We all seek love and connection. It’s a natural human trait to want to bond and share with others. Are you single and ready to mingle? Are you divorced or widowed and ready to hit the dating arena to give love another try?

But, inescapably, the question pops: Where do I start? We aren’t in our 20s anymore and meeting people may not be as easy as it once was.

Moreover, many of us have been single for a while and have learned to savor this state of being. Still a good number of us over 50 yearn for companionship and a partner to share life with – which poses its fair share of strives and perplexities.

Online dating has become a trendy and easy way to meet new people. It may sound a little complicated at first, but many great (senior) love stories have begun from an online meeting on a dating site.

Some dating sites are geared towards young people seeking first loves or short-term opportunities (they call them hook-ups nowadays). There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but chances are you want a little more stability and someone that you can relate to.

It’s important to choose dating sites that will actually have appropriate prospects for you – meaning, people in your age group.

How Do Online Dating Sites Work?

There are literally hundreds of online dating sites out there. Some are free, some are paid, and some offer both options.

When you choose the dating site of your preference, the first thing you need to do is create a profile. This includes telling a little bit – or as much – about yourself as you want and adding some photos. You will have the opportunity to state what you are seeking and enter some match preferences.

Do you prefer tall men who don’t smoke? Do you seek a sports enthusiast? Do you want to keep your options limited to your local area or broaden your horizon? You decide.

Choose photos of yourself that are current, not blurry, and that show your face and eyes well. It’s best to post photos where you are natural and that best represents you and your life.

Most dating sites have the messaging option, and this is where your potential suitors will get in touch with you. Don’t feel the need to answer every message you receive, but do look at the profiles and decide if you want to respond or not.

What Can I Expect from Dating Sites?

Online dating sites can get overwhelming, and you will need some time to get used to the interface and how it all works. When you fill out your profile well and have reasonable expectations, you can assume you will get to chat with interesting people and possibly meet a suitable partner.

How Do I Stay Safe?

We’ve all heard horror stories about men scamming women on dating sites. This is a reality that we need to consider, so it’s important to not share too much information in the beginning.

Don’t give your telephone number or any other personal information until you have had several conversations and feel like the person is genuine.

Treva Brandon Scharf is an ICF-certified life coach and dating expert and also a first-time wife at 51. She mentions that staying safe when dating online is imperative for anyone at any age, but especially for women over 50.

Midlife single women may be smarter and wiser, but they can also be more lonely and vulnerable, and prone to scams and cons. Don’t be fooled!

If a man sounds too good to be true, he probably is. Here are a few red flags to watch out for:

  • If he comes on too strong and too fast. Someone who overpromises will most certainly underdeliver.
  • If he only texts and never calls.
  • If he doesn’t make plans or fails to keep them.
  • If he asks for money.
  • If he tells you a sob story about his ill mother, family member, or even his own health.
  • If he asks for your personal information.
  • If he refuses to meet virtually via Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime.
  • If he can’t prove he lives where he says he lives.
  • If he ghosts you or shows inconsistency in communication.

Jason Lee, a dating coach and communications expert, teaches older singles to always mind three things when it comes to online dating sites: “Number one, trust your intuition. Number two, protect your personal information. And number three, when in doubt, ask for help.”

Indeed, if you find yourself wondering whether a suitor is genuine, you can reach out to the dating platform’s customer service. After all, you’re paying them a fee, and they are legally bound to help you feel protected.

Which Online Dating Sites Are Best for Older Adults?

eHarmony

eHarmony

My #1 pick for online dating sites is eHarmony. It is known to have the most genuine people looking for commitment and long-term relationships. There’s an extensive personality test that each new member takes to determine their lifestyles, goals, and traits.

eHarmony personality test

The website then matches you with potential partners according to the results of the test. I like that as you don’t have to filter through thousands and thousands of profiles before finding the right kind of suitors. eHarmony does the leg-work for you!

The free version is very restrictive, and you don’t get to see member photos or send personal messages. Having to pay a monthly fee seems to assure that the members are serious about their activity on eHarmony. And you can take advantage of their reduced monthly promotion when you sign up.

Match

match.com

Match.com is one of the oldest online dating websites out there. They have over 20 years of match-making experience. Unlike eHarmony, Match lets you scour through the several thousands of profiles and you, as well, will appear on other member’s feeds.

Match has a 6-month guarantee where if you don’t find love in the first six months, the following six months are free. Like eHarmony, the free version is very restrictive.

Senior Match

senior match

Every member on Senior Match is over 45. This makes it easier to find a suitable and age-appropriate partner. What I like about Senior Match is that it is not only a dating site but also a great place to find a travel buddy or people to do activities with.

Silver Singles

silver singles

Silver Singles is another site dedicated to the mature daters. It offers a comprehensive questionnaire upon signing up to assess your personality and lifestyle.

The site only shows you five suitable matches per day. This is a good site if you feel overwhelmed at the thought of going through thousands of profiles and don’t like fast-paced dating. This method lets you slow down and think about the potential matches being offered to you.

Our Time

our time

Our Time is exclusively a community for people over 50 who are looking not only for romance but also for travel companions, someone to do local activities with, and much more. It’s a laid-back atmosphere with no pressure.

Get out There and Mingle

Armed with useful resources and helpful tips, there is no reason why you shouldn’t get on the online dating bandwagon. Have fun and stay safe.

Do you have any questions or maybe you have some advice to share? Do you have online dating stories you want to share with our community? Funny or not so funny, we want to hear about them. Share your stories in the comments section below.

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