The last time I became single, I was nearing sixty. The idea that I might be in the “senior dating” pool didn’t occur to me. I certainly didn’t feel like a stereotypical senior. Nevertheless, dating was much different than in my younger days.
I had to accept two important changes about where I was in my life.
When Did I Become a Senior?
The biggest change was that I was at a new stage in life, like it or not. When I turned fifty, I felt a bit insulted that AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) was sending me their magazine.
There is no official definition of when we become senior citizens. Yet as I neared sixty, there was no denying I had entered a senior demographic.
When I was young, the term loosely referred to people who had retired. Social security retirement benefits today are available to people at 62.
Depending on where you live, senior citizen real estate tax breaks are available to people in their fifties. The IRS defines a senior as 65 or older.
So, it seems that once we hit our fifties, society says we’re entering senior citizen territory.
How is Being a Senior Single Different?
The key thing to remember is that several things are much different later in life than in our twenties or thirties.
- Financial circumstances. We’re heading into retirement years or are changing careers entirely.
- Many of us are parents or grandparents and our potential dates are likely to be parents, too.
- Health issues are a priority for all of us as we age.
- Age differences don’t matter like they did in our youth.
- Our life experiences are rich and varied.
Hopefully, with age comes the maturity we need to navigate the new world of dating and relationships.
Online Dating for Seniors
The second change was that online dating sites and dating apps were now an inescapable part of the singles landscape.
Online dating is a great way for seniors to meet new people and potentially find a compatible partner.
But it can be intimidating for those who are new to the world of online dating. Even though I’m tech savvy with online work, I was reluctant to try online dating. At the time I thought that dating online was risky and full of scammers.
Thankfully, I decided to try it anyway and found that I was mistaken.
It was through an online dating site that I met my partner, Daisy. We had lived across the street from each other for several years but had never met…until I went online.
Sure, we should use caution and common sense online, just as we do when meeting people in real life.
For men and women in their fifties or sixties who have never used online dating sites or dating apps, it’s natural to feel reluctance. However, with a little bit of patience and an open mind, anyone at any age can get comfortable with online dating.
I had an uncle who was active in online dating well into his eighties. He had lots of great first dates and an active, happy social life because of the local women he met online.
7 Tips to Get Started with Senior Online Dating
Here are a few senior dating tips and things to consider to ease you into the world of online dating.
1 – Take your time
One of the best things about online dating is that you can take your time and really get to know someone before you meet in person. There is no need to rush into anything, especially if you’re feeling nervous or uncertain.
Take time setting up your profile.
Familiarize yourself with the different dating sites and apps available. You may want to try out a few different platforms before you decide on one that you like.
Use the chat or messaging feature for initial contact. Then, if you feel comfortable, move to email. Then to a phone call. Then to a first date at a coffee shop.
You can set the tone and control the process in a manner and speed that works perfectly for you.
An added bonus to meeting online is that it’s much cheaper than having to go on tons of in-person dates.
2 – Be honest
It’s important to be honest in your profile, both about who you are and what you’re looking for. This will attract the right kind of matches and avoid any misunderstandings or disappointments later on. Be upfront about your age, interests, and lifestyle, and don’t be afraid to share a little bit about your personality and what makes you unique.
3 – Keep an open mind
Online dating is a fantastic way to meet new people, but it’s important to keep an open mind and not get too hung up on finding “the one.”
The whole concept that there is but one person on earth who is your soulmate is a ridiculous Hollywood fantasy. There could be thousands of compatible partners in a large metropolitan area, and hundreds in smaller regions.
Be open to chatting with and getting to know a variety of different people, and don’t be afraid to have fun and enjoy the experience. Remember that online dating is just one way to meet people – you can also meet new seniors through hobbies, activities, or social events.
4 – Stay safe
Of course, it’s important to stay safe when using online dating sites or dating apps, especially as a senior.
Use strong, unique passwords for your dating profile log in. It’s also wise to use a separate email address dedicated to online dating.
Don’t share personally identifiable information with new people you meet online. This includes personal social profiles, phone numbers, addresses or business emails. You can share information later as you get to know the person. Following the dating sites guidelines and using common sense will keep you safe.
Always meet in a public place for the first few dates. It’s also a good idea to let a trusted friend or family member know where you’re going and who you’re meeting.
5 – Set your age preferences in your profile
All the dating sites allow you to set your desired age range in a partner. Be sure to set this according to what you truly want.
The most popular dating site with our readers is eHarmony. In addition to setting an age range, their qualifying questions help you get appropriate matches by comparing dozens of other points of compatibility. (Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. We might get paid a small commission if you sign up but it never changes what you pay. And most sites let you register for free.)
Also, there are several dating sites and apps that are specifically designed for seniors, which can be a great option if you’re feeling intimidated by the more general dating platforms.
These sites and apps often have features that are specifically tailored to the needs and interests of seniors. Some seniors might feel more at home there.
A few popular sites devoted to senior dating include the following.
SeniorMatch is strictly for people over fifty. They don’t allow anyone under the age of forty. So if you’re looking for a fellow mature single, this site is good to work with.
SilverSingles is another dating site for singles over fifty in the US.
AgeMatch is for people who want to date someone either older or younger than they are. So, if you’re a senior who prefers a significant difference in age, this could be a good site.
6 – Get comfortable with technology
Some seniors who are new to online dating and dating apps may feel overwhelmed by all the technology involved. However, it’s important to remember that most dating sites and apps are designed to be easy to use, even for those who are not tech-savvy.
If you feel uncertain about how to use a particular feature or navigate the site, don’t be afraid to reach out to customer service. Or ask a friend or family member for help.
7 – Don’t be put off by other’s negative comments
Sure, ask your friends about their experience with online dating. But don’t be put off by negative comments.
Dating sites and apps are merely tools to help us in our search for compatible dates. People with negative experiences may simply be using these online dating tools the wrong way. Or they may have unrealistic expectations.
What Next on Your Senior Dating Adventure?
Overall, online dating is an effective way for seniors to meet new people and potentially find a relationship. With a little bit of patience and an open mind, anyone at any age can get comfortable with online dating.
Start with two or three dating apps or dating sites to get a feel for them, and to find the ones that work best for you. You can use our list of senior dating resources to get started.
Just be sure to stay safe, be honest, and most importantly, remember to have fun and enjoy the experience!
Leave a Reply