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When we talk about online dating and how it has changed the lives of millions of singles, we always wonder how many of our readers falsely assume we are referring to just the younger segment (18-44 years of age) of the singles population. So, we visited the U.S. Census Bureau's website to find out just how many singles are out there and whether they fall into the younger or older segment of the singles population.

According to the Census 2000 report, there are approximately 31 million singles in the U.S. that have already celebrated their 45th birthday and there are 51 million singles that have not. So, for every 8 singles that visit www.eDatingCentral.com, 3 of you may fall into our older singles category.

This led us to this wonderful article by Tom Blake titled "Internet Dating for Older Singles". Tom talks about how many older singles are successfully harness the power of the Internet to meet other great singles for the possibility of love and romance and how it has enriched their lives. Please join us in congratulating all of the great people in this article for overcoming their reluctance about trying online dating and for their truly wonderful successes as a result of it.

Internet Dating For Older Singles
By Tom Blake

Many older singles have successfully used the Internet to meet mates. Should you?

John Mauger, Westminster, said,: "A woman I met on the Internet was reluctant to meet in person. After I gave her my phone number, it took several weeks before she called. Finally, she phoned and invited me to a production at the Laguna Playhouse the same night.

"When we met, there was instant chemistry. We've been seeing each other regularly since."

For Audrey Goldberg, Mendham, NJ, a widow of two years, the Internet was the answer, "Started meeting people the easiest place, the Internet. Followed rules for safe dating, met some married, some singles who misrepresented themselves and others who were nice. Take nothing personally."

Karen Kennedy, West Haven, CT, found success online, "I had two divorces and two deaths in the past and felt that life with another was out of the question. When I filled out an Internet personal ad, I was nervous and worded it in such a way that no man would want to meet a person like me–Irish dancing, church, friendship, family and theatre. Gave no sexual info or desires of interest.

"I received one response, a man who lived 20 minutes from me. It took several months of speaking before I agreed to meet; I took an entourage of people along for protection. We've been in a loving relationship for three years. I'm glad I took the chance, despite my vulnerability."

The Internet has helped Alice Woodman, Bath, Me., jump-start her single life: "I wanted to have a life again. I had to take the initiative to make it happen. I signed up with two Internet dating services, and started chatting and e-mailing other singles. I meet in public places the first few times. I've made friends, men I might not want to date, but good people.

"You can block anyone you choose. It has brought a new spark back into my life, and may eventually lead to meeting that special someone. I don't play games, men have also been hurt and are also looking for someone special."

Two women met husbands online. Pearl Hedlund, late 60s, San Antonio, met George, 74. online. "Wrote for four months before meeting- didn't want him to know where I lived. He was 60 miles away. We met at a restaurant in a small town halfway. The rest is history, we're married. He's a sweetheart and has brought much joy into my life."

And Gale Kilmer, mid 60s, Leicester, NC, found Ian, upstate New York, online a year ago. Gale, a transplanted New Yorker, and Ian had much in common. Ian visited Gale in North Carolina. "Love bloomed that weekend. We married this Valentine's Day. What a beautiful wedding it was," said Gale.

Internet relationships aren't fail safe. Beth Thome, Birmingham, Al, e-mailed, "I met my second husband online. We didn't know each well enough when we married. I'm divorced again, back looking on the Internet. Might meet my 'soul mate' one day."

When meeting strangers, always be careful. If someone sounds too good to be true, they likely are. Trust your instincts. Meet in a well-lighted place and tell your friends or family with whom you're meeting and where.

Should older singles use their computers to meet others? The Internet can bring people together, particularly those in small cities where there are few singles. But, it should be just one aspect of a single's overall marketing plan to find a mate. Getting out and networking with people is equally as important.

The success stories described here wouldn't have happened if it weren't for the Internet. If you use it, be wise, careful and cautious.

This online dating article is © Tom Blake and used with permission. Tom has written hundreds of articles on dating, with a special focus on remarriage, middle-aged and senior dating. At Tom's web site, FindingLoveAfter50.com, you can find more information on his latest book, After The Healing: A Guide Book for Widowers and Widows.

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