Single is great. There’s no one else to consult or negotiate with about what you want to do on a weekend. No sharing a bathroom. And, only one mess to clean up – your own. Whether always single, divorced, or widowed, as we get older we may just want company. But, night clubs and bars may not be where we want to hang out to meet a possible partner. Internet dating may just be the answer …
Apparently older adults are the fastest-growing demographic on online dating websites giving rise to sites specifically catering to this market including DatingOver60s, SeniorFriendFinder, eharmony and Senior Dating.
So what are benefits of using the internet to find a partner, and what do you say?
According to a recent study from Swinburne University examining the dating and relationship practices of older Australian adults between the ages of 60 and 92 the internet was appealing for dating because:
- Those surveyed felt there were very limited places and opportunities to meet like-minded others;
- It was evident who was available and seeking companionship (whereas this was less clear in their social circles or friendship groups);
- Online dating is easy, relatively safe, anonymous and provides a structured approach to what is typically an unstructured process;
- People can take the dating process at their own pace by delaying a face-to-face meeting through online communication, such as email, first.
And the tips?
According to gerontologists from Bowling Green State University the senior population are more focused on honesty and compatibility online than their younger counterparts. Based on the discussions and experiences of people who had used online dating services, these are the eight tips for older adults to include and develop in their online dating profiles and digital communications with prospective partners:
- Affection. If you are seeking warmth, touch, and holding hands (more than other aspects of intimacy) then state this in your profile.
- Intelligence. Say what you want. If engaging, intellectual conversation and debate is a priority, say so. If it’s not, leave it out.
- Independence. Sometimes the 60+ want a partner or companion AND they want space. Wanting time for yourself is fine and the internet allows you to let potential partners know this fact.
- Your everyday life’s purpose and/or goals. What’s important to you? Are you seeking adventure? Do you want to enjoy all that life has to offer in your own town – theatre, art, sport, restaurants, community events?
- Religion and spirituality. Are you on a path of spiritual and personal growth and do you want your potential partner to be on a similar path? Does it matter whether they go to church, of whatever faith, or do you prefer meditation and yoga? Or, are you a reader of religious and spiritual texts who wants to engage in interesting discussions and debate with a partner as you both navigate your way through the ‘big’ questions in life?
- Political beliefs. If politics is important and you have strong political preferences it’s worth letting potential partners know. You may also be a keen activist on environmental or humanitarian issues. Online dating allows you to let people know where you stand and what you want in a partner.
- Current health and activity status. If you’re a relatively healthy person with an active lifestyle it’s important to let people know. Similarly, if you enjoy good health with no chronic health conditions that’s also worth sharing – particularly if this is something you are seeking in a partner.
- Compatibility and companionship. This is not something you can really express in a profile. However, according to respondents in the study, it is something you get a feel for and is important in partner selection. Starting with something simple like becoming regular walking partners may be a way to get a sense of compatibility without feeling committed to a partnership.
That’s it. Relatively simple. Possibly scary. Potentially, lots of fun.
Let me know if you give it a go, or if you’ve done online dating and what it was like. Are you with a partner today who you met online?
Of course, if you have a son, daughter, friend, or relative who enjoys film making, you could always take this approach …
Source: alexnorgay on YouTube.
With thanks to the following sources for this article:
Malta, S. & Farquharson, K., (2014), Online dating could have been made for older adults – they love it, The Conversation
Malta, Sue, (2013), Love, sex and intimacy in new late-life relationships, Doctoral Thesis, Swinburne University of Technology, Faculty of Life and Social Sciences
match.com.au, Older dating can be wiser, too