As the old adage says, in love, age is nothing but a number. There is no such thing as being too old to fall in love. In movies and on television, audiences more often see young people going on dates and finding their romantic partners. However, older adults, even those who are above the age of 60, can have a pretty robust dating life.
The Senior Life Experience
Some people stayed single throughout their lives for any reason, but most seniors have had a rich marital history. According to data from the government, at least nine in ten seniors aged 60 and older have been married. Over half of them have been married at least once, and at least half have stayed in their marriages for a long period of time, reaching their 25th anniversary.
But many of them are now also alone. Around 43 percent of all men and women between the ages of 55 and 64 who have been married are divorced. For comparison, only 34 percent of women and 33 percent of men aged 20 and older who have been married had gone through a divorce.
In addition, at some point, the death of a loved one is imminent. Seniors represent the majority of people who become widows and widowers. Over half of women and 28 percent of men who are aged 75 and above and have been married have experienced the death of a spouse within their lifetime.
Many people do not want to be alone and lonely in their twilight years. The lives of seniors are often solitary because their children are all grown up and have their own families or careers to focus all their time and attention on. Unfortunately, these experiences can lead to an increased risk of depression. Loneliness and social isolation in seniors have been linked to various health conditions, including dementia, heart disease, stroke, and suicide.
Dating as an Older Adult
It is for the seniors to decide whether they want to start dating or spend the rest of their lives with the loving company of family and friends. Relationships do not have to last until their final days, either. Some seniors want to get married again; others are seeking casual companionship. There is nothing wrong with either, but it is better to decide at the beginning and communicate clearly what they want.
There are multiple ways seniors can find a potential romantic partner. Most get to meet new people at retirement centers and communities — places that other older adults frequent to socialize. Consult a senior living advisor to find the proper facilities and living arrangements for an elderly loved one who wants to be social.
There are also dating apps that specifically cater to singles 50 years old and above, such as OurTime. Many seniors also use Match and OkCupid to meet other mature singles from across the country. Then, there are Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge, which, although more often used by young people, can be adjusted to only show profiles for singles in their senior years.
While all of these platforms are relatively safe, there are still scammers who bypass security measures put in place. Members should never give away money, their financial information, passwords, or any sensitive images and videos. Romance scams, in which cybercriminals create fake online dating profiles, are on the rise, and the majority of those targeted are older people.
What to Expect
Finding potential romantic partners will be easier now that there are online dating apps, but meeting someone would not guarantee that sparks will fly. Dating in old age is similar to finding love as a young person. Forging a meaningful connection with a stranger is easier said than done.
Seniors will need to be patient. They may become less impulsive because of their decades-worth of life experiences that have taught them a lot about romance. It is also possible that, because they have been out of the dating pool for a long time, they need time to adjust and learn how to mingle again.
Love among older adults can be as giddy and fiery as young romance. It is normal to feel anxious and nervous as well as jittery and excited. It can make a senior feel like a teenager again.
Dating as an older adult is not too different from finding love when you are young. Seniors can also meet potential love matches through dating apps and have casual relationships with fellow single retirees. Love among the elderly can reduce the loneliness and isolation that many 60 years old and above feel.