Single, divorced, and widowed baby boomers are hitting the dating scene online. A crop of websites have sprung up to connect allegedly mature adults looking for love. Most, like Senior Match, Prime Singles, Seniors Circle, and Senior Friend Finder are aptly named.
"We like to think of it as the Facebook for the over-50s," says John Hatton, cofounder of the eight-year-old website Overfifties, which has about 18,500 members. The free portion of the website allows users to chat, blog, and use message boards. But, as with many dating websites, if you want to E-mail other users, you'll have to pay up—in this case, $49.95.
Established dating websites for all age groups are also seeing a proliferation of older users. "If you look at the success stories coming through, many are stories of remarriage or of people who have lost a spouse previously," says Greg Waldorf, the CEO of the dating website eHarmony, which saw a 30 percent increase in users over 40 in 2007. Waldorf attributes the growth to older people getting more comfortable online and a decrease in the stigma of online dating among all age groups. "The most impressive thing for any user is actually knowing someone else who has been successful," Waldorf says.
If you're a boomer who has tried out a dating website, please share your advice below. But if you do meet up with that special someone, proceed with caution and watch out for STDs. Tribune Newspapers reports that baby boomers and seniors are at risk for HIV.