The Brave New World Of Senior Dating

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If you think online dating is the domain of the young, think again.

IBISWorld and the U.S. Census Bureau estimate that approximately 37% of men and women over 50 are unmarried. With so many people entering their later years unattached, and more and more older Americans becoming comfortable using the Internet, turning to cyberspace has become an increasingly popular option for senior singles.

The percentage of over-55s logging on for love has increased 39% in the last 3 years according to Experian Hitwise, a leading Internet research firm. Singles in the 55+ age bracket are now visiting dating sites more than any other age group, with the #2 spot currently being occupied by singles aged 45-54.

Online dating has proved to be a major advantage for many older singles. Niche dating sites like SilverSingles and SeniorPeopleMeet go above and beyond the offerings of other dating sites by helping members navigate the brave new world of senior dating. Some stress the importance of safety when dating online, some offer tutorials on creating an online dating profile, and others post articles with tips for those who have taken an extended leave of absence from the dating game.

Their work has paid off - some experts even believe that online dating has more potential for older singles than younger singles, citing their superior knowledge of what they're looking for in a partner as the primary source of their success. Younger singles are often focused on marriage and children while older singles, many of whom have been married before and have learned from the mistakes of past relationships, take a more logical approach to dating that focuses on shared interests and long-term compatibility.

For silver surfers looking to get back into the dating game, love gurus offer the following advice:

  • Take as much time as you need to recover from a previous relationship, but don't feel that there is a predetermined mourning period that must be observed following a divorce or breakup. Move on whenever you feel ready to explore something new.

  • Reflect on what you've learned from your relationships so far. What went wrong? What went right? What do you want? What don't you want? What knowledge can you take into your next relationship that will make it the best one yet?

  • Look to the future and think positively. Don't dwell on the past or get caught up in the quicksand of negativity.

  • Make the first move. Finding a match online requires a proactive plan of attack, not a passive approach. Don't wait to get lucky - make love come to you.