The number of single adults over age 50 in the United States is larger than ever. That is good news for older generations who may feel apprehensive about dating later in life. Dating can be interesting, fun and offer positive experiences to those who decide to dive in. Whether divorced, widowed or just tired of being single, now is a prime time to get into the dating game.
Many adults, young and old, desire love and companionship and the technology available today to help make those connections is better than ever. More and more seniors are turning to websites and apps to explore dating options. Charley, a widow age 73 and Diana, divorced age 67, met on OurTime.com, a dating website for those over 50. The couple who live in San Antonio, TX connected after just a couple months on the website, “We were both surprised by the number of age appropriate people using the website,” they said.
The couple has been married now for 7 months after meeting on the website and dating for 2.5 years. The other dates they had via OurTime before meeting were positive experiences, “Have an open mind and be vigilant about checking the website for new candidates,” Diana says. For a successful experience, Charley offers his advice, “Ensure photographs are current. Be patient with the process and don’t make hasty decisions.”
Charley and Diana are just one success story out of the increasing number of older singles trying out online dating. Those over age 55 who have used an online dating website have doubled since 2013 according to a national survey conducted in 2015 by Pew Research Center. In 2016, there were 19.5 million unmarried U.S. residents age 65+, which make up 17.7 percent of all unmarried adults according to Census data.
According to its Dating After 50 survey, OurTime.com reports the following: Nearly 72 percent of singles over 50 say they're open to finding love in the future. Compared to when they were in their 20s, 65 percent of singles over age 50 say they have a deeper appreciation for relationships now, are better partners now (61%), are pickier now about who they want to date (63%), say it's easier now to figure out if the person is right for them sooner (57%), and say they're better at sex now (31%). Evidently, “older and wiser” rings true for a majority of older adults looking for love.
Not only does the right dating website play a role in finding that special someone, being in the right environment can help too. Living in a place where there are others in the same situation can encourage new connections in middle age and beyond. Dating can take time, but it’s more enjoyable with an open attitude, a sense of humor and patience, not to mention the right locale.
Dating over age 65 can be a rewarding journey, and we’ve got the path – below you’ll find the top 15 cities for senior singles to meet, mingle, live, work, play and thrive. We took into consideration each city’s SeniorScore™ which is the first livability index formulated specifically for senior citizens. The SeniorScore rates each city in areas such as health and safety, finances, leisure and recreation and general quality of life.
Now on to the list:
1) Pittsburgh, PA
The 55+ population in Pittsburgh is average among other U.S. cities, but the dating experience is anything but. Dubbed the “City of Champions” due to its many professional sports teams, Pittsburgh not only scores high for sports fans, but for singles. Whether watching ballet, music at a local jazz club, relaxing at a ballgame or enjoying Mount Washington’s overlooks, Pittsburgh offers the perfect spots for seniors to get to know someone new.
This affordable city is chock full of culture, museums, parks, golf courses, award-winning restaurants, friendly people, and walkability. The weather may not always be world-class but the healthcare is. There are several top-notch hospitals in the city including the innovative University of Pittsburgh Medical Center which is ranked 9th in the nation in geriatrics. For many aging singles who enjoy working, Pittsburgh is an attractive city due to its low unemployment rate.
Pittsburgh may not have the beaches and warmth that many seniors seek but this east-coast city made it onto the list of our Top 10 Cities for Senior Fun and Recreation. Pittsburgh is an attractive location for single seniors due to the low cost of living, low assisted living costs and a very high number of Medicare physicians in the city. People age 65 and older ride free on various public transit in the city.
2) Scottsdale, AZ
A popular southwestern state for snowbirds in the winter, or all year round, Scottsdale, Arizona offers a sunny playground for singles to mingle. There are many recreational activities including hiking and trails throughout the city, over 150 golf courses and 20 parks including the Outback Adventures Park - perfect for active seniors to enjoy the outdoors while getting to know one another. To escape the heat there are nearly 150 gyms, 10 malls and over 20 movie theatres in the area. The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art offers a cool spot for art-loving singles. And for those singles active in religious communities, there are over 260 churches in the greater Scottsdale area.
