break. Despite my previous whining, online dating is supposed to be fun. As single women in mid-life, we have enough reasons to feel frustrated or stressed the fuck out, and dating shouldn’t be one of them. Take a break from online dating when it feels like a chore. I do it like 3 times a month. Ok, maybe that’s why I’m still single.
Use online dating at 40 as practice
Having trouble connecting? Think of online dating as a practice round for the real thing. You might meet someone eventually; if you don’t, at least you are able to finesse your flirtation skills.
Chat them up
I’m horrible at this but I’ll share this advice anyway: be proactive when online dating and message whomever interested in first. Peruse dating profiles and take initiative. You not only have control in choosing your best match, but you also can boost your ranking with the online dating algorithm, as per Damona Hoffman. Based on how active you are on said dating app, the algorithm chooses to push your profile in front of prospective online daters or they bury your profile along with those that only log onto the app once a month.
Don’t get desperate
People can smell desperation even through an online dating app. You will reek of “please want me, I’m lonely” if you tell them your life story the minute you communicate and/or try to rush the process. This is not the same as telling a potential online connection, “Hey, so, are we meeting or what?” The point of online dating is to meet in person not to continue to text or chat on the app. If your person of interest doesn’t seem interested in meeting you offline, don’t despair, dump!
Keep busy with other things
Most folks over the age of 40 have a full life. You might have kids like I do and/or a hopping social life thanks to friends and family. Keep doing what you always do when online dating so that it does not consume you. If you’re out and about, you won’t obsess over the guy that didn’t call, the guy didn’t text, or the guy that messages you all the time but doesn’t ask you out.
Just keep living your life like it’s golden. Don’t make online dating the end all/be all of your happiness. You’re too old for that shit. And I’m too old to keep typing! My carpal tunnel is acting up after all the swiping.