By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
REGION – Online dating has become increasingly popular for many reasons. These websites and apps offer an online platform to those seeking companionship and serious relationships in a very user-friendly way. It also allows you to instantly connect with people you find attractive who have shared interests.
How they work
For those age fifty and over, there are many dating sites that have features that match goals, age, location, lifestyle, hobbies, education, religion and more. Some sites use personality tests to obtain a match and each has had a measure of validity to their success rate. Some of these sites are free while others have different levels of membership. While they each have many variables, their goal is simply to help the user or client make a connection, whether it be to find a casual companion or a serious, lifelong commitment.
“Online dating is an absolute asset to be marketing yourself in today’s modern dating,” said Brandon Rodriguez, owner of FinalWing.com, a Boston-based online dating service. “You can find a quality partner on many of the online dating sites/apps. Gone are the days of a stigma of finding someone online,” he asserted. “My clients have found great success using online dating, especially when our company markets them in the right way and paves the path completely.”
Some of the online dating sites that cater to the fifty and over population of singles include: Senior Match, Our Time, Silver Singles, Senior Sizzle, eHarmony, MingleZ, ChristianMingle, Hingle, Date My Age, Singles50 and more.
Some things to consider when deciding to try online dating is how easy the site is to navigate, online security, membership base, success rate and more. While some of these sites use Facebook or email, others use an app on your phone. In some instances, you can use your iPad or PC to activate your account.
Safety is of the utmost concern and there are features that some sites use where a registrant can report inappropriate behavior. In addition, there are also features that sites have used which allow you to see those who want to connect with you. Any time you feel unsafe, this should be reported immediately.
At the initial registration, some of these dating sites give the user a free trial period. After that time expires, there might be different levels of membership, with Gold usually being the highest and most interactive.
Do your research to find the best one for you
“I have used Match.com and have had several wonderful relationships develop. One lasted seven years and the most recent was last year,” said 59-year-old Sharon Tyler from Framingham. “I knew people who were using it and so I thought I would give it a try. The advice I would offer to someone trying an online dating site is to keep realistic expectations,” she explained. “A couple of dates I went on were with men who looked nothing like their photos, which were taken decades earlier.”
Online dating is not for everyone, however. “I have used online dating sites in the past with no luck at all,” said Mary O’Hagan, 58, of Bolton. “For me, it didn’t feel natural and many of the people I met were simply not who they said they were. The experience just did not feel authentic.”
Some of the online dating sites for those age fifty and above have better reputations than others. When seeking new relationships this way, it is up to you to do your own due diligence and decide which of these would be the best fit for you. Try searching the web for reviews of dating sites for people over 50 or articles about which ones are considered the best.
“There is no better way of qualifying a person who matches your lifestyle, beliefs or ideological standpoint than online dating,” said Rodriguez. “It’s like having fifty first dates in fifteen minutes without the awkwardness.”