Dear Savvy Senior: What can you tell me about online dating for older people? My daughter has been urging me to give it a try, but at age 62, I'm a little hesitant. - Lonely Senior
Dear Lonely: Dating sites have become enormously popular among the older generation in recent years. In fact, boomers and seniors make up about 20 percent of online daters today, and the numbers keeps growing. Here's what you should know.
If you're interested in dating again or are just looking for a friend to spend time with, dating websites are an easy way to meet hundreds of new single people without ever having to leave home.
If you're feeling hesitant, a good way to ease into it is to visit a few dating sites and look around. Most services allow you to check out their members at no cost or obligation.
Then, if you like what you see, you can sign up (fees typically range between $15 and $60 per month, however some sites are free) and start emailing members you're interested in or they can email you. Here are some other tips to help you get started.
If you don't want to spend any money, free sites like PlentyofFish.com and OKCupid.com are good places to start, but beware that these sites have a lot of ads.
If you're interested lots of choices, consider mainstream sites like Match.com and eHarmony. com which have huge memberships in all demographics.
Or, if you are looking to find a specific type of person, there are hundreds of niche sites like OurTime.com and SeniorPeopleMeet.com for those 50 and older, Alikewise.com for book lovers, DateMyPet.com for animal lovers, VeggieDate. org for vegetarians, JDate.com for Jewish singles, BlackPeopleMeet. com for African Americans, and ChristianMingle.com whose slogan is "Find God's Match for You." Or, check out AARP's new dating website partner HowAboutWe.com.
Don't get discouraged: If you don't get a response from someone, don't let it bother you. Just move on. There are many others that will be interested in you and it only takes one person to make Internet dating worthwhile.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC "Today" show and author of "The Savvy Senior" book.