February – the month that drives home a cultural message oh so loud and clear: romantic love makes the world go round and you’re nothing without a plus-one. While that may be a little extreme – just like the Valentine’s Day commercials themselves – February 14 may have you longing for a compatible partner that just might make life feel magical again. That task can feel even harder with age, so if you’re unsure where to even start your search, here are our picks for great places to meet your soulmate after 50.
1 Online dating. If you believe finding love online is like finding a unicorn, check out our feature story full of readers’ tales of finding love – and marriage – on the internet. And they’re not the only ones – Lehman Brothers Equity Research found the over 50 segment is the fastest growing group of online daters, with sites like “Our Time” catering specifically to this demographic. Just remember: take time in creating your profile, be patient and keep an open mind; and most of all, safety first – always have your first meeting in a well-lit public place.
2 Community events. With age and retirement comes more free time, and getting involved with your community is a wonderful way to meet a partner of similar values. Join a community garden, attend your local farmers market, or check out Meetup.com to find other niche groups, some of which are specifically geared towards those over 50. Or, contact local music venues and ask to volunteer as an usher or choose any cause to volunteer for – you never know who you’ll meet while helping out.
3 Take up a hobby. Finding a soulmate can happen anywhere, but the chances go up when you meet like-minded people. Last month we featured a retiree who met great friends at his memoir writing group and we promoted a senior sailing club – specifically for singles. New Media Trend Watch USA reports, “As they age out of the work force, 67 percent of boomers plan to spend more time on their hobbies and interests, moving from a life dedicated to making money to one that is directed to spending money.”
4 Tell your friends. Don’t feel like you have to go it alone; instead, just remember the famous Beatles lyrics, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” Utilizing as much of your social network as you feel comfortable with, tell people what you’re looking for. They can’t set you up if they don’t know you’re interested in finding someone. Then, when you start getting random invites to events, enthusiastically attend and keep an open mind. You’ll expand your social circle and probably have a lot of fun along the way.
5 If all else fails, move to a retirement community. Florida is full of active retirement communities where other people just like you may be looking for the same thing you are. Investigate and visit local 55+ communities to find one that matches your personality and style. You never know who might be your new next door neighbor…