Online dating over 50
May 2, 2021 11:06 AM   Subscribe

I'm thinking about giving online dating a go after a long break. In the past I did OkCupid, but now it seems other places are where it's at. Any suggestions for me, a 53 yo, cishet, LTR-minded woman in NYC?

I'm leaning toward Bumble and/or Tinder, though I have no idea if people my age are on them. Do you have any first-hand anecdotes or advice for someone in my demographic? Also I'm not entirely sure how these apps even work. Do you have to spend lots of time on them? Or can you just check in a couple times a week? I'd like to meet someone, but my energy for the whole thing really waxes and wanes. Thanks for anything you can share.
posted by swheatie to Human Relations (10 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
My advice as a 40 year old using Tindr, is that whatever platform you use, try to look at Online Dating as a completely new opportunity to throw out all the old cobwebbed dating expectations of the past. Open yourself up to the idea that this can be *whatever you want it to be!.* One thing I've learned is that the market is SO IN OUR FAVOUR - which means that you can probably pick and choose more than someone who is male or not cishet.

SO! Throw out the idea that there's scarcity - Scarcity in a partner is a myth designed to make you settle. THOSE DAYS ARE OVER YAY!

Having said that - this is numbers game. Date Lots and Lots and gently pass on the folks you don't match with (without losing hope). Go in it with a sense of fun: remember that if you're safe, even a bad date can make a good story. Good Luck! The BEST is yet to come!
posted by Dressed to Kill at 11:14 AM on May 2 [3 favorites]

Oh and don't use Bumble - it's sold as "women make the first move!" which attracts A LOT of lazy men who think that they just get to sit like a flower while women fawn over them. Ditch Bumble. The rest are fine.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 11:15 AM on May 2 [5 favorites]

A friend of mine has had good results from Silver Singles, which specializes in over-50 folks.
posted by jenkinsEar at 12:59 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]

I also liked OK Cupid in the past. To me it seemed like that’s where the more nerdy demographic spent their time. I would see a lot of profiles that matched my goofy sense of humor.

Personally I find that currently Hinge and Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB) fill the space that OK Cupid used to occupy. You’re more likely to see profiles with words and humor.

OK Cupid may not be as popular anymore but it may still be worth it to include it in your mix of dating Apps/sites as some people still use it, especially in a city as large as New York.

If you don’t find it overwhelming, try not to limit yourself to only one App. If you do want to limit how much time you put in, maybe try just one App at a time and see how you like it. If I could only choose one App myself, I would probably choose Hinge.

Online dating can be incredibly draining and time consuming. I’ve installed and deleted all the Apps so many times. I say this as a 36 year old male. It’s even more exhausting for women. It’s totally normal to have waves where you’re in a space to be more engaged with the app and also common to delete the App for a few months at a time.
posted by mundo at 1:15 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: A question about Hinge: do you have to be on facebook, which I am not and have no plans to be, ever?
posted by swheatie at 1:31 PM on May 2

Yes you can sign up for Hinge without using Facebook. You would have to use a mobile phone number. I can’t find something to link to so I copied and pasted this from the help section in the Hinge App.
Can I sign up without Facebook?
Yes, you can create an account using only your phone number.

While Hinge requires that all our members authenticate their accounts with a verified phone number, you can sign up for Hinge using either your Facebook account or your phone number.

Note: these are separate methods of login. If you create two different Hinge account, those accounts cannot be merged.
I don’t mean to sound like a shill for Hinge. It’s just that I too have struggled to find something to fill the void that OK Cupid used to fill. Bumble might be a good option as well. I’ve just never really used it.
posted by mundo at 2:29 PM on May 2

I’ve seen plenty of people 50+ on Bumble, which is the only dating app I can stand — it’s most the honest dealer of them all. I was on OKC for years and years, before it got aggressively terrible and counterproductive. The other apps all seemed to have their own particular issues. I wouldn’t hesitate on Bumble, but then, my city is far smaller than yours, and Hinge probably has a gravity there for you that it doesn’t for me. One key about Bumble, though — keep track of your subscription expiry date, as they keep that well and truly hidden now.

In summary: it’s all terrible, but online dating is the only game in town, and totally a numbers game. Good luck!
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:27 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]

I’ve used PLenty of Fish which is the Wild West, OKCupid which was fine. Tinder which is efficient and my favorite, and bumble which was by far my worst experience with the worst engagements. With bumble by design you are being matched with men who like this “you make the first move” and that gets exhausting. Frankly OkCupid and Tinder have a much more mutually fulfilling engagement ratio.

Say exactly what you want on that front page for your profile. You really do have a marketplace of men that can be overwhelming
posted by Dressed to Kill at 12:12 PM on May 3

I'm a cishet woman in my late 40s on the west coast. There are lots of folks our age on dating apps like Tinder and Bumble. You'll likely see more people on Tinder, which might be good or bad. Bumble is a smaller pool, if you feel overwhelmed by it all.

I agree it's good to throw out assumptions about online dating and dating apps. They can be what you want!
posted by bluedaisy at 8:15 PM on May 3

Someone posted a similar question last year (and I thank them for it!) I am a 54 year old cishet female who had ended a nine year relationship and had another fizzle out and I was tired of being single. I tried Match, and while I had a few chats with men, no one I really was interested in contacted me AT ALL. And even though I had distance parameters it kept trying to hook me up with people in Virginia (I'm in NJ).

So then I tried Bumble. I liked how it worked; again there were issues where it was connecting me to men I thought lived too far away. I had one very nice date and chatted with a few others, and then I met my current boyfriend. We have been together for nearly 9 months now and I am very happy.

I also have a female friend, same age, who met a guy on Plenty Of Fish (I tried it years ago, but no luck) who has now been dating a man she met on there over a year ago, and they are very happy too.

Best of luck!
posted by annieb at 6:15 PM on May 5

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