Nowadays, there are quite a few dating websites out there catering to seniors. That’s not surprising. A lot of seniors want a more active social life in general, and romantic life for sure.
Dating sites make everything easier, and sites that cater to seniors are especially useful.
They help save time, they put you in contact with people who are already looking for the same things you are, and did I mention that they save time?
So, once you’re a senior looking for people your own age, you don’t have to wade through a whole set of profiles that don’t fit your tastes and needs.
Instead, you’ll probably have a wider range of potential partners because the people on the seniors-only sites are also looking for someone in their own age bracket.
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How Long Has SilverSingles Been Around?
SilverSingles is one of the better-known seniors dating catering to single people over 50, unlike Bumble or Tinder. It’s not a hook-up site, but there are other sites that cater to that. SilverSingles focuses on serious relationships; although you can always create your profile in a way that leaves other options open or, once you get matches, have that discussion one-on-one.
Keep in mind, though, that they specify that their site is for people who are looking for a serious relationship for their “golden years”. The members are generally seeking strong relationships, even if those relationships range from companionship to friendship to marriage.
The company has a good track record in the dating business. They’ve been in operation for more than seventeen years, starting PrimeSingles.net in 2002, then becoming Single Seniors Meet in 2009. The present name, SilverSingles, has been in use since 2011.
The company now offers its dating services to over 50 singles in the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, France, Germany, and over ten other countries (about 20 total.)
SilverSingles User Overview
Most of the sites’ members are American, though. The gender ratio is 55% male, and 44% female, which is actually an excellent balance for a dating site. (Most sites actually average an 80% male, 20% female ratio.)
Apart from the age bracket, most of SilverSite’s members (80%) also have a university degree. And even though Silver Singles is targeted towards those over 50, it does not exclude those who are younger (as you can see by the fact that I signed up).
One thing I instantly liked about the site’s set-up is that the administrators remain focused on the fact that they’re dealing with people born before 1970.
It’s easy to forget, but that’s a good 20 years before the personal computer, let alone the Internet and smartphones.
You can tell that they’re catering to a mature crowd from their website design alone. It’s got straight, clean lines, primary colors, and even large fonts for easier reading.
Not too many photos and those they use are either in big boxes or neat oval frames. The tabs and icon buttons are easy to find.
SilverSingles Sign Up
Most importantly, they’ve made the sign-up process as simple as possible. Even the first step is straightforward: a box where you just click “I am a Man/Woman looking for a Woman/Man.”
If you still have any problems, they have a help desk you can call. Pretty much all major websites have that, but it’s especially important for a dating site for seniors.
After all, dating in your 50s can be a little intimidating, and doing it through a dating site can add another layer of discomfort. It’s nice to know you can call to get directions on any technical issues and, because it’s a dating site, maybe some romantic advice, too.
Let’s get into some more detail on the various features of the site.
After you sign up with your e-mail address, you go to the box below and say whether you’re a man or woman looking for a woman or man.
You then put in the usual basic information: date of birth, education level, and marital status. Why marital status?
Because knowing if someone is single, divorced, separated, or widowed lets you get a better idea of how to approach them or how they should approach you. (Most SilverSingles members fall into the divorced/widowed categories.)
You’ll also answer more specific questions about the age range, education level, etc. that you’re looking for in a partner.
So, to review the steps:
1. You enter your gender, the gender of the partner you want, your e-mail address, and a password.
2. Read the Terms and Conditions and click “Agree.”
3. Select Get Started to do the personality test.
SilverSingles recommends that you use your first name as your username. This is generally a good rule. It’s more personal and helps you connect better.
After all, you already know that whoever you’re chatting to has some level of interest in you!
But the site explicitly bans you from using your surname—I guess that’s because they figure users can find one another for free if they allow that. Although that strategy wouldn’t work if your name is John Smith.
Once you’ve finished the personality test, your profile is automatically activated. You’ll get test results and then you can add more details to your profile.
When you select Matches, you can see prospective dates you’ve been matched with through your personality test.
If you want to change your personal settings, go to My Account. Note that SilverSingles’ Terms & Conditions don’t let you sign up with more than one account.
