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With the obsession that today’s media has with youth and appearance, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s only the young who are looking for companionship, that dating is a young person’s game. Which of the following images do you think the media is more likely to use to accompany an article on online dating? At the same time, more older adults over 55 find themselves single and looking, either through divorce or the tragic loss of a husband or wife they loved for many years.
We are all living decades longer than we once did, and are staying fitter, healthier (and in some cases, friskier) further into our wisdom years than ever before.
Part of this is probably the wisdom that comes with age, but even more significant is an essential truth about how age works.
Once you get into your fifties and beyond, the actual number of your age becomes less and less significant.
Take a quick look at the Tinder user interface to the left.
What stands out as the most important aspect of a person when determining if you may be a potential match? With Tinder (and pretty much every other online dating system on the market today) the photo is all-important.
We’d be lying if we said that appearance wasn’t important at all to the over-55 demographic, but it turns out to be a much lower priority.
More than any other activity, dinner is where older adults feel the isolation of being alone most strongly.
This is why, for most older adults, a dinner date is the most important first step towards finding companionship.
This scenario is not just on Match.com, but on E-harmony, Ourtime, Plenty of Fish, OK Cupid, and the rest of the dating websites.
The filtering mechanisms on these dating sites similarly emphasize the importance age takes in the minds of young match-seekers, with all users asked to specify the age range they are seeking, with many choosing ridiculously narrow ranges (e.g. ) Adults over 55 are far more flexible in their approach to companionship.
This means that there are more seniors and baby boomers than ever before looking for some companionship to fill the void of their prior partner.