A dating guide for the over-60s
I am too old to lift him if he falls. Marie February 20, at 8: Please don't show me this again for 90 days. This is my first time on talking to someone.
Anna Fiehler, 56, jokes that she was one of the first people to date online. She may not be wrong. The year was Fiehler, then a high school senior in Kettering, Ohio, was assigned to work at her high school's computer station.
As it turns out, other students from different high schools were also connecting to this same computer system, and Fiehler began chatting with them. Given that experience, Fiehler says it was no surprise that she felt comfortable signing up for a dating site decades later in her 50s, after her first marriage ended. The desire for companionship has led many older adults who are single, divorced or widowed to sign up for online dating. A Pew study found that from to , the number of users aged 55 to 64 years old who dated online doubled from six to 12 percent.
The surge in older online daters has led to dating apps with a minimum age requirement. OurTime , Stitch , SeniorMatch and SeniorPeopleMeet all require users to be a certain age — usually 50 or 55 — to sign up, creating a more specific dating pool. Many of these sited and apps focus on companionship, helping users find romantic partners, pen pals, friendships and communities. Anna Fiehler considers herself to be one of the first people to date online.
She met her senior prom date in through chatting on an early computer. For some older adults, forming a new partnership that provides close ties is preferable to relying on their adult children for social support and interaction Stevens, The present study extends prior research by drawing on a large, recent national sample to provide estimates of the prevalence and composition of the older dating population in the U.
Drawing on Bulcroft and Bulcroft , we anticipated that daters are younger and more likely to be men. Age and gender were expected to interact such that the gender gap in dating widens with age.
Bulcroft and Bulcroft found no racial variation in dating; neither did dating vary by ever having divorced. This latter nonsignificant association may reflect the rarity of divorce among older adults 25 years ago. Economic resources, including education, employment, and assets, presumably make one more attractive in the dating market and are indicators of success.
Economic factors may be more salient for men than women. Bulcroft and Bulcroft found that comparative health i.
We examined overall comparative health and driving ability. Finally, social ties encompass both behavioral and subjective indicators of social connectedness and support. There are competing hypotheses about the relationship between social ties and dating Talbott, The complementarity hypothesis suggests that individuals with the most social connections are most likely to date because they are more interested in and adept at forming social ties. In contrast, the compensatory hypothesis indicates that lower levels of social connectedness lead individuals to seek ties through intimate relationships, and thus social connectedness is negatively associated with dating.
In contrast, the compensatory hypothesis is expected to characterize men, who want to date because they lack other forms of social ties Carr, Data came from the NSHAP, a nationally representative sample of 3, community-dwelling persons ages 57 to 85 i. Fielded by the National Opinion Research Center and the University of Chicago, the sample design was developed by the Health and Retirement Study, using their household screening process. The NSHAP included an in-person interview, a self-administered questionnaire, and a biomeasures collection.
Topics covered by the NSHAP included demographic characteristics, sexual and union histories, social networks, physical and mental health, well-being and illness, and social and cultural activities. A key advantage of the NSHAP is that it included a question about non-coresidential partners, allowing the measurement of dating among older adults. Missing data were minimal. Mean substitution was used to handle missing values. Several factors associated with older adult dating, including indicators of demographic characteristics, economic resources, health, and social ties, were included as covariates.
Demographic characteristics included age, race, and marital status. Age was coded in years. Race was dummy coded as a Black, b Other, and c White reference group. Marital status was captured by a series of dummies: Economic resources encompassed education, employment, and assets.
College education differentiated those with a college degree coded 1 from others coded 0. Respondents were to confirm that the numeric value referred to their net worth. The measure was logged to adjust for skewness. Health was gauged by two measures. Values on the social connectedness scale ranged from 0 to Thus, the scale ranged from 4 to 21, with higher values indicating greater perceived social support. First, we documented the prevalence of dating and how it differed among men and women as well as by age group.
Second, we examined the characteristics of daters versus non-daters, both for all unmarried individuals and separately by gender. Third, we estimated logistic regression models predicting dating among unmarried individuals to evaluate the covariates of dating in a multivariate framework.
Because our objective was to describe the population of older adult daters, we were less concerned about causal order and acknowledge that some of the factors examined may be antecedents of dating, whereas others may be consequences of dating. Thus, all analyses were conducted in Stata using svy procedures to generate corrected standard errors that adjust for the complex sampling design.
