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Dating Over 50 – Starting a New Chapter

by eharmony Editorial Team February 19, 2024

Embarking on the dating journey over 50? Fantastic! Whether you’ve recently experienced change or are still seeking that special someone, there are endless opportunities for finding love. In our guide, we address the common challenges of singles over 50, cultural shifts in dating, and offer tips to make your experience fulfilling. Explore the benefits of online dating over 50 and why you should use eharmony, where online dating meets authenticity and lasting connections. Ready to open your life to love and new possibilities?

Facts & tips: discover the joy of dating over 50

The emotions and processes of dating over 50 don’t differ significantly from dating young. When you’re younger, you’re less sure of what you want and tend to pursue love more actively. Fewer obligations and more socializing just make dating easier and is the big difference to online dating over 50.

eharmony relationship expert Dr. Lalitaa Suglani explains why dating over 50 feels different

We also asked one of our eharmony relationship experts Dr. Lalitaa Suglani why dating over 50 feels much more challenging compared to dating when you were younger:

“Dating over 50 presents distinct challenges and opportunities shaped by life experience and shifting priorities. With greater emotional maturity and established identities, older daters tend to prioritize authenticity and stability. Dating over 50 can lead to people seeking companionship, personal growth, and connections with peers. Considerations such as family dynamics, health, and technology usage play significant roles in their dating experiences.”

The challenges can be broken down into three categories.

1. Getting in the right mindset

For people dating over 50, a common hang-up is feeling like there’s something wrong if we don’t find love in our youth or lose it later. 

Over 30% of Americans are single over 50 but just 43% of those are interested in dating – according to the Pew Research Center1. Even though it’s more common than being single in your 30s and perfectly normal, many singles shift their priorities elsewhere.

2. Getting into dating over 50 culture

While some may consciously put the brakes on their search for love, it never stops exciting us. A study found that love at any age still stimulates the same brain areas with the same level of intensity.2

How we date may change though. Singles over 50 tend to be more picky about their partners as they don’t feel the same pressure they once did to find someone.

They also often have different relationship goals, often seeking genuine emotional connection over singles that fit their checklist of an ideal life partner.

3. Putting in the effort

Reduced sex drive shouldn’t discourage you. While you may not date as actively, dating over 50 tends to be more purposeful. A 2021 study found that the most attractive traits in daters this age were compassion and being fun-loving.3

This means you should try to make the most of dates by being more present and enjoying them as experiences rather than trying to arrive at a certain destination. 

Getting a better idea of singles over 50

Many singles find getting started to be the hardest part. Whether you’re looking for something casual or long-term, online dating over 50 has become increasingly popular. Almost a quarter of senior singles have used a service, a figure that doubled in 2022 since Pew Center last collected this data in 2016.4

But whether it’s online or in line at a coffee shop, finding success is often down to mindset. You have to consciously commit yourself to the process and have defined dating goals if only to show others you’re invested in the process. 

Besides online, you may be wondering where you can meet older singles in your daily life.

Best places to meet singles over 50

  • Socializing actively helps a lot so if local nightlife isn’t for you then try to keep an eye out for local community events, markets and festivals as these attract singles from further afield.
  • Try volunteering for something close to your heart to meet singles who reflect your societal sentiments and passions.
  • Get active by joining a hiking or local recreation group to meet other active singles in a socially relaxed atmosphere.
  • Cruises may be a cliche but it’s not undeserved. The median age of 46 on cruises5 is mainly due to the greater amount of leisure time available to retirees.

As we said before, people dating over 50 tend to have more diverse goals than younger singles. An increasing number have begun eschewing traditional dating views on cohabitation, monogamy and other relationship precepts in favor of retaining autonomy and instead focusing more on companionship, according to a National Council on Family Relations study6. This paints a portrait of a far more emotionally present and level-headed dating scene.

Using eharmony as an over 50 dating site

If you’re wondering “what is the most successful dating site over 50?” then we have some strong arguments why eharmony should be the answer of your search for a deeper connection. At eharmony, we focus on the deeper aspects of dating and shaping  our services around singles truly invested in finding something lasting and real.

With the highest quality dating pool, we are the #1 trusted dating app that helps singles to find that special someone. As one of the most well-established online dating services for the last twenty-four years, we’ve built a strong reputation with singles over 50 and those online dating with purpose. It must be working – as every 14 minutes someone on eharmony finds love.

“…the plot was written, all thanks to eharmony.”

Carla & Simon

Is eharmony good for over 50 dating?

