Best dating sites for over 50—whether you want a serious relationship or a short-term fling

These are the best dating sites for over 50 for whether you want a serious relationship or a short-term fling

Woman looking at the best dating sites for over 50 women while lying down on sofa at home with pink squiggles either side of the picture
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Going in search of the best dating sites for over 50 relationships doesn't have to be daunting. While dating is difficult at any age, dating when you're slightly older has a reputation for being particularly trickyespecially for those who have been out of the game for a few years.

But as there are so many dating sites for over 50 people these days, along with more people on them in general, they're a great way to dip your toe back in the water. You can meet like-minded people without being set up with a friend of a friend and having to go on awkward blind-dates. 

It's just important you know what you're looking for before you sign up so you opt for the right one that's offer what you want. From more serious dating sites that are suitable for those looking for a long-term, committed relationship to the best sex apps that can hook you up with a fling, there's something out there for every interest. 

How to choose which dating sites for over 50 are best for you?

While most 20-somethings will likely hear about the latest dating apps through their social circles, along with learning what their love languages and attachment styles are, it might be more solo task when it comes to dating in your 50s. Many of your friends may already be in relationships or otherwise not available. So it's important to make the search about you and what you want.

"It all depends on what you are looking for in a relationship and how much effort you want to put in, so firstly ask yourself what you are looking for and then you can choose," says Tina Wilson (opens in new tab), relationship expert and founder of app Wingman.

"When choosing the right dating site for you, start by deciding what you want the outcome of your experience to be. If you want casual, choose a hook-up site. If you want serious, then choose that. Don’t use a serious long-term type platform if you are just looking for a hook-up, as it will get messy and is misleading. Make it clear what you are looking for and it's very likely there is someone out there wanting the same."

Best dating sites for the over fifties

Match logo with a pattern around it, one of w&h's best dating sites for over 50

(Image credit: Future / Match)

1. Match

Best for offering a broad reach

Specifications

Initial cost: Free to sign up
Extra feature: Video coaching
Region: US and UK

Reasons to buy

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About matching interests
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Group events on offer
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People of all ages
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Can filter by region

Reasons to avoid

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Takes long time to sift through profiles
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Have to pay to make connections

What is Match?

One of the biggest online dating websites, Match is great for all ages. You can be specific and find matches using the criteria search, browse through members' profiles, or opt for 'zen mode'—which means you’ll only be contacted by those who meet your criteria. With around 11 million paid-up subscribers (as of 2022), it's also likely that you'll be able to come across at least a few people you have something in common with.

Why is Match one of the best dating sites for the over 50s?

As well as being easy to use with a simple interface, Match has a much broader reach compared to other dating sites out there. “It’s important that any platform you use has enough potential matches so you can attract a broad dating pool. Over 1.6 million people have already met their partners on Match, and this is a great dating app for people living in regional areas,” says Hayley Quinn (opens in new tab), dating coach at Match. 

With all those people using the app, safety is key. “They also moderate all their profiles making it a really safe site to use," she says. 

eharmony logo with a pattern around it, one of w&h's best dating sites for over 50

(Image credit: Future)

2. eharmony

Best for those looking for a serious relationship

Specifications

Initial cost: Free to sign up
Extra feature: Video dates
Region: US and UK

Reasons to buy

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Matches based on personality
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Specialised over-50s section
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Provides lots of over-50s dating advice

Reasons to avoid

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Not for quick swiping

What is eharmony?

More than two million people have found love through eharmony, which proudly claims it’s certified as the 'No.1 trusted dating site'. On the whole, it’s great for those looking something long term. Anyone who signs up needs to fill in an in-depth questionnaire to determine their personality traits, then the eharmony team will send you compatible matches daily, based on your profile, eliminating the need to trawl through masses of members at all.

Why is eharmony one of the best dating sites for the over 50s?

Eharmony is a great choice for those who are keen to find a long-term match but who are a little worried about how to get started. They provide a specialized section for those looking to date over 50, which also includes lots of dating advice.

"eharmony vets their users too, so I would absolutely use it if you're keen to get started," says Wilson.

It also has more than 3.5 million members so there's a good pool of people for you to find someone who you click with.

Ourtime logo with a pattern around it, one of w&h's best dating sites for over 50

(Image credit: Future)

3. Ourtime

Best for finding someone with similar interests

Specifications

Initial cost: Free to sign up
Extra feature: Group in-person activities
Region: US and UK

Reasons to buy

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Developed specifically for over 50s
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All about your hobbies and interest
+
Verified profiled
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Can meet members at planned local activities

Reasons to avoid

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Not suitable if you're looking for someone in a different age group

What is Ourtime?

