illustrated middle-aged singles on a date playing mini golf

Deciding to get back into the dating game can be nerve-wracking, regardless of age. But the stakes may feel a little higher if you’re in your 40s (or older).

You may assume that people in your age bracket either aren’t interested in dating or are already settled into long-term relationships. However, according to a recent Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data, as of 2021, nearly 25 percent of 40-somethings in the U.S. have never been married. Additionally, only 22 percent of unmarried adults ages 40 to 44 were cohabiting couples.

So, have people in their 40s given up on finding love? Not at all. But unlike people in their 20s and 30s, they know what they want and aren’t afraid to wait a little longer to find the right person. In fact, according to the analysis, approximately one in four 40-year-olds who weren’t married in 2001 had tied the knot by age 60. So, if this trend continues, there’s still hope for finding a long-term partner, even if you’re starting later in life.

How to start dating again at 40

Now, after that speech and spew of statistics, you’re probably wondering what our grand plan is to get you back on your feet and out on the dance floor. The answer? Online dating. Before you scoff, hear us out.

Online dating is a great way to meet new people in a low-pressure environment. It gives you a quick and easy way to connect with potential partners, filter through profiles, and find matches who share your interests and values. Imagine if you could do that when scanning the room at a bar or attending social events — it would save you a lot of time and effort.

But before you start swiping left and right, check in with yourself. Be honest about what you’re looking for in a partner and what you bring to the table, including any emotional baggage you might carry (which we all have to some extent).

Once you’ve touched base with your emotions, you should do the same with your dating profile. Are you interested in a serious relationship, a casual encounter, or a friendship that could evolve into something more? Whatever it is, be upfront. You don’t want to fall for someone only to realize they aren’t looking for the same thing.

What are the best dating apps for over 40 singles?

The best dating app depends on what you’re looking for. But because we’re data nerds, we’ve done a little research (and hands-on testing) to give you some options.

Match and eharmony have a large over-40 user base and comprehensive profiles and algorithms that match you with compatible partners based on your preferences and personality traits. Additionally, Elite Singles is a popular dating site for mature professionals looking for a serious relationship.

Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble are more popular among younger users, but it’s not impossible to find success on these apps if you’re over 40. OkCupid has a slightly higher number of older singles than Bumble and Hinge, and it caters to the liberal and LGBTQ+ communities, offering a space to be your most authentic self sans judgment.

Keep reading for a more in-depth look at each of these dating apps and what they have to offer for daters over 40. We considered affordability, accessibility (including user-friendly interfaces and availability on Google Play and the App Store), and overall success rate in helping users find meaningful connections.

Pro tip: Based on our in-depth reviews, we recommend steering clear of Zoosk and Our Time for singles over 40. (Full details on our testing methodology are in the “How We Tested” section.)

©