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Singles over 50 often find it’s difficult to meet people their own age, especially for dating purposes. Many midlife singles are still seeking dates and lifelong partners, but the tactics are different than when they were in their 20s and 30s.
As a senior dater, knowing where to go isn’t always enough. It’s also about having somewhat of a plan — you need to know what to do after saying “Hello” so you don’t waste your time or money.
Here’s a list of five ways to meet singles over 50 and start building relationships.
If you’re serious about meeting someone special, you have to use dating sites and apps. Online dating offers you all the advantages of the bars and clubs but without actually having to go to a bar or club.
Plus, a senior-friendly dating site can put you directly in touch with suitable partners and dates. Actually, there are quite a number of sites specifically catering to 50+ singles. Here are a few of our favorites:
Friends, Dates, and Relationships
Browse by zip, age, appearance, more
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Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships
Match System: Browse by zip, age, appearance, more
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Match is the leader in senior dating — it’s been around since 1995, it’s free to try, and it’s lead to more dates, relationships, and marriages of any other dating sites. Not only can you filter profiles by age, but you can also filter profiles by lifestyle, appearance, location, sexual orientation, religion, and so much more.
Search, Receive Partner Suggestions
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Relationships: Serious Relationships
Match System: Search, Receive Partner Suggestions
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EliteSingles is a fantastic choice for senior singles who value education and intelligence. More than 80% of its members have earned at least a bachelor’s degree. In addition, basically 100% of EliteSingles members are looking for a long-term romantic partnership.
Relationships: Friendship, Casual Dates, Serious Relationships
Match System: Search by age, location, height, education, ethnicity, and religion
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|User Base||Gender Ratio||Popularity (Visits/Mo.)||
|Mature Singles (50+)*||
|800,000*||Sign up for FREE|
SilverSingles was made by the same company that brought you EliteSingles — but they specifically targeted the over-50 crowd with easy-to-use features and personalized matchmaking.
Love may not happen as soon as you create a dating profile, but it’s a step in the right direction. Remember to stay active and refresh your profile every few months so you appear at the top of search results. You’ll have to be patient and persistent when online dating because there are no guarantees — you may attract your future spouse in a weekend, or it could take a year.
Keep an open mind. You may find that you’re attracted to different types of people than you were in your 20s and 30s, and that’s perfectly natural because you’re in a different phase of life. Fortunately, the online dating scene is diverse enough that you can explore many different crushes without making a commitment to anyone.
Yes, it’s the tried-and-true, meet-singles-at-the-gym tactic, but I’ve put a twist on it. As a mature single, your work hours may no longer be exclusively 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., so you have the advantage to work out at all different times to meet a variety of new people. Don’t just work out at the gym right by your office or home. Join a gym with different locations and vary where you go over the course of the week.
Yoga and Pilates are great options for senior singles. I also love SilverSneakers’ programs. With over 130,000 locations all across the U.S., SilverSingles combines wellness and socializing. Senior singles are much more likely to date people with whom they’re already acquainted or are at least friends with. By meeting at the gym via SilverSneakers, you already have some conversation starters. Plus, you can use SilverSneakers’ app to learn where other users are working out.
As I said at the beginning of the article, come prepared with a plan for how to build rapport friends with someone at class. If you want to continue the conversation with someone, you can suggest grabbing coffee nearby. Or maybe you can make friends with your fellow classmates and ask them for dating advice: “I’m finding it challenging to meet quality dates my own age. Tell me how you’re doing it. Come on. I’ll buy you a cup of coffee.”
If you’re over 50, the groups on Meetup.com are often labeled as Midlife Activity Groups. What the organizers are aiming for is more of a social community without putting pressure on attendees. Join a few different activity groups until you find groups that you enjoy and that have nice people in them.
Start off small. Pick one of the shorter, low-cost, no-host events like Taco Tuesdays. Who doesn’t love tacos? You may not meet “The One” that evening, but that’s OK. Make use of your time by aiming to make new friends, not just getting a date. Chat up everyone who’s there. Add your photos to the group online to catch the eye of members who didn’t attend that evening. Maybe they’ll attend a future event where you’ll meet. Get active and be seen at the sessions, and you’re more likely to make new friends and meet potential dates.
I also suggest taking a look at Toastmasters and other business groups as well as local Facebook groups. They attract a varied age group, some of whom are mature professionals.
Seek out classes and workshops in the adult education and enrichment divisions of your local community colleges, county school district, parks and recreation departments, and programs like the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. OLLI has locations across the U.S. and sponsors classes targeting the 60+ crowd. In additions, OLLI offers special activity groups, including bridge, poker, gardening, sports, scrabble, and socials. The choices vary every quarter.
Community colleges often feature a course category specifically for older adults. Check your area. Be sure you receive a course catalog to see if any courses catch your eye so you can broaden your reach. Some counties have two or three community colleges. Check all of their listings and mix up what you attend. Here’s what I’ve seen when doing some research:
Choose classes with a short-term commitment to maximize your chances to meet new people more often. Small classes that run for eight weeks may use up your resources without ever yielding a new friend, let alone a potential date. And, of course, always come equipped with a plan to deepen the connection with someone and weave them into your social circle.
Dancing is a great way to meet people. The clincher is finding the right dance class for you. Sure, we’ve all seen ads around for ballroom dance lessons. However, you should know ahead of time that these classes are often mostly made up of couples, they often last six weeks, and they often cover six different dance styles. Make sure you do your homework before showing up in your dance shoes.
Look in your mailbox for catalogs featuring local adult enrichment classes. Many of these dance classes are held in the evenings and on the weekends at a local high school, middle school, or community center.
The best bang for your time and buck are social venues. The different styles of dance draw different crowds. Salsa and Contra typically attract people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, and often you don’t have to have a dance partner to participate. When you’re learning how to salsa, you’ll usually rotate partners the whole evening, while Contra offers the advantage of a low-commitment threshold.
Instead of signing up for a class for nine months, my recommendation is to attend a one-time dance class and see how it goes. Check online because each class will have specific protocols.
In addition, many of the classes include snacks. Bring a little something with you to share, and it’ll present you with the opportunity to chitchat with the other people there. Aim to make new friends, not just get a date.
Seniors can have it tough in the dating scene, but they can always turn their luck around by getting out into the world and mingling with folks their age.
By combining a number of these five tactics, you’re sure to find great dates and develop a terrific social life. Don’t forget that the more you extend your circle of friends, the better your chances of finding someone you like. Also many senior couples have met via online dating (my partner and I are one of them!), so give it a shot. Good luck!