Debrett’s gives online dating tips for over 50s from perfecting your profile to kissing on the first date


A company renowned for being the recognised authority on social etiquette has teamed up with a dating website to help older singles find love online.

Debrett’s worked with Ourtime, the UK’s leading dating website for young people over 50, to create the complete Guide to 50+ dating.

Recent research revealed there are almost a million over 50s looking to find love online, but many lack the confidence to get back out there, or feel out of touch with the modern rules of dating.

That’s where Debrett’s, which has been advising the British public on etiquette for more than 250 years, comes in.

Featuring five chapters to help over 50s singles navigate the 2018 dating scene, the guide includes advice and tips to “tackle modern dating dilemmas” such as, how to create the perfect online profile, who should make the first move, where is appropriate to go on a date and when it’s acceptable to kiss.

Here’s a sneak peek at the five sections.

How to polish your profile

When it comes to curating an online profile, Debrett’s advises people use “recent photographs” that are “no more than a year old”.

“There’s no point trying to mislead your date if you ever hope to meet in person,” the guide says.

The guide covers how to perfect your online profile (Unsplash)

When starting to date online, 56 per cent of over 50s would use a profile photo up to 10 years old, according to Ourtime.

How to communicate with confidence

Almost two-thirds of over 50s feel less confident dating now than when they were younger, with nearly half of women admitting to being too nervous to make the first contact with an online match, Ourtime said.

Debrett’s advises “women can now take the initiative too” in the world of online dating, which it said is an “egalitarian plane”.

“Keep your first message light-hearted and brief, and make it personal: mentioning something you particularly like about a person’s profile will show that you’re singling them out,” according to the guide.

“Don’t be creepy, though: it’s far too early for come-ons or innuendo.”

How to plan a memorable meeting

While asking a stranger out on a date via an online platform may seem daunting, the new guide urges “once you’ve surpassed the five-message mark, it makes sense to take the initiative and propose a date”.

“Tailor the date around a shared interest, like a visit to an exhibition,” Debrett’s says.

As for kissing on the first date, Debrett’s advises “modern romance often involves a briefer ‘courting’ period, so don’t feel you’re jeopardising future prospects if your instincts are telling you to throw caution to the wind”.

How to fine-tune your follow-up

The guide tackles the age-old dilemma of how long to wait before messaging after the first date.

According to the advice, “strategic delay is not necessary” in modern dating, and a friendly text message within 24 hours of meeting is the norm.

But Debrett’s does not condone ‘ghosting’, advising: “It’s best to be honest from the outset and say how much you enjoyed meeting them, but that you would prefer to remain friends.”

Thankfully, 96 per cent of over 50s would never consider ‘ghosting’ a date.

How to go forth to the future

The guide finishes with a chapter covering what happens after the first date.

According to Debrett’s, “after three or more dates, you will usually have a sense of whether or not you would like to make it exclusive”.

But if it doesn’t work out, Kate from Ourtime says, “Never give up, there are almost 1 million single over 50’s in the UK who are already online dating and waiting to meet someone new”.  

To download the full Debrett’s and Ourtime Guide to 50+ Dating, packed with tips and advice for daters over 50, click here.

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