With 34 percent of Scottsdale's population aged 65 or older, it is no wonder it made our list of the Top 10 Cities for Senior Fun and Recreation. Scottsdale is home to over 350 senior living facilities, several major hospitals, a large number home healthcare providers and Medicare registered doctors in the area.
3) Cleveland, OH
Another pick for singles who love the outdoors is the city of Cleveland. Though it may get its share of snow in the winter, locals can choose from over 130 golf courses, sailing on the Great Lakes, hiking and biking in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Cuyahoga River and more than 21 thousand acres of park space in the city, not to mention beautiful Lake Erie beaches. The city is also known for its excellent transit system.
This city’s senior population is about 13 percent and its appeal includes professional sports, the renowned Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the West Side Market with over 100 vendors offering fresh food and Downtown's Playhouse Square which claims to be the second-largest theater complex in the U.S. There are over a dozen theatrical, ballet and dance companies in addition to the famous Cleveland Orchestra. The city is also home to an opera and a pops orchestra.
With a high number of home health aides and Medicare registered physicians and over 23 hospitals, including the Cleveland Clinic which ranks near the best in the country for heart surgery, Cleveland is a good choice for older generations of singles.
4) Naples, FL
Naples is a large town with a small-town vibe and is considered a hidden gem on the Gulf Coast. It is a walkable city where singles get to experience the Naples Pier, the Botanical Gardens, Everglades National Park, kayaking, sailing, or walking the trails throughout the city. The pristine beaches, state and national parks are the perfect backdrop for a picnic and conversation. Or move indoors – there are several resorts, spas, retail and dining to enjoy in the historic district of Naples.
Warm in its weather and demeanor, Naples was ranked as the top metro city for well-being according to a 2016 Gallup survey. Naples is a good place to meet happy and healthy seniors while enjoying all the city has to offer including the Collier Senior Resource Center, the local library, senior centers, and park district which all provide social programs geared toward seniors in the community.
According to SeniorScore, Naples senior population is over 41 percent of the population. With no state income tax, an average cost of living and a higher income level than the average city, it makes Naples an attractive option for older singles.
5) St. Louis, MO
Although the senior population isn’t as high in St. Louis as in other cities on our list, this singles-friendly large Midwest city offers a lot for those looking for love later in life. The city is abundant with romantic restaurants and inexpensive date spots like the St. Louis Science Center, the award-winning St. Louis Zoo, the Contemporary Art Museum, and the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.
Like its low-cost activities, St. Louis also offers a lower cost of living overall, including lower senior housing costs and an abundance of senior-housing options as well as access to top-rated healthcare and hospitals such as the Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
The affordability of St. Louis is definitely a draw for older generations, especially singles. Outdoor dating activities include over 100 parks chock-full of pools, skating rinks, camping sites, and other leisure activities. There are also outdoor sculpture parks like Citygarden or Laumeier Sculpture Park. Did we mention the professional sports teams? And for those who are looking to be part of a religious community, the city has nearly 600 congregations to choose from.
6) Santa Fe, NM
It’s America’s oldest capital city, and dubbed “The City Different” due to its quirky and laidback vibe, Santa Fe is truly a unique southwestern gem. Try dating in this small New Mexico city and you’ll discover why it’s called the Land of Enchantment. Santa Fe has long been a charming city for residents and tourists alike with one-of-a-kind immersive art experiences like Meow Wolf and a plethora of art galleries, artists, exclusive shopping, world-class dining, a dry and mild climate, mountains, and culture – no wonder the Santa Fe area is a destination appealing to a variety of single retirees.
A high percentage of seniors inhabit Santa Fe because it offers a casual lifestyle so desired by many in older demographics. For a city with a general population just over 80,000, it has an abundance of senior living facilities in and around the city. Most of the senior living options in the area are on par with national average costs. Santa Fe has an average unemployment rate, lower property taxes and a higher income rate than national averages. Santa Fe is no doubt an enchanting locale to find that rare companion and spend the golden years.
