Maybe you're fresh onto the dating scene after a divorce, or you've achieved your career goals and are ready to start a new chapter with someone special. Whatever your circumstances are, jumping into the world of online dating when you're over 50 can be daunting.
It's no secret that dating in your 20s is a whole different ballgame to over 50s dating. In your 20s, you're typically carefree - casual dating and not concerned about finding "the one." You're also more likely to meet people organically - perhaps through friends of friends or at a bar on a Saturday night. But as you get older and your social circle starts to shrink, it becomes harder to find senior singles and create relationships. That's where joining a dating app or using an online dating site comes in.
There are a number of free dating sites specifically geared towards older singles, each offering a different take on the dating experience. There are literally hundreds of sites and apps to choose from, and if you're a busy person, it can be hard to decide which one will suit your needs. So which one should you choose? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Here are the 5 best free dating apps and online dating services for the over 50s.
The 5 best dating websites for the over-50s
1. Lumen Lumen is the first app specifically designed for those over 50. It's an inclusive community for mature singles of all sexual orientations that celebrates age with a difference. With Lumen, there's no need to worry about being ghosted or catfished; all profiles on the app are verified and users can message one another without judgement or fear. Lumen also has a strict code of conduct and quality control; every user is verified through Facebook or LinkedIn and your dating profile must include 3 photos and a bio. You can also see how many times you've crossed paths with another person on this dating app, which is a fun way of meeting someone new.
2. OurTime OurTime is similar to Lumen in that it's a dating platform designed for people over 50, and has a verification process to ensure that all profiles are real. Unlike Lumen, however, OurTime has more of a focus on long-term relationships and marriage-minded singles. It even has a personality test called the "Affinity Questionnaire" that matches users based on their likes and dislikes, making it easy to meet like-minded singles. With over 10 million members worldwide and 3 million messages sent every day, this is a great dating site to meet potential partners!
3. SilverSingles SilverSingles is another mature dating site for those who are looking for a serious relationship. Most of its members are aged 50+ so you can find potential matches in the same age group. It also has a handy "Matches Near Me" feature that uses GPS technology to connect you with people in your vicinity so you never have to travel too far to meet a prospective partner!
4. eHarmony eHarmony is our top pick for mature women and men who are looking for meaningful connections and serious relationships. It has a lot of success stories and is responsible for 4% of marriages in the US (yes, really!). The site only sends between 3 and 7 matches per day so you're not overwhelmed by choice; instead, you can spend time getting to know each person in depth. Plus, every profile on eHarmony is verified by an expert team member so you can be sure that everyone on the dating site is genuinely looking for love!
5. Tinder Yes, Tinder is mostly used by 20-somethings but there's no reason why older people can't give it a go! Even though it's not exclusively for seniors, there are certainly plenty of older users on the app; just set your preferred age range when signing up and swiping left or right should come naturally! This is the best dating app to use if you're looking to date younger men and women.
Why are baby boomers getting more STIs?
More and more people are finding love online, but with this comes the risk of exposure to sexually transmitted infections. A recent study by the University of Bristol has shown that cases of gonorrhoea have increased significantly in older women and men who use dating sites and apps.
The research found that the number of cases of gonorrhoea in the over-65s has increased by more than 50% in the last five years. It also discovered that the number of new cases of gonorrhoea among people aged 45 to 64 has doubled in the same period.
The study's lead author, Dr Sarah Walsh, said that the findings were "worrying" and that they showed a "growing problem" with STIs among older people. She added that the increase in cases of gonorrhoea among the over-65s was particularly concerning as this age group is not generally considered to be at risk of STIs.
So, if you're thinking of getting back into the dating game, be sure to take precautions to protect yourself from STIs. iPlaySafe makes looking after your sexual health quick and simple with home STI testing kits. Order a kit here, take your samples at home and return them to the lab in the pre-paid envelope provided. Your results will be available on the free iPlaySafe app within 2-5 days, and you can share these with a potential partner in the form of a ‘play badge’. You might feel awkward bringing up this conversation with someone new but it’s a very important part of the dating world - STIs affect people of all ages.
Best questions to ask on a first date
By now you’ve used a dating site to find matches, you've checked your sexual health, and are ready to go on your first date. What are you going to talk to them about? It’s normal to feel nervous before meeting someone new for the first time. Here are some of our favourite get-to-know-you first date questions that may be useful when you meet people for the first time:
How would you describe your personality?
What makes you happy?
Who are the most important people in your life?
Where’s your favourite place in the world?
What's your greatest professional accomplishment?
What's something you're really proud of?
What’s on your bucket list?
And there we have it, whether you're looking for a long-term relationship or simply wanting to talk with like-minded people, there are many excellent dating sites for senior singles that are completely free. Just remember to take care of your sexual health if you're planning on getting back into the dating game. Let your online dating journey begin!