Online dating is big, which means that online dating is also big business. So why aren’t more Baby Boomers using online dating to find the love of their life?
First, let’s look at some numbers about online dating. A Pew Internet study showed that 11% of American adults—and a total of 38% of those who describe themselves as “single and looking”—have used online dating in search of love.
But online daters skew young. About 22% of adults aged 25-34 are online daters, and 17% of those aged 35-44 have used online sites to search for dates and maters.
The numbers for Baby Boomers are much lower, however. Only 8% of adults aged 45-54, 6% of adults 55-64 and a paltry 3% of those 65+ have used online dating. So, why are the numbers so much lower for Boomers and seniors?
Well, Boomers aren’t exactly known as the age group that becomes “early adopters” when new technology is introduced. We didn’t grow up with computers and the Internet the way 20-somethings did, so it’s understandable that we aren’t as comfortable in the digital world as our kids and grandkids are.
Plus, when Match.com launched nearly two decades ago, there was a widely held belief that Internet dating was for losers who couldn’t get a date any other way. (In fact, when Match.com founder, Gary Kremen, did his first TV interview in 1995, he said, “Match.com will bring more love to the planet than anything since Jesus Christ,” and everyone thought he was a kook.)
So let me tell you my personal online dating story. When I got divorced after a long marriage, I found myself single again—and clueless about dating in the 21st century. I started going to local pubs and nightclubs, but I wasn’t meeting the kind of women who I would call “wife material.”
Because I was very clear about wanting to meet a quality woman, I gave online dating a try. I joined Match.com and quickly posted a photo and a profile filled with information about myself. Then I made every online dating mistake—and probably invented a few new ones. I sent LONG email messages to women who caught my eye, but I received almost no responses. I sent “winks” and got no responses. I also sent messages to women revealing WAY TOO MUCH information about myself that (apparently) sent women running for cover. (I share all of this in humorous detail in my book, Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet. In the book I also share tips about what actually works in the online dating world.)
After learning the hard way, I got good at online dating. I met quite a few interesting women. And then I met THE ONE. Krista and I corresponded online, and then we spoke several times on the phone. Our first date was absolutely magical. Sparks flew—in a wonderful way—and we were instantly smitten with each other.
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Krista and I have now been married for over two years. And if it weren’t for online dating, we never would have met.
So, as a Baby Boomer and an online dating success story, I would like to see more single Baby Boomers try online dating. If you do it right, it’s an efficient way to meet the last love of your life. Plus, with a positive attitude and an open mind, online dating can be an entertaining—and, dare I say, a life-changing experience.
The only thing you have to lose is your singlehood.
Chad Stone would be honored if you would go to the Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet page on Facebook and “like” it right now. Thank you.
Chad Stone is the author of the critically acclaimed The Love Magnet Rules," which contains 101 tips for meeting, dating and keeping a new love. He shares his own personal brand of dating and relationship advice on his website at www.chadstone.us. In addition to writing and speaking on love, dating, and relationships, Chad Stone owns a successful marketing and public relations business. He lives with his wife in Santa Fe, New Mexico.