Ourtime is all about helping over 50s find someone who they want to spend most (or all) of their time with. Its main premise is about matching up people who have similar interests. Your 50s is a period of life where you might have a bit more freedom to do what you want with your time—if your kids have grown up or your career has steadied—but you're still energetic and thriving and keen to explore, travel, cook, read, learn, and do so many other things. Ourtime is all about helping you find someone who also loves to do those things to share this important time with.

Why is Ourtime one of the best dating sites for the over 50s?

This website is designed specifically for over 50s, so if you're looking for someone in the same age bracket as you, you're going to meet someone you have at least one thing in common with. It's also great for anyone who is keen on developing new hobbies or has a real zest for life, as matches are made based on your interests, rather than your looks, personality, or values. It also provides dating advice for over 50s and gives you suggestions for things to do together if you plan to meet up. 

The brand also runs local activities for members to meet each other in person, so if you're more keen on meeting someone face-to-face rather than online, this is a possibility too.

Illicit Encounters logo with a pattern around it, one of w&h's best dating sites for over 50

(Image credit: Future/Illicit Encounters )

4. Illicit Encounters

Best for dating in secret

Specifications

Initial cost: Free for women
Extra feature: Anonymous set-up process
Region: US and UK

Reasons to buy

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Well established brand
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Free for women to use
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Everyone is on for the same reason
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Secrecy is ensured

Reasons to avoid

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Some moral issues
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Fake profiles can appear

What is IllicitEncounters.com?

IllicitEncounters.com is a dating site for those who are already in a committed relationship and want to explore outside of it. You can access it via your phone, but having an app would potentially give the game away to your partner.

“This is a niche site for people in settled relationships who want a casual relationship with a consenting adult, who is also likely to be in a settled relationship,” says Jessica Leoni, sex and relationships expert at IllicitEncounters.com (opens in new tab). "Men pay to be on the site whereas women can join for free, and male members tend to have a reasonable income." 

Why is IllicitEncounters.com one of the best dating sites for the over 50s?

"The pool for dating in the over 50’s category is limited as many people at this age are already married," notes Leoni. "IllicitEncounters.com caters specifically to people who are in unfulfilled relationships who are looking for that connection, passion and excitement to add to their lives, which may include people in this age group."

She explains, "What makes IllicitEncounters.com a good dating site for the over 50s is that everybody is on the same page. Many of our members report feeling lonely and unappreciated in their marriage and they are desperate to speak to like-minded people. The grass always looks greener when things aren’t going so well at home. People are finding a respite from the mundane by looking for an affair. Not only are affairs thrilling and adventurous, but many people also have life-changing positive experiences during or after an affair. It can be escapism from dull or unsatisfying marriages, or as a way to somewhat improve things at home—making partners more tolerant and patient with their spouses."

A sexless marriage doesn't necessarily have to signal the end of your relationship, but this is one way to live out your sexual fantasies and perhaps get your spark back if you're looking to change that.

Naturally Dating logo with a pattern around it, one of w&h's best dating sites for over 50

(Image credit: Future)

5. Naturally Dating

Best for those who want to meet someone the old-fashioned way

Specifications

Initial cost: Free to sign up
Extra feature: £20 per event
Region: UK

Reasons to buy

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Meet people in real-life
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Events filtered by age category
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Easy platform to follow up after events

Reasons to avoid

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Not able to meet people online

What is Naturally Dating?

Naturally Dating is here to help you meet people the old-fashioned way by skipping out on the online swiping step and taking you straight to meeting in person. 

You sign up through the site and arrange to attend the events here but it's all about speed dating in person. The events take place across the UK and you can meet lots of people in one go to really tell who you have chemistry and who you think you could build a proper connection with.

Why is Naturally Dating one of the best dating sites for the over 50s?

With speed dating events tailored to different age categories, this is perfect platform to try and meet someone in person from your same age group. However, if you're interested in meeting people from a different age group, you can advise Naturally Dating and they'll help you to meet someone from that age bracket. 

With mini dates that last four-five minutes, it's a lot easier to see who you can forge a connection with than it would be online. And once the event's over, you can log onto your account, select who you'd be interested to see again, and if they've selected you too then it's a match.

