Whether you’re divorced, widowed, or just looking for a new companion, dating for seniors is taking off. There are more avenues than ever before that make dating after 60 fun, enjoyable, and safe. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, let’s look at some things you should know about the dating landscape for seniors and where to find that special someone.
Dating for Seniors: What to Know
Dating in retirement is more common now than ever before for multiple reasons. The first is that the dating pool is growing. According to the Pew Research Center, the divorce rate for adults 50 and older has roughly doubled since the 1990s. In addition, the share of 55-64 year-olds that are trying online dating has nearly tripled since 2013. This means that more people are looking for someone special and they’re turning to new places that they might not have tried before for senior dating advice.
Many sociologists and love experts encourage other adults to be deliberate in their searches and to not give up. Dating is complicated at any stage in life, but especially in our later years because there are new criteria and requirements. Marge Coffey, a dating therapist, even goes so far as to say that dating might be a part-time job for a few months.
Experts also suggest enlisting the assistance of someone you trust to help you find someone. Whether this means helping you take a great profile picture for your online profile or researching potential candidates at local hangout spots, a wingman or wingwoman can never hurt. Ask your friends and family if they’ve had any success dating after 60 and use their learning experiences and senior dating advice to help.
Lastly, make sure you and your potential love interest both have the same ideas of what you want. Some people might be just looking to make some new friends, some people want a long-term commitment, and some might just want to go with the flow. When it comes to dating for seniors, laying it all out on the table during the first few dates will help you find someone who’s on the same page as you are.
Where to Meet New People
Today’s dating landscape is more saturated than ever before, which is both a good and bad thing. The good part is that your chances of finding someone are higher. The bad part is that you have more people to weed out and might not be sure where to start. Here are some great places to try for those dating after 60:
A few years ago, online dating had a stigma around it, but today many people, no matter their age, are meeting their significant others online. While you might not be swiping left and right on Tinder, there are multiple sites made for senior dating. Here are a few:
- eharmony – eharmony has a whole sub-site dedicated to finding mature singles and is the go-to for people looking for a long-term commitment. According to their site, every 14 minutes, someone finds love on eharmony. If marriage is on your list, this site is the place to start.
- Match – Match is a tried-and-true site that has been helping people find love for over 20 years. It’s a pioneer in the dating industry because of its successful algorithms and number of applicants.
- EliteSingles – EliteSingles is the perfect online dating site for those older adults that want to be a little picky. 82% of the members are university graduates and the site is all about “mindful dating.”
If online dating isn’t your thing, there are plenty of places to meet new people in-person. The key to dating for seniors is putting yourself out there to meet new people. Here are a few fun places to meet someone new:
- Free concerts in your neighborhood or restaurants with live music
- At your living community
- Book club
- Church groups
- Volunteer opportunities
- Travel groups
- Hobby groups
- Classes at a local community center
- Dog parks
- Art classes
- Local grocery stores
- Singles senior vacations
- Coffee shops
Senior Dating Advice & Tips
So you’re ready to go out and mingle! Here are some tips to help you successfully date in your retirement years:
- Plan something fun to do other than going out to eat – So many dates are to a restaurant and movie. Try branching out and doing something new with someone you’re interested in. This could be as simple as taking a short hike, strolling a local farmer’s market, taking a short road trip to a nearby city, or another fun adventure.
- Keep it cheap – Many older adults are on a limited income, so they might shy away from dating because they don’t want to spend a lot of money. But some of the best dates are cheap or free! Picnics in the park, stargazing, game nights at home, and going to the beach are all fun ways to get to know someone knew. And don’t forget to use your senior discounts to get an even better deal!
- Fact-check your date – There have been way too many instances of older adults being scammed, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying your hand at dating. Just be smart with your information and don’t be afraid to do a little digging on your date. Look at their social media pages or even do a quick Google search. Never give your credit card or Social Security number to anyone. Also, trust your gut! Most people can tell when someone is genuinely interested in them and when they’re just trying to use them.
- Be open-minded – Believe it or not, seniors that are dating care less about looks and age than younger people. They also don’t use some of the crazy filters that online sites have these dates (some sites even let you filter by eye color). You should be clear about your expectations, but don’t limit yourself to a specific type of person. You never know who might cross your path unexpectedly!
- Make it about the future, not the past – One of the most common mistakes seniors make when dating is to give their date an information dump on the first meetup. Instead of talking about everything that’s happened in the past and giving your date your life story, focus on the future and what you want to accomplish. Where do you want to travel? What are some goals you have for the next year or two? What are your family members up to? Don’t spend your whole date rehashing old “could’ve”, “would’ve”, “should’ve”s.
Dating for seniors can be a little daunting, but it’s worth it if you’re looking for someone to accompany you in your retirement years. Whether you’re just looking for a little companionship or want to tie the knot and commit for life, dating after 60 can be fun, enjoyable, and the push you need to find that someone special. There are many things that we have to be thankful for as we age, and falling in love can be one of them.