Dating after 50: Singles dish on sex, love, and relationships

Posted at 12:16 PM, Feb 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-01 12:16:11-05

RICHMOND, Va. — Just because you’re getting older, does not mean your dating life has to slow down.

“Singles over 50 are confident in many areas of their lives including finances, careers and friendships, but are not completely satisfied when it comes to their dating and sex lives,” Dr. Robi Ludwig, relationship expert and author of Your Best Age is Now, said. “Still, singles in midlife are primed to get back out there because they know who they are and what they want and have positive perspectives on life.”

OurTime, a website and dating app dedicated to the 50+ crowd, surveyed singles and provided the following insight into how this growing end of the dating pool views love, dating, and sex.


Half of singles over 50 agree that the biggest misconception about them is that they are NOT interested in sex (50%).

Other misconceptions include that they are not open to new experiences (46%), their health is deteriorating (45%), they are lonely/less social (44%), and they have a negative outlook/not happy (38%).

A kiss is just a kiss

53% of singles over 50 feel it is appropriate to kiss someone after one date.

Lucky 7

51% of singles over 50 are NOT satisfied with their sex lives. In fact, 69% of singles would like to be going on 2-4 dates each month, and ideally 50+ singles would like to have sex seven times a month.

Keeping open minds

When it comes to dating and relationships, 45% of 50+ singles say they’re open to having a “friends with benefits” relationship, and 27% are open to having a one-night stand. They are also open to dating multiple people at a time (20%) and having threesomes (16%).

Naughty by Nature

21% of 50+ singles have gone to someone’s house to “watch a movie” and ended up having sex. Additionally, 23% of 50+ singles have cheated on someone, and 17% have ghosted others. Nearly one third (32%) of 50+ singles have dated multiple people at a time.

Sext please

Nearly 20% of singles 50+ have taken a nude photo of themselves but even more surprising, 66% of those singles have shared the photos, with men doing so more than women (70% vs. 62%).

Finding love

50+ singles are hopeful! Nearly ¾ (72%) of singles over 50 say they’re open to finding love in the future.

Men are hopeful

Men are more hopeful about finding love than are women (76% vs. 69%)! They are also looking for romantic companionship more than women over 50 (19% vs. 12%).

Dating drought

Singles over 50 are looking for love but nearly half of them haven’t been on a date in over 5 years (46%) and over half of 50+ singles say their last relationship was over 5 years ago (56%).

Dating dilemmas

50+ singles agree that the top 3 most difficult aspects of dating after 50 are finding someone to date (61%), asking someone out on a date (38%), and getting to know someone before asking them out on a date (33%).

More than 1/3 (38%) are nervous about a first kiss or sign of affection during the date.

A quarter of singles (25%) feel that they aren’t dating because they don’t believe anyone is out there for them and 22% just don’t know where to begin.

Wedding bells

Nearly 40% of 50+ singles agree that they still want to get married!

Dating deal breakers

While love and marriage are on the mind, deal breakers do exist for this group.

The top 3 dating deal breakers for 50+ singles are someone who smokes (70%), someone who is not financially stable (63%), and someone who is pessimistic (58%). Only 6% find someone who was never married a deal breaker.

Quiet on “cougar”

67% of 50+ single females agree that they would not find it flattering to be called a “cougar.”

Eye on the prize

Over half of 50+ singles say they know exactly what they want when it comes to relationships (55%) and they know what they DON’T want when looking for someone to date (73%).

Better at dating now

Compared to when they were in their 20s, 65% of 50+ singles 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%).

Top partner attributes

The top 3 attributes that are more important in a partner for 50+ singles now compared to when they were in their 20s are: health (31%), finances (30%), and outlook on life (29%).

Advice not welcome

81% of 50+ singles DON’T seek dating advice from others.

Have it all together

Nearly ⅓ of 50+ singles say their finances (34%) and career (27%) are all much better now compared to when they were in their 20s.

Perspective on life

25% of 50+ singles say they have a much better outlook on life now compared to when they were in their 20s. They are also more confident now (63%).

Forget regrets

One in four people 50+ say they have no dating regrets (25%) and 44% of people 50+ don’t have any sexual regrets.

OurTime and Research Now conducted an online survey of 2,000 singles not currently in a relationship in November 2016. There were 1,000 21 to 49 year old respondents and 1,000 over 50 single respondents.