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The Best Online Dating Services for Boomers

A Consumer Reports guide helps you look for love in all the right places


If there’s one thing Consumer Reports (CR) is known for, it’s being thorough. If there’s one thing it’s not known for, it’s romance. Until now.

That’s right, the nonprofit organization known for “providing unbiased product ratings and reviews since 1936” has decided to get into the love game.

After admitting that this is “new and fairly unusual territory for us” in a recent article titled “Match Me If You Can: Comparing and rating dating apps and sites for boomers,” the ratings giant went about the meticulous work of dispassionately reporting the results of a survey of about 115,000 subscribers in meticulous detail. Complete with those wonderful comparison charts. And a handy guide to dating lingo such as “Netflix and chill” (in case you didn’t know, it’s slang for coming over to have sex) and “Tinderella” (a “twist on Cinderella; popular with male Tinder users to describe the perfect match”) for newbies. 

Your tech-support provider might not be able to fix your shattered smartphone but at least she won’t shatter your heart.

The Online Dating Survey Says …

What did the survey show? That online dating works. It has a 44 percent success rate. Also: online dating stinks. People hate it — with a passion.

Even the highest ranking site — the free OkCupid — received a reader score of 56, which basically translates to “meh.” (Runners up: Tinder, with a 52; Grindr, with a 52 and PlentyOfFish, with a 50.; all are also free.) Or as the story dispassionately puts it: Respondents “gave online dating sites the lowest satisfaction scores Consumer Reports has ever seen for services rendered — lower even than for tech-support providers.”

Youch!

But is that really Tinder’s fault? Your tech-support provider might not be able to fix your shattered smartphone, but at least she won’t shatter your heart. As the story notes, a sweater can’t reject you or lie about its age or show up to dinner wearing a blaze-orange hunting vest.

In other words, being a dating app is hard because dating is hard. And definitely not for the feint of heart.

By the Numbers

Other numbers cited in the story are more encouraging:

  • 15 percent of American adults have used online dating sites and/or dating apps
  • Boomer enrollment in online dating sites/apps has doubled since 2013
  • People over 50 are one of the fastest growing segments in the online dating world
  • And this one bears repeating: 44 percent of those surveyed who tried online dating said it led to a serious relationship

After all, if Consumer Reports is willing to try its luck in love, why not you?

 

By Heidi Raschke
Heidi Raschke is a longtime journalist and editor who previously was the Executive Editor of Mpls-St. Paul Magazine and Living and Learning Editor at Next Avenue. Currently, she runs her own content strategy and development consultancy.@heidiraschke

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