Finding love over 50

With the rise of dating apps and sites there are now endless possibilities for finding love. So how are over 50s finding the new world of dating? 

We surveyed 1,500 single Brits aged 50 and over to see what their attitudes to dating are, as well as discover their personal preferences when it comes to being matched with a potential partner and going on a first date. We also asked them about their opinions of online dating and what they think is the ultimate secret to a happy relationship.

What are 50+ singletons looking for in a relationship?

Whether it’s a fleeting romance or a long-term commitment, people have different expectations when meeting a potential partner for the first time. We found that 72% of singletons aged 50 and over are looking for companionship, making this the most sought-after type of relationship.  

Meanwhile, 42% say that they’re looking for long-term romance, 32% say they want someone to travel with. At the other end of the scale, just 3% say they’re looking for a parent figure for their children. 

What’s the best way to find a potential partner?

Finding a potential match is the first step on the road to love. But how would singletons aged 50 and over prefer to meet a potential significant other? 

Almost three in 10 (28%) have no preference to how they would prefer to meet a potential significant other. However, meeting through mutual friends is the most popular route (21%), while meeting at a social function and in public comes in joint second place (10%) and meeting in a bar or restaurant is third (7%). 

Just 1% of singletons aged 50 and over want to meet a partner at speed dating or the gym, and only 1% want to be set up on a blind date.

The perfect first date

Meeting for a coffee is the type of first date almost three in 10 (29%) of 50+ singletons want, making it the top first-date activity.  However, while 34% of women say this is the ideal scenario, just 17% of men agree – 23% of men would prefer a drink at the pub.  

Meanwhile, just 2% of respondents say an activity, such as bowling, mini golf, seeing a movie or having a drink at home, is what they want from a first date.

What 50+ singletons look for in a partner

Many of us will have a tick list when on the search for a potential partner, but what are singletons aged 50 and over looking for?

Being kind and caring (55%), as well as having a good sense of humour (55%), are the most important things single people in their 50s and over look for in a partner. Meanwhile, job status (4%) and if they have children (3%) are the least important considerations. 

Interestingly, just 21% of women think physical appearance is important compared to 34% of men, while 28% of women think financial security is important compared to 14% of men.

Dating online vs. in person

Online dating has expanded the ways of meeting the right person. We found that 61% of singletons are confident dating in person, and 45% are comfortable when it comes to dating online. 50% of those who’ve tried it have met a partner using apps and websites.

What’s the secret to happiness in a relationship?

We asked single people aged 50 and over what they think is the one secret to a happy relationship. Trust (50%) comes out on top, followed by respect (26%).

Surprisingly, just 3% think intimacy is the secret to a happy relationship and independence. But for 12% of our respondents, there’s no secret to a happy relationship, suggesting that many singletons are happy to just go with the flow.

The best cities for dating as a singleton aged 50 and over

We looked at the cost of a meal out, number of bars, restaurants and cafes, as well as Google searches for dating apps and sites targeted at 50 pluses, to reveal which cities are the best for dating. 

London comes out on top, followed by Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bradford and Birmingham.  

Brought to you by our life insurance experts at 


  • The survey data collected in this study was based on 1,508 single UK residents aged 50 and over, which took place in May 2022. An equal number of single, divorced and widowed respondents were surveyed. 
  • Numbeo used to find the cost of a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant and the cost of a one course meal at an inexpensive restaurant. An average was then taken. 
  • used to find the number of bars, restaurants and cafes in each location. Search for ‘bar’, ‘restaurant’ and ‘cafe’ was applied with a 10-mile radius filter. 
  • Google searches for 8 popular dating apps using Google Keyword Planner. Filter for 50+ demographic applied.