Older couple smiling and drinking coffee outside

Online dating isn't just an option for younger generations. Here's how to get started.

It is no surprise that as we continue to advance further and further with technology that many people are meeting others and making connections through online platforms. Outlets such as Facebook are great for fostering friendship, but what about those interested in dating?

Online dating has flourished over the past several years with site after site making a platform for singles to meet. Single seniors looking for dating sites specifically for them are in luck.

Why Date Online?

Some people might ask the question, is online dating worth it? The answer to that question is something everyone should answer for themselves.

Some things to consider or things to ask yourself might be, do you have a busy lifestyle that doesn’t always allow you to make time to go out and meet new people? Are you curious about if there are people in your area that could possibly be a good match? If you are someone curious about what it might be like to meet someone online, why not try it?

Millions of people have found love online and there are more and more people meeting every day. Even if you are just looking for a new connection or friendship, dating sites and apps have been the reason for new relationships all around the world.  

Some active adults might be wondering if online dating is really for them, and the answer is yes. Anyone can participate in online dating if they feel ready to meet other single people. All you need is your computer or smartphone and you’re ready to get started.

Before You Make Your Profile

Hand holding phone showing a dating app

Here's what you need to know before setting up your online dating profile.

For seniors who have never dated online before, there are some things you should know before diving into the online dating pool.

Of course, everyone should feel that they are ready to date before they begin their online journey. Whether you are looking for a serious relationship or just hoping to meet new people, it is important to know if you are ready to date. If you have recently gotten out of a relationship or feel uncertain, take some time for yourself before setting up on an online profile.

Another element of online dating to keep in mind is safety. Online dating is fun but it is always best to put your safety above anything else, When you find someone you are interested in, it is best to be cautious.

One way to do this is to initially talk to them on your mobile phone, instead of your home phone, which may be linked to your address. It is always best to meet in a public place for a first date, like a coffee shop or restaurant are usually safe places for a blind date.

Until you get to know the person better and are confident that they are who they say they are, you shouldn’t let them drive you anywhere and be cautious of them walking you to your car.

With some of these basic safety precautions in mind, you’ll feel more secure as you continue to meet people online.

Pros & Cons

As with everything, online dating comes with ups and downs. Some active adults may be surprised to hear that there are typically more pros to online dating than cons. Often times, online dating is a way for people to meet fellow singles they might not normally have.  

Most dating sites and apps allow to set a location boundary for where you are looking for other people, which allows you to meet people as close, or as far away as you want. This lets you keep your options open and helps you to meet people outside of your immediate area.

One of the bigger cons of dating online is, of course, that the first time you speak to somehow isn’t necessarily the first time you are meeting them face to face. This may steer some people away but don’t let this be the reason you stay away from online dating.

Talking to someone online before you meet them it also a benefit in ways that you might not think of initially. By talking to several singles online, you are able to decide who is worth meeting and you may even get rid of some of that first date awkwardness as you will have likely gotten to already know the basic information about each other.

What Websites Should I Use?

Screenshot of eHarmony website

eHarmony is one of the earliest and largest dating websites. (Image via Shutterstock.com)

There are many websites available to people of all ages as well as sites that are reserved for those 50+. The amount of dating websites and apps can seem overwhelming, but once you take a closer look into what each website is working to accomplish it will be easier to decide which platform is right for you.

Dating websites and apps range from helping people form more casual relationships to helping those who are seeking something more serious. The wide range of sites caters to a large audience so all you have to ask yourself is what are you looking for? Many singles have accounts across multiple platforms, each with a different outlook on dating.

Here are some of the best dating sites for seniors.

eHarmony

eHarmony is one of the more successful online dating sites for marriage minded people. There's a free membership available to those who might just want to dip their toe in the water. It works well because of the lengthy questionnaire they ask each member to fill out.

Based on your answers, you'll be matched with people who have similar interests and goals. There is a local dating option on the site, though many people find love all around the world on eHarmony.

eHarmony is a confident matchmaking site that guarantees you will be satisfied in the first three months or they will give you another three months for free.  

Tinder

Those who want to find a more casual online dating setting should consider the free dating app, Tinder. This easy-to-use smartphone app allows people of all ages to set up a profile with pictures and a brief biography. The app allows you to set a distance of how far away you are looking to date and will show you a variety of profiles based on your distance and age limits.

You use the app by swiping right or left (yes or no) on the profiles you see. If both you and the other person have swiped right on each other’s profiles you will be matched and able to begin chatting. Tinder is great for those looking for a causal connection without the hassle of filling out quizzes.

SilverSingles

Those looking specifically for a 50+ website might consider SilverSingles. This site caters specifically to single active adults looking for love after having previously experienced marriage or a serious relationship, but the site is open to all seniors whether you have been married or not.

This site bases their matchmaking on five unique aspects of a person’s being: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

If you are looking for a website that offers matches based on specific personality traits as well as having both free and paid memberships, SilverSingles might be an ideal option for you. 

OurTime

OurTime is another site made specifically for single seniors. This site is unique in that it not only helps people find a romantic relationship, but it is also an online community for finding friendships and other connections as well.

OurTime has both a free and paid membership option and matches you with other singles based on personality traits and also lets you write a short essay for other users to read.

OurTime is also known as being easy to use and gives each user clear, concise instructions when creating their profile. Those looking for all kinds of companionship might find what they are looking for on OurTime.

Hinge

Seniors who like the idea of a dating app rather than a website but want something more serious than Tinder should consider Hinge.

This free dating app helps you find singles in a similar manner to Tinder but asks you questions when you create your profile that will later help the app to suggest profiles for you to view. The paid subscription lets you answer further questions about yourself which can help to match your profile with others better.

Hinge is ideal for people who enjoy the app format but are looking for more than a causal connection. Hinge’s motto is to get you off the app and get you out on great dates!

Match.com

Known as one of the most successful matchmaking websites, Match.com has been in business for 20 years for a reason. They have an “I met someone” guarantee which offers six months of free use if you don’t find someone within the first six months of your membership.

With over 35 million monthly users, Match has the largest database of people out of all dating websites and apps. Match is ideal for singles looking for experts who want something not as questionnaire-based as eHarmony, as it not only provides five daily matches but lets you browse profiles on your own as well.

Zoosk

Single seniors who don’t want to fill out questions and have to worry about an in-depth profile might consider Zoosk. This laidback profile creates a more casual environment for relationships and is ideal for those who are simply seeing what is out there.

Zoosk functions much like Facebook in the sense that it is a stream of profiles you scroll through, the site will show you profiles that match or have similar answers to the few questions you answer when you make your account.

Zoosk is a site that requires a membership in order for you to contact other singles.

I Found The App For Me, Now What?

Using an app on your smartphone is easier than you may think, and Tinder and Hinge are not the only online dating services compatible in an app format. In fact, eHarmony, SilverSingles, OurTime, Match, and Zoosk all have their own apps as well. Online dating can be done from the comfort of your desktop or laptop as well as the palm of your hand.

To download a dating app, simply go to the iOS or Android app store and search the name of the site you have chosen in the search bar. Usually, the first option is the verified app and once you hit download and sign in to your app store account you are done!

Simply wait for the app to finish downloading and then create your account and get dating.