Less fish in the sea? Statistics for online dating among the over 40s
Unlike the actual oceans, the internet sea is far from becoming over fished and the quality of the catch dwindling, it is actually the reverse. Online dating is still growing rapidly, with the fastest expanding sector being the over 45s. For the generations that grew up without constant online connections, who remember sending letters and waiting days for a reply, or walking to the nearest public phone box to find a bit of privacy for their calls, internet dating is a revelation that is still being explored.
Second Time Around
Statistics show that Baby Boomers, aged 46-54, are the fastest growing demographic in the online dating scene, which is not surprising as many of these people are only now turning to the internet for this kind of interaction. A large percentage of this age group are now looking for a partner for the first time in many years, having left a long term relationship, lost a partner or are now looking for company after devoting all their energies to work. Times have changed since they were last dating seriously and they are taking advice from friends, children and peer groups about where to look for love.
Most Common Introductions
Currently, one in four couples are getting together online, and this is rising. After being introduced by friends, online dating comes second as the most frequent way that people are meeting, and this rises to number one in the over fifties. Statistically, you are far more likely to meet ‘the one’ online as you have access to so many more individuals. What people are missing is the initial spark that they remember from their youth, when confronted by a random stranger in a social situation; developing an online relationship requires a different mind-set.
Choose Which Pool
As online dating grows among the population as a whole, different groups are starting to define their own territories. For the over forties it is worthwhile doing some research into who is going where. For example, Yahoo! Personals and match.com are now predominantly catering for the under forties, while Chemistry.com and eHarmony are attracting the older groups. However, age is not a sole consideration, different sites target friendship over long term commitments, others require building up a dialogue before a physical meeting; and there are costs involved, with the sites that are based on devising and checking matchmaking questionnaires tending to be more expensive. It may actually be an advantage to choose a site that specializes in a different age group; to stand out from the crowd.
Counterproductively, some online dating sites draw a larger percentage of one sex than the other due to the selection methods that they use. Match based sites are based around long questionnaires, which men tend not to do as much, so it is unsurprising that they attract a higher proportion of females. The sites that allow users to browse through prospective partners and choose them at random are more appealing to men. This disparity can lead to first time users over forty complaining that their ideal match is not out there.
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