For Adrienne Montezinos, from Newburyport, Mass., life at 50 includes several new rituals: extra makeup, elegant jewelry and tea — to calm her nerves before a date arranged on Match.com.
According to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, the recently divorced Montezinos is the poster child for the latest boomer trend: online dating.
Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says divorce has been dropping overall for decades in the U.S., it’s doubled among the 50-and-older crowd.
Dr. Pepper Schwartz, the AARP love and relationship ambassador and chief relationship expert for PerfectMatch.com, attributed the trend, in part, to independent women opting not to stay in mediocre marriages.
Rather than be alone, however, many like Montezinos are demanding a second chance in matters of the heart.
Emma Ernst, a 66-year-old widow from Deptford, N.J., said she still felt a void despite having children, grandchildren and a job.
“I would come home at night and sit in my driveway and didn’t want to go in the house,” she said. “There was nobody there.”
But Ernst and nearly 5 million other men and women older than 55 aren’t hitting the bars and bingo tournaments in search of love. They are flooding online dating sites.