Not all apps are for youngsters! And this is certainly the case with dating apps. In this article, I discuss dating apps for the over 40s.
Dating in your 40s and very possibly with kids in tow, can feel daunting. For this reason, finding the right space to meet that like-minded someone is really important. It will also make the whole experience more enjoyable. After all, dating is a journey … and it should be fun.
So which apps are best suited to middle-aged women who are looking for love, companionship, or a cuddle between the sheets?
I want you to choose the right app that will find you exactly the kind of partner you are looking for. Yet, for many of us over 40s, we can feel a little out of our depth. We have no (or very limited) experience with dating apps and they can feel foreign, bizarre, and even scary. The thought of literally ‘selling ourselves’ online is enough to make us cringe behind the couch and never come out again. This is certainly how I felt at the beginning of my own dating journey.
The more time you spend researching apps the more informed decision you can make … and the sooner you’ll be heading off into the sunset with Mr Right. There can be a ton of questions when getting back into dating when it’s online because we might worry about the little things like how to ask him if he likes me over text.
I’ve made some suggestions to help women in their 40s find the perfect dating app at the end of this article. They are all things I have learned from my experiences dating online and I would like to share them with you to help you avoid the mistakes I made.
First, here’s my top pick of dating apps for the over 40s in 2023.
7 Best dating apps for the over 40s
The inclusive eharmony dating app is definitely for the marriage-minded or those looking for long-term relationships, whether you are in your 20s or 40s.
After filling out a detailed questionnaire (which took me about an hour!), their smart matching system finds potential dates for you based on your age, goals, interests, and profile. If like me, you love customising your profile to paint a clear picture of who you are and what kind of match you’re looking for, eharmony is the best dating app available.
There is a free version that lets you view limited profile information, however you can’t see photos. Using the free version will give you a taster of how the app works before making the commitment to pay and getting stuck into your dating mission.
To date, I have had more success with eharmony than any of the other apps, having made a couple of firm friends and even found a gardener in my journey to find love! For me, I feel amongst like-minded people on eharmony, but this won’t be the case for all women in their 40s.
Check out our full, genuine eharmony review.
Free version: Yes, limited
Pros: Great for marriage-minded singles in their 30s, 40s and beyond, most people here seem fairly grounded
Cons: It takes a while to sign-up and complete your profile but we feel it’s worth it in the long run
What we love about eharmony: Definitely seems a little more classy than, say Tinder, and feels like a safe space
Over 40 and looking for some online or offline fun? This was me once (no judgement please) so don’t be shy and give it a go. This is the go-to app for people on the lookout for casual encounters.
But it’s more than just a hookup app, it’s an entire social media phenomenon. Think of Facebook, but for sex. With over 25 million visitors each month and a feature-rich experience (from chatrooms to live cams to a sex academy), I didn’t get bored and yes I did have lots of fun.
There’s just one downside; you need to pay for the premium version if you want unlimited messaging. Otherwise, you’ll need to work on your profile to get noticed.
Oh and please ladies, be careful what you share and stay safe online … always.
Free version: Yes
Pros: Huge membership base of over 40s looking for hookups and casual connections so I didn’t feel weird as everyone was doing it
Cons: You need to pay to unlock most features
What we love about Adult Friend Finder: Great hookup app for older women to get their sexy back and I loved the fact that I could do it all completely anonymously
For the over 40s women who are confident and love making the first move like I do, Bumble is pretty cool too.
I’ve found it’s actually a great way to build confidence. This dating app empowers us ladies to make the first move and contact the guys who take our fancy, whether for a casual connection or something more serious.
The matching system is similar to Tinder. You swipe right and if they like you back, you can send your first message.
So, is it a good dating app for someone older? Definitely yes! While the median age of Bumble users is 26, it’s also popular with an older demographic. And they have over 100 million users, so chances are you’ll find a good match, or at least have some fun along the way. Bumble was a liberating experience, so I suggest you give it a try at least once.
Then, if you are like me, you’ll head back to an app where men make the first move and do the chasing … call me old fashioned!
Free version: Yes
Pros: Us women get to start a conversation with their matches
Cons: Profiles are less detailed than eharmony, slightly younger user base but then you might be looking for a younger love
What we love about Bumble: Ladies get to make the first move, yay
Can you believe that Match.com has been around for 20 years? And did you know that a majority of members (around 75%) are over 30? I tried Match once and found it to be a fairly good choice for older adults who are family-minded and looking for long-term relationships.
In fact, the over-50 segment is the fastest-growing demographic. Like most dating apps, there are lots of cool features to play around with but I found MatchPhone and Video Date really handy, allowing you to keep contact within the app without handing out personal details too soon. Us over 40s are private like that!
Free version: Yes, limited
Pros: Most members are over 30, lots of potential matches for mature daters, detailed profiles
Cons: It was a bit pricey if you want to access all features
What we love about Match.com: It’s a veteran app with a good range of features to communicate within the app
Dating apps for middle aged (cont.)
Are you single and looking for something serious? RSVP has 20 years of experience and has developed a "Market Engine" that's more successful than standard match algorithms in other dating apps for the over 40s. Using historical match data, you get matched with like-minded Aussies.
What's more, it closely works with safety organisations like the police to ensure your safety. This is by far my favourite feature, since as someone over 40s, I'm protective about my privacy. Aside from finding local matches, you can filter your searches to single parents or seniors.
Becoming one of its 30,000 monthly members is easy. You only need 15 minutes to complete a questionnaire on its user-friendly website. It then gives you a personality report that can guide you when checking your compatibility with another member.
