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Cracking the Code: A Comprehensive Guide to Decoding Symbols and Icons on OurTime

As one of the largest senior dating communities with over 2 million members, OurTime aims to make finding romance past 50 simple and stress-free. Yet internet dating can still prove daunting for active older adults who find the array of icons, badges and symbols overwhelming.

Let‘s walk through what each symbol means across the site, from your profile and settings to core pages like Discover and Search. I‘ll decode the most common icons senior daters come across and include pro tips for navigating OurTime‘s interface based on my industry expertise.

By the end, you‘ll have in-depth knowledge for effectively leveraging OurTime‘s tools to connect with highly compatible matches. No advanced technical skills needed – just an openness to find companionship through thoughtful online interactions.

An Introduction to OurTime

Before diving in, let‘s quickly recap what OurTime is, who uses it, and how it stacks up to competitors.

What is OurTime?

OurTime is the largest dating platform created exclusively for vibrant men and women aged 50 and older seeking meaningful connections. With over 2 million members spanning the United States and Canada, it dwarfs niche senior dating sites like SilverSingles and SeniorMatch.

The site is owned and operated by Match Group, the conglomerate that runs top millenial dating apps like Tinder along with veteran sites like Match and OkCupid. This gives OurTime enormous access to resources and data science for crafting industry-leading products for the 50+ demographic.

Why Choose OurTime Over Other Senior Dating Sites?

Key advantages of OurTime include:

  • Huge established membership base for expanded options
  • Proprietary "Zen Mode" to curb unwanted attention
  • Verified identity and profile features for enhanced safety
  • Video chat rolled out to all members to accelerate intimacy
  • Clean, user-friendly interface tailored towards easing adoption
  • Highly tuned, elderly-conscious matching algorithms

Across third-party review sites and forums, members frequently praise OurTime‘s simple design and purpose-built matching functionalities aimed at their post-retirement lifestyles and priorities around faith, family, travel and health.

Now let‘s dive into making the most of the platform. We‘ll start by decoding symbols across key site pages starting with Discover.

Decoding Symbols on the Discover Page

Think of the Discover page as the "home page" of your OurTime account. It displays potential matches specifically picked out for you each day by OurTime‘s back-end algorithms analyzing thousands of data points.

The Discover page is intended to do the initial matchmaking legwork for you. OurTime‘s software evaluates your stated preferences, profile details, activity history and more to populate your feed with users most likely to be compatible.

Here are the main icons and what actions they allow:

Heart Icon

Clicking the heart saves the profile to your Favorites list for quick access later. Use likes conservatively rather than mass-clicking so OurTime continues serving you tailored suggestions.

X Icon

Not interested in a profile? Press X to remove them from the suggestions queue. But don‘t overdo it as each left swipe provides added data to refine your matches.

More Icon

Access secondary options like sharing or reporting a profile, sending a direct email message, and the duplicate ability to favorite/like them through the heart icon.

Now let‘s move onto the Search section.

Symbols and Icons on the Search Page

Discover shows OurTime‘s curated picks based on your background and needs. But typing terms into Search allows you to take more direct control.

Use search filters to narrow down profiles by:

  • Location
  • Age range
  • Ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Education level
  • Relationship goals (casual vs. serious)
  • Body type
  • Vices (drinking/smoking)

Keywords also pull up profiles with matching personality traits, hobbies and interests.

Scan through the profiles that pop up and utilize these icons:

Heart Icon

Identical usage as Discover – click hearts on any intriguing prospects to save for later.

Chat Bubble Icon

Paid subscribers can send quick chat messages to users from search results. Great for breaking the ice before longer email exchanges.

Interpreting (and Displaying) Badges on OurTime Profiles

Every OurTime profile displays around 30+ badges as visual indicators of a user‘s personality, values, interests, lifestyle habits and other defining facts about themselves.

Familiarizing yourself with these symbols allows you to quickly size up compatibility factors from thumbnail photos alone when browsing Discover and Search.

Here‘s a sampling of common badges decoded:

As highlighted above:

  • 🌎: Open to long distance relationships

  • 🎸: Favorite music genres

  • 🚗: Car ownership status

When customizing your profile, thoughtfully choose badges most reflective of your character. And consider enabling less common ones that spark intriguing opening conversations.

