How to flirt safely with online dating

Online dating has revolutionised the way we meet people and more and more over 50s are joining this burgeoning online community. However there are some pitfalls you need to be aware of before you go looking for love online in order to avoid flirting with danger.

By and large, these dating sites provide the perfect environment to meet interesting, like-minded people as friends or for potential long term or casual relationships.

If you aren’t particularly drawn to bars, clubs or hobby or interest groups, it can be difficult to meet people. Online dating sites allow you to be discerning and select people who match your set of interests and philosophies on life. It’s convenient and can be successful, when done safely. And nowadays there are growing number of sites targeted specifically to Baby Boomers.

Beware the scammers!

Online dating is still a relatively new and modern concept, so you may already be aware that people have been known to encounter some bad experiences online, including in some cases losing significant sums of money as well as their self-confidence and self-esteem.

Last year there were 2,770 reports of Dating and Romance scams - a 13.6% increase on the previous year. 43% of Australians who came into contact with dating and romance scams lost over $25 million collectively. You should approach these sites with a healthy mix of enthusiasm and caution.

A few of the cardinal rules for those new to online dating are; never organise a date with someone unless it’s in a busy setting with other people around; Do not give away your personal details until you are completely confident about the other party and definitely do not part with any money for a site or person that you don’t know is a completely bona fide entity.

Things to watch out for:

  • Listen to your gut instinct if something doesn’t feel right
  • Do not give out personal info too early
  • Do a background check on the person
  • Beware of people who pressure you to meet up instantly
  • Look out for inconsistencies in the person’s profile compared to what they say about themselves when you actually talk to them

Great tips for online flirting:

  • Try to have light, general conversations online initially – humour is always a good start (always keep it tasteful!)
  • Always compliment your date
  • Avoid being overly suggestive and using sexual innuendo
  • Don’t feel pressured to meet with someone you are uncertain about
  • If you are a male Baby Boomer, it is always polite to offer to pay for the female date on initial outings
  • It sounds obvious, but don’t drink too much alcohol
  • Initially go for a shorter date for a first meeting, in case there is no chemistry or common ground
  • It’s never makes a good impression to talk about your ex-partners on the first couple of dates
  • Don’t go on about yourself for too long, remember to also be a good listener
  • It’s ok to kiss on a first date nowadays – but just a peck on the cheek!
  • Appropriate dressing – ladies, don’t wear something too provocative, nor too frumpy and shapeless. Go for smart, confident and slightly on trend. (the latter applies to men also)

Here are some links to popular baby boomer online dating sites -