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New Dating Website Helps State College Seniors Connect

by on July 18, 2015 8:35 PM

You’re never too old to be young.

At least, that’s what Elaine and Bob Rodino believe. They also think you can never be too old to meet new people, try new things and (if you’re lucky) maybe even find love.

So instead of kicking back and enjoying their retirement, the two State College residents decided start their own business and launch 50PlusConnects.com – a dating website aimed specifically at the older crowd.

 “We’re a living example of what we’re saying to our constituents: stay active and follow your passions,” Bob says.

It’s easy enough to preach an active, passionate lifestyle, but it’s another thing to take the time and effort to do so. Thankfully, Elaine says, she and her husband “have always been workaholics.” 

Elaine, a clinical psychologist, and Bob, an urban planner, coyly give their ages as “over 60” and “over 70,” respectively. Their life experiences and professional backgrounds gave them a unique interest and perspective on some of the issues facing the “silver tsunami” of senior citizens and aging baby boomers.

As it turns out, the Rodinos learned the hard way that many baby boomers resent the term “senior citizen.” When they took their dating site to the masses under its original name, Senior Premiere Dating, they say many boomers (the generation born after World War II, so people about 50 to 70 years old) wrote to them to make it clear they don’t see themselves as seniors at all.

“Different people live many different ways within their own age range,” Elaine says. “Some boomers are leading what you might call a ‘young life,’ and are just recently married. Some the same age may have gotten married and had kids back in their 20s.”

But that discovery only confirmed what Elaine and Bob already believed: your age or the name given to your generation has nothing to do with your ability to delve into whatever interests (romantic or otherwise) you want to pursue.

That's why Elaine still works as a psychologist and sees clients she's known for years; that's why Bob earned his Ph.D at the age of 65; that's why they've rebranded as 50PlusConnects.com around what they learned for their users.

50PlusConnects says it caters to all kinds of interests – whether you’re looking for a little romance, a travel partner, a house-swapping buddy, or just someone to grab coffee with, then the Rodinos want to help you find what you’re looking for.

The site can even be a great place to find new some friends to take in Penn State football games. The site’s users tend to be clustered in certain areas across the country, and one of the biggest groups is made of Penn State alumni and State College residents.

The site also features regularly updated articles on everything from relationship humor and “Dear Abby”-style advice to new trends in senior living, with the intent of making 50PlusConnects a one-stop shop for riding the silver tsunami.

“We like to think of ourselves as senior helping seniors,” Bob says.

 

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Michael Martin Garrett is a reporter and editor for StateCollege.com who covers local government, the courts, the arts and writes the Keeping the Faith column. He's a Penn State alumnus, a published poet and the bassist in a local indie rock band.
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