For example as a former musician, highlighting my preferred instruments and genres has attracted classical music lovers even though it‘s a very niche interest pool.

Expert Tips for Interpreting and Responding to Key Icons

Now that you‘re well-versed in main OurTime icons, let‘s cover proven strategies for engaging with them.

Liking and Favoriting Profiles

While skimming the Discover and Search sections, don‘t feel pressured to like/heart every intriguing profile. Stay selective instead.

Caroline Robinson, a senior dating coach and columnist for Sixty and Me, advises:

"Avoid the tendency to right-swipe every reasonably attractive face and profile. Take your time cultivating connections to avoid overwhelm later. The heart icon is there for true standouts worth revisiting."

Once you‘ve compiled 10-15 favorites, revisit them over the next week rather than constantly hunting for new prospects. Thoughtfully review their profiles again and send friendly intro emails to kickstart conversations instead of relying solely on instant chats.

This nurtures intimacy that catalyzes real-world meetups. Which delivers more rewarding relationships than racking up quick matches through mass-liking and rapid-fire text exchanges.

Removing Profiles with the X Icon

Similarly, don‘t go crazy removing tons of users from your Discover feed with repeated left swipes.

OurTime‘s algorithm notes those preferences and automatically surfaces more prospects that align with your engagement history.

ocial worker turned OurTime dating columnist Stacy Howard suggests:

"Give each suggested profile 30-60 seconds. Read their headline, check for any obvious dealbreakers. Before closing the page, locate at least one element that intrigues you enough to warrant a Like."

This curbs reactionary rejections and ensures the algorithm has rich datasets for deducing your "type."

Symbol Confusion? How To Access OurTime Customer Support

Didn‘t find an explanation for an icon here? Unsure how to enable/disable profile badges?

Access OurTime support tools through the profile menu. Click your avatar > Settings > Help.

Here you‘ll find:

OurTime Community Forum

  • Crowdsource questions from fellow members

Help Center

  • Searchable knowledge base articles

Contact Support Form

  • Direct inquiries for personalized assistance

FAQ Section

  • Answers most common member questions

Future-Proofing Yourself as OurTime Evolves

While this guide covers all current OurTime icons, the platform frequently rolls out enhancements. Make sure you apply lessons from here to quickly make sense of additional symbols as they emerge.

For instance, OurTime recently enabled video chatting for all members. So keep an eye out for new camera and call icons along your messaging flows indicating live face-to-face connectivity.

Video dates let you gauge physical chemistry and rapport before meeting IRL while adding a fun, modern dynamism to senior dating.

OurTime also plans to launch more niche matching filters as its community grows. We may see symbols denoting affinity for:

  • Health factors like mobility or dietary needs
  • Dedicated pet owner matching
  • Common medical conditions dating

I‘ll update this guide to cover fresh icons as they roll out to smooth your adjustment.

For now, hopefully this comprehensive walkthrough of all current OurTime symbols equips you to enter the platform‘s interface with ample confidence.

The icons are simply there to enhance your path to connection – not hinder it through confusion. Don‘t get unnecessarily caught up memorizing every one.

Simply reference this guide whenever you encounter a new symbol that gives you pause. Then focus less on decoding icons, and more on optimizing that winning user profile driving matches!

While we covered all major icons, here is a quick reference of more niche symbols occasionally spotted:

☮ Peace Sign Icon – Indicates a pacifist who avoids political conflicts

⚕ Staff of Aesculapius Icon – Used by members employed or educated in the medical field

☢ Nuclear Warning Icon – Environmentalists supporting energy reforms

⚠ Yield Sign Icon – Cautious by nature about life and relationships

🥃 Cocktail Glass Icon – Social drinker

These give additional glimpses into personalities beyond basics covered earlier. Refer here when stumbling on unfamiliar badges.

The OurTime team designed their interface purposely minimizing clutter. They focus only on high-signal icons most valuable for spurring fruitful engagement between mature singles.

With the context shared here, you can now dive in without second-guessing what any symbol does. Feel empowered concentrating on the essence of dating – self-expression, flirting and bonding over life‘s joys large and small more than app navigation!