Specialist holiday firms cater for almost every demographic, and solo trips for the older generation has become a very lucrative business.
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This is good news for the savvy consumer, as there's more choice than ever before. It has a supportive online community and allows you the option of pre-travel meet-ups, so you can get to know some of your fellow travellers beforehand. Forums and discussion boards are a good way to dip your toe in the sea of socialising before you decide to take the full plunge. It's simple and straightforward to use, and has a sense of fun. After you retire it can be difficult to replace the camaraderie that you had with your work colleagues. Volunteering is a great way to forge new relationships with like-minded people, and has the added benefit of knowing you're contributing to a worthwhile cause.
Charity shops are often crying out for help and could be just the ticket if you're looking to meet people in a relaxed environment. If you prefer the great outdoors, then why not get involved in a conservation project? There are plenty of options on the National Trust website. For an overview of exactly what volunteering options are out there or personalised advice on what would suit you the best, try the Volunteering website.
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It publishes a large database of activities people can get involved in. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can also point you in the right direction. It's never too late to learn a new skill, and in doing so you could meet a potential partner. Increasing your skill set is also a great confidence-booster.
Become a silver surfer Sign up for an IT class - it's an opportunity to socialise, as well as learn. Put your new-found web skills to use by signing up to online dating and social networking sites see above , further boosting your chances of finding love. Strictly go dancing The nation's insatiable appetite for TV dancing shows has put traditional ballroom dancing clubs back in vogue.
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Don't be afraid about turning up solo - many people go on their own and pair up with a stranger. Dance Web allows you to search for events by town or county. Online dating for older people sounds such a good idea, and ever more of us are signing up in the hope of meeting a wonderful new partner. The older you get, the more difficult it becomes to meet new people in the conventional way — at work, parties or through friends.
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. Nowadays, age is no barrier and even people in their 80s are trying to find new partners online. 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.
After my partner died, I thought to myself: According to a new survey, the lucrative online dating industry is growing fastest in the plus age group. I put up my profile and waited for the responses to pour in at the same time as combing the sites — from the ubquitous eHarmony to overfifties. Disappointment soon set in. In most cases, the photos were an instant turn-off, as they all seemed to be bald and have white beards as well as inane grins and bad teeth.
I soon learned this was online dating-speak for hugely overweight.
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None seemed to have any of the extra pounds that actually counted, namely money. Most had long lists of hobbies and although almost all pronounced themselves witty and with a good sense of humour, there was nothing remotely amusing about anything they said. Yet they were very exacting in their requirements for a new partner; they all wanted somebody slim, elegant, solvent — and younger than themselves.
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A few sounded kinky — to be avoided at all costs. But some might be better than they sounded, I thought, so, lowering my standards, I took the plunge and sent a few messages. Only two did I actually meet. One, a professor of architecture, sounded promising, and we met in a pub outside Oxford. It was hopeless from the start. At 63 he had a teenage son, plus he was paying maintenance for two other children from an earlier relationship. We had nothing whatever in common, and I fled as soon as decently possible. But for the internet, we would never have come together, and he taught me another truth — that as well as enabling you to find your soulmate, the internet also gives you a chance to meet somebody who is the exact opposite of what you are seeking in a partner.
With the other one, I did what online daters are advised never to do, and met him at his home, thinking that he was unlikely to be a serial rapist. His internet profile said he lived in an idyllic cottage with a log fire and that he was positive, creative, practical and content, except for that special person in his life. He said he was a writer, so that was clearly, for me at least, a major plus.
What he was really after was a nurse or housekeeper. The idyllic cottage was monstrously untidy, littered with papers, dusty and dirty and he was fusty and not very clean either. Then, miraculously, I found somebody who sounded just right, a film producer with several well-known films to his credit.
Our profiles seemed to be a good match — with many sites, you are given a compatibility rating, and this one was more than 80 per cent. I contacted him and we had several lively and interesting telephone conversations, but when it came to meeting, he was evasive. He eventually revealed why. SilverSingles is here to let you know you're not alone, and that putting yourself back out there doesn't have to be scary.
If you read the EliteSingles overview and were psyched about the level of specificity and safety but were looking for a dating site tailored specifically to older individuals, SilverSingles is the sweet spot that combines both. A sister site to EliteSingles, SilverSingles uses the same intense compatibility system that EliteSingles does, bringing in the popular big five personality traits to assess five levels of your being: If you've heard of Senior Singles Meet in the past, SilverSingles is that same site with a rebrand — so they've actually been working on mastering the five factor model in tandem with senior dating for about two decades.
Because SilverSingles wants to ensure that your next relationship lasts, the sign-up process and questionnaires will take some time. AskMen suggests to grab a glass of scotch and sit down for this one.
A dating guide for the over-60s
But hey, if having every tiny part of your personality assessed is what it takes to find the happily ever after you've been waiting for, an hour of your time is totally worth it. SilverSingles will only send you five matches a day, and you can't search through a pool of people — but this will force you to seriously consider if you can see yourself with these people.
If you were worried about online dating because of the possible creeps out there, don't worry: You can hide or block any member you want from seeing your profile, and can report any user who's acting suspicious or inappropriate. Like EliteSingles, SilverSingles wants their users to know that safety is the number one concern. For those who don't know what they want. Zoosk Best starter option. If you're ready to dip your toes into online dating but aren't quite ready for the big to-do that is eharmony or EliteSingles, Zoosk Seniors could be a great starter option.
While some sites mentioned above require hours of question-answering or overwhelming search options, Zoosk is your ticket to a quick, easy experience.
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Creating a profile is basically instantaneous with three short steps: Upload a photo, enter your location, and answer a few basic "about me" questions like education level, religion, if you have children, etc. Since it's so speedy and slightly surface level, Zoosk is pretty perfect for those individuals looking for a casual fling or hook-up. Of course, there are a ton of more in-depth questions and forms to fill out if you want to get a bit more serious — it's just nice to know that the quick, no strings attached option is there. Similar to the way Facebook shows you posts it thinks you will enjoy based on posts you've liked or interacted with in the past, Zoosk uses its behavioral SmartPick algorithm to fill your pool with users it thinks you'll like based on profiles you've clicked on in the past.
No, the questionnaire you filled out wasn't pointless — Zoosk uses your answers to find users with similar answers to give compatible options in the first place. Zoosk will then ask how you felt about the profiles they recommended: If you liked who they suggested, select yes, and if you're looking for something different, select no.
Zoosk will automatically adapt and use this information the next time it suggests a profile for you to speed up the process and give better recommendations in the future. This is the perfect way to find out if you have a "type. You'll only see one profile in front of you at all times, so your eyes and mind can chill rather than darting all over the place.
Zoosk Senior's only customer service lies in an FAQ, so there is no contact with human help.
If you're not super tech-savvy, this is something to keep in mind. Zoosk is an extremely affordable option, which is just another reason why it's ideal for those who aren't keen on committing to a long, vigorous process. Like the competitors, Zoosk Seniors has a free option, but it only lets you view other profiles, not contact them. Not just for romance. OurTime Best for people looking for multiple types of companionship. If you've been down on your luck recently or are feeling extra lonely, OurTime wants to show you that life can truly start at It's another site dedicated to singles over 50, but is unique in that it helps users outside the realm of romance.
Find pen pals, travel buddies, and other types of casual companionships to help make the most of the golden years.
But just because the non-romantic option exists doesn't mean a serious relationship or marriage isn't possible here — just check out these adorable success stories. If you were previously scared away from online dating because it seemed too overwhelming, OurTime has the laid back atmosphere you're looking for.