Looking for a new relationship as an older adult can sound difficult, especially if you don’t know where to start.
Online dating can make finding love much easier by providing one place where you can find potential matches versus the alternative process of trying to meet people at social events or in everyday life. And contrary to popular belief—it’s not just for young people!
In fact, a notable proportion of US seniors are single, and 16% of people over 50 have used dating apps to look for love. Even better, 1 in 10 partnered or married Americans met their partners online.
If you’re curious about dating online as a senior, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of using senior dating sites, the best senior dating sites, and how to stay safe while using them.
Online dating can seem intimidating at first, but once you take the plunge you’ll see that the benefits can outweigh the initial nerves as long as you know what to do, look for, and how to use a platform.
In fact, using a senior dating site won’t just make finding a serious relationship much easier, it can even have positive effects on your mental and physical health. Studies continuously show that having connections, including romantic relationships and friendships, can help us lead happier and longer lives.
If you’re on the fence about trying out online dating as an older single, then maybe these benefits will help convince you.
In today’s digital age, it can be quite difficult to meet someone in the wild, which is why many older singles turn to online dating sites to expand their dating pool and options.
Senior dating sites provide you with opportunities to meet fellow senior singles that you may have never come across in real life. If you have a hard time getting out and about, or find that senior events aren’t your thing, online dating or even online friendships can help you build connections in the comfort of your own home.
One of the major upsides to online dating is the ability to specify what you’re looking for. Most dating sites will allow you to set an age range and other parameters for potential matches, such as religion or what the other person is looking for (such as friendship or a serious relationship) so that you can find someone with similar life experience.
However, you might find that broadening the parameters can help you see and connect with people who have differences, which can help you continue growing and learning while sharing your life experience with someone.
Dating in general as a senior single can have really great health benefits.
Many older individuals, especially in the US or other westernized cultures, experience a shrinking of their social groups as they get older, due to things like children getting older, divorce, and retirement, which can lead to a lot of loneliness.
Online dating can be a positive and empowering way to boost your social skills while finding love or even new friendships. Dating as a senior can help lower levels of stress, improve cognitive function, and can even lead to a longer lifespan.
When choosing a senior dating platform to use – whether it's your first time or you have some online dating experience – there are a few factors you should consider before selecting the senior dating site that’s right for you.
Your options will range from totally free dating sites to the more popular tiered membership site that has different pricing based on the membership you pick. Usually a free basic membership will let you create a profile with the standard features, but some sites will require a paid membership in order for you to interact with potential matches.
Be sure to check the features that come with each tier before punching in your credit card info and also make sure to research the site and the reviews online, including using the BBB or a simple google search of “[online dating site name] reviews”.
Sadly, there are some dating sites targeted towards seniors or are scams or fraudulent and you want to make sure you’re giving your data (like your name and phone number) and credit card information to a reputable company!
Some dating platforms are easier to navigate than others, so it might take some trial and error before finding the platform that works best for you.
We recommend doing some research online and reading about other people's experiences before choosing a dating website including reading reviews. We also recommend not using a site that is a “pay per message” site where you have to pay for each message you send, as these can often be scams.
Additionally, browse through a site’s FAQ before signing up as these tend to have a lot of helpful information as well.
Your safety comes first, always, so be sure to look into a dating platform’s safety features before joining.
When it comes to mature dating, you want to opt for a well-known dating sites with a good reputation.
Here's a breakdown of the most popular senior dating sites and what we like about them.
Garbo is partnered with Match and if you choose to become a free or paid Match member, you’ll receive free search credits for Garbo’s background check! You can learn more here.
Match has been around since 1993, which makes it one of the longest-running dating sites out there. With their fastest growing demographic being users over 50, Match is a great option for mature singles!
A few things we like:
eHarmony is a well-known site for mature dating that has a good reputation for being user friendly. If you’re willing to put the time in up front to fill out their compatibility questionnaire, it could be a great fit for you.
A few things we like:
SilverSingles (which is owned by the same company as EliteSingles) refers to itself as “The Exclusive Dating Site for 50+ Singles”.
One thing to note: Unlike the other options on this list, SilverSingles does not have a mobile app, so you’ll need to access this dating site with a computer or on a mobile browser.
A few things we like:
Another platform that’s made specifically for the over 50 age group, OurTime is another option for dating as a senior!