If you’re still not sure if eharmony is the right choice under over 50 dating sites here are some of the features that have made us such a reliable name in the industry for so long.

  • The Compatibility Quiz uncovers your relationship priorities, includes values, needs and communication style. Your responses guide us in connecting you with members you’re likey to form a strong connection with.
  • Profiles at a glance are designed to give you a quick summation of the commonalities you share and how you’re compatible. Explore their full profile to get a more detailed perspective.
  • We create a safer space to put yourself out there. Our Trust & Safety team works round the clock to eliminate scammers, fake profiles and bad actors from our platforms.

Your step by step guide for dating over 50 with eharmony

1. Discover the real you

eharmony is not just another over 50 dating site – we believe love happens when you find that person who gets you. That’s why everyone starts with our Compatibility Quiz. Your answers help us find the singles over 50 you’re most likely to hit it off with.

Example eharmony compatibility quiz question

2. Complete your Profile

The key to successful online dating starts with your profile. We make this process as enjoyable as possible by having richly detailed profiles that are easy to digest. That’s why eharmony is the dating app with the highest-rated user profiles.

3. Explore singles over 50

In your Discover list, you’ll find every eharmony member who fits your search criteria. Each member you see will display a Compatibility Score based on how likely you are to hit it off. You can filter who you see based on traits you share (e.g. distance, education, age, wants to have kids etc.) – and you’ll also see what you have in common with each member.

4. It all starts with a Like

Not sure how to get the conversation started? We’ve made it easy: if something on a member’s profile catches your eye, just hit Like. Then you have the option to add a personalized message. You can hit Like on answers to profile questions, their hobbies or your similarities.

5. Two Likes make a Match

Once you get a Like back, it’s a Match. Congratulations! You can now swap messages and send Icebreakers or react with a Smile to get to know each other better.

Because we believe love happens when two people connect based on what really matters. If you’re ready to find out, sign up today.

Now let’s look at some over 50 dating rules and tips.

How to restart your journey dating over 50

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely made the most difficult step in getting back out there: deciding to truly do so. It may seem small but intent and motivation are key success factors in a successful dating journey and what will differentiate you from so many half-hearted singles.

Patience and determination are also important parts of over 50 dating rules as they help you not only get past any rough patches in your journey but also stop you from settling for anything less than you deserve along the way.

Here are some other quick over 50 dating tips and red flags:

  • Don’t waste your time on people who avoid meeting in person or chatting with you. In general, avoid anyone who shows reluctance in moving forward in the process.
  • Poor communicators generally make for a dissatisfying dating experience, particularly for more emotionally mature singles. If this is you then try to work on being more open and involved in the process.
  • Try to deal with your insecurities and hang-ups when dating over 50 – particularly related to your age – before starting the process rather than putting that baggage on potential new connections.

Explore over 50 dating advice

Still not sure how dating over 50 works? We are here to help you navigate it with our updated over 50 dating advice using our 20 years of online dating expertise.

Stages of dating after 50

With the first message and date comes sometime the question what phase of dating you are actually in because there are different phases we actually go through as singles over 50. Here is the general life cycle of a successful relationship when dating in later life.

  • Initial attraction – Your eyes meet across a room or their profile catches your attention.
  • Breaking the ice – Older singles tend to have an easier time making casual and relaxed conversation and this is the ideal time to establish whether there’s an emotional connection to support the attraction.
  • Exploring the connection – More old-fashioned singles tend to agree to dates more readily in line with older dating modes. In the long run, a more committed approach helps save you time.
  • Decide where to take it – This is the best time to be selfish. Date for your own goals and desires, not just to avoid loneliness. And be upfront with the other person about it.

Reopen your life to love and new possibilities

So as you can see dating over 50 isn’t really all that different from when you were younger, just without many of the shallow elements that often serve as pitfalls in younger dating scenes such as immediacy and romantic impulse. Not a romance without passion, but rather one honed by maturity, resilience, adaptability and personal growth that characterizes someone who knows what they want and won’t accept less.

So if you know you’re ready, why wait even longer to take advantage of the opportunities just sitting out there waiting for you to take notice? Start taking the same control over your love life that you demand from other facets of your existence and build a connection that’s worthy of your love and determination. Don’t compromise your individuality, capitalize on it and find just the right fit for you on eharmony. Register today.

How dating over 50 works with eharmony

Your search for a great relationship has never been easier with groundbreaking overhaul of the eharmony you know and trust.