FAIRFIELD — The decision to try online dating can be both frightening and confusing for those over 50.
For some, the technology is confusing. For others there is a fear of the unknown, as well as a concern over safety issues.
Urged to try online dating by her eldest daughter, Carol Helzen, a 70-year-old from Vacaville, chose SeniorPeopleMeet.com. She found that there were a lot of people looking for a sugar mama.
“If they say they are willing to relocate, that’s a red flag for me,” Helzen said. “It’s frustrating.”
She added, “People put in pictures that are 20 years old. They lie about their personal habits . . . You just don’t know if they are telling the truth in their profiles.”
Helzen made the decision to stick with online dating. Somewhere down the line, she thought, there has to be someone decent. A few months ago, she met someone.
“I online flirted with him,” Helzen said. “And he flirted right back. He listens to what I say, he surprises me with outings. I am so happy when I’m around him.”
Helzen said that online dating is a good alternative for the 50-plus crowd, as long as you follow the rules she’s learned:
She also suggests that if you are going to meet someone, you should do a background check.
“Go with your gut,” she said. “If you’ve got an uneasy feeling, listen to it.”
Dennis Hamilton, a 51-year-old resident of Fairfield, is also positive about online dating. Single for 2½ years, he turned to online dating in the hopes of finding that special someone.
“It’s tough,” Hamilton said. “Where do you meet people outside of work if you don’t have any regular social activities? I don’t drink so I don’t hang out in bars. I don’t attend a regular church. Online dating seemed like a good way to meet and date.”
Hamilton’s choice of sites are Plenty of Fish and eHarmony.
“I think men are more comfortable with online dating,” Hamilton said, when asked about the different attitudes about online dating between men and women. “They are more comfortable with the technology, and also, there is no real physical danger to them in meeting a stranger.”
“I was lucky with online dating,” Hamilton said. “I married someone I met on Plenty of Fish. It only lasted a year, but I would definitely try online dating again.”
(Hamilton agreed to help rate the online dating sites for seniors, using a 1 to 10 scale on ease of use, cost, search options and number of “matches” in Solano County. See sidebar.)
Reach Domini Williams at email@example.com or 427-6981.