OurTime.com: A dating site for the 50+ crowd

Many older people are reluctant to get back in the game but a relationship expert says they shouldn't be

Some people say a lot of different areas of life are wasted on the young like the appreciation of youth itself, since many young adults and teens are eager to become older in order to break free from their parents and get a full dose of real life.

Another aspect of life that’s wasted on the young, some say, is love and romance, since some young people fall in and out of relationships very quickly, because they either take a true love connection for granted or they don’t yet know how to properly balance the art of giving someone the proper amount of attentiveness and space.

And when it comes to meeting someone new, it seems that younger people have it a little easier in that area too, as many lounges and social meeting places cater to the 25-year old looking to casually date, and online dating sites are no better, as most of them advertise to consumers of a pretty young demographic.

Sure, dating sites like eHarmony do a small amount of advertising to the 50 and over crowd, but if you look at just about any dating site commercial these days, you’re likely to see younger people talking about their experiences, as many companies believe putting young attractive people in the ads will give the site a hip appeal and draw in a lot of potential users.

But there are a handful of reputable dating sites that have a done a pretty good job of getting the word out to older adults, that Internet dating is just as much for them as it is for younger people.

In fact, if you’re 50 or older and just got out of a long marriage or relationship, and looking to jump back into the dating scene again, OurTime.com is a great place to start, its creators say.

The company says it caters to older crowds because people’s needs change as they get older, and what they want in their 50s may not be what they wanted in their 30s and 40s.

Not just for the young

OurTime has released a series of commercials both online and on television that attempt to dispel any myths among some older people that online dating is only for the younger ones.

Dr. Gail Saltz

Dr. Gail Saltz, a relationship expert who contributes to NBC’s "Today Show," works with OurtTime.com and says another reason older consumers may be hesitant to use the site is that they think most people in their age group are either married or coupled off, which Saltz says couldn’t be further from the truth.

She points to 2010 U.S. census data that show 30 percent of the 78 million baby boomers in America are single, which gives users in this age category a good chance to meet somebody who happens to be at the same point in life.

Saltz also says people in this age group may stay away from dating until they're ready for marriage, which is the wrong approach.

“People in this age group, 50 and above, aren’t really necessarily looking to get married,” she said.

“They’re looking for companionship, they’re looking to have fun and they’re definitely looking for a long-term relationship, but not necessarily marriage. So don’t let the idea that you’re not ready to get married keep you from getting out there if dating is what you’re interested in.”

A Match.com connection

Match.com Jan. 28, 2013, 3:40 a.m.
Consumers rate Match.com

OurTime is owned by IAC, which also owns other dating sites like Match.com and Chemistry.com. IAC also owns SeniorPeopleMeet.com, and the growth of that site gave CEO Josh Meyers the idea to make an even better dating site and reintroduce the concept of Internet dating to older consumers.

“We saw a fervor for something just for them. Surveys of the age group indicated they wanted to be able to associate with other mature adults,”  Meyers said in a published interview.

“They wanted to jump into a community of like-minded folks. They know what they want; they stay longer on the site, are more deliberate in their approach and take their time.”

Of course, the Match.com connection may not be a plus for everyone, since Match doesn't exactly thrill all of its members. Here's what Lisa of New York City had to say about her Match.com experience:

"Probably the worst site I've ever joined. I met a few guys for a meet up or a date and all of them were awkward to say the least. ... I've never encountered such weirdos in my life. The men seem to have this life on the internet and so many lacked social skills. Very horrible experience with Match.com. Many of the guys were liars for no reason even when I was clearly not interested. Also, they would write multiple times and view your profile as if they are stalkers."

Back into the game

Dr. Saltz says OurTime and sites like it can actually be a great place for seniors to get back into the dating game if they’ve been gone for a long time, since users can pace themselves and slowly redevelop their dating skills and test them out without having to leave their home.

She says the biggest reason many older adults stay away from dating sites is for fear of getting judged, since people putting their information online for all to view -- and being comfortable with that is a relatively new thing in our culture.

“I think the stigma has really, really decreased,” she said about online dating.

"So many people are doing it and this simply is a myth that shouldn’t keep you in participating if you’re interested in dating someone."

OK, but pay attention

On the other hand, all this sounds great but, if Ourtime is anything like Match, you'll want to pay careful attention to the subscription details. Many readers have complained that their Match membership renewed despite their attempts to cancel.

"This is the second time this has happened to me. Shame on me. I thought it was an oversight the first time," said Elaine of Muskegon, Mich. "After cancelling the automatic renewal, they will go ahead and bill again and again. This is an absolute scam, and they need to be stopped. I see by reading other complaints that they are in the habit of doing this."

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