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By Tom Blake
For single seniors seeking a mate, online dating is almost their only dating option during these stay-at-home times. Over the past couple of months, I have received many questions from singles asking what dating sites would be best for them.
Take Sheri, for example. She said: “I lost my husband three years ago and tried Match.com. There were a lot of scammers on the site, and most men lied about their age. Can you recommend a senior dating site that is better than the others?”
And Judy emailed: “I’m a financially secure gal who cannot find local men to date. I joined Match.com, only to have Match notify me that four of the men they sent me were frauds.
“What on Earth? Where can I meet a nice man online? At my age, I don’t want to drive two hours, which is how far away some of the men live, who’ve been recommended by sites.”
I asked my eNewsletter readers to share their experiences and recommendations for online dating.
Bruce wrote: “I met my wife on eHarmony, a very professional and reliable site, but it does cost money to join. I would recommend eHarmony; it’s not just a hook-up type of site.”
Jeanne said: “I went on OurTime in 2015, seeking men in their late 60s or early 70s. I dated several nice men, one of whom has become my live-in partner.
“A person needs a lot of patience to go through the online process of looking, responding and meeting! So many men post old or blurry pictures of themselves. But online dating can be worth the hassle.
“I was happy living on my own, but since I am not a bar person and not much of a churchgoer, I realized I had to do what I term the big cocktail party in the cloud, because my chance of meeting single men was limited. It’s nice to be in social-distancing-mode with a significant other!”
Harvey shared: “I’m 73, looking for a college-educated woman, 65-75, to be my life partner from here to the end. I use Zoosk and have been quite pleased with the women I’ve met there. OurTime also has been good. I also checked out Elite Singles and Match, neither of which worked for me.”
Art said: “I have been on and off POF (Plenty of Fish) for 12 years, and back on since March. I am searching for a woman in her 70s, living within a half-hour drive of my house. I am talking with six women and plan to meet them for lunch when this quarantine is over.”
Thyrza stated: “Although this pandemic has limited the options of finding love, there are many dating websites from which to choose. While hibernating at home, a person has more time to browse those sites.
“My guy friend suggested that women should go to those websites with no expectations of meeting Mr. Right; rather, to look at it as entertainment, especially during this time.
“I did not expect much from online dating. I say give it your best shot, enjoy the process, and you may just find that someone. I did.”
Carol emailed: “I’m an active 77. I’ve tried many dating sites, including paying for a three-day trial with SilverSingles, a Germany-based company. Many men are not within realistic driving locations. The three-day trial did not warrant paying for a full membership.
“Plenty of Fish, and OKCupid are free sites. Many want personal information immediately, like your phone number, or email address, so they can ‘chat.’
“I don’t care how many compatibility tests they give you. Those tests don’t guarantee that a person hasn’t made up answers, or would be a compatible partner.”
My suggestions to senior singles: Prior to spending money to join an online dating site, check and compare several sites. Do research. Read the reviews. Check costs. Do they focus on seniors? I read Zoosk is for younger people, not seniors. There are scammers on every site, not just on Match.com, so trust your instincts. Be very careful. POF and OKCupid are free sites.
There are companies such as Online4.love.com, which evaluate and compare online dating sites. While that company’s information seems helpful, keep in mind that it and similar sites make money when people click on links from them to the specific dating sites.
Good luck with online dating.
Tom Blake is a retired Dana Point business owner and resident who has authored books on middle-aged dating. See his website at findingloveafter50.com. To comment: email@example.com