With so many different platforms to choose from, finding the best dating sites for over 40 singles is just as difficult as dating itself.
As you enter this stage in your life, it’s no longer safe to assume everyone you meet is single and looking for love. That’s why online dating can be the safest way to avoid any awkward encounters when you make a move on someone who’s happily married with children.
Whether you’re newly single or just looking to revamp for dating life, dating sites and apps have something for everyone.
Why is dating so hard in your 40s?
For people over 40, finding love or even finding a date can feel like walking through a maze blindfolded. Dating in your 40s is hard because, by this age, your life is more settled, and you have a routine and a lifestyle that you’re used to.
Doing new things in your 40s doesn’t come as easily as it did in your younger years. Dating can feel like a chore, and sometimes it seems like there’s no good singles left.
But that’s not true! You are a good single and there’s plenty more like you out there if you just know where to look. (Spoiler alert: we’re going to let you know where to look.)
Plus, you’re at an age where you know who you are, you’ve made all the mistakes in love in your 20s and 30s, and now you’re ready for and capable of a more meaningful connection than ever before.
How to get started with online dating sites and apps
The best way to get started is to just get started! This is a learning curve, and the reality of online dating is that no one actually knows what they’re doing. If they did, they wouldn’t need an app!
Create a truthful profile that isn’t meant to sell yourself, but rather, reveals your authentic identity. That way, you can find someone who takes you at face value, not someone who has matched with you because you only used photos from when you were in your 20s.
If you’re worried about stranger danger, take things slow. Don’t meet up in person until you’ve had several good conversations and you feel confident that they are who they say they are. You could even set up phone or video calls first to ease in.
But, most of all, have some fun with your new love life. Explore multiple connections, try out several sites and apps, and talk to your friends and family about it. Dating is terrifying but exhilarating, and you deserve to enjoy it every step of the way.
We’ve broken down the best (and a few of the worst) dating sites and apps for people over 40, based on what kind of relationship you’re looking for.
Which dating site is best for serious relationships?
According to research, 58 percent of singles in the 45-54 years old age range are using Match.com to find love. Subscriptions on the site are not super-cheap, which probably keeps younger, less committed singles off the platform, making it easier to find something meaningful.
It takes some time to set up a profile and answer all the personality questions, which can be tedious, but it means your matches are based on more personal information rather than just random selection.
The algorithm in the site means you only see the most compatible matches, so it’s no wonder Match.com is known for its success in helping people find love.
Sign up for Match.com
Which site is best for finding fellow liberals?
OkCupid is a hugely inclusive platform that has more liberal-leaning users. With 22 gender and 12 orientation options, it’s a great service for both LGBTQ+ people and allies.
It has a similar swipe feature to Tinder, but with more comprehensive questions, you can make more informed decisions. With questions like “Do you consider yourself a feminist?” the site opens up more engaging discussions between matches about politics and social justice, which is great for people over 40 who know what they want in life and aren’t willing to compromise.
But if you consider yourself more of a conservative, or you just can’t be bothered with politics, this one may not be for you.
Sign up for OkCupid
Which site is best for finding fellow conservatives?
Once you get through the rigorous 80-question personality profile, the age-appropriate potential partners on this platform are endless. Don’t believe it? Check out the success stories from couples in older age groups who found love on the app.
This site prides itself on providing compatible matches based on your profile, so you don’t have to carry the same fears about time-wasters and players that you might see on other apps.
eHarmony is known to have more conservative clientele and, up until recently, only allowed heterosexual couples on the platform (they still only allow users to select one gender preference), so that may be something to keep in mind.
Sign up for eHarmony
Which site is best for first-time online daters?
4. Coffee Meets Bagel
If you’re over 40 and just looking to start dating but feel intimidated by online sites, this is the app for you.
As the name suggests, the app is designed to create a low-maintenance, laid-back connection that can develop into something more. You start out meeting for a coffee, but it goes well so you go get bagels together!
Every day at noon, the site curates a limited selection of matches based on the app’s unique algorithm, delivered directly to you for your choosing. This eliminates those unwanted late-night hook-up requests that strangers on the internet love, and stops you from becoming overwhelmed by endless amounts of not-so-eligible singles.
Sign up for Coffee Meets Bagel
Which site is best for casual dating that can blossom into something more?
Hinge became a popular app amongst millennials in recent years as a place to match based on looks and flirty banter without the hook-up culture found on Tinder. It’s kind of a sweet spot for people who want to date and have fun, but are also open to a long-term relationship should they find the right person.