7) Birmingham, AL
Known as the “Magic City” for its rapid growth early on, today Birmingham is the largest city in the state of Alabama and with a growing senior population of over 13 percent, it is a good place to seek out that special someone. The city has an interesting history and today it is the cultural epicenter of the state. Full of art museums, theaters, festivals and events, Birmingham has many of the allures of urban life with a more affordable price tag than similar metro areas.
With 19 acres of green space in the middle of downtown Birmingham, including acres of open lawn, Railroad Park is an ideal place to have a lunch date, wade in the stream, ride a bike or take an evening stroll with a new companion. College sports is huge in Birmingham, but if you’re not into the “Roll Tide” you might plan a date to listen to the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, visit the Civil Rights Institute or visit the Red Rock Ridge & Valley Trail System, a 750-mile network of multiuse trails throughout Jefferson County.
Alabama made our list of The Best States for Retirement Finances and with its affordable senior living options in the area and access to excellent healthcare, Birmingham a solid choice for aging singles.
8) New York, NY
For those seeking a vibrant melting pot with endless things to do, look no further than the Big Apple. New York City may cost more than other cities, but the perks of living in America’s favorite city are worth it. From ethnic restaurants, theatre on and off Broadway, to Central Park, Yankee Stadium and everything in between, finding the perfect date location isn’t hard. Many walkable and diverse neighborhoods have easy access to ocean views and the great transit system.
Seniors make up about 13 percent of the city’s population, and with over 8 million people among five boroughs, that leaves nearly a million residents over age 65 – a good chance to find that perfect match or at least have fun in the process. New York City is in the lowest one-third of the U.S. for violent crime, with even lower rates of property crime.
There are a high number of senior living facilities, Medicare and home healthcare providers in and around the city. The area has a high concentration of hospitals including Mount Sinai Hospital and New York-Presbyterian Hospital both of which are top-ranked in the nation for geriatrics and adult specialties. There are over 100 education institutions in the vicinity, many with lifelong learning centers for older adults.
9) Honolulu, HI
An international destination for lovebirds tying the knot or honeymooning newlyweds, Honolulu is a romantic spot for getting to know someone new. Dating in the largest city in the Hawaiian Islands is casual, diverse and more intimate than other cities on our list like New York or Miami. An urban paradise for active seniors, the city offers boating and other water sports, hiking trails and includes over 20 parks and other attractions like the Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House, Foster Botanical Garden, and Ala Moana Beach Park.
If the year-round warm weather isn’t enough of a draw, Hawaii was recently named one of the healthiest States in the U.S. and Honolulu has one of the cleanest air-quality indexes in the world. The city is complete with spectacular beaches, world class shopping and restaurants – a perfect place for older singles who enjoy city living, but also enjoy being near unique Oceanside terrain.
Honolulu’s senior population is above average at nearly 17 percent, and with lower property and sales taxes, a high number of Medicare and home healthcare providers and nearly 50 senior living options in the area, Honolulu’s appeal continues to grow for those in the 65+ age range.
10) Memphis, TN
If you are looking for someone to share your life with or simply hoping to share some famous barbeque, look no further than Memphis, TN. With its roots in blues and rock and roll, the city has launched careers for artists Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley. Aside from its reputation for good food and music, the area also has many acres of parkland including the popular Shelby Farms which at 4,500 acres, is one of the largest urban parks in the country featuring trails popular for biking, running and walking. A riverboat cruise down the Mississippi, a visit to one of the area’s nostalgic sites like Graceland, the Civil Rights Museum, Sun Studio or a visit to the Beale Street Historic District is the perfect day date.
According to a U.S. News and Census Data report 46 percent of Memphis residents age 55+ are single. One of the best things about Memphis is the reasonable lifestyle the city provides. The general cost of living in Memphis is low compared to other cities and Tennessee has no state income tax. In addition, nursing homes and home healthcare costs are lower than in other areas.
