Silver Surfers give internet dating sites a boost as it is revealed more over-50s than ever are finding love online

Meet the Foxy Fifties! Silver Surfers give internet dating sites a boost as it is revealed more over-50s than ever before are finding love online
Internet dating among those aged 50+ is up by 40%Over-50s is fastest growing group of internet dating site users
Online is now the second most common place to meet a partnerFirst most common is through a mutual friend

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UPDATED:

11:17 GMT, 3 October 2012

It's never too late to be swept off your feet. And that's now truer than ever, thanks to the stratospheric rise of online dating.

The over-50s segment is the fastest
growing group of subscribers for internet dating, and the sector has
recently witnessed a 40 per cent leap in popularity.

The over-50s segment is the fastest growing group of subscribers for internet dating, and the sector has witnessed a 40 per cent leap in popularity.

The over-50s segment is the fastest growing group of subscribers for internet dating, and the sector has witnessed a 40 per cent leap in popularity.

Just ask loved-up Stella Ansell, 69, and her 72-year-old husband Peter. The newly married couple of 'silver
surfers' from West Sussex were both widowed earlier in life, but they
found love again with each other on the internet just two years ago.

Encouraged by family members who didn't
want them to be alone after their partners died, they both took to the
world wide web to find a companion.

Stella, 69, and Peter, 72, who met online in 2010 and are now engaged.

Stella, 69, and Peter, 72, who met online in 2010 and are now engaged.

Joining dating website eHarmony, they were matched in 2010 because they're energetic, vibrant, adventurous and love doing things together.

They were engaged in October 2011 and married on 11 August this year.

And their story is becoming more and more common.

Online is now the second most common place to meet a partner, the first being through a mutual friend.

And 15 per cent of eHarmony's current registered users are over-50.

Moreover, websites catering solely for the over-50 demographic are appearing all
over the internet, offering their services to the more mature dater.

Sites
such as www.onlineseniordates.com, www.overfifties.com,
www.50plus-club.co.uk and are all offering those over the age of 50 the
opportunity to find romance.

Stella, who was alone for two years after her first husband died before joining eHarmony, told MailOnline: 'It's very difficult making the
transitions from being a carer, to being on your own, to deciding to look for
someone else.

'And then once I did eventually start trying to go to
places like dinners or dancing, I got the feeling that other women were – completely unnecessarily – perhaps a little threatened by me as a single woman.

'With online dating you don't need to worry about that becuase you're already meeting someone who is in the same position as you.

'Both Peter and went for people online who had been widowed, not divorced, because we wanted someone who had gone through the same experience as us and come out the other side.

'Perhaps if I was 40 it would have been
different, but in my sixties I wanted someone who had experienced what I had.'

Websites catering solely for the over-50 demographic are appearing all over the internet, offering their services to the more mature dater.

Websites catering solely for the over-50 demographic are appearing all over the internet, offering their services to the more mature dater.

The couple's first date was almost, however, a disaster.

Stella said: 'It was almost horrendous! We chose to meet in a cosy pub in between us but on the day we picked there was a complete snowstorm and we were both absolutely snowed in!

'I managed to make it to the pub in the dreadful driving conditions, and as I slid across the ice into the car park I noticed only one other car doing the same.

'We both walked up to the door of the pub and there was a sign saying it was closed for refurbishment! Luckily, we both laughed, which was a good sign, and we took ourselves off for coffee…which lasted five hours'

Stella's advice for online daters over 50 is to be careful about which sites you use.

'Go to a website that looks into the type of person you really are, and matches you properly. There are sites out there that are just for a one-off date, but if that's not what you're looking for then be more thorough. Otherwise you waste a hell of a lot of time. I spent just one hour and a half on eHarmony – and it was certainly time very well spent.'

Websites such as Online Senior Dating are being established to cater for the over-50s market.

Websites such as Online Senior Dating are being established to cater for the over-50s market.

Overfifties.com helps people find love later in life.

Overfifties.com helps people find love later in life.

The 50 Plus Club has been set up to help those over 50 meet each other.

The 50 Plus Club has been set up to help those over 50 meet each other.