Dating Apps and the 40s

Farzana Suri, Victory Coach

She woke up at 6am with the alarm shrilling through her mobile phone. A few minutes later, the maid walked in. She rushed to freshen herself and get ready for the pitch presentation. She gobbled her breakfast while browsing through and responding to the innumerable WhatsApp messages and mails. She dumped her lunchbox in the satchel, fetched her car keys and gulped the last sips of the lukewarm coffee. The traffic had piled up as she made her way to her office. It was 8 am yet the office was abuzz with a flurry of activity. People were checking creatives, editing presentations on their laptops and rushing into cabin or huddling together. At 9 am, a five-member team, including Rhea made their way towards the meeting. Winning this pitch would get her a good appraisal. She had an interview with a candidate, later and some more meetings. Some of her colleagues invited her for a quick drink and she declined. The day ended at 9.30 pm and she still had an hour’s drive to reach home. She was aching to hit the sack.

Weekends are almost similar except grocery shopping, supervising the maid on the weekly cleaning and meeting the family take up her time in between a few official calls. This is a peak into the world of many Rhea Aroras. She is 42 and single. Not surprisingly, considering the only people she meets on an average are her office colleagues, her maid and on the rare occasions her family and a couple of friends.

She is worried. She has spent most of the past decades building a successful career at the expense of her personal life.

“It’s time I got married! I’m way past it!”

“My biological clock is running faster than Usain Bolt and each day seems like the end is closer!”

“Am I not good enough? Is that the reason, I remain on the shelf?”

How can she meet new people? Where can she meet them? And, the quintessential question, where is the time? How does she date? These were the barrage of questions, she threw at me.

I suggested, “Do what most singles seem to be doing these days.”

“You mean, online dating apps? They are ‘hook-up’ sites! No, no, I’m too old for this kind of stuff”

Four months later, I met Rhea. She had been exploring a few apps under the ‘mentorship’ of her niece.

She finally, beat her fear to test the mysterious waters of online dating.  Rhea shared with me some interesting tips and hacks to make dating fun and successful. While it was true, some of the matches she found, did not always chat or meet; she discovered that there are men out there, who are actually interested in dating if you sift through the incessant stream of come-ons.

I found her experience, quite intriguing and her conversation set me thinking. There are men and women in their 40s seeking love and romance, who have neither the time or the opportunity to meet new people. Dating apps fulfil that need like everything instantaneous in our lives, today.

Technology is changing the dating scene for those over 40, adventurous yet busy.

These 10 Dating App Tips may help you change your relationship status.

  1. Similar to dating offline. The way you don’t necessarily get into a conversation with each person you meet? Or jump into bed with everyone you meet offline, dating apps are no different. It’s like being at a party and choosing who you find interesting so you can get into a conversation with. If someone doesn’t match your vibe, you can ignore or move away. And, gravitate towards someone who you find interesting.

The app matches are based on gender, age and proximity. The app displays the profile image of users which you can swipe right, to express your interest or swipe left if you are not interested in the profile. Only after you have swiped right on each other’s profile picture, can you communicate with each other via direct messaging within the app.

It’s impossible to chat with someone within the app if mutual interest has not been expressed. Simple, isn’t it?

  1. Be clear on the goal. Why are you here? Are you here to just meet someone, go on a date or simply hook up? The app provides you an opportunity to meet a variety of people you may be keen to connect with and date.
  2. It takes thousands of swipes and many hours to find the match you’d like to ‘right swipe’. And, the few you’re inclined to meet may not even result in a date. It’s labour-intensive so you’ll need to wade through a cesspool of matches to meet the right one. It can be daunting, frustrating and exhausting. Don’t get discouraged. Keep trying.
  3. Profile Story. The profile pic or the brief text below gives you a peek into the psyche of the person. What you write weighs a great deal on the risk of being left or right swiped. A pic at a holiday or in the pool or at the gym, provides an insight into your activities.
  4. Use photos, smartly. Use pics that are of you. By this, I don’t mean those abs and other inappropriate pics. A pic with a bunch of friends is a no-no and so is a selfie. A good DP is not enough. Add a series of pics where you are doing fun things like sailing, swimming, trekking, training or seated with your cat or reading a book; these provide a peek into your hobbies or possibly likeminded interests.
  5. All about Bios. It’s possible to give in to the temptation of hiding your age, weight, etc. It isn’t a great start to a relationship.
  • Mention your correct age, height, your relationship status – if you have kids, say so. Honesty is the best policy.
  • Make your intro creative so it peaks interest and is a conversation starter.
  • Add a note in between the photos, it invites a conversation.
  • Avoid placing demands or lists of your conditions. “If you don’t like dogs, swipe left!” Hey, this isn’t a matrimonial site. Chill and go with the flow.
  1. Be active. If you don’t get on to the app for ages, your profile is less likely to show up. This is because those that right swipe on your profile are not left disappointed when they don’t receive a response. Therefore, being active increases your chances of a match. You’re able to swipe on more people which makes you appear with more regularity and higher possibility of getting right-swiped.

Updating your travel dates and cities on your profile is an effective way to find matches even before your plane departs.

  1. Swipe Smart. Don’t right swipe everyone else you may seem spammy in the app algorithm. Don’t left swipe everyone lest you seem too choosy and are left with a small number of relevant profiles appearing on your scroll. Read the subtext in the intros. You’ll learn to spot the marrieds, the fakes and the “I-just-want-sex” types at a glance.
  2. Meet at a neutral place preferably, for coffee or brunch if you are not completely sure. It will give you time to take it further in case you’re interested else you can cut the ‘date’ short. Remember, to inform a friend or two about the date – who you’re meeting and where you plan to go.
  • Do’s and Don’ts for a meet-up. Bonding over baggage will only leave you feeling heavy. Don’t fast forward things, too soon. But, don’t dither, either. Do your date night right, by dating like a grown up. Don’t plan a marriage on your first date or expect romance.
  1. Keep an open mind. Dating apps provide an alternative to meeting people. Some will be good and some won’t. Enjoy the flirtatious excitement, the no pressure-meetups, the experience and the fascinating profiles. Go with your intuition and an open mind.

There are millions of time-pressed mid-lifers out there. While online dating apps may seem daunting, they provide an opportunity to make meaningful connections with people, you wouldn’t otherwise come across in your day-to-day life.

Be positive, confident and keep it light. Use the same caution, you’d exercise while meeting people, offline. Be you and visible and you’ll be surprised at the choices flooding you.

Believe that there are good men and women out there and you’ll meet them.

Farzana Suri is a Victory Coach and coaches you on life, relationships, business and career.  She can be reached on mail@farzanasuri.com or www.farzanasuri.com