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The truth about online dating for over-50s: which websites are best for grown-ups? Looking for love after 50: which websites are any good? High50 » The truth about online dating for over-50s: which websites are best for grown-ups? Looking for coffee and more? I did it because I wanted to have fun, flirt and meet men outside my social group. I’m 50 and have been single for two years, since my husband died, and have a daughter of 21 and twin boys of 19. I felt some trepidation about putting myself out there.
Especially for someone who barely has an online presence. It’s simple to set up your profile and upload a photo. I go for the least level of exposure, with a black and white pic of me wearing sunglasses. The site asks questions about my looks, level of education, lifestyle and beliefs, and then the difficult bit: my ideal match. I say I am looking for a slim, six-foot Caucasian man, easygoing, energetic, enthusiastic, generous, confident and funny. I realise I am describing my husband. Maybe I should be more experimental.
Before you can contact the men they suggest, you must subscribe. First up is Nottinghillbilly, pictured with messy hair, a beard and in a leather jacket. But he wants me to email him direct, which is not encouraged by the site and makes me suspicious. I don’t contact him again. I then peruse Oddball, Goopile and Naked Plumber. A guy called Wayne winks, but on his profile I discover he is recovering from having his brain tinkered with on the NHS, and much as he sounds lovely, I need someone straightforward at this stage in my life. He responds by asking me to come up and see his Samurai Swords.
But I agree to meet Unicorn, a 66-year-old retired construction engineer, for a coffee in the West End, where we both work. There is a lot of choice of men and every day I get winks and emails, which makes me feel popular. They’re keen to interact but not to meet up. It’s hard to find even a vaguely good-looking one, at least in the age-range I specified. Being a Guardian reader, I assume this will be dominated by intelligent, solvent and liberal Guardian readers.
I upload the same photo and answer the same questions and details as I did on Match. I’m still Life Enhancer but add that I have just finished an MA in English Literature. It is the Guardian after all. A feature called Your Matches creates a list of compatible, potential dates. It’s more niche than Match. On day one, I get six matches who are all in their fifties, rated an overall 75 per cent match with me.
That means we have interests in common and fit into the right age bracket. Only Corona emails, saying he is solvent, a widower, and likes Daft Punk and Bowie. But he only wants to chat and I don’t clinch a date. In fact, we have completely matching sunglasses so obviously we’ll be married in no time at all. Sounds amusing but his photo puts me off. How quickly I’ve got used to making snap judgements!