According to a new survey, the lucrative online dating industry is growing fastest in the 50-plus age group — and it’s not hard to see why.Once you are retired, widowed or divorced, it feels all but impossible.
Yet on internet sites, there are dozens, hundreds, possibly even thousands of single people seemingly just like you, all looking for that special person to alleviate their loneliness and provide excitement and companionship for their later years.
Henning Wiechers, who conducted the recent survey on behalf of Metaflake, the vast German online dating agency, claimed that when people are too old to go clubbing, they need to access a second marriage market — and that the internet provides the perfect forum. While online dating is certainly booming in popularity — the industry is worth £170 million in the UK, with nine million of us now logging on in the hope that we will find somebody, otherwise unreachable, who will be just right for us — my experiences should serve as something of a warning to others looking for love online.
There simply aren’t many half-decent men out there.
I don’t know why, but my friends and I suspect that most older men don’t come out of a relationship unless there is another woman waiting in the wings.
He sounded perfectly pleasant so we met up for a date in Manchester. For 17 years my sex life wasn’t up to much, so it was nerve-racking when I first got into bed with someone else. The first man I slept with after my husband was someone I met through a tennis club. I knew I didn’t want a long-term relationship with him — he wasn’t my type — but I did find him attractive, so we booked a proper date. Everyone who posts their picture online will have used one from at least ten or 15 years ago. I’ve turned up to several dates where I’ve walked into a restaurant, seen the man I’m supposed to be meeting, but he looks more like his father.
I was giving him some advice on property at his house and he asked: ‘So when are we going to have sex? It was funny because when we did go to bed, I told him I was shy, so I got undressed while he wasn’t in the room. I’m sure there must be men out there who think that log fires, red wine and walking along a beach are totally irresistible but nearly everyone of my age writes an online profile like this. Write something different, such as: ‘I love climbing mountains!
None seemed to have any of the extra pounds that actually counted, namely money.
I read that they were ‘mortgage slaves’ — at 60 plus! Not only did he expect me to buy my own drinks — I’m old-fashioned enough to believe that a man should pay on the first date — but it turned out he had huge baggage.
’ One plus side of internet dating is your friends needn’t get involved in your love life, because that’s a recipe for disaster. I’ve got the perfect guy for you — but he’s not quite ready yet.’ When I asked why not, she said: ‘Well, his wife’s not quite dead yet.’ Often, I’ve seen a guy’s photo and thought: ‘Wow! Some women I know go on these sites for the same reason men do, but that’s not my style. Most of the men I’ve met have dressed smartly — that’s probably an age thing.
’ But when you email them, you get a message back saying: ‘This man is not available.’ Or you get an email, but as soon as you ask for something like a phone number you never hear back. One friend met a gorgeous man online who said he was a TV presenter. I’m looking for someone to share dates and go to dinner parties with. Sadly, once men hit the 60 mark, they tend to go downhill a bit looks-wise. You can’t let it put you off leading a full life, though.
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