02/12/2013 09:10 am ET Updated Apr 14, 2013

Tips for Online Dating for Over-Fiftys

As Valentine's Day approaches, it might surprise you to know that, according to the US Census Bureau, there are 97 million Americans that are over 45, and 40 percent of them are single! That's more than 32 million singles out there, and that means a lot of potential love matches.

Because of that, online dating sites have seen a huge increase in the number of middle-aged and older members online, looking for love. On dating sites like, the over-fifty crowd represents the fastest growing segment of their millions of users worldwide. And reports that 25 percent of its current members are now between 50 and 65.

For many of the fifty-and-over crowd, the idea of online dating may still conjure up images of desperate singles, misleading profile pictures, awkward first phone calls and deadly dull dates. But the truth is that the world of online dating has evolved over the years and is now a mainstream means for singles hoping to find their match. And as long as you follow some simple rules of thumb, it can be an exciting, safe and potentially rewarding adventure.

So if you're among the many, many singles out there who would like to meet someone new, why not take advantage of Valentine's Day this year as an opportunity to get back into the mix, start shopping around, and maybe find that special someone?

Just keep these guidelines in mind and you can get started today!

Tips For Successful Online Dating