Dude Hack Rating: 8/10
Who Can See Your Profile?
Once you’ve registered (depending on whether you’re a paid or free member), here are some things you should know about how visible you are:
Once you’ve registered (depending on whether you’re a paid or free member), here are some things you should know about how visible you are:
- Every user, paid or not, can view every member’s profile information.
- That information is very detailed, so you can really get a good idea of what kind of people use the site.
- Member previews include your location and occupation.
- Only paid members can view photos.
SilverSingles Personality Test
Then comes the personality test. SilverSingles places a lot of emphasis on this. The test, they say, is based on the “renowned Big Five-Factor Model.” (It’s actually better known as the Big Five traits, but “Big Five” doesn’t sound as scientific as “Five Factor,” does it?)
Anyway, it’s not surprising that they’ll make a big deal about their personality test—eharmony, maybe the best-known general dating site marketed itself as better than other sites because of their unique matching algorithm.
The jury’s actually still out on how effective these algorithms are but my view, for what it’s worth, is that the matches they throw up at least eliminate some criteria that you really didn’t want, and then it’s really up to you and your personal judgment.
It’s still more time-saving than the hit-and-miss of real-world dating.
The personality test has more than a hundred questions. It’s worth it, because the more details the algorithm can use, the better it can match you up. (There’s a point of diminishing returns, but we needn’t get into that.)
The personality test asks about your traits, character, personality, outlook, and habits.
You’ll fill in information about your hobbies, interests, beliefs, and any quirks you think might be worth mentioning. The questionnaire also lets you list how important these criteria are for you in any prospective partner.
It’s not Yes or No answers for most of them, but a scale where you indicate how you feel about whatever.
Creating Your SilverSingles Profile
The next step is creating your dating profile. SilverSingles also offers help with this. You can call up their desk or follow their guidelines on-site.
They even have professional-level profile samples for you to look at and follow. They suggest you keep it simple—just say what your interests are and what you’re looking for.
This is good advice—after all, think about what you yourself want when you read somebody’s profile from their recommendations.
You want to know the basics about them right away, so you can decide if they’re someone you should contact. Having to go through a lot of text of somebody describing themselves can be a turn-off by itself.
The site offers some good tips about the kind of profile pictures you should post. Nothing posed—an informal shot where you look at ease (and happy) is best. You should put up several different photos, including full-length and action shots.
And, very importantly, use a recent picture. What’s the point of putting up an image and, when you meet in real life, the other person doesn’t even recognize you?
Remember, this is a site aimed at people who are looking for a serious relationship. So they emphasize that you should be honest about who you are and what you’re looking for. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time and money.
When you’ve finished the test, you have to upload a photo, so have one ready to go. Then you get seven more questions, which you have to answer in your own words.
This gives you the opportunity to really show what kind of person you are. That’s crucial to getting good matches, algorithms or not.
The whole process lasts about 30 minutes but takes as long as you need to get it right. After all, you want to make a good impression, right?
(Once you’re finished, you’ll be automatically redirected to the billing page. But needn’t pay at once—in fact, I recommend you don’t!
Feel your way around the site first with the free member option. That way you can decide if it’s worth spending money on.)
Dude Hack Rating: 9/10
Getting Matches On SilverSingles
Once you’ve signed up, taken the test, and created your profile, SilverSingles will start sending you possible matches within your area. They promise to send you new matches every day until you meet that special someone.
This is a double-edged sword of sorts, though. On the one hand, if they can send you potential matches every day (they say you’ll get between three to seven recommendations) that says that they have a wide pool of compatible people for you to choose from. (They do boast that their membership has doubled in the last few years.)
On the other hand, if they can find matches for you every day, maybe their compatibility criteria aren’t as specific as they should be.
Still, the bottom line when it comes to dating is that it’s better to have more options to choose from. So, since you’ll be getting new people who might be interested in you on a daily basis, the odds are definitely in your favor.
Dude Hack Rating: 7/10
Viewing Members’ Profiles
This brings me to another site feature that I liked—their members’ profiles. You can view these—but not photos—even with the free membership option (so you do have to sign up and take the personality test).
The profiles are pretty detailed, so you can get a good idea of the kind of people you’ll be “meeting.” It’s like looking around a roomful of people before you enter, which gives you a chance to “read the crowd.”
You may decide, after reading a few sample profiles, that this isn’t the place for you. I don’t think that’s likely, because the members are a pretty diverse demographic, with only their age bracket in common.
I went through a fair amount of profiles myself, and there are people here with a whole range of interests, hobbies, stories—you might end up chatting with some of them just because they seem interesting, not because you want a romantic connection.
(If you do that, though, you should make it clear upfront you’re just having a conversation—it is a dating site, after all!)
I found it interesting that the administrators also emphasized that they make sure the members are “genuine.” Does that mean no fake profiles?
According to the site, their Customer Care team “manually checks the validity of every new profile on the site, ensuring that our members truly are seeking a meaningful match.” Manually? I thought they had algorithms for that now.
Whatever checks they do are strictly limited, though, since in their Terms & Conditions they state that they DO NOT “routinely screen our users, inquire into the background of our users, attempt to verify information provided by our users.”
The site does say that they use Fraud Detection Systems and SSL Encryption to ensure the site’s security, so they’re clearly serious about that aspect. Just like with banks, good security is an absolutely crucial feature for a dating site, and SilverSingles seems to have that covered.
Silver Singles Customer Service
If you do have an unpleasant interaction with another member, you can report them by using the “Report This Profile” button or by sending an email to the team at [email protected].
I did wonder, though, how they’re checking that members are looking for a meaningful match. Since they’re obviously not contacting every member for a chat, they can only mean they’re checking the profiles.
But, to my mind, that is over-promising. The best a dating site can offer is that most of the people you meet will be genuine. The final task is always up to us, though, and there’s no point pretending it isn’t.
Dude Hack Review: 6/10
Silver Singles Blog
Another feature I found very useful was their blog. Let’s face it, going into the online dating scene can be a little daunting when you’re not sure about the rules, how to approach people through your computer screen, how to show somebody you’re interested or not and a thousand other things.
SilverSingles has nine pages of articles (about ten per page) dealing with a wide variety of topics to help pave the way for you, with a lot of advice.
They have articles about ideas for first dates, how to find love over 50, issues that may arise if you’re dating a divorced man, gay dating apps, how to read body language, and what mature women want.
They also try to ensure they have something for every cohort. That’s just business sense, of course, but it ensures that the site is welcoming to all types of people. That isn’t true of all dating sites (eharmony, for instance, got some flack for not catering to gay couples.)
SilverSingles talks about Indian dating for over-50s, which caters to an existing tradition in that community as well as the fact that Indians in the US have the highest average income.
In this article, SilverSingles emphasizes that they’re all about safety and trust. “At SilverSingles, we know how disappointing matchmaking services for Indians can be,” they write. “That’s why we’ve created a new kind of platform for Indian dating.
Our website and app allow Indian singles to find the perfect match, wherever they live. You won’t have to wade through inappropriate matches or deal with fake profiles. Instead, we will provide a range of possibilities — paving the way for a marriage that lasts.”
There are also articles on interracial dating, dating for “spiritual singles over 50,” and dating for older lesbians. So, whoever you are, you’re pretty sure to find an article relevant to your identity and/or your concerns on the site.
For some reason, though, they don’t have a blog link at the bottom of their home page. Instead, the link is at the bottom of every section—you have to click on “See More Articles Written by Editorial Team.” I don’t see why they couldn’t have both.
Dating Tips And Everything Else
I found most of the articles fairly well-written, with useful information. Unfortunately, quite a few were also written by template and weren’t specific to the group being targeted—the article on interracial dating, for instance, totally avoided any issues relevant to interracial relationships.
Instead, the piece just said SilverSingles had a diverse membership so it would be easier to find a partner of a different race. Big whoop.
As for the advice articles, the Top 3 suggestions in their “First Dates” piece were “Visit an art gallery or museum”, “Take a cooking class together,” and “Have a picnic.” You might not agree with these (cooking class? Sounds like a recipe for embarrassment) but the point is that you have a resource on the site for ideas you might not think up yourself.
The Body Language piece had some good science behind it—mimicking your date’s movements, what preening indicates, and how men and women do it differently, why crossed arms of legs are a bad sign.
However, the article went a bit overboard in trying to tell what signs show that somebody is lying.
The science there is unreliable at best and, according to the leading expert in the field (Paul Ekman), you need a slow-motion video to really detect signs that somebody is being dishonest. (There’s actually a crime drama series based on Ekman’s work called Lie To Me.)
Even if you don’t have any particular questions and even if you’re fairly confident about online dating, it’s still helpful to take a look at the blog since you might find some issues you hadn’t thought about. This will make you better prepared to handle any curveballs that might come your way.
When a dating site offers you an app, you can be pretty sure that they’re serious about making things convenient for you. Again, because we tend to forget how new the internet is, apps may seem a thing for younger people.
But the SilverSingles app is just like using your desktop or laptop computer, except you can now date through your smartphone or tablet (Android or IOS, the app works equally well on both.)
How To Use The SilverSingles App
The SingleSilvers app is very simple. If you’re signing up with the app, don’t need to have a social media account and it doesn’t have any vetting different from the desktop sign-up.
You can download the app from iTunes (for iOS devices) or the Google Play Store (for Android.)
Once you do that, you can have direct access to your dating profile on your mobile phone or tablet. You log in in exactly the same way you would on your computer—the layout is only a little bit different so you won’t have to search around too much for different buttons or menus.
(Note, though, that the app is only available for members who have signed up for the premium package.)
Using the app means you don’t have to wait until you’re at your office or home to check for any new matches. You can check while you’re stuck in traffic or in your dentist’s waiting room, and even start chatting with other interested prospects while out golfing. So the app really facilitates:
- Updating your profile, with new photos or text
- Connecting with prospective dates any time
- Replying at once to persons who are interested in you
- Asking for additional information or photos from someone you’re interested in
What I like about having an app is that dating really becomes part of your daily life, as do the potential partners you’re meeting online. And that’s how it should be, because what’s more important in life than our relationships, right?
Dude Hack Rating: 9/10
Like most websites, SilverSingles has different kinds of membership options, with the range of services increasing with the paid packages.
The basic membership is free, giving limited access to members’ profiles and features, but it won’t allow you to meet prospective partners. However, you’ll be able to take the personality test and also create a profile.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll actually get recommended profiles, but you won’t be able to contact them. The purpose here is to tease you with prospective dates so you’ll sign up for the paid package, but this is also to your benefit since it will give you some idea of what to expect and whether it’s worth paying for.
If you decided to go that route, the premium package gets you full access to members’ profiles and photographs, you can message other premium members, and you can search members’ profiles to find a good match. You’ll also be able to create a proper online profile since the free membership only allows a basic profile.
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Dude Hack Rating: 7/10
Free Vs Premium Package
|Silver Singles Free|
|Silver Singles Premium|
So you’ve registered as a SilverSingles member, either for free or on one of the three paid packages.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll see members displayed on your search tab. All those members are matches for you. They’ve been chosen by the SilverSingles algorithm because they are compatible with you. Isn’t it nice to know so many people (potentially) like you?
You can tweak your search filters, though, to narrow your prospective partners by location, interests, age, or even height.
How To Get A Refund
Moreover, under the company’s Terms & Conditions, you have to cancel your subscription within THREE BUSINESS DAYS to get a refund.
Not only that but, if I read the T&C correctly, it seems that in most states you had to MAIL IN your cancellation request. That’s right. No email option is offered (except in California apparently).
So the lesson from this: buyer beware. But I’m not saying that you shouldn’t buy at all.
The Bottom Line
SilverSingles is by no means perfect, but it’s a lot better than most of the other dating sites out there targeting seniors. I’ve definitely gotten the most positive feedback about it.
So try it out for free, then decide if the site will give you a better chance of finding the love you want.