Top 5 Dating Sites for Active Older Adults

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Your next great love -- or just a fun night out -- could be a click away!

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Top 5 Dating Sites for Active Older Adults

With people living longer and America's active baby boomers reaching retirement age, more and more people are turning to online dating services to find (or replace) Mr. or Ms. Right. A quick example: Over the past two years, the number of singles older than 50 who joined one of the dating sites run by People Media -- the number one provider of targeted, online dating communities for singles seeking meaningful relationships -- skyrocketed 400 percent.

The most popular online dating sites among active older adults are the biggies like Match.com and eHarmony.com, which serve millions of people of all ages and thus have the biggest pool of potential mates. But niche sites for active older adults abound. In May 2011, Match.com operator IAC launched OurTime.com, a site dedicated to the 50-plus crowd. Culling members from all IAC's other online dating sites, it debuted with a membership of more than 1 million, making it the world's largest site for baby boomers.

Laurie Davis, founder and CEO of dating coach service eFlirt Expert, says much of her work involves helping people -- often older active adults -- figure out which dating sites to join. Davis recommends that 50-plus singles join one large, general site, such as Match.com or eHarmony, for sheer volume, plus one smaller niche site targeted to their age group.

Looking for a special friend? This first site has you covered.

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match

Matchmaking may seem like a hopelessly outdated profession, yet matchmakers are still in existence and growing in popularity. It's easy to see why, says Paul Falzone, head of the matchmaking service eLove. "Two of the biggest [negative] things that happen with online dating are people misrepresenting themselves or scamming others," says Falzone, noting the in-person nature of matchmaking largely eliminates these situations. More than 90 percent of his clients come to eLove after souring on online dating.

5: SeniorFriendFinder.com

Despite the name, you don't have to be strictly looking for friendship when using Senior Friend Finder. The site allows you to seek out others who are searching for friendship, a serious relationship or marriage, and it features members' blogs and videos. There's also a chat room and a magazine, to which you can add your own articles, plus 24/7 customer service support via phone.

The site advertises it has nearly 300,000 active members worldwide. Before you sign up, you can see a listing of the number of members in each country, state and province so you know how many potential matches are in your area, if that's a concern. Senior Friend Finder is advertised as a free dating site, and everyone who signs up has chatting and instant messaging privileges. But you can only view up to 10 profiles per day, according to DatingSitesReviews.com, and you can't see members' full photographs. Purchasing a membership (starting around $12 a month) allows you to view and contact all members and access expanded search criteria, among other benefits.

Looking for a date rather than a friend? Consider the next site on our list.

Feeling frisky? Protect yourself.

AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are on the rise among older adults. Here are some reasons why, according to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation:

  • People are living longer.
  • Erectile dysfunction products such as Viagra allow males to continue to be sexually active as they age.
  • Post-menopausal women don't have pregnancy concerns, so they might not consider using condoms to protect against STDs.
  • Medical personnel often view discussing sexual activity and safe sex with older adults as disrespectful, so they remain silent.
  • Older adults may be embarrassed to buy or use condoms.
  • When baby boomers were young and first sexually active, AIDS wasn't around, and STDs weren't discussed, so they're often unaware of just how serious STDs can be.

4: DatingForSeniors.com

A good pick for boomers looking for anything from a pen pal to a serious relationship, according to reviewer site SeniorDating.org, is 60,000-member DatingForSeniors.com. The site caters to those 45 and older, although anyone who's at least 18 can sign up. A three-day free trial period allows you to search profiles and see what other features are available. After that, it costs $19.99 a month to be a member. Membership includes features such as unlimited browsing, instant messaging, a blocking feature and the ability to see who's online.

Dating For Seniors is only for those living in the United States, and while its membership is on the smaller side, reviews on Senior Dating note the site "has grown tremendously and presents a good solid 3 star rating for excellence."

Want to cast your dating net even wider? Consider the site on the next page.

3: Match.com

Although it's a dating site for the general public, Match.com is ranked the top older adult dating site of 2011 by ConsumerRankings.com. Match.com scored big points for its wealth of available mature adults -- 2.5 million, according to Consumer Rankings. Additionally, the site's 50-65 age group is its fastest-growing demographic, posting an 89 percent increase over the last five years, according to Time.com.

