Everyone deserves love and companionship in their lives— and seniors are no exception. But meeting potential partners as an older person can be particularly tricky. Thankfully, online dating for seniors is a great way to make connections, start relationships, and add more possibilities to your life!
It’s common to have some questions before diving into the online dating scene. Whether you’re looking for yourself or helping your older loved one (parent, grandparent, etc.), we have the answers you need.
Why is online dating for seniors a good option?
With nearly half of all marriages ending in divorce, many older people may find themselves without a partner. This can also happen if they never married, or if their partner passes before them. As such, there’s a fairly large pool of available seniors looking for companionship.
Dating sites and apps are a fantastic way for seniors to connect with potential mates, with multiple benefits, including:
- Most dating sites offer screening and safety measures, so you can feel more comfortable with who you meet, especially important for those apprehensive about using online platforms.
- If you have a small social circle or hobbies that don’t allow you to meet new people, online dating helps you find local, like-minded individuals. It can be difficult making new friends when you’re older.
- You can set your own pace with online dating. Chat with others on the platform to test the waters and see how you feel. You don’t have to move too fast.
- With multiple options available (see next section), you can test multiple sites to see which one you prefer.
- You can genuinely get to know someone before meeting or going on a date, which will help you be certain they are a good fit for your personality, lifestyle, and habits.
What are the best online dating sites for seniors?
Because there are so many online dating options, it can be easy to get overwhelmed or difficult to decide which one will work for you.
To make things simpler, we’ve singled out the four top online dating sites for seniors:
- Eharmony: This is often considered the platform for serious, marriage-minded dating—and for good reason. Eharmony provides matches for you, so you never have to wade through profiles, you’ll only see strong potentials. They also focus extensively on safety, screening all applicants, and monitoring their site activities. Plus, Eharmony offers dating advice, including articles specifically for seniors. While it’s a bit on the pricey side, many consider it worth the cost for all the extra features.
- Match: With over 20 years of experience, Match is respected, trusted, and proven in the industry. The site has an incredibly large and active user base, which increases your odds of meeting someone. In fact, if you don’t “match” with someone during the first six months, they’ll give you six months for free.
- SilverSingle: This sister site to Elite Singles is specifically for those age 50+, and matches you based on an in-depth personality test. This site boasts that safety is its primary concern—even designing their intensive setup process to weed out those who aren’t serious. This is a great option for seniors who are highly selective and want a strong, personality-based connection.
- OurTime: For older people craving all kinds of connection (not just romance), OurTime is the perfect fit. While you can certainly find a partner here, it’s catered to helping seniors find all sorts of companionship. Whether you’re looking for a penpal, a close friend, or even a travel partner, OurTime can help you out.
How do you stay safe while online dating?
Online dating may seem scary, but if you follow some basic tips, it can be a safe and rewarding experience. While it might be a new frontier for older adults who’ve never met a friend or partner online, with the right preparation and knowledge, you don’t have to be worried.
For safe online dating practices, follow these general guidelines:
- Only use reputable dating sites, like the ones mentioned above.
- If you’re having trouble operating or navigating a site, ask a loved one for help. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask a family member or friend for assistance.
- Communicate through the dating site as much as possible. Don’t give out your phone number or email until you’re very comfortable with someone. (Most sites have messaging and calling functionality).
- Never send money or gift cards to someone online.
- Do not click on any odd links that someone sends you.
- Never give someone unnecessary personal or private info.
- If anything seems weird with a person or their profile, report it to the dating site immediately. Trust your instinct with anything that seems “off.”
- Before you meet in person, try a phone call or video chat so you can hear their voice or see their face. This will help you make sure you’re comfortable with the person as well as weed out any potential scams.
- You might also ask to see the person’s social media profiles before you meet.
- When meeting with someone from a dating site, always meet in a public place. Coordinate your own transportation to and from the meeting. Tell a friend or family member where you’ll be, for how long, and who you’ll be with.
- Take your cell phone with you and consider having the “find my friend” or locator app available so that your loved one can see where you are.
- Do not drink too much alcohol on the date. Don’t leave your drink unattended.
While it may seem like a lot of information to take in, it’s just a matter of being careful and taking things at a slow pace to ensure the best online dating experience possible.
Online Dating for Seniors is a Wonderful Opportunity
For older people looking to find new relationships, online dating is an amazing option. It offers you freedom, safety, and the chance to get to know someone deeply. Whether you’re looking for a casual companion or the love of your life, online dating for seniors can open new doors!