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The Short Version: If you think dating is tough in your 20s, try it in your 70s. Technology has changed how we meet and interact with new people, and internet scams targeting older singles can scare away even the most romantic senior from looking for love on the web. Thankfully, Judi Bonilla, Founder of Come Back Cupid, is here to help mature daters navigate the emotional and technological waters of online dating. Whether in a class setting or one-on-one, the aging and lifestyle expert guides singles over 60 on topics such as privacy, profile creation, online dating lingo, and modern dating best practices. Judi also works with seniors on life enhancement independent of dating, helping them find or rekindle their true passions in their golden years.
Online dating’s popularity is no secret — today, upward of 40 million Americans are turning to the web to find love . What may be surprising, however, is that seniors make up a good portion of this trend. In fact, the number of people between 56 and 64 who use online dating services doubled from 2013 to 2015.
Sadly, seniors present a bright, flashing target for online scammers. To web criminals, this demographic has historically represented individuals who are more financially secure and less computer savvy than their younger counterparts. As a result, many seniors need a little help identifying red flags to protect their hearts and bank accounts.
While one-third of senior daters report asking their children for dating advice, that leaves a whopping 66% of mature daters who either ask others or don’t ask anyone for help. Fortunately, Come Back Cupid provides a place for the over-60 crowd to obtain relevant information and support to navigate the new dating landscape.
Judi Bonilla, an aging and lifestyle expert, created Come Back Cupid to help seniors learn about online dating and avoid common pitfalls that can put their identity and privacy at risk. Through hands-on coaching, she also provides an objective voice that gets to the heart of how mature singles want to live in their golden years — whether it be love and romance or rekindling long-held passions.
Judi spends a lot of time with older adults in her job as an aging and lifestyle expert. After teaching a social media class to a group of seniors one day, she realized there was a general desire to not only learn how to navigate Facebook and Twitter but also the online dating space.
“It seemed like every class at the end of the session I would get people asking me if I thought they were ready for online dating,” she said. “It wasn’t just one person asking — it was a half dozen, all in their mid-70s, asking me this question. I’m an entrepreneur at heart, and that was the beginning of it.”
Judi saw a need that wasn’t being filled. She told us that because people are living longer, they’re looking to recouple after divorce or the death of a spouse. Online dating can be scary for many reasons, and, for this older demographic, Judi understands there are more obstacles than for other age groups.
“They are the generation that missed computers in the office,” she said. “For them, there’s not only the angst of dating but also a technology issue. And some of these people have not dated in 50 years.”
She works with mature singles so they can learn the technology, culture, and ins and outs of online dating. Judi’s goal is to help her students understand what to share and what to keep for later.
“You can disclose a lot on a coffee date if you don’t have parameters in place,” she said.
For older singles entirely new to the online dating scene, Come Back Cupid delivers informational classes to help. With each class, students build on skills that will help them create a profile, keep information private, learn online dating etiquette, and ensure their personal safety while meeting new people online. Judi breaks down all the information mature daters need to know in four simple classes while practicing and honing skills week after week.
Class one introduces daters to multiple aspects of online dating. You’ll learn about dating psychology, the differences between types of dating apps and sites, and some common online vocabulary. You’ll also learn how to protect your privacy and information. Class two will build on your foundation. In this class, you’ll learn to review and assess dating profiles, and then you’ll create a profile on a general dating site. Judi will also take some time to discuss past relationships and how to move forward from them.
Class three teaches students about matchmaking sites and how to create a profile on them. You’ll also identify your dating style and role play a first meeting. In class four, students learn about niche sites and how to present a profile on them. Here, students will review what they’ve learned in previous classes and finalize all the dating profiles they’ve created. Students will then participate in a Q&A session and do role playing if they need it.
These classes give those over 60 a primer in online dating that will not only help them represent themselves well but also stay informed and safe.
Mature singles can work with Judi one-on-one to start their journeys into online dating. All coaching sessions begin with a video conference where older singles can share their questions and concerns. In her Get Started package, Judi works with clients to develop a profile that will attract their ideal mate and an action plan to help them with online dating.
The next tier, Ignite, takes it to the next level as Judi reviews your profile and makes suggestions on how to better enhance it to attract the partner you’re looking for. Here she focuses on profile enhancement.
“When it’s your dating profile, it’s about what you want to share and how much information you want to share,” she said. “I’ve worked with women whose before picture looks like someone’s grandmother. However, the men in this age group aren’t looking for a grandmother; they are looking for a female partner. I work with these women on how to present themselves to attract a partner.”
Judi will help you not only be authentic in your profile but also multi-dimensional. She also gives clients the truth about things like dressing for dates and helps them re-examine some gender roles that may be outdated.
Beyond profile enhancement, Judi also works with clients on an action plan that helps them get closer to finding that special someone.
“We work on how you talk to people and what you say to people,” she said. “The idea is to give people information to get them started and ideally remove some of the barriers.”
Judi understands what struggles seniors face today, and she knows how to guide them through the often-confusing path online dating can take.
Judi’s help isn’t just limited to finding a partner. With her AskJudi services, she works with clients in all areas of later-life fulfillment.
“For some, it’s not so much about dating; it’s trying to figure out what you do in this next part,” she said. “Ideally, you meet someone, but if you don’t, you still have a lot of living to do.”
Judi works with clients through in-depth conversations and a self-assessment survey to find what may enhance their quality of life. From there, it’s about working on a strategy to move you closer to that reality one step at a time. For some, this is online dating; for others, it could be starting a new business.
Judi’s also there to support her senior clients, especially when it comes to the harder conversations, and sex is a subject that often comes up.
“I have very candid conversations about sexuality when you’re older,” she said. “There are certain conversations seniors aren’t going to have with their daughters, but they need to be had.”
Her clients trust her, so they know they can come to her for not only the answers they need but her trademark compassion as well.
Judi’s motto is “Educate, Inspire, Empower,” and she is certainly doing that for the many mature men and women seeking a greater quality of life in their golden years.