The app is entirely free and allows you to build your profile based on a series of fun prompts and suggestions. You send and receive messages or likes based on the specific prompts from your profile, meaning the app basically gives you the conversation starter.
It’s a low-pressure way to enter the online dating game without any expectations or game-playing.
Sign up for Hinge
Which site is best for career-oriented singles?
6. Elite Singles
Dating in your 40s is different for a number of reasons, but one of those reasons may be because, at this point in life, you’ve had more of a relationship with your career than you do with another person. Luckily, there’s an app for that, too!
Elite Singles allows you to find working or retired professionals who are career-driven and ambitious. There’s a heavy preference on the site for users with a Bachelor’s degree or higher, and the site gives you the option to filter by profession.
So, if finding someone well-educated with an impressive career is important to you, this is your site. This kind of elitism does come at a price, so be prepared to pay at least $20 per month for a subscription.
Sign up for Elite Singles
Which site is best for keeping your options open?
On Bumble, women make the first move, which is great for ladies who know what they want and men who might feel a little shy when it comes to online dating. For same-sex couples, either person can send the first message.
You pick your preferred age preferences here, so you’re in charge of the age groups you see. Things move kind of fast on Bumble, which may seem intimidating, but it actually means the app is casual and fun.
There’s no long questionnaires or elaborate profiles, just photos and a quippy bio. Matches expire within 24 hours unless a message is sent, which keeps things moving. It also means you’re likely to end up with a couple of matches on the go at once, which stops you from tying yourself down too soon.
In terms of interface, the app isn’t dissimilar to Tinder, but the culture on the app is a little bit less hook-up-focused. That’s not to say it’s super-serious, either; this is definitely for people who want to have fun but may just want to have fun with one person at a time.
Sign up for Bumble
Which site is best for casual dates and hook-ups?
Tinder made online dating normal and definitely has to be given some credit for its revolutionary swiping feature. But it’s kind of fallen out of favor with many younger users since it has become more of a place for meaningless flings and one-night-stands.
However, people in the over-40 age range might be the only group for which this app is salvageable, since hook-up culture is something most leave behind in their 20s and 30s. And who am I to tell you not to have casual relationships? If that’s what you’re after, Tinder might be the perfect place for you.
The free version of the app operates with little interruption, but if you find yourself looking for unlimited swipe options, a chance to go back on someone you accidentally swiped away from, or want to see who has liked you before you like them, you can purchase one of the app’s premium tiers.
Sign up for Tinder
Which site is best for single parents?
9. Single Parent Meet
While some sites, including eHarmony, allow you to tick a box that says you’re a parent in your profile, if you’re looking for someone with a shared experience, this site might be for you.
There’s an understanding between singles on this site and no one will see your family situation as “baggage.” This is a great way for parents over 40 to connect with fellow parents and maybe even grow to unite your families someday.
The site is free to join, but you’ll have to upgrade to the $14.99 per month premium plan for anything worthwhile on the platform.
Sign up for Single Parent Meet
What are the best dating sites for over 50?
A lot happens between 40 and 50, so while some of the apps on this list might have worked for you 10 years ago, you may have different requirements now.
Lumen only allows users over the age of 50, which cuts out a lot of the hassle of online dating off the bat by giving you age-appropriate matches. The app really prioritizes building meaningful connections for its 350,000 users.
Opening messages are required to be at least 50 characters long, banishing the struggle of figuring out how to respond to someone when all they’ve said is “hey.” This makes for some interest conversations and deeper bonds.
Sign up for Lumen
Which apps and sites should be avoided?
Plenty of Fish
There was a time when this was the most popular and prolific dating site, but it looks like POF hasn’t been updated since that time.
The site is filled with inactive profiles from users who are long since married or have given up on online dating. But the real problem comes from the amount of bot and scam profiles on the site.
If you’re confident in your ability to filter through these users, there is a large community of over 40s on the site, but for $20 a month, you might prefer to take your single status elsewhere.
This is an over 50s site that, though owned by Match, is far less successful than its parent site. Reviews on the Apple store slate the app’s poor design, while this internet thread is full of horror stories about people being scammed and taken advantage of by other users.
Alice Kelly is a writer and storyteller with a passion for lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics. When she’s not creating content for YourTango, you can catch her working on creative fiction and vintage shopping.