If you’re a single man or woman over 50, the mere thought of dating after decades away from it might arouse anxiety instead of hope and excitement. Maybe you’ve made the decision to date again, but it seems the only way to meet interesting singles is through online dating, and that scares you.
I certainly had my reservations about dating after a long absence. Even though my friends encouraged me to use online dating services, I felt there was an element of desperation in those “shadowy” online meeting places. Happily, I was completely wrong. It’s where I discovered my true love, Daisy, who had been living across the street, unbeknownst to me, for several years.
Whatever your case, here are some mature online dating statistics that will reassure you. You’re not alone.
In fact, these mature dating statistics seem to indicate the odds are in your favor. It seems our life experience pays dividends in the form of better judgements about relationships.
Are Mature Adults Serious About Dating?
The number of US adults living without a partner is growing, except for one age group. The percentage of men and women over 65 living without a partner has declined from 43% to 41%. The population of this age group is growing, so we can probably infer from this statistic that mature daters are active in their search for a partner.
The number of cohabiting adults over 50 has risen 75% since 2007, versus a 20-24% increase in all other age groups. 55% of these boomer cohabitants are divorced and 13% are widowed, and 27% have never been married. (Pew Research*)
So yes, we’re serious about dating and our search for a good, loving partner!
Is the Online Dating Pool Full of Desperate, Shady People?
In 2005, 29% of US adults surveyed by Pew believed that people who use online dating sites are desperate. By 2015 that number declined to 23%. The stigma of online dating is disappearing.
- 12% of those 55-64 have used an online dating site, doubling from 6% in 2013.
- 13% of those 45-54 have used online services, up from 8%.
Another survey from Statista shows that people generally have a positive attitude about users of dating websites and apps. As you can see in the chart below.
- 39% see online dating participants as open-minded
- 29% see them as Confident, and
- 29% view them as Optimistic.
Men and Women Over 50 Don’t Let Technology Hurt Their Relationships
“45% of internet users ages 18-29 in serious relationships say the internet has had an impact on their relationship, [negative or positive] while just one in ten online adults 65 and older say the same.” This according to Pew Research.
Communication habits certainly differ among the generations. I suspect that older adults tend to view technology as a tool while younger adults see it as a necessity.
Men and women over 50 learned how to communicate pre-Facebook, pre-smartphone, pre-internet. Maybe Marshall McLuhan was right when he said, “The medium is the message.” The medium, instead of the content, becomes the focus.
Mature daters, it seems, are less attached to the medium and more focused on the message.
Surprising Statistic About the Biggest Users of Online Dating Services
The biggest users of online dating services are those who have never been married, according to another study from Pew Research. 31% of never-marrieds age 35+ have used online dating or a mobile dating app. In comparison, only 15% the total population has tried online dating.
True Love is the Most Important Reason to Get Married
88% of Americans said true love is the most important reason to get married, ahead of commitment and companionship.
59% of people say online dating is a good way to meet people.
(Image source: Pew Research)
Mature Dating is Simply Much More Fun Than During Our Younger Days
In Dating is More Fun as You Get Older, the author quotes a study that says men and women over 50 believe they’re more romantic than when they were younger.
- Even more helpful, 76% said that looks and money are less important later in life.
- Of those who re-entered the dating scene, 63% reported dating is better later in life.
The First Known Personal Ad, or Dating in the 1600’s
According to a review of technology and dating by PBS, the first known personal ad appears in an agricultural journal around 1685. It read “A gentleman about 30 years of Age, that says he has a very good Estate, would willingly match himself to some good young gentlewoman that has a fortune of £3,000 or thereabout, and he will make settlement to content.” Said the newspaper publisher, “Tis probable such Advertisements may prove very useful.”
Mature Daters Make Better Decisions About Compatibility
A survey conducted by Today showed:
- 60% feel they make better decisions about compatibility now than when younger.
- 42% say they have better quality dates
Mature Daters Are More Honest in Their Online Dating Profiles
An article in Psychology Today refers to a survey by OpinionMatters which found that 53% admitted to lying on their online dating profile.
Women lied more than men, mostly about looks, posting younger photos of themselves. Men weren’t much better in that they lied about their financial situation. 40% of men and 33% of women fabricated details about their financial picture.
The good news is that for mature daters, dishonesty declined with age. Says author Ryan Anderson, “Maybe older people are just more interested in projecting their real self, rather than an imagined or ideal version.”
Who Is More in Love, Men and Women Over 50 or Youngsters?
When asked, “At this time, do you feel you could fall head over heels in love?” 39% of 65+ and 36% of those 50-64 said, “I already am head over heels in love. Only 27% of the 25-34 were in love but 53% felt they could fall head over heels in love.
When Dating Gets Serious, Trust but Verify – STD’s for Men and Women Over 55 Are Rising
STD’s for men and women over 55 are on the rise in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC.) This includes Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis. The top state for rate of occurrences of all three—by far, with nearly double the rate of syphilis as the runner up—Is Washington, DC, at 7.7 cases per 100,000. (Why am I not surprised?) Trailing behind DC is California at #2 (3.6 per 100,000) and Oregon at #3 (2.6 per 100,000.)
What does this mean for mature men and women re-entering the dating scene? Trust but verify. Be sure to get yourself and your new partner tested before you commit to a relationship that includes sex.
And if you plan to date in or around Washington DC, you might want to cross the river to Virginia. They’re way down at #26, with a rate of 1.1 cases per 100,000. Even if you don’t plan to date, leaving DC might be a good idea.
If you’re new to mature dating, you’re in good company. Online dating is a respectable way to work on your search for true love with your ideal partner. And as author Shannon Alder says,
“Love doesn’t make the world go ’round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”
(* The Pew Research Center bears no responsibility for the analyses or interpretations of the data presented here.)
Be sure to download your Free copy of The Secret to Mature Dating Success here.