Silver Singles logo with a pattern around it, one of w&h's best dating sites for over 50

(Image credit: Future)

6. Silver Singles

Best for those after a divorce or bereavement

Specifications

Initial cost: Free to sign up
Extra feature: From $27.95/£24.95
Region: US and UK

Reasons to buy

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Developed specifically for over 50s
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International reach
+
Only paying members can see your photos

Reasons to avoid

-
No younger people to match with

What is Silver Singles?

Silver Singles is another one of the best dating sites for over 50 as it's exclusively designed for people in this age group to meet someone. While many dating sites show you profiles of people who live nearby, SilverSingles matches people up based on their compatibility. New sign-ups complete a questionnaire that assesses preferences, personality, and lifestyle in great detail, which allows the site's matching algorithm to make intelligent pairings, giving users a better match. This set-up is designed to take the stress out of matchmaking and, as your photos can only be viewed by paying members, more privacy. It also has an international reach, with users in Europe, Australia, USA and Canada.

Why is Silver Singles one of the best dating sites for the over 50s?

Whereas most other serious relationship dating sites, like Match and eharmony, are for all ages, this dating platform is designed especially for those over 50 and above who are looking for love. It's easy to use and will match you up with people based on your personality.

Wingman logo with a pattern around it, one of w&h's best dating sites for over 50

(Image credit: Future)

7. Wingman

Best for those who need a little help from their friends

Specifications

Initial cost: Free to sign up
Extra feature: Match-make friends
Region: US and UK

Reasons to buy

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Support from your friends
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Don't have to do the hard work yourself

Reasons to avoid

-
Less control over who you pick

What is Wingman?

If you're feeling a bit shy about putting yourself out there, not good at striking up conversation or simply don't trust your own taste, Wingman is for you. It's not a dating site, but an app instead so you'll need to have a smartphone that has access to an app store, like an iPhone. But Wingman lets you choose a trusted friend—otherwise known wingman—or even a circle of friends to manage the search for you and take the stress out of the dating experience. 

Why is Wingman one of the best dating sites for the over 50s?

"Wingman is a dating app that lets friends and family do most of the work—creating a profile and making introductions rather than having to do it yourself," says Wilson. "It’s not easy being single, at any age, and if you are out of the dating game, your confidence can be lacking, so having a friend to help you is less terrifying."

MuddyMatches logo with a pattern around it, one of w&h's best dating sites for over 50

(Image credit: Future)

8. Muddy Matches

Best for lovers of rural life

Specifications

Initial cost: Free to sign up
Extra features: From £7.83/month (with a 12-month membership)
Region: UK

Reasons to buy

+
Meet people with the same interests as you
+
Likely to meet someone in your local area

Reasons to avoid

-
Very niche

What is Muddy Matches?

Are you a farmer, do you live in the countryside, or enjoy long walks with your dog? This dating site could be the perfect one for you. Aimed at those 'in the countryside', Muddy Matches is the dating site for anyone who lives more of a rural lifestyle. It can help you find someone who loves the great outdoors as much as you do, if that's what you're after. The site is relatively small, but this is to be expected on a niche dating site. 

And if you're just looking to make friends, you can specify that you’re looking for friendship instead of a relationship. It also boasts special offers via their partners (opens in new tab).

Why is Muddy Matches one of the best dating sites for the over 50s?

With 200,000 members across the UK and Ireland aged from 18 to 80, the vast majority of which are seeking serious commitment from a partner, you can meet people in whatever age bracket you're looking for. All of them are also likely to have shared interests with you so you'll be able to develop a relationship (or friendship) based on your hobbies and passions. 

All you need to do is grab a pair of your best walking boots or best hiking boots and head onto the Muddy Matches dating site. 

How do you date at 50?

Knowing how to create conversation, how to flirt and what to do if you're nervous when talking to someone new are all factors to consider when getting back into the dating pool, no matter what age you are. It's also worth thinking about whether you have any type of sexual anxiety if you haven't been intimate with anyone in a while. 

