"I think the majority of single people at this age are interested in finding a partner, but many feel that it is too overwhelming to even try to do it," she said.
"I've been asked to loan people money or buy them a cellphone," she said.
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 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.
With so many people unattached later in life, it's only natural that some of them would dip toes in the dating pool, said Dr.
Pepper Schwartz, AARP love and relationships ambassador.
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.
"Online dating is a game-changer for older people," she said.