Dating can be an ideal solution to loneliness at any age. But the rules of engagement can change as you grow older.
6 Surprising Facts About 55+ Dating
Here are six unexpected differences we learn from Stitch (a blog that adresses social isolation and loneliness of older adults).
1. Age is less important
Unlike young people, older adults are less concerned about your age, and more interested in your health and what activities you can and want to do. (However, this is more true about people looking for companionship rather than romance.)
2. Appearance isn’t primary
Nothing tops appearance in dating criteria for young people. For mature adults, it’s a lot less important. They are looking for a kind and loving companion. They are also aware that sexiness is more a function of personality than how you look. Older people understand only too well how ephemeral physical beauty can be.
3. Not everyone wants to get married
Mostly, young people use dating services to find love and marriage. Many older adults just want companionship. Someone to have dinner with. Or travel with. Or share a favorite activity. Some may want a romantic relationship, but only on weekends. Or all the romance and closeness of living together without marriage. (Despite all that, some do marry.)
4. It may take more than one companion
Many older people choose to find more than one companion to meet his or her different needs for companionship. Someone to share seasons’ opera tickets. Or trips abroad. Or fishing.
5. Fewer disqualifying criteria
Young people are more likely to care about things like religion, ethnic background, race, or occupation. This may make sense if you’re planning to live together for the next 40 years and perhaps raise a family. Older people can afford to be more open-minded. They are more likely to limit their criteria to good health, kindness, a good sense of humor, and shared interests.
6. Trust is king
Trust is important to people of all ages. But older people living on a fixed income are especially vulnerable to scam artists of all kinds. Lonely older women have been known to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars betting on the romantic potential of some man they've met on the internet, but not in person. According to FBI reports, in 2014 alone American citizens lost over $86 million in online romance scams. $50 million of those dollars came from women over 50.
For more information:
• stitch.net - dating for seniors
• stitch.net - social isolation and loneliness
• asknelly.com - internet love scams