Just when you thought your goal was to find someone and settle down like your parents, Match.com, the popular online dating site, announced their biggest fans are over 50 years of age. You don’t outgrow the need to have someone special in your life, and facing health, retirement, and financial concerns can be overwhelming for older singles. If you’re used to having a partner, going out alone or being a third wheel can leave you feeling lonelier than it did when you were younger.
Older singles look for different things in a partner than younger singles, which may impact how dating sites operate. Marketers have been able to identify what the older crowd is looking for and below are several of their findings:
- Romance: The need for romance never grows old. The desire for sexual intimacy increases or stays consistent throughout one’s life. The need for emotional intimacy increases with age.
- Attractiveness: 87% of those 50 to 70 believe physical attraction between partners is a must.
- Marriage: Singles 70 and up are the least likely to want to marry followed by singles in their 60’s. At 50 years of age, 20% want to marry.
The study also found older singles are happier with their family, friendships, and sex lives than any other age group. If you’re over 50 and sick of being single, online dating may be a good option. Here are four points to consider before you take the plunge:
- Safety should always come first. Tell someone the details of anyone you’re meeting with, and always have your first meet up in a public place. Be careful sharing all the details of your life with your date; remember, your name alone can be searched and your address found.
- Update your original profile from time to time. More than half of all online daters never update their original profiles. If you neglect to update, you’re stuck with the same crowd looking at your profile. Keep it fresh and new; the goal is to meet new potential daters.
- Sunday is the biggest date day! Most singles are loneliest on the weekends when they’re not distracted from work or the business of life. Sunday is the perfect day to update your profile and browse.
- Don’t waste time trying to make the wrong one right. Don’t settle for someone who makes excuses or leaves you feeling drained. You are dating again to find a person who will bring out the best you – not someone you can rescue or take care of. It’s easier to let go online.
Online dating is an opportunity to enrich your life by meeting someone who will encourage you to grow and take adventures. But, like all forms of dating, it requires you to know who you are and what you value most. You’ll need to have strong boundaries to protect important parts of your life.