Kesiena Boom, M.S., is a sociologist and writer. She has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Manchester and a master’s degree in Gender Studies from Lund University.
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August 31, 2022
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In This Article
Getting online to find love and companionship can feel like a daunting task when you’re over 50. The dating landscape has changed a lot since you first dipped your toes into it, and it can certainly be overwhelming to get to grips with all the apps and sites out there promising connection.
However, dating sites and dating apps can actually be a great way for older people to get back into the dating game, because ultimately you’re the one in control. With dating sites, you can see exactly who you’re interested in, and you can be clear from the start about what you’re looking for.
“Though I understand the common complaints about dating apps, plenty of people have gotten around them and found true love (and quickly) on a dating app,” dating coach Andi Forness writes at mbg. “Most people choose online dating because it’s easier and less time-consuming than going all over town to a bunch of groups hoping perchance there is one interesting person there who happens to be single, attractive to you, and attracted to you.”
To make things even easier, we’ve done the work of rounding up the best dating sites for singles over 50. You got this.
How we picked
Designed for seniors
While a lot of apps that aren’t directly marketed to the senior market can still be great options for this age group, we made sure to look for apps that were made specifically for singles over 50 where possible.
Number of active users
There are hundreds of dating apps and websites, and in this saturated market, it’s important to stick to the services that actually have the number of users needed to deliver a successful product and good experience for singles actively looking.
Easy to use
All of the dating sites and apps selected have simple interfaces, so you can navigate the platform easily without having to enlist too much help from anyone else.
We took into account recommendations and reviews from experts as well as real-life users in order to make sure we only suggest the best of the best.
mbg’s picks for best dating apps for singles over 50
Best overall: eharmony
Extremely thorough matching processLess like to encounter flaky people
Expensive for those on smaller budgetsA little dated
When it comes to finding real love, eharmony means business, and therefore it is very well-suited to older daters. This is not a place where you’ll find time-wasters or people looking for casual flings. Every member has to fill out extensive questionnaires about themselves and what they’re looking for, and then eharmony does the work of vetting who you’re most compatible with. Make sure you spend a considerable amount of time answering the questions thoroughly and truthfully, as they will determine your most compatible matches.
eharmony comes recommended by certified sex therapist Heather Shannon, LCPC, CST, who notes that many of her clients have had success with it. The site also professes to have enabled two million people and counting to have found love. Impressive stats!
There are also a lot of safety features built into the site, such as the option to require a video chat before further communication can ensue and a responsive team who delete any profiles that raise suspicion. (We’ve also got a full eharmony review running through all the specs.)
eharmony is costly, ranging anywhere from $12/month to $60/month depending on your location and the plan you choose (six months, a year, or two years). While one of the more expensive options on this list, this price ensures that everyone on the site is dedicated to looking for love.
Best designed for seniors: OurTime
Designed exactly for the needs of singles over 50Cheaper than many alternativesHosts events and mixers for meeting fellow singles in person
Limited age range of potential matches
OurTime is a dating site that specifically caters to people over age 50, and it comes highly recommended by Shannon from both personal and professional experience. “I have had friends, family, and clients use it with success. My uncle met his long-term partner on OurTime, and a former client also met his partner on OurTime,” she says.
A fun perk of OurTime is that they arrange events and mixers, such as cookery classes for singles in bigger cities, so you can go and meet a few people at once to see if the spark is there. The platform is also easy to use and guides you through the set-up process.
You will need to pay for a subscription in order to message other users, so it’s not really viable to stick to the free version. If you sign up for six months, it’s only $12/month, which works out as one of the cheapest options out there–so it’s actually well suited to anyone on a budget.
Best for seniors on a budget: Silver Singles
Designed for people over 50
You can sign up even if you’re not over 50No video chatting feature
Silver Singles, like OurTime, is targeted at daters aged 50 and up. However, it’s a cheaper option than OurTime. You pay a lump sum of $25 for 12 months, $35 for six months, or $45 for three months. All the features that you need to connect properly with someone need to be paid for, but you can sign up for free at first to have a look around and decide if you want to continue to a subscription.
Silver Singles suits someone who feels most comfortable using a senior-targeted dating site and was mentioned by several of the experts that mbg reached out to as one of the most well-known sites for older daters. One review notes that it allows you to “like” specific parts of another user’s profile, which is a helpful gateway to making conversation, especially for older daters who might not be used to online dating.
Best for serious relationships: Match.com
Well establishedAllows you to effectively filter out those you’re not interested in
Free version is very limited
“Match.com is one of the more established dating sites out there and is generally regarded as a place for people to find love rather than hook-ups,” sexologist and love coach Suzannah Weiss. Match.com is suited to those who are looking for long-term love because its focus is much more weighted to the answers you fill out on your profile, rather than the instant swipe culture of apps like Tinder. Match also has handy features that allow you to only be seen and contacted by people with the characteristics you’ve noted as desirable. (Here’s our full Match.com review if you want the full breakdown.)
You have to pay to use this dating site, although you can have a week-long free trial with limited features to get a feel for the site before committing. There are different subscription plans at various price points ranging from about $16/month to $27/month.
Best for specific interests: OkCupid
Forces you to consider what’s important to youVery inclusiveFree version works well
Paid versions are pricySome say there aren’t as many active users as other apps
OkCupid is one of the most fun dating sites in my opinion. The basic conceit is that you answer a lot of questions about your interests and values, and then the all-knowing algorithm shows you how compatible you are with other users. You can also rate how important each question is to you, so that you don’t accidentally miss the love of your life due to a trivial disagreement about pineapple on pizza (for example).
