Dating is always hard, but it can be especially difficult as you get older. It can be tricky to know how to enter the dating scene if you’ve been away from it for a while, and you might be a bit wearier of heartbreak then you once were.
When it comes to the how of meeting people, apps and dating sites exist for just that reason. While they’re not for everyone, they’re certainly worth a try if you’re interested in cutting out the need for cheesy bar pickup lines. Considerable took a look at some of the top options for singles over 50, including some personal stories.
1. Silver Singles
Silver Singles is an exclusively 50+ site that focuses on long-term relationships, and features an easy-to-use, appealing site and app. The ratio is about 59% women to 41% men. Users do have to pay to get the full range of matching benefits, but the upside of that is knowing that you’ll find people who are serious about their pursuit.
Bumble isn’t only aimed at older users, but the app’s focus on letting women take the initiative might have its own appeal.
“I’ve met a few good guys but not my guy,” online dater Angela told Considerable. “I liked Bumble’s settings where they let the women make the first contact. My experiences [on sites overall] weren’t ideal, but I have great stories now.”
Bumble’s free version is very strong, and one of its appealing features is that women make the first move in heterosexual pairings, shifting traditional dynamics in a way that might be especially novel for older singles.
eHarmony was one of the first dating sites and boasts one of the most in-depth profiles. The site’s 29 Dimensions Personality Assessment asks 150 questions about a person’s likes, dislikes, hobbies, dealbreakers, and goals. For those who want to make sure they’ve gotten as much information out there as possible, eHarmony is an excellent choice.
Note: eHarmony is exclusively for heterosexual couples, so those looking for a same-sex relationship should venture elsewhere. (After a discrimination lawsuit in 2015, eHarmony launched a separate site for LGBT singles called Compatible Partners.)
4. Elite Singles
Another site geared exclusively toward the 50+ crowd, Elite Singles markets itself as the go-to for singles with high standards in terms of education and income. If you’re a picky dater, there’s no shame — sites like Elite are where you can go to hopefully find the person to fill the rest of your days alongside.
As you can probably determine from the name, SeniorMatch is another site exclusive to older singles. This site, like a few of the others, also encourages seniors to find non-romantic partners for friendships and activities. It’s easy to connect the site to your Facebook account, so signup is easy.
Not for everyone
It’s also important to remember that dating sites and apps work well for some people, and don’t quite foster that long-term, deep connection for everyone. If you’re feeling frustrated by your lack of perfect matches, know that you’re not alone!
Leah, who tried both Our Time and Match, told Considerable about her less than perfect matches. “Either I was shy and reluctant or the men were,” she said. “Got a lot of ‘I’m very new at this!’ from the men. I did like the fact that most of them were retired. (I went for the 60+!) [But] many lied about their ages, trying to be younger or older depending on who they were after!”
It’s tough out there no matter what platform you use, and there’s no exact right way to do any of it. Whether you decide to go for it or call it quits, testing the online dating waters is at least an experience many seniors can share.