Membership

Single and Ready to Mingle: AARP Launches Dating Benefits

By / Jan 15, 2013 (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

In an effort to help its members find love—or simply companionship—AARP is getting into the dating game.

In the category best benefit ever, AARP might be entering new territory.

The association recently launched the AARP Dating Boot Camp, a free program to help its members find love.

Participating members will get feedback and coaching from dating experts, as well as a place to share dating experiences—woes and successes—with other 50-and-older singles. The program runs through February 28 and will include advice on making profiles, choosing photos, and how to suggest a good date.

“Dating, at any age, can be an intimidating practice,” Myrna Blyth, editorial director of AARP’s media properties, said in a statement. “From fun first-date ideas to new ways to meet people, we’re challenging group members to find ways to break the ice offline. By giving a sense of community to participants, the AARP Dating Boot Camp will give singles the tools to get back into the dating scene.”

The boot camp comes soon after AARP partnered with the online dating website HowAboutWe.com to launch AARP Dating and help members navigate the world of online dating.

People over 60 are the largest growing demographic in online dating, according to a Bowling Green State University study, which also found that for some seniors, companionship rated a higher priority than marriage as a reason for joining a dating website.

AARP members are eligible for a discount and a free seven-day trial to use the association’s new dating site, which prompts users to propose possible dates, such as “‘How about we … take my dogs for a walk,’” Erin Scottberg, media director for HowAboutWe.com said in a statement.

Scottberg said the most popular dates among those over 50 are food-related or involve some type of volunteering.

Both the Dating Boot Camp and the HowAboutWe.com partnership are part of AARP’s growing “dating channel,” which also includes articles and information on its website to make dating after 50 a little easier.

Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. More »

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