Most people who think about online dating, automatically assume that it is for a younger crowd. Not so says recent research.
The average age of the on-line dater is 44 years of age, which may not seem like much help for the senior but there is another statistic that does. People over the age of 60 are the fastest-growing group of online daters.
With so many seniors divorced or widowed, it’s no wonder that loneliness becomes an issue and online dating may solve some of those problems.
Dating again may seem like a huge task but online services can make it easy and safe for seniors to meet someone compatible. Here are some tips to help seniors look for love in a safe environment:
Sites like ourtime.com and AARP’s howaboutwe.com cater to the over-50 set. Both sites can be checked out for free but to use the site, a monthly fee of less than $15 is required. The AARP site encourages face-to-face meetings so for someone looking to get to know a person online first, it may not be the best option!
Mainstream sites like e-harmony.com and match.com have reputations for the “young” dater but they are very senior friendly. Both sites have more users in the “senior” age category than senior specific sites and their matching algorithms will make sure a “match” is age appropriate. They both give plenty of opportunity for online communication and the progress of the relationship is at the senior’s pace. They are both slightly more expensive at $20-25 per month.
Automatic billing is one of the biggest complaints about dating sites so make sure that the senior understands the billing arrangements. Several of the sites require a six-month commitment, possibly billing all at once, so be sure to avoid automatic re-enrolling once the initial period has ended if he or she isn’t happy with the service!
Be honest on the profile but don’t give out personal information until ready. The sites offer a private messaging service and won’t require a user to see a real email address and certainly not a phone number. Later, if the senior feels confident, more information can be shared.
If a new online relationship seems too good to be true – it might be. Unfortunately, there are scammers and seniors are a frequent target. There are often clues to a scam but these can often be overlooked by someone who is lonely. If any contact asks for money, cut it off and report the contact.
If a face-to-face meeting is desired, it should be arranged in a public place such as a coffee shop. Safety should never take a backseat to fun.
It’s always a good idea to have another eye to screen potential contacts. You don’t want to intrude on the senior’s privacy but it may be helpful to have someone who is more knowledgeable about the online world looking in.
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