- Age-based niches: These sites are for people of a specific age. Baby boomers are overwhelmingly turning to the web to find a mate. Sites like Match and POF offer members a chance to search specifically for the age group that interests you, but SeniorPeopleMeet and OurTime are the two largest sites designed specifically for the baby boomer market.
Is the dating process safe?
Check to see what safeguards are put in place by the site, and which ones you can enable to limit who sees your profile.
- Limiting who sees your profile: Does the site allow just the bare minimum of your profile to be seen in search results? Some sites wait until you favorite, wink, or in some way OK a member before they can see your whole profile. That said, it is important that you only share information in your profile that you are okay with a stranger being able to see.
- Keeping the search results wide open: If your goal is to meet someone in the immediate future for a casual drink or get together, the best option would be mobile dating apps like Tinder, JSwipe and many others. These apps allow you to quickly find similarly minded people. On most dating sites, you can use a sort feature to see which members are currently online right now and available to talk.
Most dating sites have become extremely good about policing their members for negative or unsafe behavior. There are several sites that offer additional levels of security including background checks and photo verification.
- Social verification: Many sites employ a method known as social verification to help prevent wrongdoers from gaining access to you. This goes above and beyond just asking for your email. Many sites now ask you to verify your identity through your Facebook or Google login. This, combined with highly trained scammer prevention teams, has made online dating safer than it has ever been.
- Photo verification: Several sites now offer members a chance to prove their identity by sending additional material. This includes emailing a photo of the member, holding a piece of paper, with a set of numbers that has been randomly generated by the site. Other members do not see this, but it allows the site’s staff to confirm their identity.
- Safe from hackers: Check to make sure the site has employed technology so your vital information is safe. If it is a paid site, make sure it is a secure site before entering your credit card information.
The features of the dating site should be the features you want and will use, especially if it is a paid site
- Features to help refine search results: Look to see which features will help whittle down the pool of suitors. These are keyword searches, mutual matching, reverse matching, the ability to save and favorite certain profiles and more.
- Mobile applications: Most dating sites now offer a mobile version that can be downloaded through the Apple or Android stores. When considering a site, it is best to also test their mobile app to see if it can help streamline your dating experience. Additionally, there are several dating apps that only exist in the mobile format. Before downloading, it is best to check for recent reviews on their download pages.
- Communicating with members: Dating sites and apps allow you to communicate in several ways ranging from “winking at someone” to setting up a video chat with a prospective date. Research which methods are available on a site and make sure they fit with your needs.