Réseau Contact, the dating website founded in 1996, closed on November 30. It’s the end of an era. Many couples were formed through this site and the members were on average 50 to 55 years old. Where do we find love today at this age?

When we talk to single people aged 45, 50 or 60, we see that they have tried different avenues to meet people and that they are accumulating experiences! There are of course applications like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, sites like EliteSingles, RencontreSportive. There are also caring friends who organize blind dates, old flirtations that we find on Facebook, a recently separated colleague, restaurant outings, weddings and even funerals! What if love was found in the produce aisle at the grocery store?

” Why not ! You have to have an open mind,” says Andrée-Anne Guénette, 46, co-author of the book Dating in all its states: confidences from two girls who are no longer 20 years old. “A lot of people who have been in relationships for a long time are a little confused by their new singlehood at 50. It’s normal. We often hear people say that they never would have imagined themselves dating at their age! You are not alone ! The situation is new and unfamiliar, so why not be curious and try all kinds of things, at your own pace? »

The one who found herself widowed and single at 38, with two children, started dating two years later. She went through apps, had different experiences, but finally found love at age 43 on Facebook Dating. “What’s reassuring about this site is that you can see if you have any friends in common. It avoids unpleasant surprises,” she says.

Bianca Longpré (aka Ordinary Mother) met François Massicotte on Réseau Contact in 2006. She was 26, he was 40. She worked as a hospital attendant and studied nursing. “I didn’t have time to meet people, so I registered on Réseau Contact and it worked very well. We were spoiled for choice! she remembers. François sent me a message during the holiday season, I didn’t know who he was! We went cross-country skiing in Saint-Lin on December 27th. It was our first date, we had a great time, and we’ve been together 17 years. He was older than me and wasn’t what I was looking for, but I figured, “Why not!” »

Do we take this time with Tinder, even if the person doesn’t physically match us? she asks. “It’s more expeditious. We’re like, “This guy doesn’t meet my criteria, on to the next one!” I would never have met François that way,” thinks Bianca Longpré.

Sylvie*, 51, doesn’t like the Tinder application, which she considers too fast, as she likes to chat before embarking on a meeting. “After three texts, very often, men want to meet… and let’s be honest, the photos never correspond to reality,” she laments. It was through the OkCupid site that she made her most recent encounter; she specified in her profile that she was looking for a long-term relationship. “We wrote to each other for a little over a week, the exchanges went well. We meet for coffee, we have a good time, great conversation, funny, friendly. He walks me to my car, very gentlemanly, two kisses on the cheek. »

A few minutes later, she received a text. “He told me it was nice. Then another text: “I don’t know if you noticed, but I kept looking at your tits.” He continues: “Your tits look really fantastic. My libido is in overdrive, that’s the back of my mind, so we won’t waste our time.” Obviously, I was very disappointed… It’s just depressing and what a waste of time,” says Sylvie.

This observation is shared by many singles.

“I dream of going to a coffee shop and falling in love, but I’m not Brad Pitt! », continues the man who was in a relationship for 28 years and who found himself single at 57. “I had to relearn how to seduce, start from scratch. In a year and a half, I’ve had 27 dates, I met someone who I stayed with for three years, and I’ve been single again for six months. »

“You are one option among many; apps lack authenticity,” thinks Martin*, 57, single for seven years. He finds that he goes out less than before, but he is very sociable and thinks that anything is possible. “You can meet anywhere as long as two people feel the same way,” he says. Recently at the grocery store, I noticed a woman, but I didn’t dare approach her. »

In her early fifties, Chantal* met her former partner on EliteSingles with whom she stayed for five years. She is 60 years old, has been single for almost two years and navigates between Tinder, Facebook Rencontres, EliteSingles, RencontreSportive. “Out of 90 dates, only two men suited me! » She admits that the older we get, the more demanding we are and that, out of spite, it’s the only way to meet people.

In 2002, Anne-Marie Lefebvre founded RencontreSportive, a website that brings together around 90,000 members who have a passion in common: sport. “We are a community of active people aged 35 to 65. Members organize different sports activities, they can also meet face-to-face directly,” she explains.

Caroline, 60, has been single for two years. She separated in 2011 from the father of her two children, and has since met a few people, notably an ex-partner who found her on Facebook and with whom she stayed for some time. But it was ultimately on the RencontreSportive site that she found what she wanted. “At my age, it’s the way that works. Sport is my way of life, I do downhill skiing, tennis, hiking. On this site, there is a lot of information on the profile of the members, their occupations, sports practiced, age, region and several photos,” she explains. “I want to find a lover who shares my interests, it’s really important. I had a meeting very recently, we’re going very slowly… we’ll see. »

Fortunately, great stories still exist. Michel Caouette still can’t believe it. Separated at 46 after a 21-year relationship, he wanted to take his time dating again. “At the time, I was cruising bars, it was easy, at 18-20, but at 46? A colleague told me about RencontreSportive, I was a little nervous… A month later, I met Lysabelle, we were born on the same day and the same year, you can’t make this up! We went skating, and we never left each other’s side. »