LIFESTYLE Relationships  >  Dating Over 50: Deciding About Trying Online Dating

Dating Over 50: Deciding About Trying Online Dating

Deciding About Trying Online Dating, dating over 50, dating in middle age
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BY KITT WALSH

Do you think romance is something you left behind in your 20s or that it got buried after your divorce or widowhood? Think again. Studies show that people over 50 are the fastest growing group of online daters. It seems those of us who have been down this road before are ready and eager to try it again. Of course, your cousin/best friend/work buddy will all be happy to try to hook you up, but if you’d rather avoid some uncomfortable blind dates, be proactive–or just more private–about reentering the world of dating, consider trying these online sites friendly to those of us over 50:

www.match.com

Match.com has a membership of 2.5 million people who list themselves as senior and, by that, they roughly mean over 50 years old. On their site, you can explore your potential honey’s politics, religion, education–not just only that they smoke or like wine tastings. True, it costs money–about $20 per month for a 6 month contract–but you also get Match.com’s mobile app which gets you invited to “Stir” events–everything from joining the gang for a road trip to a happy hour round the corner.

www.ourtime.com

There is nothing old fogey about OurTime:  1.4 million people over 50 make use of this site and appreciate the straightforward grownup questions asked of members. In the personality section, you’ll be asked things that might mean nothing to the Gen X crowd, but are topics we silver-haired people appreciate, like what are your passions in life and what you find are the ingredients of a great relationship. You can browse for free, but you need to answer some questions first, then membership is around $13 per month for 6 months.

www.Okcupid.com

Some of the questions asked on this site seem geared to younger people (really, how many of us go out clubbing anymore?) but you can skip them.  Answer the ones you feel comfortable with and you have access to 3.5 million active users (there are no figures available on how many are over the age of 50). For six months, this site is free–monetarily speaking, you will have to suffer through a million ads (if you upgrade for $14.95, those ads go away.)

www.eharmony.com

This is not so much a dating site as a “I want to get married again” site. Their Compatibility Matching System asks you more than 250 questions and then does the searching for you.  Another couple of caveats: You’d better be Christian, not legally separated, but actually divorced and, if you are looking for same sex partners, look elsewhere.  Memberships costs around $25 per month.

Howaboutwe.com

Howaboutwe hooked up with AARP (to hit the vast Baby Boomer market) and offers a service unlike the other dating sites. You propose a date (“I’ve got tickets to the Doo Wop Show at the Westbury December 14th. Anyone want to join me?”) or read date opportunities proposed by other people. Posting and answering are both free. A daily email will arrive with potential dates (you do get to narrow it down based on age, religion and other criteria) and the whole thing only costs $12 per month for 6 months. If you already belong to AARP, you get a free week’s membership and half off the price of a full membership.

I have found you could drown in spam by signing up for any of these sites (even when you browse unseen–an activity known as “lurking”) so you may want to pick just one and not sign up for all of them. You may also continue to get replies, “flirts”, “winks” and requests to chat even after you end your free trial period. You may have to block the site from your email to get rid of them. Another thing to look out for is the continued withdrawal of your membership fees even after you’ve cancelled your account. Check your bank or credit card statements carefully,

Though the road to true love may never run smoothly, lots of people our age are finding online dating the way to meet like-minded (and close in age) people to date (and maybe more.) Over the next few weeks, I’ll write about how to stop lurking, write your own profile, and sort through those profiles of the people you’ve browsed and also what to look out for to avoid getting scammed.

 

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