As we get older, online dating can become something we feel is best left to the younger generations. But evidence shows that the over-60s are increasingly finding the love, like-minded partner or companionship they’re looking for on dating sites.
Knowing where to start with senior dating is extremely important, especially for those who have recently gotten out of a long-term marriage or relationship.
Release from Office for National Statistics on the marriage rate in England and Wales revealed that in 2019 the 60-64 age group was one of only two to show an increase. Takeaway message? Britain’s baby boomers still feel very much loved.
Senior Dating: The #1 Advantage
The good news: Online dating can be easier when you’re older than when you’re in your twenties. In the later years of life, we tend to have a stronger sense of our identity and interests, and with a history of past relationships to draw on, we know exactly what we want in a potential partner.
If you’re a mature person looking for love, you have more choices than ever when it comes to how and where to meet people. For dating inspiration, read on.
Tip 1: Meeting people online
Now that we shop, bank and work online, it only makes sense that we also use the internet to find love. Once the exception rather than the rule, senior dating sites are far more likely to be used by those dating older women or men.
Online dating puts the power in your hands. With so many singles to ‘browse’, you’re free to choose who to contact – and who to ignore. Some services, like Tinder, are completely free to use, require only a few login details, and focus on location and looks. Others require a subscription and ask for a little more information about yourself to help you customize your search; for example, a site like eHarmony will ask you to fill out a questionnaire designed to assess your compatibility with other users.
Whichever site you choose, there are some golden rules to follow, especially for those who haven’t dated in a while and may be less confident. These include being careful about the information you post online (due to online scams), always meeting in a safe and public place, making sure the site is completely trustworthy before you pay for anything (most usually offer a free trial at first), and . most importantly, take your time.
Tip 2: Choosing the right place
While some sites like Saga Dating and Mature Love are aimed specifically at older singles, dating sites can also focus on people’s specific interests. If you are looking for a like-minded soul, say one who shares your views on politics and world affairs, your best bet is a newspaper site such as Telegraph dates. Although this service is not specifically geared towards older people, it tends to attract an older user base.
For seniors looking for even more specific qualities in a potential partner, there are niche services like Christian Connection (for people of the Christian faith) and Muddy Matches (for people who live in the countryside and love it).
Once you’ve chosen the right site, you’ll want to create a profile that truly reflects your interests, personality, and worldview. Try not to list specific characteristics or physical characteristics that interest you; rather, talk about the kind of person you are and give the reader an idea of what kind of person might complement the way you live. Be open to replying to messages and sending your own, and don’t be afraid to follow up with an actual date.
Finally, whatever you do, make sure your dating profile photos are up to date.
Hint 3: Senior Search Agency
If you’ve tried online dating and it hasn’t worked out, try signing up with a matchmaking agency. In the UK, Mutual Attraction, Drawing Down the Moon and Avenues Dating are popular agencies that cater specifically to the older generation.
With a matchmaking agency, there is no need to create an online profile or upload photos to the site. Instead, make an appointment to speak with an experienced professional matchmaker who will ask you about your interests, hobbies, experience and – most importantly – what you’re looking for in a love interest. They will then match you with a compatible person and organize that important first date.
A key advantage of this more traditional dating agency is that you don’t have to invest your time beyond the first meeting. Online dating requires you to spend a good chunk of your week scrolling through profiles and politely chatting with potential dates. Hookup is also a better alternative to online dating if you are concerned about privacy and would rather not have your personal information on the internet.
Bad side? Matchmaking services usually charge a high subscription fee – and they’re still no guarantee that you’ll meet that perfect person.
Tip 4: Take a break
What do the holidays put us in the mood for love? Maybe the sun, the scenery, or the complimentary cocktails. Whatever the reason, a wonderful getaway can provide the perfect setting to start a romance. What’s more, vacationing as a single senior gives you the chance to dictate your own travel itinerary and tick off all those experiences you’ve always dreamed of.
If there’s a part of the world you’ve always wanted to visit but never had the chance, why not book it? If you can get a few friends to join in, that’s great – but don’t rule out traveling alone, especially if you book your trip with a provider like Saga, which specializes in senior travel. Traveling alone can seem a little intimidating, but it’s one of the best ways to meet new people.
Tip 5: Join a club or activity group
Not keen on the idea of online dating or matchmaking services? WIthout problems. You can still introduce yourself and meet new people by taking up a hobby or group activity. Not only is it a fantastic way to make friends and meet potential new love, it’s also a good way to stay busy, active and engaged in later life and beyond retirement.
Join a book club and you’ll stimulate your gray matter, fill your bookshelves and meet like-minded people. Take a cooking class and wow your family and friends with your delicious new creations – and maybe flirt a little while you learn how to flambé. Other activities that are well suited for seniors include arts and crafts, educational classes or lectures on a specific language or historical period, singing in a choir, and joining a film or theater club that organizes regular field trips.
Tip 6: Enjoy
Any last advice for dating as a senior? Enjoy the experience, have fun and don’t feel pressured to settle down quickly or second guess where the relationship is going. Casual dating in your fifties and sixties (and beyond) can be a huge boost to your self-esteem and a great way to enjoy a healthy sex life outside of a long-term relationship.
If you have an active social life that includes hobbies, travel, and time with friends and family, dating can easily be the icing on the cake.
If you are single and interested in meeting like-minded people, join Telegraph dates. With over 220,000 like-minded single people, Telegraph Dating is the best place to find romance.