Dating at any age is awkward, scary, and often, a pain. True, being in the over-60 group may mean that more people your age are already off the market — but online dating can prove that the mature dating pool isn’t dismal, even if your local one is.
It’s quite normal to feel hesitant about making the jump to online dating as a senior. Finding a dating site that feels comfortable and natural is intimidating at any age. 20- and 30-somethings have a hell of a time finding a dating app that works for them — there are almost too many options. Late baby boomers (and early Gen X-ers) have a more straightforward approach.
Youth has another disadvantage that older singles may not have considered: Many people in their twenties and thirties just aren’t ready to settle down. Developing a crush on someone is more likely to end with an awkward situationship rather than something serious. Most senior singles have been figuring this whole “love” thing out for longer than millennials have been alive. With life experience and possible previous marriages under your belt, you know the red flags and you know what you want.
EliteSingles’ senior dating blog notes that most older individuals realize that life is just too short to play games and that older people take dating much more seriously than they did 40 years ago. Who cares if this person isn’t your first (or second, or third) love? The potential for lasting love is what matters. As one person in the Reddit thread datingoverfifty suggests, if you want commitment, a site with a high barrier to entry — like eharmony, Match, or Elite Singles — could help to weed out people who aren’t about to pay a high monthly price just to mess around.
Despite the added layer of seriousness, butterflies are still in your cards. And if you want to skip the heavy, emotional stuff altogether, just say that in your bio. There are plenty of other mature singles who are looking for anything from a casual hookup partner to a traveling companion or workout buddy. Many singles in their 50s and 60s have found more success (due to the sheer number of people) on apps with heavy millennial influence, like monster swiping app Tinder and Bumble.
What should I consider when choosing a dating site?
What kind of relationship are you interested in finding? Before signing up for any dating app, consider exactly what you’re hoping to find. Do you want a companion to spend time with as you head into retirement? Do you want someone younger who can keep up with your fast-paced lifestyle? Maybe you just want something casual and exciting (no shame!). Whatever it is that you’re looking for—there’s a site for it.
Site popularity: You might be tempted to sign up for niche dating sites in order to narrow the funnel in terms of your potential matches — but the more popular the site is, the better. Sites that have lots of users mean lots of chances to match with someone you click with.
Ease of use: Most apps and websites are pretty straightforward — but certain sites are much more clear and easy to sign up for than others. Certain sites will give you a multi-step sign-up with endless questionnaires to better match you—but there are many apps and sites that skip over all that and get straight into it if you just want to browse around.
Social media integration: Dating sites with social media integration are going to be your best bet in terms of making sure you’re chatting with real people and not bots or catfish. This doesn’t mean you have to actively be on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, but many apps will use third-party social media verification to signal to other users that you are, in fact, real. There are even websites available that only match you with friends-of-friends if you’re particularly concerned on that front.
Security: Online dating can present some new risks, particularly in the form of fake accounts. You want to aim for sites that offer photo verification and the ability to block any unsavory members who might be looking for a target to take advantage of.
Budget: There are lots of free sites and apps out there — but the free version is often lacking in in-depth features and other aspects that make meeting someone easier. Consider how much you’re willing to spend per month before jumping into just any site.
So, what are the best dating sites for seniors?
Some of the websites we’ve noted down are for all ages with a senior option, and some sites are specifically for people over 50. All of the sites have free memberships, but to get the real in-depth features (like unlimited messaging or seeing photos), you’ll probably need a paid account. From easy-to-use apps to more serious-minded dating websites, here’s to finding love later in life!
Keep reading our guide below to find your personal best dating site. (Note that prices for dating apps and sites are constantly changing. We update regularly, but there might be minor price differences.)