By Sheryl Jean
The Dallas Morning News.
Divorced and with two children, Cheryl Ewing dated a lot of men and had a few bad experiences before meeting Peter Rozes on the online dating site Match in March 2012.
She was 52, he was 60.
“We felt that we were young at heart,” Cheryl said.
The romance blossomed, and a year later, the Southlake couple married, evidence that you’re never too old to date — or to fall in love.
It’s a lesson Dallas-based Match knows well. Indeed, the matchmaking website’s fastest-growing dating group is the over-50 crowd.
“People over 50 are now more trusting of going on dating sites,” said Navin Ramachandran, chief operating officer of Match Group, the parent company of Match. “The stigma has gone down tremendously.”
You can thank aging baby boomers, longer life spans and a stubbornly high divorce rate for keeping the country’s $2.2 billion online dating industry in clover. In fact, people ages 45 to 54 are as likely to date online as those 18 to 24 because they’re divorced or far removed from typical dating hubs like college, according to a recent Pew Research Center report.
The number of Match’s 50-plus singles has grown more than 50 percent from 2009 through 2014 in Dallas and overall to account for about one-third of all dating members. The company said it saw double-digit growth among that group in 2015.
An even more startling figure comes from rival dating site eHarmony: About 80,000 of its subscribers are over 80, said founder and chief executive Neil Clark Warren. That’s more than 10 percent of its subscribers.
The share of eHarmony’s subscribers over 50 is also growing: from 9.5 percent in 2012 to 13.5 percent in 2015.
When asked what’s driving eHarmony’s older dating trend, Warren said: “I think it might be me.” The 81-year-old psychologist with a divinity degree stars in the company’s advertisements.