For both men and women, the prevalence of dating declined with age, as depicted in Figure 1. A comparison of daters and non-daters, both for the total sample and separately by gender, is provided in Table 1. Daters and non-daters differ in terms of demographic characteristics, economic resources, health, and social ties. Daters were about 3 years younger 68 , on average, than non-daters The health indicators for daters also were more favorable.
Relative to their similar-age peers, daters 4. Social connectedness among daters was greater, on average, than non-daters. The mean value for daters of 9.
Daters and non-daters reported comparable levels of perceived social support. Another relevant comparison is that of daters versus non-daters within gender. Among men, a larger share of daters was divorced and a smaller share had never been married compared to non-daters.
Dating men were also economically advantaged relative to non-dating men in that they were more likely to have a college degree and to be employed and held more assets. They were also healthier in that they rated their comparative health more favorably and a larger proportion still drove.
Dating men reported greater social connectedness than non-dating men. Among women, daters were younger and disproportionately likely to be divorced and unlikely to be widowed.
The economic advantage was less pronounced among women, although daters were more likely to have a college degree. Dating and non-dating women did not differ in terms of health.
Dating women reported greater social connectedness than non-dating women. Table 1 also includes boldface coefficients that indicate significant gender differences among either daters or non-daters. Among daters, the characteristics of men and women were overwhelmingly similar. In contrast, there were several notable gender differences among non-daters, perhaps because the larger sample size yielded greater statistical power.
Non-dating women were about 1 year older than non-dating men. Among non-daters, women reported more social connectedness and social support than men. The odds ratios from logistic regression models predicting dating among the entire sample, as well as men and women separately, are shown in Table 2. Blacks were more likely to be dating than Whites. Relative to divorced individuals, never-married and widowed people were less likely to be dating. Economic resources were associated with dating: We expected that the role of economic resources might be more pronounced among men, but gender interactions with college degree and assets did not achieve significance results not shown.
We all need friends and companions…. Very excited about this new site. I have been doing online dating for awhile. Im so hoping this one will be different.
I wish you so much success with your endeavor. Our biggest challenge is going to be making sure everyone hears about Stitch so we can get a lot of really nice people signing up … the real key is making sure that the people on Stitch are the sorts of people want to meet.
So anything you can do to help spread the word will be welcome! How do we find out what your schedule is for our areas? Thousands of applicants and no response! Whereabouts are you located? Depending on where you are, we could be available to you in a few weeks to a few months from now. Hello, Just got done reading all the info and found it very interesting.. I am signed up with another dating service until Nov. It is great to know how much you are interested with the older crowd.
Good Luck to you and I wish you the Best. I would like to meet some senior people in my age about 50 years old and near my city, Houston. Just Signed up and have a try. I only signed up for Stitch because there was a segment on the news for folks 55 and older to meet.
I was very excited when I heard about Stitch and sighed up about two months ago. You are spot on and I hope you set the world on fire. How do you plan on attracting more men to the site? Also, location is a real factor, so I need more than just a hint about a potential friends distance from me. I work 30 miles from home and would also be up for events after work. On the other hand, many others want to see where someone lives as location is so very important to them.
In general there is usually more females than there are males. As a Latina I would enjoy meeting fellas that are Latino as well…. Its not easy meeting new people especially if there is a hidden agenda. Thanks so much for such encouraging feedback! Sadly, if Stitch was looked at as a way to meet, greet and eat women men might come out in groves due to word of mouth.
I still love people and still believe in humanity. Please let us know how you go! Andrew just come across your site but find its women on your blog never done this before perhaps need help have now one to ask. I agree with almost all of this — but the part about the phone? I get along fine in person, even in restaurants, but my cell phone is a trial. Hearing aids and cell phones are not a good match…. Email can be a much better alternative.
Look thru a handful or more on Match or any other site and women over 55, as an example, are just as restricvtive on age range than the younger generations. I defy anyone to show me otherwise. Trying to decide which membership plan if any to upgrade to. It was interesting to read the comments. I noticed that there were very few men who contributed.
Is this normally the case, and more importantly, is this an accurate barometer of numbers of interested males verses females? Thank you for taking my question.
It would be great if the ratio was 1: Having said that, we are constantly working to increase the number of men on Stitch, and always welcome new suggestions to help in this area.
We also notice that our men are much less likely to write comments on posts and activities than our female members — I think most online social media sites observe a similar phenomenon. Good article except that while I agree that it depends on the fitness etc of the person that can vary with ages, particularly as we get older, fitness is usually not included in the profiles and I believe there are still some differences in views and needs between generations.
