Internet dating site for seniors

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more In a lot of ways, Carmela De Vito has found that dating at 57 is similar to dating in her teens or 20s.

"The same stuff goes on," said the Milford resident.

The site -- for which about 80,000 people have signed up since it launched -- not only allows members to connect with each other, but also suggests date ideas, such as a quick coffee or going to a museum.

Not only is this low pressure; it's likely more in keeping with kind of relationships people tend to seek as they get older, Edwards said. Though the survey said nearly half of those who used Internet dating sites were looking for a serious relationship, about a quarter were seeking friendship or companionship and 14 percent were interested in "casual dating." The growing site Stitch largely caters to this group, Rogo said, as it matches users based mainly on hobbies and interests, such as golf, reading or travel.

"I think the need for love is a universal one, but we do see some of our members moving from a desire to get married to one of pure companionship and even friendship," she said. Indeed, a 2012 AARP study of 1,000 people 50 and older showed not all older people who try online dating are looking to meet Mr. "The purpose of Stitch is to connect people with common interests" at a later stage of their life, she said. The site expanded into New York at the beginning of the year and recently began seeking members in Fairfield County.

"I was interested because of the way it positioned itself as not necessarily a dating site," she said, adding she also liked that it linked people based on their interests. If you meet someone and say `Let's start a book group' because you both like to read, that's based on common interests.It's not based on what they look like." Though the woman said she is looking for a relationship, she said she knows that is not the case for everyone in her age bracket, and likes that the site is respectful of that."A lot of people in this age group are divorced or widowed, and may have different goals than starting a new relationship," she said.Of those who tried online dating:23 percent said they did it to meet a broad range of people20 percent said they liked that it was "no pressure"14 percent said they tried it because a friend suggested it13 percent said they had no time to meet people the traditional way48 percent were looking for a serious relationship26 percent were looking for friendship/companionship14 percent were interested in casual dating Women were more likely to be seeking friendship than men Of those who didn't try online dating:18 percent said it doesn't fit their lifestyle13 percent said they heard too may negative things about it12 percent said it was too risky to talk to strangers online Women were more likely than men to be worried about the safety of online dating Others are looking for a second chance at love, including De Vito, who is twice-widowed and has turned to sites such as Our Time and Match.She said such sites can be risky, as some people use them as way to meet and exploit vulnerable people.Stitch.net, an on-line dating service that just launched in Fairfield County, caters to the 50 crowd.

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