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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.But De Vito said the risks are worth if it helps her find someone she can enjoy spending time with. "I'm just better when I'm with someone." `A game-changer' There were more than 40 million Americans over 65 in 2011, according to the U. Administration on Aging, an 18 percent increase from 2000.The administration also reported the number of Americans age 45 to 64 rose by 33 percent between 20.
The 58-year-old widow said she found out about the site online and was intrigued by its unique approach."A lot of people in this age group are divorced or widowed, and may have different goals than starting a new relationship," she said.