For instance people still working, even part time, have different needs to people who are retired. A relationship may still work, but may have more complications. Also past histories, which still make us, even though we change and evolve, still have some impact on who we are and our perceptions, and people whose ages are significantly apart are likely to have less in common. While people may die at any age, there is more likelihood that someone 70 has less active life left than a person 55 and that could be important for people looking for long term relationships.
Who wants to be left on their own when they are older because their partner died much earlier if it can be avoided to some extent. I think an indication of the age of the person is still important for us mature adults. No need to state age preferences if not wanted but at least it gives a bit more ideal about a person than can be provided in the limited profiles.
This article is spot on! A lot of these folks, would be hard pressed to try dating 30 years ago without cell phones, instant messaging, internet or restaurants, entertainment venues and such on every street corner. All we need is good driving weather and possibly a bladder break or two. Some people may not mind, but others do, for various reasons — time available, ability to travel, preference to have friends in own location etc.
The same applies to ages. Sorry to hear that Jennifer. If so please report the members concerned so we can take action. I am 56, very recently retired, very active, fit and adventurous. Is this a venue where I may find mature women of similar traits? Lucky to be retired so young! Stitch is definitely built to help people like you meet mature women with similar interests. I agree with all of what is posted and would add that everyone is differently unique and looking for someone who compliments their specific qualities.
Wishing everyone much success and many loving connections….. Great article, well written and extremely thoughtful. Age is just a number and there are lots of us out there looking for a n other. Would you please use the word sex at least once in a while. I am no old dude in a trench coat. I want to date, share and have sex. Are there woman out there over 60 who desire friendship yes. Your site is a very, very good site.
I am not complaining. I just called up your profile on Stitch and was a bit confused as to where you are located — are you in the Canary Islands? I will turn sixty next month. DOes anyone else out there feel as if they are still in their thirties — I do. THanks to my love for exercise in all forms I have managed to stay quite fit and my age has not restricted my activities of daily living. I would love to meet someone my age or even older who I can have great conversation with, a man who is respectful and know s how to treat a lady and is also fun loving and loves great home made food admitted food snob ONe thing worries me however — I have heard of many woman and I am sure men as well, that have been burned by someone they initially thought to be Great and subsequently revealed their true colors.
So pleased you found us J! After being a widow for two years, I am just recently getting back into the dating scene and everything that you stated is spot on.. This new dating game is altogether different than when I dated 55 years ago. I am a 80yr old woman looking for friendship a casual relationship. Men in my age group are all looking for younger women. Absolutely agree with all the points made here. Just started connecting — in person — with a guy that eHarmony matched me with.
It was the same story, over and over, without much variance. Single dad, daughter usually in boarding school in some foreign country. Trust is important, so is companionship, and not necessarily marriage or looks. More and more senior people are looking for companionship online now. Since many senior couples have their first date as a result of their meeting on a senior dating site, that means, of course, you two should meet in a well-light, public venue.
That means, yes, you drive to pick her up. Only after the two of you are a couple and well past your third month of commitment can you start asking her to meet you at the venue. This is just a thought, but, did you ever consider a way to meet another senior in a city you are visiting just to have dinner or see a play or see the local sites.
Thank you — seems like a great idea. Do you think this will be a possibility in the near future? A 84 I may not have too long to search. Best wishes John S Hawkins, Lincoln. Yes the current state of pretty much every dating site out there is quite horrible. Stitch is very different.
I am glad I have found your site as maybe another elderly woman lived the same situation in the past and could give me her opinion. I am 67 years old woman and have been single for quite a while.
There is this 79 years old gentleman who keeps asking me to live with me. We went for supper a few times but he is very persistent and even though I appreciate his company I am very concern about developing a true relationship with him.
My worry is about age. He is very fit at 79 years old with a recent bill of health. If I agree to live with him how worried should I be about future health issues.
I am too old to lift him if he falls. I cannot give him a bath once he get disable. I know it can happen to me as well but in 10 years he will be 90 years old. Should I be concern and not get involved with someone 14 years my elderly? This is not out of selfishness but consideration for both our ability to take care of each other. I could get sick sooner than he and maybe he will not be able to take care of me. A relationship is more than watching TV together or going for a visit at the zoo.
He is a fantastic guy and I wish I had known him many years ago. Maybe someone would share their experience in a similar situation.
