The dating game

The dating game (

If your stories about dating include anecdotes about ice cream shops and drive-in movies, chances are it's been awhile.

And chances are the stories don't involve the computer.

But today logging into the computer to find love is highly accepted and just as popular as using the computer to find a childhood friend on Facebook.

Where do I look?

While there are many local, national or international sites devoted to dating, IAC, the company behind and other dating sites, launched a new site in May --

Josh Meyers, CEO of IAC's People Media, says other sites such as the company's saw a 400 percent growth in the past two years and aims to bring everyone in the 50 and older age group under one site.

"We saw a fervor for something just for them," he says of older adults.Surveys of the age group indicated they wanted to be able to associate with other mature adults.

"They wanted to jump into a community of like-minded folks," he says.

Meyer says they have more experiences in life and are more deliberate in their approach in dating.

"They know what they want," he says. "They stay longer on the site, are more deliberate in their approach and take their time."

How do I get started?

While it helps to have the focus narrowed to a target age group, decades off the market can make anyone's dating skills rusty and plenty has changed.

Dr. Gail Saltz, a relationship psychiatrist and expert working with, says on other dating sites there is a mix of ages and past relationships.

In the 50 and older age group many are divorced or widowed, this is not their first relationship and many have grown children, she says. Surveys done by show that for many in this age category there are also fewer personal life stressors.

"They're looking for companionship and fun," Saltz says. "Someone to share an enjoyable period of life with. These are not old people. They have many years to come and want someone to spend time with."

But, Saltz says dipping a toe into the dating pool does not come without its own stress.

"There is all kinds of nervousness -- 'How will I appear?' 'How will I stack up?' Never mind the sexual arena of 'It's been a long time' or 'Things don't work like they used to', " Saltz says.Online dating sites can actually help with the transition onto the dating scene.

"You're in the privacy of your own home. You go at your own pace," she says.

As a community, adults over 50 can already feel disconnected, which is why social networking has grown in popularity.