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Online dating tips for women over 50

Elizabeth Cullen is a freelance writer based in New York.

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Online dating in your 50s is just as common as dating at a younger age these days. Whether you're diving back into the dating pool for the first time or just need to brush up on your netiquette, below are a few tips to ensure your online dating experience goes as smoothly as possible.

Woman online dating

Tip #1: Dump your baggage

Dating at any age can be both an exciting and stressful experience. However, after the age of 50, you are bound to bring more life experience and baggage into a relationship than you did when you were younger. Children, ex-husbands, and health problems can all complicate a new relationship, so it's best to be aware of these issues and either minimize them as much as possible or else be up front about them when you begin seeing someone regularly.

You should also make sure that you are truly over any past relationships! Although family and friends may urge you to quickly start dating again after a divorce or the death of a spouse, it may take months, even years, before you might feel ready again. So don't hesitate to dip your toe into the dating pool slowly rather than dive right in.

Tip #2: Don't limit yourself to just one site

Dating is a numbers game, so it's best to register on at least two to three sites in order to maximize your results. Try posting your profile on one large, general dating site like Eharmony.com or Match.com and then one or two niche sites that cater to your specific interests or nationality. There are also several websites that specifically cater to the 50 and over crowd like SeniorMatch.com, Prime.LavaLife.com, and SeniorPeopleMeet.com. Remember, posting your info on several sites widens the field of men who will see your profile and ask you out!

Tip #3: Dare to be honest in your dating profile

Every woman wants to put her best foot forward when presenting herself to a potential paramour. However, when it comes to writing your dating profile, don't let your vanity get in the way of finding someone who will love you for who you are. If you're 59 but look a little younger for your age, it's okay to shave a few years off your age, but you will only do yourself a disservice if you shave 10! (Likewise, don't say that you are a size 6 if you're really a size 12.)

If you'd rather not divulge certain information, it's fine to stay mum, especially on personal subjects -- but don't ever lie about your past. If the relationship works out, your guy will find out all about you eventually so don't put yourself in a sticky situation where you will have to do some explaining down the road.

Tip #4: Be realistic with your expectations

Whether you're divorced, widowed, or still just looking for the man of your dreams, there are plenty of good men around after the age of 50, so try not to be discouraged throughout the process or feel like you have to make due with anyone less than a gentleman. One of the best parts about dating after you're 50 is having a much more solid idea of who you are and what you want – no settling!

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