MORE and more seniors are turning to dating agencies to find love in the autumn of their lives, says matchmaking guru Viola Steed.
Ms Steed has worked in the dating industry for 35 years and says her Mt Lawley agency, Solutions Matchmaking, is now hooking up loads of over-55s.
“We are experiencing an increased volume of mature single men and women enquiring in regard to meeting genuine and compatible partners,” she says.
“The numbers as far as my records show are fairly even in regard to male/female enquiries, but probably leaning towards female being slightly higher.
“We are living longer, so many seniors are fitter, healthier and lead active, full lives.
“Many of them are also in a financial position to enjoy the things they like to do. They would prefer to enjoy their great life with a partner who is likeminded.”
One of Steed’s happy customers is 71-year-old Lou DeVattimo from Bedford.
DeVattimo was down in the dumps when his second wife — 15 years his junior — left him in 2015 after 28 years of marriage.
He slowly picked himself up and after joining Solutions Matchmaking was introduced to Lyn, a widow, in June last year.
“She grew up on a cattle station and has a truck driving and motorbike license, so she’s practical and down-to-earth like me,” says the former oil rig worker.
“Lyn doesn’t have a lot of baggage and that appealed to me.
“I’ve got five kids — the oldest is nearly 50 — and they all like her.
“We’re in the caravan club and like travelling across Western Australia — we have a lot of fun together.”
Steed says her agency mainly deals with divorcees who want to ease back into the dating game.
“Most people say they are seeking companionship to start with and just see how it goes,” she says.
“As many of these people are reasonably independent, both financially and generally, they do not necessarily want to find a partner to ‘marry’ or ‘move in’ with.
“I think this is a good mindset to be in as they are managing their expectations and just enjoying making new friends, that may or may not lead to something special.”
Following stories in the media about people losing their life savings in internet love scams and other online dating catastrophes, Ms Steed says a lot of people want the personal touch.
“I started Solutions Matchmaking in 1995 and have found there is still a healthy market place for people who do not want to use online/internet dating sites,” she says.
“They prefer to use a personal service like Solutions. This is by far a safer option for many seniors and we certainly like to monitor their dating journey and make it as easy and enjoyable as possible.”