11) Madison, WI
Believe it or not, the State college and dairy farms aren’t the only things special about this Midwestern city. Madison, WI ranks number two on the Milken Institute’s 2017 Best Cities for Successful Aging Index. Madison may not offer the year-round warm temperatures that other cities do but there is plenty to do indoors with someone special. The city has an abundance of ethnic restaurants, cafes and bookshops. Once named one of America’s Best Adventure Towns by National Geographic, Madison offers an abundance of lakes, beaches, and over 250 parks including hundreds of miles of trails for those romantic nature walks with a new flame.
Madison sits in the heart of Dane County where the 65+ population has grown 29 percent since 2010. With an average cost of living, low crime and poverty rates, the Madison area has strong economic growth as well as an abundance of geriatric health resources including a high number of home healthcare and Medicare providers.
12) Plano, TX
Nestled between rolling grasslands and the bustling Dallas metropolis is Plano, Texas which is home to over 285,000 residents including a good number over age 65. The city attracts singles who prefer a slower pace of life than is offered in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Slower but far from boring, Plano boasts everything from Texas barbeque joints to heritage museums that reveal its railroad and agricultural history. Bob Woodruff Park is a popular spot in Plano complete with trails and piers for fishing, open lawns and picnic spots along with two pavilions popular for events.
Plan an adventurous date to one of the area’s Escape Rooms, zip line at Oak Point, get creative and take a painting class or take a cooking class at the Tre Wilcox Cooking Concepts. In nearby Lewisville, the Coyote Drive-in can be a nostalgic and relaxed date or the lake there is a great place for a romantic float on a boat or a sunset stroll.
For an area of its size, Plano has a large amount of senior living facilities, hospitals and a high number of Medicare providers. There is no state income tax in Texas and the cost of living in Plano is about average.
13) Dayton, OH
Home to the first flyers Orville and Wilbur Wright, as well as the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton is rich in aviation history and includes attractions such as the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Outdoorsy types can enjoy over 300 miles of paved trails and a plethora of metro parks in the city. Several historic neighborhoods and districts attract residents of all types including an average senior population.
A popular date destination, the Oregon District is a historic district in downtown with art galleries, specialty shops, pubs, and coffee houses and there are several unique festivals in the Dayton area year-round.
Once ranked as the happiest city in America for workers, Dayton is a good option for the increasing trend of seniors who enjoy working well into their golden years. The cost of living is below national averages and the health care is top notch – Dayton area hospitals consistently earn top national rankings, the most notable of which is the Miami Valley Hospital and Kettering Medical Center.
14) Miami, FL
As with several cities in the Sunshine State, Miami is home to an above average number of older residents. The city is a dating playground for solo seniors according to U.S. News and Census Data, which found that the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area is home to a whopping 470k single women and 224k single men over the age of 55.
Miami is full of great casual date spots perfect for making connections with a new mate. SoundScape Park offers concerts and movie nights. Tour Miami Beach's famed Art Deco Historic District or walk along the oceanfront boardwalk. Canoe, kayak or paddleboard in the many bays of the area or take a sunset boat cruise. Go horseback riding or visit an expanse of art galleries and museums in the city. Many cities in Florida offer recreational activities to enjoy throughout the year, check out our list of Top Ten Cities for Senior Fun and Recreation which includes six cities in the State.
Great weather, low home healthcare and assisted living costs, the nationally ranked Cleveland Clinic hospital and no state income tax make Miami one of the most desirable places for aging singles.
15) Spokane, WA
One of the most affordable areas in the Pacific Northwest, the Spokane, WA population is expected to double in the next 20 years. The appeal may be because it has the perfect balance of big-city offerings while still feeling small with just over 215,000 residents today. Though it is one of the fastest growing cities in the northwest, the senior population of Spokane is currently just over 14 percent.
Like other cities on our list, Spokane is a great city for active singles and has a network of nature trails called Centennial Trail. There is also nearby hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, and several lakes not far from the city. Washington is second to California in wine production in the nation – a great place to sip some local wine while getting to know someone new since the Spokane area is home to nearly 20 wineries.
For those who enjoy all four seasons, the city has a nice mix of moderately cold winters and warm summers. In addition, Spokane has a large amount of senior living facilities and a high number of Medicare providers in the city.