Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online


There is no doubt that retirement can be more difficult if we are on our own, with no partner to share things with. If we are going out to meet people and form new friendships, it's often easier if there are two of us, to get moral support from each other. Some people, the more extrovert amongst us, find no problem with entering new situations, striking up conversations and getting to know people. For most of us, however, it can be a bit of a struggle.

So if we are on our own a bit of external help might be very welcome. This is where the services of a dating agency might prove useful. More and more people over 50s are using dating services and there is no doubt that it can be very successful. How do we, therefore, go about finding a reputable dating agency and then use their services to our advantage?

There are many dating agencies on the internet and there will be some in your local yellow pages (maybe called Introduction Agencies). The problem is that it's always a bit of an unknown, so we need to be careful and shop around until we find one that we think will suit us. We want reassurance that the people we meet will be trustworthy and that there are no hidden conditions and so on.

One dating agency that offers a higher level of reassurance is Searchmate. It evolved from a number of other well known brands. It has the largest membership of people in the UK looking for a long-term relationship with a significant proportion of Over 50s. It is unusual in two ways. Firstly, it allows members to search the database and choose the people they want to meet themselves. Second, all the members are interviewed and vetted, so you have added reassurance. Go to laterlife-dating to see more details. You can also register and receive a free pack.Everyone's Guide to Online Dating: How to Find Love and Friendship on the Internet

Whatever agency we go for, there are several things that we should bear in mind. So, if we are going to actually see agencies,we need to 'interview' them and ask them the questions that we need answering:

  • What is the cost and what do I get for that price?
    If cost is an overriding issue for you, there are agencies that are free, so check them out. For example, The Singles Club is one where you can place a free advertisement, whilst Lots of Loves is also free and has a free internet chat room, which might appeal to you.

  • Are there any hidden extras, such as having to pay more if I have a successful meeting?
    On the other hand, some agencies say that if you don't find love, you get your money back. Dating Direct is one of these.

  • Have the people that I may be put in touch with been vetted in any way?

  • What recourse do I have if anything goes wrong at a meeting?

  • What geographical area is likely to be involved?

If you are going to look at online dating agencies, then make sure you read their websites carefully to glean all the information that you can.

There may be other questions that you have; think about what it is that will satisfy you and then have your questions ready or know what it is you're looking for on the website. It may reassure you to find an agency through the Association of British Introduction Agencies (ABIA). This is the umbrella body for the agencies; membership is entirely optional but they have a code of practice that the agencies who are members of the Association should follow. Go to the ABIA's website for more details.


Forming Friendships Links

Guide to Forming Friendships

Joining In

Taking Holidays and Breaks

Social Networking

The ABIA also has a list of Do and Don'ts regarding dating. Click on the link to see these tips because, if you haven't used a dating agency before, it is important that you know the pitfalls.

For those of us on our own, dating is a very good way of forming new friendships. We need to be a bit careful, particularly if we're new to it, but it can be very rewarding and it might transform our lives.

Remember though, that if we form just one relationship through a dating agency, we may well want to form other friendships with that person. So look through the rest of the Guide by clicking on the links in the box for some other ideas on how to form friendships in later life.

If you have any good ideas and tips to help people in this important area of later life, please let us know at and we'll include it in the Guide.

This Guide is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses.
Back to Guide to Forming Friendships

Site map and site search


Advertise on