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Advice & More May 2014

Looking for Love Online: For the Young and the Young at Heart

By Teresa Ambord

If you do decide to give it a try, you’d be in good company. One study revealed that 45 percent of adults age 65 and up are divorced, separated, or widowed. Another study done by Bowling Green State University showed people age 60 and up are the fastest growing segment of online daters. That’s a lot of singles looking for love online.

Now that winter is gone, some people turn their thoughts to spring cleaning. Some to gardening. Others are thinking of budding new relationships. If you’re single and the idea of dating again is appealing but a little daunting, you’re not alone. Whether you’re divorced or widowed, it may have been decades since you last dated. You already know everyone at your church, your line dancing class, and in your neighborhood and so far, there aren’t any likely prospects.

Everywhere you turn there are ads for online dating sites. But, isn’t that scary? Isn’t that only for the desperate? After all, your neighbor Sylvia tried it and met some weirdo half her age who just wanted a sugar mama. Boris at church met a woman who seemed great until they met and she told him she’d been married six times and he was going to be lucky number seven.

Still… you’re toying with the idea. You’re more careful and more selective than the average person so… maybe it couldn’t hurt to look.

If you do decide to give it a try, you’d be in good company. One study revealed that 45 percent of adults age 65 and up are divorced, separated, or widowed. Another study done by Bowling Green State University showed people age 60 and up are the fastest growing segment of online daters. That’s a lot of singles looking for love online.

 

Which One to Try?

You can probably name a few of the most well advertised online dating sites. New ones are popping up all the time, some with a very narrow focus. Even AARP has jumped into the dating game by forming a dating website themselves. In its first year, they had 60,000 sign-ups.

Most sites will let you sign up for free and you can even do some window shopping. You can usually send a pre-written message so you can make contact without revealing too much. After all, these sites are there to make money so they don’t allow you the freedom to send your phone number or e-mail address unless you become a paying member.

After talking to several people who have been paying members, here are some of the upsides and downsides of various sites.

  • eHarmony. They do several free weekends a year, to give you a chance to try out the service. I’m not sure just how much contact you can have for free, but it seems to be more generous than the others. The profiles are based on answering what seems to be an endless number of questions (you can answer as many or few as you want). The pricing seems a little higher than most of the other most common sites. I personally know one couple who were matched and married, via eHarmony. So far… so good.

  • Christian Mingle (CM). CM profiles include questions such as “how often do you go to church,” and “what ministry are you involved in?” To people who put faith uppermost on their priority lists, these questions help zero in on people who think like they do. The chat room got great reviews, as a place where people can talk without obligation. One woman said she made lasting friendships with men and women through the chat room. The cost is pretty reasonable.

    One downside of CM, they ask you to specify an age range you are looking for, yet members are continually sent potential matches who are well outside the range. It made me wonder why they bothered to ask. Again, I know a couple who married after meeting through CM and they seem very compatible and happy together.

  • OurTime.com. This site, for those of us who are 50-plus, sends five matches just about every day, mostly close to your geographic area. One basic question is about religion, and another about politics. Those two areas help you quickly weed out people who you are clearly a mismatch for. If a member is reported for inappropriate behavior, the profile is quickly blocked until the matter is checked out. The cost is low, and they frequently have ½ price offers.

    Downsides of OurTime.com: The questions seems minimal, and what you can do without paying is more limited than most. The biggest objection I heard was that soon after signing up for Ourtime.com, one woman started getting messages from Match.com, with the same log-in information. That, she said, felt intrusive.

  • Match.com is pretty widely used. I personally know a woman who met her husband on Match.com and they’ve now been married about 15 happy years, and a friend of mine knows someone else who met her husband this way and is happy. The price is similar to other sites of this kind.

    Downside of Match.com, again, it connects to at least one other site and sets you up a profile without your permission. Not to say there are not other downsides, but my information on Match.com is limited.

  • Farmers Only sounded intriguing to me. In spite of the name it also unites people who have a connection to rural areas, like having grown up in the country. For people who are looking for a country lifestyle or someone to share their country values, it’s a great place to find that. The price seems lower than most.

    There is a downside. The pre-written messages you can choose from are cheesy or suggestive, not the kinds of things classy people would say. But you can avoid that by becoming a paying member and writing your own messages.

If you are interested in finding an online dating site that is more specific, just go to a browser and type in a couple of specifications.





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Teresa Ambord is a former accountant and Enrolled Agent with the IRS. Now she writes full time from her home, mostly for business, and about family when the inspiration strikes.

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