Whether looking for a new life partner or simply a date for the symphony, an increasing number of older Canadians are turning to online dating.

"I am finding more and more every day seniors are getting online, that's one of the fastest demographics turning to technology," says Jennifer Cairns, co-founder of eGurus, a technology tutoring company for people over 55.

Cairns is hosting a workshop next week in Victoria to help people navigate online dating. Are you looking for love as a senior? Cairns offers these useful tips:

1. Create a separate email

Everyone you meet will not turn out to be a perfect match, so you want to keep it a little more anonymous than the everyday email you use with your family and friends.

2. Choose an appropriate website

A lot of the traditional dating websites like eHarmony and Plenty of Fish, are now catering to the over 55 demographic, whereas five years ago it wasn't a section of the population they would necessarily target.

There are also specific dating websites designed seniors, such as Senior Friend Finder, Senior Match and Senior People Meet

3. Research websites' terms and conditions

Read the fine print before signing up. If you have a free trial, put a reminder in your calendar so that you can decide if you want to continue.

A lot of the time with paid websites it is an automatic renewal. Investigate whether you have the option to opt out. 

4. Create an engaging profile

Honesty is the best policy. You get a much better response having a photograph online and websites suggest having action shots.

Make sure your profile is up to date and be specific about your interests and hobbies. It is difficult to talk about ourselves, so ask your friends for help.

Also, don't include too much personal information, as this could give away your address, for example.

5. Be cautious if you plan to meet

If you do decide to meet someone, use your street smarts. Meet in a public area and don't tell them where you live.

You haven't really met them yet, so you need to be mindful of those security risks. The big thing is to listen to your gut.

Cairns' online dating workshop for seniors will take place at 1:00 p.m. PT on Tuesday at Silver Threads in Victoria.


To hear the full interview with Jennifer Cairns, listen to the audio labelled Online dating for seniors