The concept of dating later in life rarely gets the attention that millennial dating receives. From apps and websites like Tinder and eHarmony, the dating landscape of those in their younger years dominates most of the discussions in the online space.
Even research itself has failed to look at the topic of dating in later life, despite its importance.
But all of this is changing – especially as research continues to show that online dating for older adults is on the rise.
In fact, statistics from previous years have shown that adults over the age of 60 are now the fastest growing group of individuals who are dating online. Since 2013, it is understood from numerous surveys that the trend of online dating continues to rise among people of all age groups, particularly for older adults.
Benefits of Dating Later in Life
Of the studies that have looked at dating later in life, women, in particular, have certainly acknowledged their reservations about dating. Despite this, they still view dating later in life as both very enjoyable and beneficial.
There are several primary reasons why people choose to date later in life: companionship, fun, and intimacy. Women also choose to date later in life to combat loneliness, among other reasons.
One study that specifically looked at the experiences of women who dated later in life found perceptions of dating varied for each woman. Not all women viewed dating as merely a path to remarriage – most of them, for instance, considered dating as a means for attaining a level of companionship that they couldn’t achieve before.
For example, women in the study cited that dating would mean that they would be able to dance with a partner, see movies, enjoy dinner together, talk with their partner and so on and so forth.
It is important to acknowledge the obstacles that men and women may face when it comes to dating later in life. First and foremost, women, in particular, often have reservations.
The study above, for example, found that women often feared being taken advantage of either emotionally or financially.
Interestingly, all of the women in that particular study were able to cite their own horror story of a friend, or a friend of a friend, who had a negative dating experience – but, again, despite these concerns, they still viewed dating positively.
It is for this very reason that the topic of dating later in life becomes part of the conversation; these horror stories shouldn’t deter women from experiencing the companionship and intimacy that comes from dating later in life.
Other research may provide relief for those having reservations regarding the quality of their dates.
One study, for example, has shown that when it comes to online dating, older adults are much more interested in representing themselves in an honest way. They are also more interested in finding someone who is compatible rather than looking for one-night stands, commonly observed in the younger adult population.
Ultimately, dating later in life offers a level of intimacy that cannot be achieved through friendship alone. For women who have lost their partner, dating can offer companionship, fun and reduce loneliness.
It is important that the benefits of dating later in life don’t become overshadowed by horror stories and that the topic of dating later in life gets the attention that it deserves.