If you’re retired and single, there’s a good chance you’re looking to find someone to share your time with. According to research from Bowling Green State University, the over 60 age group are the fastest growing demographic in online dating. Who knew?
Divorce among retirees is unfortunately on the rise: over 750,000 Canadians aged 60+ are divorced. When you add in those who have lost a partner (now widowed) and those who never married, there is an increasingly large number of single retirees out there.
For many people, though, dating again after decades of marriage can be daunting. However, according to research by UK company Saga, dating’s a lot more fun when you’re older. These Canadians know exactly the kind of person they want to spend their time with and tend to be more honest than younger daters.
But how can you meet Mr. or Mrs. right? Technology has in fact made finding potential new partners a lot easier and less stressful. Here are some of the ways to help you find that special someone to spend the rest of your life with.
Online dating: it actually works!
The reason so many retirees are turning to online dating is simply because, quite frequently, it actually works. Research commissioned by the dating site, eHarmony, discovered that a staggering 36% of Canadians have used online dating.
As many as 20% of all current, committed relationships began online. According to University of Chicago research, couples who meet online have longer, happier marriages. But why is that?
Popular dating sites
eHarmony.ca is one of the biggest dating sites in Canada. Its big selling point to singles is its compatibility system. Using an extremely long and thorough survey that is designed to match you with people you’re more likely to connect with (weeding out those people you may not be as interested in). The emphasis is on quality rather than quantity: users are presented only with compatible matches.
COSTS: Basic monthly subscription is $29.95 per month with six-month minimum commitment.
Match.com is one of the online dating pioneers, having been around since 1995. As well as giving information about yourself, you can also define your preferences for the people you’d ideally like to meet. You can upload up to 26 photos of yourself and see photos of potential matches in your area.
COSTS: US$19.99 per month for premium membership (with a six-month minimum commitment). Premium membership includes monthly boosts to your profile and notifications when your messages are read.
Dating sites aimed at Canadians 50+
While general dating sites allow you to search for people in your age range, there are many dating sites specifically for singles within a specific generation or age group. Here are details of some of them:
OurTime.com – This site is dedicated to singles 50+, focusing on the interests and dating needs of this age group.
COSTS: $15 per month for the basic plan or $17.96 per month for Best Value Plan (both with a six-month minimum commitment). The Best Value Plan has perks like message-read notifications and highlighting your profile.
SeniorMatch.com – Claims to be the number one dating site for singles 50+. It has discussion forums that allow members to share their dating stories. This could help people to get to know or connect with other singles.
COSTS: Gold membership is US$15.95 per month with a six-month minimum commitment.
SilverSingles.ca – Gives advice on safe dating, first date etiquette and how to get the most out of the site, including tips on creating a good profile. It uses personality-based matchmaking.
COSTS: Premium Classic package is $39.95 per month with a six-month minimum commitment.
Using technology to meet in the real world
For some people, the idea of going on dates can be stressful. The website MeetUp.com allows you to meet groups of people who share your interests, without the pressure of a date. It could even help you make some new friends!
There are many categories of interests, including food and drink, photography, music, film, dance, book clubs and social groups.
Many groups are open to all ages and free to join, while lots of events are free or cost just a few dollars.
Meeting people the old-fashioned way
While many people do still meet their partner or spouse through friends, this can become less likely as we get older. But if you like the idea of meeting someone by chance, in the real world – perhaps through a charming “meet cute”, there are plenty of ways to do it.
Gyms, YMCAs and recreation centres offer fitness classes that will help you to meet new people, not to mention the added bonus of helping you to get more active. Many classes attract those 50+, like tai chi, swimming, pilates and yoga.
There are also groups and clubs that cater to your specific interests like wine tasting, gardening, discussion groups, book clubs, dancing classes and choirs. If you’re looking for a club or group to join, you can simply do an internet search for your local area + your interest + ‘groups’.
Just beware the dating scammers
Unfortunately, not everyone is who they say they are – this is true for both the real and online world. It is important though, to take the proper precautions when looking for love online. There are many scammers who target people looking for romance, pretend to fall in love with them and then unfortunately take advantage of them, potentially even taking their money. In 2017 alone, Canadians lost a reported $19 million to romance scammers. One unlucky woman in Toronto lost $450,000 in an online romance scam. It is important to protect yourself so you don’t fall prey to these scammers.
To protect yourself, never give out any personal details to anyone you haven’t yet met in person, be particularly wary of anyone claiming to be temporarily abroad and never send them money. Match.com provides good tips for safe dating.
Thankfully, there are many good people out there and a lot of the people you come across will be genuine. So, put yourself out there, have fun and meet that special someone!