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.

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.