Online dating can be an effective, streamlined way for seniors to meet potential partners, and many people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and above have found love online. According to one 2020 report from the Pew Research Center, around 16% of people over 50 in America have used a dating site or app, and one in 10 U.S. adults have been in a committed relationship or married someone they met online.
“Mature daters often find that online dating increases their pool of potential daters,” Carla Marie Manly, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and author of Date Smart, tells mbg. “And for those who are working from home or retired, online dating and dating apps can replace the pool of possible candidates who may have naturally been encountered in the workplace.”
She also adds that single seniors often know exactly what type of partner and relationship they’re looking for, and dating apps can help easily filter out partners who aren’t a fit and funnel in more well-suited candidates.
The biggest barrier to online dating as a senior is often simply getting used to the technology and the digital culture around dating apps and sites. “Not being digital natives, many mature daters are wary of online dating and dating apps simply because they are not comfortable with engaging with people they’ve not met organically,” Manly adds. While it’s a fair concern, it’s helpful to remember that dating sites are just the connection point—once you exchange a few messages, you’re encouraged to move to meeting up in real life to get that organic get-to-know-you process.
And if the tech itself is a pain point, Manly recommends asking a tech-savvy friend or your adult kids to help you choose a site, set up your profile, and sort through candidates. “Once the fear factor is reduced, many mature daters find that they actually find the process achievable—if not enjoyable.”
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