If you are over 40 and single have decided it is time to start looking for dates after a long period out of the dating scene, then you probably already have a sense for how much things have changed thanks to the rise of online dating.

If you are divorced and the last time you dated was before the internet really took hold – or was even invented – then you might be a bit wary of using it to meet potential dates.

However, the good news is that all of the things that have changed actually make it much, much easier for mature singles to have a fulfilling dating experience and a good chance of meeting a compatible long term partner if that’s your goal. It also makes the nerve wracking experience of getting back ‘out there’ easy and fun.

If you have decided to take the plunge and set up an online dating profile to see where it leads, here are some tips to help you get started.

Choose a Site Carefully

There are loads of dating sites out there, and you may choose to use more though it is best to pick one and get used to how it works. Some sites are free, others have levels of membership, and others are always paid. Some are open to everyone, others deal with specific preferences, and there are sites you could consider that focus on finding matches for people in your age group like Choose a site you find comfortable to use, and which has a decent user base so there are lots of people you could choose to connect with.

Set Up an Honest Positive Profile

Definitely don’t lie or use photos that are 20 years out of date on your profile – this may get you attention from more people, but will only make you feel anxious about things should you start to really like someone and want to actually meet them. Use a picture where you look happy and which shows you in your best light, but don’t overly filter or Photoshop it. There are all kinds of people on the site and the ones you are interested in will be those who will like you in person, so don’t create a false ‘online image’. Do, however, be positive. Talk about your likes rather than your dislikes and talk about what you are looking for (nothing puts people off faster than a long list of ‘don’t bother contacting me if…’ statements).

Always Be Ready to Meet in Person

Some people like to make in person dates with interesting people pretty fast, others prefer to chat online for a while first, but always be prepared that real world dates will need to happen. Chatting online is fun, but be mentally prepared when you are talking to someone who seems promising that you should take it to the face to face stage with confidence – often it is only at this point that you can really judge if the match has potential, so scary as it may sound, go in committed to arranging actual dates!

It can take a while to wade through the ‘nope’ people and get to know the ‘perhaps’ ones, but stay positive, have fun, and be safe. At worst, you’ll get some interesting nights out and some stories to tell. At best, you’ll find love!

Photo by Stuart Miles at