To help out, Wilson has provided some her top tips for dating online for those who are in their 50s:

  • "Don’t overthink it, and just do it," says Wilson. "There is no perfect introduction but do start the conversation with something casual and simple, that shows you’ve read their profile or looked at their photos. The worst thing you can do is ‘hey’ as it's so low effort, it's generally ignored."
  • "You don’t need to flirt on an app, you can save that for when you meet up and get talking," reassures Wilson. "Don’t put pressure on yourself to be ‘jazz hands’ and saying exactly the right thing—just be yourself."
  • "Use a reference that’s in the news or the weather if you don’t know what to start saying—it sounds cheesy but we do it in real life every day so this shouldn’t be any different."
  • "Flirting and dating at any age can be a nerve-wracking experience," says Wilson. "No matter your age always go into it with an open mind and a sense of fun! You are supposed to be enjoying yourself not everyone you meet will be a potential partner so don’t get hung up on how many swipes or dates it takes."
  • "Don’t drink too much," advises Wilson. "Even though nerves can kick in on a date, the worst thing to do is drown them out with alcohol. Reassure yourself that the nerves will pass and the more you do it, the easier it will become."

How to find a relationship on a dating site

While all dating sites can lead to companionship, sex or marriage, if you're looking for love over 50, or an enduring relationship, Quinn recommends you “prioritize using dating sites that ask detailed user questions as opposed to swiping style apps.”

It's also best to stay away from almost exclusively sex-orientated sites like Adult FriendFinder, where the focus is on hook-ups and learning how to sext, rather than forming and maintaining a committed relationship.

Once you’ve signed up she advises you to “look out for profiles that are complete, and first messages that show the person has read your profile. Weed out any copy and paste 'Hey, great picture, how are you?' messages in favor of people who comment on something specific. The most valuable way someone shows they’re interested is that they consistently send you high-quality messages that ask sincere questions and show a real desire to get to know you.”

While it's easy to be put off by poor photography, Quinn suggests not judging too soon. “Sometimes people, particularly single men, can be a lot better in real life but are somewhat camera shy with a limited selection of pictures!”

How to date virtually

“Video dates can be a great way to build a connection online,” says Quinn. “Having a longer period of courtship where you spend time getting to know someone, as opposed to making a decision based on first impressions, is very helpful when it comes to making better choices.”

There’s no rush, though. Nadia Deen, co-founder of Intimology Institute (opens in new tab), suggests you only video call when you’re ready “and you’ve spent some time getting to know them [by messaging and phone calls] and feel ready to take it to the next level, then use the opportunity to feel out whether you’re attracted to them and if there’s a vibe.”

So, what makes for a successful video call? “This is the equivalent of a real first date so make an effort,” says Deen."Schedule a date and time and don’t be late—just like a physical date. Wear something you feel attractive and comfortable in, consider your surroundings, like whether your background neat and tidy, and have a list of conversation topics.”

Don’t think you have to go down the conventional route, either. “You could conduct a virtual cocktail hour, play a game of charades, or cook dinner 'together' online,” says Quinn. “Set your laptop or device up at eye level, and make sure there’s a flattering light source.”

How to date safely online

Safety is key—for anyone dating at any age. "When it comes down to red flags, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is," says Leoni. "Trust your gut instinct. If it feels like your date isn’t being totally honest with you then that is the number one red flag. Make sure that if you do meet up with somebody new that you always meet in a public place and have a contingency in plan in case it doesn’t feel right. Always tell a friend or relative where you're going too."

Leoni has also shared her top tips to stay safe when dating online:

  • Set up your dating site with a new email account and only go by your first name.
  • Don't part with your personal details until you are absolutely sure the person you are 'dating' is bona fide and absolutely never before you actually meet the person.
  • Strike up a friendship first over the phone, make sure you can talk to each other.
  • Wait until you are comfortable with them before meeting, otherwise it could be awkward and uncomfortable. And set the ground rules before meeting—make sure you both know what the date is about and where the line is drawn.
  • Tell someone you trust about where you are going and get them to call at a fixed time to make sure everything is ok.
  • Meet somewhere public but discreet. Go somewhere you are familiar and comfortable with to alleviate first date nerves.
  • Opt for a short meetup on your first date—one to two hour max, or perhaps for a lunch date or a quick evening drink. This keeps the pressure off but gives you enough time to get an impression of them.
  • Arrive and leave independently—it's safer and if things don't work out it's easier for all. And always have an exit strategy handy, just in case!
  • Keep in mind the first date is about getting to know each other in person and seeing if there is a spark.
  • Speak soon after to let them know how you felt, don't lead them on if you are not keen, but on the same token don't just ignore them.
Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is a digital shopping writer at woman&home—so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows what the best buys are at any moment. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 and has since worked with a number of brands including Women's Health, Stylist and Goodto. A year on the w&h news team gained her invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first—as well as an AOP awards nomination.