Single over-40s reveal biggest pitfalls of online dating

Three-quarters of adults aged 40-plus who have tried meeting a partner through digital dating have struggled, according to research.

A lack of digital skills has proven to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks when attempting to find love online – with 59 per cent claiming this has hindered them in their pursuit.

Other downsides to digital dating, according to those aged 40 and above, include knowing how to start a conversation online and being clueless what to say in their ‘about me’ section.

Picking the perfect profile pic has also been a challenge for many – as has being able to recognise their date in real life, having never met them before.

Never too late to start

The research was commissioned by Virgin Media O2 to help improve the nation’s digital skills through Get Online Week. Judi Love, TV personality, comedian and presenter, 42, is backing the campaign having struggled with online dating herself.

She said: “Online dating when you’re over 40 can be a minefield – from finding the right app for you, creating the right profile, taking your best picture and making conversation with different personalities you meet online.

“Get Online Week is a great opportunity to brush up on your online skills and develop your digital mojo to gain confidence and put yourself out there.

“If you’re looking for love, it’s never too late to start.”

The study also found 54 per cent who’ve experimented with online dating said they can’t ‘get their head around’ the apps.

And 15 per cent of everyone polled claim not to know what swiping left or right means, while 12 per cent can’t create a dating profile, and 14 per cent don’t know how to take a profile pic.

Further drawbacks to online dating include discovering a date’s bio details are inaccurate and realising the spark they’d had when conversing online was non-existent in person.

Tips for singletons

It also emerged 18 per cent are ‘scared’ to try dating over the internet – with 46 per cent of the opinion this method of finding a partner is ‘a young person’s game.’

Yet the study carried out through OnePoll found 20 per cent claim not to know how to meet someone in ‘real life.’

Nicola Green, at Virgin Media O2, added: “We’re proudly partnering with Good Things Foundation to help the nation to improve their digital skills during Get Online Week.

“We hope our free digital skills masterclasses being held across the UK, plus Judi’s top tips will give singletons the confidence to try online dating and find the love of their lives.”

To find out more about Get Online Week and see Judi Love’s top online dating tips click here.

Top 10 pitfalls of online dating – according to those aged 40 plus

  1. Knowing how to spot a ‘catfish’
  2. Fears they’ve set up a fake identity
  3. Discovering their bio details aren’t accurate
  4. Worrying about being scammed
  5. Discovering you have little in common with a date despite their bio suggesting otherwise
  6. Realising there was no ‘spark’ on meeting in real life
  7. Knowing what red flags to look out for when dating online
  8. Finding out they are dating lots of other people at the same time
  9. Concerns the other person won’t resemble their profile pic
  10. Dates being much older in appearance than their profile pic suggests
Chris Price