With such a large number of potential matches, you're almost guaranteed to have some quality dates, says Erik Larson, head of NextAdvisor.com, a company that provides expert reviews of online services. Larson's company gave a favorable rating to Match.com because one-quarter of its members are older than 50.

The site is also rated high by members for its ease of use and practical guidance in creating a profile. Finally, Match.com is considered overall the fastest-growing dating site in the world, so if you can't find that special someone out of the 2.5-million-member pool, you can console yourself knowing there will always be a few thousand more new people joining soon.

Looking to meet someone who shares your interests? Try our next site.

Safety First

Are you ready for your first date? Pick a public spot to meet, park nearby and don't let your date walk you to your car -- or even know the car you drive. Ideally, tell a friend or relative where you're going, and check in with that person after the date is over. Until you get to know your online suitors in person and trust them, don't reveal any personal information that could put your safety at risk.

2: SeniorMatch.com

One of the top-ranked sites for boomers and older adults, according to SeniorDating.org, is 500,000-member SeniorMatch.com. The site was created to bring together single active adults who share the same interests, whether for romance or friendship. Members can post links to their blogs on the site, allowing more insight into their personalities; plus, there's an active member forum with innumerable discussion threads on everything from old-fashioned love and alternative lifestyles to pets, travel and religion. A live chat option and 24/7 phone support are helpful to those worried about navigating the site.

A free trial membership allows you to create a profile with up to 27 photos, search for others and send unlimited "winks" to members, which alert someone that you're interested. You can also exchange emails with paying members if they initiate contact. If you elect to join (memberships run about $16 to $30 a month), you can e-mail others directly and chat online, send birthday cards, view compatible matches and more.

And last but not least, check out the largest dating site in the world for the 50-plus crowd.

Older adults have plenty of options to make a love connection through online dating sites.

©iStockphoto.com/Johnny Greig

1: OurTime.com

Baby boomers can't go wrong looking for friendship or love on the new site OurTime.com, which debuted in May 2011 with more than 1 million members, making it the world's largest dating community for people age and older.

Normally, niche dating sites have fewer members, which can make it harder to find a compatible person for romance or companionship. But having more than 1 million members from the start means older adults get not only a targeted selection of potential friends and mates, but a large one, says Josh Meyers, CEO of People Media, the IAC subsidiary focused on targeted dating. The site offers various membership packages, which average less than $5 per week.

Now that you know more about the socializing and dating options available to active adults, all you have to do is get online and get out there!

Lots More Information

Related ArticlesSources
  • Bonifazi, Wendy. "Florida's Elder Population Confronts Sexually Transmitted Infections." AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Oct. 6, 2008. (May 23, 2011) http://www.aidshealth.org/news/in-the-media/floridas-elder-population.html
  • Consumer Rankings. "Top 5 Senior Dating Sites of 2011." (May 18, 2011) http://www.consumer-rankings.com/dating/seniordating
  • Davis, Laurie. Founder and CEO of date coaching service eFlirt Expert. Personal interview. May 18, 2011.
  • Falzone, Paul. CEO of eLove matchmaking company. Personal interview. May 18, 2011.
  • Goehner, Amy Lennard. "Online dating enjoying a boom among boomers." Nov. 26, 2010. (May 24, 2011) http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2033283,00.html
  • Jernigan, "Sam." Senior trying online dating services. Personal correspondence. May 16-17, 2011.
  • Jensen, Chelsea. Atomic PR rep for OurTime.com. Personal correspondence. May 17, 23-24, 2011.
  • Larson, Erik. President and founder of NextAdvisor.com, an independent reviewer of online services. Personal interview. May 19, 2011.
  • Dating Sites Reviews. "SeniorFriendFinder Review." (May 24, 2011) http://www.datingsitesreviews.com/staticpages/index.php?page=2010100000-SeniorFriendFinder&query=seniorfriendfinder
  • Dating Sites Reviews. "SeniorMatch.com Review." (May 24, 2011) http://www.datingsitesreviews.com/staticpages/index.php?page=SeniorMatch.com
  • No 1 Reviews. "Reviews of the Best Senior Dating Websites." (May 18, 2011) http://senior-dating-websites.no1reviews.com/
  • Senior Dating. "Best Senior Dating Sites of 2010." (May 18, 2011) http://www.seniordating.org/
  • Senior Dating. "DatingForSeniors.com Review." (May 25, 2011) http://www.seniordating.org/datingforseniors/