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The Dating Game

dating boomersWith a lot of boomers splitting up late in the game, online dating sites geared to an older demographic are starting to burgeon.

If you’ve never used an online dating site (and it’s safe to say most boomers have not, right up until the demise of their marriages), it must come as a shock to realize that you’re putting yourself out there in a big way.

This isn’t just telling friends and family that you’re okay with date referrals (which sounds bad enough). It’s putting your life history, your likes and dislikes, your being out there for a whole online community to see.

Unlike younger daters who may be more concerned with looks and social compatibility, boomers want to know about potential health issues, whether you’re free to travel, where you would agree to live. And some boomers aren’t searching for a mate as much as a new social network. SocialOne.com, for example, arranges meet-ups for dinner, kayaking, camping, skydiving, hot air ballooning and more.

Whatever you’re looking for, you’re not alone. eHarmony.com reports that people 50 and over are the fastest growing segment of their users. Match.com is seeing a similar spike in boomers, and 70% of that segment is recently divorced. Thirty percent of the users on OurTime.com say they are looking for a serious relationship. Those in the 50-64 segment were most likely seeking a long-term relationship, while those over 65 prefer companionship.

One trend that all the boomer skewed sites experience is that women in particular prefer the 50+ sites to the mainstream sites where they must compete with younger faces.

If you find yourself looking for love, you’ll have to dating boomerscome to terms with the idea that you need to put yourself out there, and these dating sites may give you the best chance to meet like-minded people. Move out of your comfort zone and rethink your definition of privacy, at least as it related to finding a match on a dating service. Other experts recommend checking out some of the profiles before you put out any money to join. Reply only to the matches that interest you and don’t hesitate to set up in-person meet-ups in a public place. It’s as safe as meeting someone at a pottery class or music recital, and why wait when you can start meeting people as soon as next weekend?

The other good news? Thanks to the size of our demographic, there are literally millions of boomers out there looking for love and companionship.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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