Thank you to those who will. Glad you found us! Let me know if you need any help! To me, if I were to find someone, I would like someone to be here 2 or 3 nights a week and I could do the same at his home.
You are so right to consider if he becomes disabled and you would then feel like you are required to take care of him. Undoubtedly, that is what this man is thinking about. Do NOT feel obligated to have him live with you. Tell him you love if you do or care about him very much but at this stage of life other arrangements are unnecessary.
Seniors experienced with loss crave love, companionship, excitement, and potential longevity. We rarely find what we set out for. If you find your soulmate, suddenly age becomes less important. An element of risk becomes a companion. Men risk financial security much more then women simply because more times then not, they can. The nurturing woman is more apt to risk her heart and overlook age and potential health issues for the right man. Love amoung seniors has a depth and commitment unknown at any other time in life.
It is also more complicated then other generations can imagine. Right decisions with the right mate is a gift beyond words. Wrong decisions with the wrong mate can be crippling for life. Why does it seem like society is so against women over 50 being proactive in finding love? On-line dating for Seniors is very hard. Looks are still important! Loyalty and commitment to only one partner is important. Filtering is very important, especially about things like religion, ethnicity, age, weight, etc.
About the only point I really found true in this entire article is that TRUST is very important — but i think that is true for all ages, along with respect and loyalty. For women, a lot more difficult. Because men always seem to want the younger women and when I say younger I mean the under 35s.
Skinny, blonde, the whole 9 yards. If you are over 55, not white, and overweight…forget it. No one wants you. That is the truth. Get used to being alone lol. True…trouble is the men want to text as well.. Sadly, that seems to be the going thing. Men have had access to, specifically, on line pornography since the internet… beautiful young woman on line they pay to have pleasure with. With the onset of senior dating sites some men go to dating sites instead seeking woman who will oblige them with naked pictures of themselves and sexting and the cost for men to experience this is their site membership and their time.
This appears as an alternative for men who may be having some sexual dysfunction occurring because of age or illness or men who are not interested in being real with a real person that includes emotion or a relationship. Whatever the case may be this is happening since these men want to experience pleasure however they are able get it. Times are changing and the way men and women relate is changing to. The idea that men and woman are seeking fun and adventure rather than spending their later years alone is exciting and challenging.
As a woman I believe the boundaries we had and the expectations we had about men needs some tweeking. Men are not bad and evil for the most part. In fact they are for the most part good people that see and feel and experience the world differently than woman.
No person, man or woman wants to feel on line pressure to do anything they are not used to…so here in lies personal thresholds that may need some readjustment and thoughtful consideration. The way we choose to text and talk to each other and finally meet makes all the difference. At 80 having had polio 76 years ago and lived normal life, raised 5 kids, had a wonderful husband that died 20 years ago. All kids married with children living all on their own with good jobs too.
I walk with a crutch and have good health, drive my car around town but miss conversation. My dog even died. At this age most of my friends are gone too. I guess God has no need for me yet. In the meantime it would be nice too have someone to talk with instead of only the girls at Mcdonalds. I was married for over 40 years when my wife decided she wanted to go in a different direction as we were very young when we married.
I was very hurt but after being divorced for a year I realise she was probably right and we remain close. I am quite fit and active for my age and would love a companion with similar interests and outlook however I am terrified of dating sites and as I live in a very small community the opportunities to meet anyone are very limited?
Every time I have thought about online dating or the like I have backed away because I do not have the confidence to progress it. Probably writing to ladies in the first instance is my only way of eventually getting out there and building that confidence. I noticed in your testimonials that some people got together or became friends after corresponding.
Thanks so much for sharing such an honest and open comment — even posting a comment on a forum like this can be challenging, let alone trying online dating! Hi, I believe I will be the only person you have heard from who says I am 90 years in age. I feel very lucky to be in good health and still drive and do my own errands. I was married for 68 years and had a wonderful husband who I lost two years ago. He was a fantastic dancer and I miss dancing now. I would like some one as a friend and likes to be active and dances and likes playing cards and enjoys life like I do.
Imsges: dating for older adults
I want to date, share and have sex.
Connie Douglas March 28, at 2: Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
I defy anyone to show me otherwise. However, I still think some age indications are important. Andrew Dowling August 12, at 9: For instance people still working, even part time, have different needs to people who are retired. Economic resources datung associated with dating: The same applies to ages. We estimated separate dating for older adults for men and women to explore possible gender differences in how factors are related to dating.
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