• New research reveals three-quarters of single over 40s who’ve tried online dating find it a struggle
  • Six in 10 of single over 40s say that a lack of digital skills has held them back when attempting digital dating, increasing to 76% for those over 60
  • Virgin Media O2 has partnered with TV personality and comedian Judi Love to help over 40s build their digital confidence and find love this Get Online Week (17 – 23 October)
  • Singletons can find Judi’s love tips and information about free digital skills masterclass sessions HERE

20th October 2022, London: As three quarters of single adults aged 40 and over say they struggle with online dating and around 6 in 10 of those who’ve tried it admit their lack of digital skills is holding them back from finding love via dating sites and apps, Virgin Media O2 is coupling up with TV star, Judi Love, to help singletons swipe right and find romance during this year’s Get Online Week.

New research by Virgin Media O2 reveals that 7 out of 10 single over 40s haven’t tried online dating, with around half saying that meeting potential partners via the internet is ‘a younger person’s game’.

As a result, those in their 50s would rather pay, on average, more than £3,600 to be matched with their perfect person. Whilst men over 40 are willing to pay almost three times more the amount of money to meet their perfect match compared to women (£2,790 compared to £979 for women).

Of those who have tried online dating, more than half (54%) say they ‘can’t get their head around’ dating apps. And 15% of everyone polled say they don’t know what swiping left or right means, while more than 1 in 10 single over 40 adults say they don’t know how to create a dating profile, and 14% can’t take a flattering profile photo.

The poll also revealed that knowing how to spot a ‘catfish’ – someone who has set up a fake profile – is the biggest concern for single people who want to try online dating, with half saying they’re concerned about being scammed. Despite this, more than half of adults admit they don’t research their date by checking out their social media profiles before meeting them in-person.

Virgin Media O2 and digital inclusion charity, Good Things Foundation, are helping the nation to improve their digital skills with hundreds of free sessions during ‘Get Online Week’ (17-23 October). The partnership forms part of its new sustainability strategy, the Better Connections Plan, and is one of the ways it will reach its goals to improve the digital skills and confidence of two million people by the end of 2025.

To help over 40s build their digital confidence and find love this Get Online Week, Virgin Media O2 and Good Things Foundation have partnered with TV personality and comedian Judi Love to share her top online dating tips.

Judi Love, TV Personality, said: “Online dating when you’re over 40 can be a minefield – from finding the right app for you, creating the right profile, taking your best picture and making conversation with different personalities you meet online. Get Online Week is a great opportunity to brush up on your online skills and develop your digital mojo to gain confidence and put yourself out there. If you’re looking for love, it’s never too late to start.”

Nicola Green from Virgin Media O2 said: “We’re proudly partnering with Good Things Foundation to help the nation to improve their digital skills during Get Online Week.

“With our research showing 6 in 10 single adults aged 40 plus who’ve tried online dating don’t have the know-how to find love online, we hope our free digital skills masterclasses being held across the UK, plus Judi’s top tips, will give singletons the confidence to try online dating and find the love of their lives.”

Judi Love’s top online dating tips:

  • Finding the right dating app/website – There are many different dating apps and websites to pick from and it’s not always easy to choose which one is right for you. Start by doing your research, for example searching online for the ‘best online dating apps or websites’ then reading around the benefits of using each one, any associated costs and the type of demographic that typically uses them. You might want to start by signing up to 2-3 different sites to get a feel for what works best for you.
  • Creating your profile – Once you’ve signed up to your dating app or website of choice it’s now time to create your account profile. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase who you are to potential matches through written prompts and photos, so don’t be afraid to show yourself off.
  • Don’t over complicate your profile – Keep it simple and provide enough information so that potential matches can see what you’re really like. Shine a light on your personality and interests – everyone loves a bit of humour!
  • Choosing photos to make you stand out – Use your dating profile as an opportunity to show off your interests. For example, if you love horse riding then show off photos of you with your favourite stallion, or if family is important to you then don’t hold back from including some images of them. It’s a chance to put your best foot forward and show up as your true self.
  • Check your date out before you meet them – Try to make sure you do a thorough social media search before meeting anyone you connect with via an online dating site. If you can, find their LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and take a look to make sure their images and profile information match what you know about them.
  • Watch out for scammers – Unfortunately, there is a small minority who don’t use online dating platforms as they should, so should anyone ask for money or act in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, then report it straight away. There’s often a really clear process for this on whichever app you’re using, so start by looking for a ‘report’ function or contact customer services directly.
  • Have fun! – Online dating should be fun. It’s a chance to get to know people in a relaxed setting. It has the potential to be a really exciting journey and something you enjoy. Don’t let technology be a barrier and the more you do it the easier and more natural it will become.

As 10 million people in the UK lack the basic digital skills needed to use the internet, Get Online Week by Good Things Foundation has helped hundreds of thousands of people over the last 14 years to get online for the first time and improve their digital capabilities.

To find out more and get involved, visit https://uk.getonlineweek.com/


Notes to Editors

Research carried out in October 2022 by One Poll with a representative sample of 750 single adults over 40.

The top 10 qualities single 40+ year olds look for in a partner:

  1. A great sense of humour (42%)
  2. Someone faithful (41%)
  3. Kindness (38%)
  4. Someone respectful (37%)
  5. Being open with their feelings and emotions (35%)
  6. Intelligence (32%)
  7. Someone good-looking (29%)
  8. An appreciation for music (23%)
  9. For their libido to match my own (22%)
  10. A desire to travel (21%)
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