Free version: Yes
Pros: Free version plus premium boosting and privacy settings
Cons: With thousands of choices, finding a match can be challenging; also, membership is expensive
What we love about OkCupid: It's an all-Australian dating app - even customer service is Syndey-based
Elite Singles is the dating app for over 40s professionals getting back into the dating scene after a long break. Like eharmony, this app is designed for singles looking for long-term relationships and marriage.
The point of difference with Elite is that users have an above-average education, so it’s perfect for career-minded women looking for love. This made me like and dislike the app. Some of the other users seemed a bit pompous but at the same time it felt good to be amongst like-minded individuals. I found lots of divorcees lurking in this space. Not complaining, as I am one of them.
On the technical side, Elite Singles recently added a swipe-based matching system on top of their traditional system which is good as I previously found it a bit clunky to use.
Free version: Yes, limited
Pros: Specifically hunt down professional potential partners, in-person speed dating events (these are cool)
Cons: Free version is limited, and the paid version is very expensive
What we love about Elite Singles: Designed for singles over 30s looking for serious relationships
Who said your dating adventures should end with you turning 40? I don’t think so! TenderMeets is an over 40 dating site designed for mature singles who refuse to stop having fun even after hitting a certain age, just like me. If you are looking for love and long-term relationships with like-minded mature people, no matter where you live, you will find this platform extremely fruitful.
But what amazed me is that being a platform for seeking love in the first place, TenderMeets can meet other needs too. Looking for casual hookups? No problem! Given the extensive community that the platform has gathered over the years, you might meet someone special with just a few clicks.
Registration takes up to five minutes, so you won’t have to spend all day filling in boring questionnaires . After providing your gender, age, and email, you’ll have to come up with a strong password to protect your account.
Once the email is confirmed, you get access to thousands of mature singles over 40 looking for all sorts of relationships: one-night stands, friends with benefits, long-term dating, and even marriage.
Free version: Yes
Pros: A huge community of singles over 40 from all corners of the world
Cons: I’ve found that the site has high competition among users, as it is currently one of the most popular on the market
What we love about TenderMeets: In my opinion, it’s a perfect place for mature singles to revive their love lives, regardless of age, status, location, and goals
What to consider when using a dating app
Dating app research
Us middle-aged women like to be informed before making a decision. There’s no need to draw up a PowerPoint presentation but at least get the facts … and then some. Read up on the apps that have sparked your interest so you know their points of difference and if they specialise in a certain type of dating, such as finding love, hookups, or same-sex. Check out the subscription options, trial periods and prices, as well as their stance on safety i.e. how do they keep their users safe and what do they do if a problem arises?
Do a dating app test run
If you can’t decide, get proactive and test out a couple of apps, I suggest no more than two at a time – you will soon discover how consuming online dating is! Sign up for the free versions and take a look around. Test out liking a few people and see what happens when they like you. Get a feel for the platform to see how user-friendly it is and what kind of matches you get on it.
Ask your friends who are dating in their 40s
Most of us have friends who are over 40 and working the dating scene. Ask them! Don’t just ask which is their favourite app, drill down into what they like and don’t like about the app, as well as experiences they have had with other dating apps. If you don’t know anyone, ask on a FB group or look at reviews for the individual apps to get genuine feedback from platform users.
Prepare for knock-backs
Getting knocked back is part and parcel of online dating, and if you’re not used to it, it feels horrible. If you are over 40 and looking for love you might already be lacking in confidence so you need to prepare yourself for the fast-paced, pick and mix style of app dating.
There are no apologies or Dear John letters. If they ain’t into you they will tell you straight or ghost you i.e. disappear into thin air. I am not sure which is worse but prepare for it to happen to you and don’t take it personally.
Understand dating ettiquete
Online dating is completely different from dating in the real world, and definitely different from your dating experience the first time around if you are in your 40s. It is not unusual for users to be chatting to several potential partners at the same time. And people don’t waste time. If they want to have sex with you, they’ll let you know straight away, often with an eggplant emoji. Confusing? You bet!
Don't let dating horror stories put you off
We all know a few online dating horror stories. They happen. However, it is worth remembering that it is unlikely the app’s fault, more the people using it. Try not to let a negative experience on one app put you off for good. Instead, learn from the story so you don’t make the same mistake and don’t have a horror story of your own to tell.
To pay or not to pay for a dating app
You might be undecided about paying for a dating app. Of course, if we have a choice, we will always choose free. But with dating apps you get what you pay for, and if you pay nothing, you literally get nothing i.e. a match but no photo, which is pretty much useless.
There are lots of advantages to paying for an app. These include more stringent matches, less time wasting and more safety. I like paid apps as all my matches have also paid which shows their intent to invest in finding a partner.
Don't give up ... yet
So many people give online dating a go, only to run a mile and delete their profile and all evidence of their attempt a week later. Accept that this is going to be a learning curve. It will feel really weird having strange men (or women) asking you random questions while you chill on your couch of an evening. But that is what online dating is all about.
As a middle-aged single person, you might feel completely out of your depth. Persevere and you’ll find your groove and be asking your own questions, swiping right, sending love hearts, and getting into the experience in no time.
Take a break
Online dating is fun and can have great results. It can also be time-consuming and emotionally draining. It doesn’t hurt to take a break now and then. Most apps will allow you to pause your profile. Come offline, practice some self-care and get in touch with the real you again. Spend time with good friends who bolster your confidence and remind you how wonderful you are. And, remember if you haven’t found anyone yet, it’s OK. Being single in your 40s is super cool and lots of fun.
Further reading: 10 Warning signs that you need to take a break from online dating.