A few things we like:
There are also plenty of dating options for seniors that don't involve the internet, because sometimes you just want to meet somebody in real life and not fuss around with technology. Whether its matchmaking dating services, mixers, speed dating events or setups through friends and family, the offline dating world has its perks. When combined with an online dating profile or two, it opens up a whole new world!
Be yourself – Authenticity is key: While your dating profile is a highlight reel of who you are, no one is perfect! Don’t be afraid to show your quirks as being genuine will be the best way to find someone who likes you for you.
Choose good photos: Your profile photos are your opportunity to put your best foot forward! Choosing flattering, high-quality photos is a great way to capture the eye of your future soulmate. Don’t over edit your photos and be sure to not reveal too much personal information by having identifying details in the background of your photos (such as street signs, grandkids, etc...)
Be patient: Online dating can come with swings and misses, so it's important to be patient with the process. Just because you don't get a perfect match right off the bat doesn't mean that you aren't a catch!
Ask friends and family for advice: When in doubt, turn to trusted family and friends for online dating advice. It might surprise you how many people you know have their own dating stories and tips and tricks for success. Online dating does not have the stigma it used to have - so maybe you can connect with your children or grandchildren about how they’re using dating sites!
Catfishing, investment fraud, money laundering – there are countless examples of online dating scams that are surprisingly easy to fall for. And unfortunately, romance scammers tend to target older adults, folks they believe are overly trusting, or people who are desperately seeking love and validation.
When you're online dating, it's important to know the red flags of a scammer not only to keep your heart safe, but also your bank account.
If you believe someone is a catfish or romance scammer, we highly recommend reaching out to the platform you connected with the person on. They may be able to assist and/or ban the person from scamming others in the future!
If it’s your first foray into online dating, you probably have some safety concerns.
The good news is that a lot of senior dating sites come with built in safety features, but you should also know some key tips to protecting yourself along your dating journey.
It's very common for scammers to act like genuine romantics until they get your personal information, then they scam and block you. In the early days of getting to know someone, try not to give away any details that are too personal—this includes information like your home address (or even the name of parks or landmarks around you, information about your financial state, information about your children and family, or any secrets that could be used as blackmail.
Once you’ve gone on several dates (video dates can count!) with someone and you have a good level of trust, it’s okay to open up more, but there’s certain things that should never be shared, like your financial information or social security number.
If someone is prying for information, don’t hesitate to block and report the user to the dating platform. Trust your gut if you feel like someone is fishing for personal information or asking too many questions too soon!
Starting with the video call is an easy way to vet your potential partners and see if you'll get along! It’s also a great way to filter out any catfishes.
Schedule this call before you meet in person, and pay attention to whether the person matches the persona portrayed in their dating profile, and how you feel when you talk to them. We recommend that you either use the video calling functionality in the app (as it is monitored for safety!) or using a software like Zoom where you can blur your background and not have to share a lot of private information to start the call.
As we’ve mentioned, a dating profile is a highlight reel, and it won’t tell you everything you need to know about a person. Use the online resources available to you to do some research before deciding whether or not you feel comfortable meeting in-person. This can include trying to find the person’s social media (Facebook, Linkedin, etc.), as well as searching for this person on Google or another search engine to make sure no concerning articles come up. You can also try doing a reverse image search to make sure their profile pictures weren’t taken from elsewhere on the internet.
Lastly, you can run a background check on potential matches to make sure they don’t have any criminal records that indicate a past of harmful or violent behavior. You can use Garbo to search for someone as most Garbo searches work with limited information like a first name and phone number, so you won’t have to ask the person for any personal details to run the background check. (Note: the person you search for on Garbo will never be notified that they’ve been searched).
Meeting in public on the first few dates is one of the most important safety measures you can take. Whether you choose a coffee shop, a nice dinner out, or a show. This isn’t just about the first date either - someone can be very charming the first time you meet them! That’s why we recommend meeting in public for the first few times while you’re still getting to know someone.
Always share your plans with someone you trust when talking to someone new or before you go on a date with someone you met online. It can be as simple as sending your friend a text or calling them to tell them who you're going out with, a description of your date, where you’re doing/what you’re doing, and when you expect to be home so they can check in afterward.
While it can feel a little strange to let your children or friends in on your dating life, it is important to be safe!
We know – that was a lot of information! Feel free to refer back to this blog anytime you need a refresher on the best senior dating sites or dating safety tips.
Remember: online dating takes work, just like any other type of dating. Be patient and practice self-care by doing everything you can to keep yourself safe and have fun while meeting new people online!
Happy online dating!
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