Baby boomers have more choices than ever for finding romance or just making a new friend.
Dating can be a real pain at any age. Trying to find a romantic partner in your social group can be hit or miss at best. It can be even more difficult for baby boomers who may not get out as much as a younger crowd, or who have a fixed social circle without potential matches.
Technology has an answer.
Dating app developers have taken note of the legions of older adults who want to date, and they’ve responded with sites that are just for those of a certain age. After all, older adults often have a clearer view of who they are and what they want, whether it be marriage, casual romance or a friend to share dinner with now and then. The spark of a new love interest can be just as bright at 70 as 17, and older adults are willing to use technology to help kindle the fire.
Romance Scams Aimed at Older AdultsScammers are everywhere, and older adults seeking romance may become easy prey if they’re not savvy. Women in particular need to be aware that the picture of the handsome older man in the profile photo may be a total fake, and the profile itself was invented to lure in women. Guys, this can happen to you, too, so read on.
Scammers may be overseas or in the U.S., but they all want access to your money. You may be thinking that you’re WAY too smart to fall for that baloney, but don’t be so sure. Some extremely intelligent people have been ashamed to admit that they got conned. The scammers are highly skilled at pulling at your heartstrings, making you feel loved before you’ve met. (And you never will meet). Never, ever give out bank account information or send money to ANYONE you meet online, especially that incredibly sensitive, romantic person who only wants to be with you. Following are some clues about who may be a scammer:
First, check out the profile photo. Is the person good-looking and fit? Holding a beer or glass of wine, wearing sunglasses? Scammers use stock photos of models to hook their mark. Consider limiting emails to five or so before setting up a meeting. Someone overseas doesn’t want you to know it’s impossible to meet face-to-face. And beware of someone who won’t speak at all over the phone; it could be because their English will tip you off that they didn’t grow up in the U.S. A phone conversation should serve to set up a meeting, not as an end in itself. Scammers use these talks to pry information out of you about family members, where you live, financial information and vulnerabilities.
Finally, get a last name and phone number for anyone you’ll be meeting in person and give that information to someone you trust. Check in with that person after your date to acknowledge that all is well. For more online dating tips, go to findaqualityman.com for advice from professional dating coach Lisa Copeland.
- OurTime. A dating site for people over 50, OurTime caters to those just dipping their toe in the water by making matches for pen pals, travel buddies or other companions in addition to romantic relationships. The company has a free app where you can send emails and flirts, view profiles with photos, and see just who’s been checking your profile. For more capability, try their paid service. One month is $29.96, six months runs $15 per month.
- SilverSingles. The site promotes “a fresh take on 50+ dating” with no swiping or emailing required. You’ll start by taking a one-time, extensive personality test to start your dating profile. Based on your input, SilverSingles sends you three to seven potential matches every day. You can start online chatting and set up that first date right away. There is a free version, but doling out for more options is a bit pricey at $57.95 per month for three months, $44.95 per month for a six-month commitment, and $31.95 per month for year.
- eHarmony. Although not for an older crowd specifically, eHarmony has the reputation of being the premier site for people whose end goal is a ring on their finger. At eHarmony, you’ll answer some basic questions first, then complete compatibility questions that reveal your personality. They’ll send you matches, and you can check out those profiles for free, but you’ll have to pony up some cash to communicate. Three months costs $54.95 per month, while a six month commitment runs $36.95 per month and a year goes down to $18.95 per month.
- EliteSingles. Aimed at an “educated” crowd (finishing junior high doesn’t count), EliteSingles boasts that 80% of members have a university degree. It’s fast-growing, with about 381,000 new members every month. They bill “serious online dating” based on a like-minded match to find lasting love, with an international platform in 25 countries. There is a free version, but otherwise, we’ll hope that education got you a decent salary, because it’s not cheap. You’ll pay $62.95 per month for three months, $44.95/month for a six month commitment, and $31.95 per month for a year.
- Zoosk. What if the idea of marriage is a big question in your mind? Maybe your life partner passed away and you just want companionship, or the sting of your divorce made you gun-shy around white dresses and boutonnieres. At Zoosk, you can start off with a casual relationship and keep it there or progress to something more serious. More than 35 million members of all ages are using the site’s “behavioural matchmaking” technology to find someone. Part of the reason may be the affordable price: $29.95 for a month, $19.98 per month for three months, and $12.49 per month for a year.
- SeniorMatch. “You don’t have to be alone.” The experts at match.com have built a site just for the over-50 crowd, and they’ve done a nice job. Right on the homepage they make it clear that whether you’re looking for a travel buddy, activity partner, companionship, or a dating relationship, they’ve got you covered. It also claims to be the largest dating site for baby boomers and other older adults. There’s a free version, and a paid subscription won’t cost an arm and a leg: $29.95 for a month, $19.95 for three months, $15.95 for half a year or $11.95 per month for a full year.
Volunteering for Love
Leave it to folks in progressive Austin, TX, to come up with the first dating experiment to combine philanthropy with romance. Swoovy founders Brooke Waupsh and Jeff McMahon reached out to local nonprofits to assess interest in the app. Potential partners included animal rescues, community gardens, food banks and more. They figured that people who share a common interest in doing good might have a better chance of hitting it off. It can also be easier to chat when you’re engaged in a common task than if you’re facing each other over a cup of coffee. And if the date didn’t go like you’d hoped, well, you still put in some time at community service. Everybody wins. Right now, the app is only available in Austin, but watch for it to roll out to other parts of the country.
Tips for Your First Meeting
The vast majority of dating from an online introduction goes very well. However, it’s smart to take a few precautions just in case. OurTime offers the following tips for your first dates:
- Always meet in public. Meet for the first time in a populated, public location — never in a private or remote location.
- Tell a friend. Inform a friend or family member of your plans, including when and where you're going. If you own a mobile phone, make sure you have it with you.
- Stay sober. Do not do anything that would impair your judgment and cause you to make a decision you could regret.
- Drive yourself to and from the first meeting. Just in case things don't work out, you need to be in control of your own ride — even if that means taking a taxi or Uber.
Click below for the other articles in the October 2019 Senior Spirit
Health – How Drinking Alcohol Affects Lifespan
Money – Reverse Mortgage: Should You Get One?
Lifestyle – Five Lifestyle Changes For Low Budgets
Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors