“Instead of focusing on where can I meet guys or where can I meet girls, think about where can I meet friends,” says Christina Pesoli, a family law attorney in Austin, Texas and author of “Break Free from the Divortex.” She says those settings, from book clubs to church groups, can be great places to meet potential dates with similar interests.
Pepper Schwartz, a love and relationship expert for AARP, says travel and hobby groups and community classes are also places where older Americans can mingle.
She adds that online dating shouldn’t be overlooked either.
However, big sites like e Harmony and Match have plenty of older users as well.
Schwartz notes older Americans may find that boutique sites that cater to specific religious groups or personal interests may provide the best matches.
Seniors shouldn’t limit themselves to only dating people of the same age, Pesoli says.
That may not sound like much until you consider that only 10 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds reported using those sites. While gardening one day, Bernadetta walked by and said hello.
Bruce recalls being instantly smitten – although his future wife insists she had no intentions other than showing neighborly friendliness.
Spending the holidays together led to a January proposal and a March 2012 wedding attended by family and friends from as far away as Bernadetta’s native Netherlands.
When asked whether they were concerned about moving too fast, Bruce is quick to point out their previous marriages and life experiences meant they knew they were a match.
That’s the story of Bruce and Bernadetta Bateman, who found love at the Lakewood Village retirement community in Melbourne, Florida, and got married at ages 76 and 73, respectively.
Their story is only one example of how older Americans are pursuing romance and finding the perfect partner, regardless of their age.
According to AARP, 45 percent of Americans older than age 65 are divorced, separated or widowed.
Meanwhile, a 2013 Pew Research Center study found that 6 percent of Americans between ages 55 and 64 had used an online dating website or app.