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

image of an tablet showing a dating site screen with beige swirls around it, to signify w&h's best dating sites for over 50
(Image credit: Future/Alamy)

Looking for dating sites for over 50 relationships can be daunting. Dating is nerve-wracking at any age, but perhaps mature dating is particularly tricky for those who’ve been out of the game for years, if not decades.

But there are plenty of ways to get back in the sea and dating sites can be a good way to dip your toe in the water. There are dating sites for over 50 that will help you to meet like-minded people your age without having to sift through countless profiles—and a few that will help you have frivolous flings too.

It's just important that you know what you're looking for before you sign up. From more serious dating sites that are suitable if you're looking for a committed, long-term relationship to sites that can help you meet someone with the same interests as you and even sex apps and more casual websites, 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, when it comes to dating in your 50s, it might be more solo task as many of your friends may already be in relationships. 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, Relationship Expert & Founder of Wingman app.

"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
Additional extras: Dependant on platform
Region: US and UK
Reasons to buy
+About matching interests+Group events on offer+People of all ages+Can filter by region
Reasons to avoid
-Takes long time to sift through profiles-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 three million users, it's also likely that you'll be able to come across at least a few people who you have something in common with.

 “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. “They also moderate all their profiles making it a really safe site to use.”

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

Its simple interface and desktop platform makes this a good dating site for anyone over 50.

“A highly recommended starter for anybody over 50," says Nia. "When you’re using dating apps older people tend to be less tech-savvy so some platforms don’t have enough options, but Match eradicates this issue with its desktop capabilities and extensive database."

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
Additional extras: Dependant on platform
Region: US and UK
Reasons to buy
+Matches based on personality+Specialised over-50s section+Provides lots of over-50s dating advice
Reasons to avoid
-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.

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 longterm match but who are a little worried about how to get started. They provide a specialised section for those looking to date over 50, which also include lots of dating advice.

"eharmony vets their users so would absolutely use it if you're confident to get started," says Tina Wilson, relationship expert & founder of Wingman app.

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
Additional extras: Dependant on region
Region: US and UK
Reasons to buy
+Developed specifically for over 50s+All about your hobbies and interest+Verified profiled+Can meet members at planned local activities
Reasons to avoid
-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 all of their time with. It's main premise is about matching up people who have similar interests. When you reach your 50s, it's 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 loves to do those same 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 likely to be met with people of a similar mindset. It's also great for anyone who keen on hobbies for women or a 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 suggestion for things to do together if you plan to meet up and the brand also runs local activities for members to meet each other in person.

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
Additional extras : N/A for women
Region: US and UK
Reasons to buy
+Well established brand+Free for women to use+Everyone is on the same page+Secrecy is ensured
Reasons to avoid
-Some moral issues-Fake profiles can appear

What is IllicitEncounters.com?

IllicitEncounters.com is a dating site for those who are already in a relationship. 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. "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," says Jessica. "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. 

"What makes IllicitEncounters.com a good dating site for the over 50s is that everybody is in the same boat. Many of our members report feeling lonely and unappreciated in their marriages—they are desperate to speak to like-minded people. The grass 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, many people have life-changing positive experiences during or after an affair. An affair 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."

So while a sexless marriage doesn't necessarily have to signal the end of your relationship, this is one way to live out your sexual fantasies and perhaps get your spark back—especially if you had previously experienced a loss of libido. It could even give you some tips on how to seduce a man you've been in a relationship with for a long time.

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

(Image credit: Future)

5. FlirtyMature

Best for those looking for a flirty fling

Specifications
Initial cost: Free to sign up
Additional extras: Dependant on region
Region: US and UK
Reasons to buy
+Developed specifically for over 40s+Available to use worldwide+Site sections based on what you're looking for
Reasons to avoid
-Not a well-established brand

What is FlirtyMature?

Flirty Mature has been specifically designed for over 40s who want to get back in the game with some cheeky chat and some fun dating. It's all about unleashing your inner flirt and being proud of who you are, while the the site strives to match you up with someone who will appreciate that side of you.

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

This has been set up to help over 40s find someone who they can date, flirt with and have fun with, so it's a great one for any over 50s who want something light and fun. You can choose the age bracket of any potential matches and there's even a site page all for older women who want to date younger men—if that's what you want, FlirtyMature will make it happen.

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

(Image credit: Future)

6. Naturally Dating

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

Specifications
Initial cost: Free to sign up
Additional extras: £20 per event
Region: UK
Reasons to buy
+Meet people in real-life+Events filtered by age category+Easy platform to follow up after events
Reasons to avoid
-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/meeting step and taking you straight to meeting in person. With speed dating events talking place across the UK, 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)

7. Silver Singles

Best for those after a divorce or bereavement

Specifications
Initial cost: Free to sign up
Additional extras: From $27.95/£24.95
Region: US and UK
Reasons to buy
+Developed specifically for over 50s+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 exclusively for people over 50 to meet someone. While many dating sites show you profiles of people who live nearby, SilverSingles matches people up based on their based on their compatibilty. New sign-ups complete a questionnaire that assesses their 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)

8. Wingman

Best for those who need a little help from their friends

Specifications
Initial cost: Free to sign up
Additional extras: None
Region: US and UK
Reasons to buy
+Support from your friends+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. Not a dating site, but an app instead, Wingman lets you choose a trusted friend—or wingman—or even a circle of friends to manage the search for you and take the stress out of the dating experience for you.

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 Tina Wilson, Relationship Expert & Founder of Wingman app. "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)

9. Muddy Matches

Best for lovers of rural life

Specifications
Initial cost: Free to sign up
Additional extras: From £7.83/month (with a 12-month membership)
Region: UK
Reasons to buy
+Meet people with the same interests as you
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 those of us who live more of a rural lifestyle, and will help you find someone who loves the great outdoors as much as you do. The site is relatively small, but this is to be expected on a niche dating site—and you can even specify whether you’re looking for friendship instead of a relationship. It also boasts special offers via their partners.

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, and the vast majority are seeking serious commitment from a partner, you can meet people in whatever age bracket you're looking for all who you are likely to have shared interests with. So grab your best walking boots and winter coat and get ready for a lovely fall date.

Dating How-Tos

How do you date at 50?

Online dating can be scary—especially if it's your first time doing it, which is may well for those seeking dating sites for over 50.

How do you create conversation on a dating site? How do you flirt if you’re over 50? What should you do if you’re nervous when talking? And it's also worth thinking about whether you have any type of sexual anxiety if you haven't had sex in a long time. Tina 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 Tina. "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 its so low effort, its generally ignored."
  • "You don’t need to flirt on an app, you can save that for when you meet up and get talking," reassures Tina. "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 everyday so this shouldn’t be any different."
  • "Flirting and dating at any age can be a nerve wracking experience," says Tina. "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 Tina. "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, Hayley Quinn, Match’s dating coach, recommends you “prioritise using dating sites that ask detailed user questions as opposed to swiping style apps.”

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 favour 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, Hayley 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 Hayley. “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, 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 Nadia."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 – is 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 Hayley. “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—don’t think because you’re older you can't be catfished (deceived) or even have something more serious happen.

"When it comes down to red flags, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is," says Jessica. "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."

Jessica 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.
  • Confide in a close friend about where you are going and get them to call at a fixed time to make sure all 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!