OkCupid has been going for a long time and boasts a large number of users. It is also known for being queer and poly-friendly, which is great for those 50+ singles who might just be coming out or getting back into the scene.
The basic version is free and works just fine for browsing and messaging. If you’d like to unlock extra super-likes (a way of communicating interest to others), see who likes you, and other premium features, you can subscribe for $35 on a month-to-month basis or $17/month if you sign up for six months. The app also boasts a 4.1 rating on the Apple App Store, which is pretty damn good! One reviewer praises it for its “user-friendly” design and the fact that it’s “easy to use and navigate through,” which makes it a good fit for older daters who didn’t grow up online.
Best for casual dating: Tinder
Lots of usersEasy to useFree version is excellent
Can be superficialMay encounter lots of time-wasters
Tinder is actually a very viable option for daters over 50, according to Weiss. While the dating app is not specifically geared toward seniors, it’s unbeatable when it comes to sheer numbers. Everyone and their hot mom is on Tinder as the app boasts over 50 million users.
With Tinder, you simply upload a couple of photos, write a sentence or two about yourself, and start swiping through other’s profiles until you see someone you like. If you both express an interest in each other, you can match and start chatting. It’s simple, it’s effective, and it’s free. You can pay for an upgraded version to unlock extra features, but it’s not necessary by any means. The upgraded versions cost between $10 and $40 on a month by month basis, or less if you commit to a longer timeframe.
Tinder suits someone who just wants to explore what’s out there without necessarily committing to anything or anyone. However, I personally know several long-term couples who met on Tinder, and even a couple who have gotten married after meeting on the app. As Weiss puts it, Tinder is what you make of it.
Best for women seeking men: Bumble
Attractive interfaceFree version works great You won’t languish in awkward silence with matches
Not suited to women who don’t want to message firstCan lose matches if you don’t check the app daily
Bumble is a little bit unique among dating apps because it requires women to send the first message when they match with men. If you do not send a message within 24 hours, the match disappears! If two women match, then either can message first, but if neither do so within 24 hours, the match also disappears.
This feature is great for women who want to avoid men sending disrespectful opening messages, and it is an especially great change of pace for older women who may have grown up with the idea that men are expected to initiate everything in the sphere of sex and romance. Sex therapist Bat Sheva Marcus, Ph.D., says that her straight older women clients are most comfortable on Bumble thanks to the control it affords them over the process.
Bumble also has an integrated video chat feature, so you can get to know someone virtually first before meeting up in real life. This is a safety feature on two levels: firstly, it allows you to vet someone’s vibe and assess that they are the person in their photos, and secondly, it is also great for a COVID-safe date, which may be of greater concern to older daters who can fall under at-risk groups. Bumble offers paid features, but it also works just fine without subscribing.
Best for people of color: Hinge
Fresh interfaceVoice note featureCan see matches according to race for free
The “made to be deleted” tagline assumes monogamy as the goal, which excludes non-monogamous users
Hinge wins the distinction of being the best app for people of color over 50 because of its ability to filter by race for free. Some other sites offer this option, but it’s usually behind a paywall. However, Hinge offers this for all members and even includes a little prompt which explains why it might be important for people of color to not want to date white people. The race options listed include options such as Black/African descent, East Asian, Pacific Islander, and white. You can select as many or as few of them as you like, and then you’ll only be shown matches who fall under those categories.
Another good thing about Hinge for older daters is that its tagline is that it’s “Made to be deleted.” That is, most people on Hinge are there looking for something serious and are less likely to only want sex.
A fun feature with Hinge is that you can record and listen to voice notes from other users, and this might appeal to old souls who appreciate a human touch. Aditi Paul, Ph.D., a researcher who specializes in how our relationships are impacted by online dating, notes that Hinge is led by a mainly women team who have spent a lot of time listening to their user base about features they’d like to see.
Tips for using dating sites successfully.
Be patient with yourself.
“Online dating is different from the type of dating you may be used to,” says Paul. “So if you find yourself struggling to understand online dating norms, go easy on yourself. You’re learning how to navigate a completely new terrain.” If you find it hard at first, don’t give up immediately. There’s a learning curve, but sticking it out could really pay off.
People expect you to be decisive and direct. So when others ask you “What are you looking for?”, be honest. Whether you’re looking for a serious relationship, casual companionship, just looking for friends, or just sex–say it, recommends Paul.
“The more upfront you are about exactly what you’re looking for, the more success you’ll have finding matches who appreciate and accept you as you are,” Weiss adds.
Verify identity before meeting up.
After matching and messaging with someone you’re interested in, it might be tempting to head straight to meeting up. However, it’s best to organize a video chat first so you can make sure that the person matches the pictures. If the app you’re using has a video chat feature built in, then make use of that, as it’s the most secure and easy way to connect.
Don’t give out personal details or send money to anyone.
Be wary of anyone who doesn’t want to meet in person but who asks you lots of personal questions. Similarly, you should absolutely never send money to anyone you’ve connected with through a dating app. Scammers will reel you in by appealing to your best nature and heaping you with flattery. If someone starts to ask you for money, block them and report them to the app or site you’re using. They all have different mechanisms for doing this, which are usually well signposted.
Enlist a friend.
Get a trusted friend to help you select the photos you use on the app/site, and ask them to scan your profile to see if it’s a good reflection of you. An outside perspective can help your profile to really pop, and they can also be a good gut check to make sure anyone you’re chatting with seems safe to meet up with.
Dating apps aren’t just for 25-year-olds. Anyone can find love and companionship online, as long as you know what you’re looking for and have some patience. Make sure you approach online dating with curiosity, positivity, and a little bit of caution, and you’ll be racking up the dates in no time. Try a few of the different dating apps and sites listed above until you find the one that suits you best.