Living 50 Plus

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Senior dating trends and tips

The first Baby Boomers will be turning 70 in 2016, and this generation remains one of the most influential in the country and around the world. Scores of products and services are now marketed to seniors, many of whom remain as active and socially aware as they were in their youth.

One aspect of senior marketing that is booming is dating and relationship products. Singles age 50 and older are increasingly relying on online dating sites and other methods to find love and companionship. Dating is no longer kids' play, and those who have been away from dating for some time may have to get reacquainted with the process in the modern age.

Consider online dating

Data from Pew Research found one in two divorced or widowed seniors had remarried in 2013, and that trend figures to continue. Many seniors are using online dating sites to find their new matches. While websites geared to dating make it easier to get in touch with fellow singles, the relative anonymity of the process can make it challenging to separate the truth from some self-promoting hype on dating profiles.

Begin by relying on dating sites that have been tested and recommended. One to try is the AARP dating site partnered with How About We. In addition to its simplicity and small financial commitment, the site caters to the over-50 crowd and is backed by the AARP name. It's good for those looking for an activity partner as well as casual dating. Popular sites Match.com and eHarmony.com also boast high percentages of users age 50 and up.

Even after thorough consideration and conversation, online daters should exercise caution when meeting someone online and then in person. Profiles aren't always what they seem, and it's easier to fudge the facts when initiating contact over the Internet.

Keep an open mind

It's easy to be preoccupied with the rigors of being an older adult and the responsibilities that still may rest on your shoulders. Part of the fun of dating when you were young likely had to do with throwing caution to the wind. But some of those same carefree aspects remain true whether you're dating at 17 or at 57. Laughter, fun, spontaneity, and the chance for some adventure are still the keys to making memorable dates.

Sometimes it's who you know

The old adage of it's "who you know" and not "what you know" is applicable to dating. If you are ready to jump into the dating world again, ask your close friends or family members if they know anyone who might be in a similar situation.

Taking another stab at dating later in life can be both exciting and nerve-wracking, but no matter how long it's been since your last first date, some aspects of dating are the same as ever. Just remember to have fun and don't be afraid to try new things.