Senior People Meet Online

Dating for older adults is a growing business.

When most people think of their parents and grandparents, they do not see them as sexual beings. It is the same way that we do not like thinking of our children and grandchildren as sexual beings either. Our mutual relationships are based on nurturing non-sexual behaviors. But with the worldwide discrepancy between male and female life expectancy, it is likely that one of us will become widowed or—in industrialized countries—divorced. We will become single again.

Single older adults are a unique phenomenon because there are so many. In the United States there are whole communities and cities built exclusively around older adults. And it is not surprising to learn that more senior people meet online nowadays than ever making online dating for older adults the fastest growing demographic of online daters.

Differences In Personal Ads

Sheyna Sears-Roberts Alterovitz and her colleagues from the University of California, Berkley analyzed Internet personal ads. They found that across all ages, men sought physical attractiveness and offered status-related information more than women. On the other side, women were more selective than men and sought status more than men. With older age, men desired women increasingly younger than themselves, whereas women desired older men until ages 75 and over, when they sought men younger than themselves. Which is not surprising since at age 75 years and older, most male peers are dead.

Women Are Pickier Than Men In Online Dating

Their preferences for age and ethnicity are stricter than men’s, and they initiate contact and reply to fewer adverts. Most academic papers talk about evolutionary theory that predicts that men have a stronger preference for attractive mates and that women value good earning potential and education more than men do, as well as women’s preference for taller men. But with older adults, there is no evolution to worry about. Post-menopausal women are not after a strong partner to secure the future of their offspring.

Women are likely to have experienced caregiving of their deceased partner. They are likely to have endured caregiving of their children, their parents, their spouse’s parents, family members, neighbors and friends. Their priorities are different from men’s. They want someone who is independent, solvent, healthy and mobile. They do not want to spend their time caretaking–again. This is not evolutionary theory but pragmatism.

Younger Is Better For Men

Men on the other hand ensure that they do not end up caregiving by wanting someone younger, someone who can liven up their sex life, drive, cook, and look after them. In online dating men and women construct different profiles. Women focus on their looks and sociability while men focus on their financial and occupational successes. With a changing environment, it is more important for older adults to meet someone that fits their needs. There is some urgency and older adults are willing to lie. Studies with younger online daters (under the age of 50) have reported that men are more likely to lie about their wealth while women are more likely to lie about their age. Men tended to overestimate their height and women tended to underestimate their weight. There is a collusion of lies. Giving women and men what they are both looking for.

© USA Copyrighted 2014 Mario D. Garrett

Author’s Book

© Copyright 2014 Mario Garrett, Ph.D, All rights Reserved.
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Mario Garrett, Ph.D
Mario Garrett, Ph.D
Mario Garrett, Ph.D., is professor of gerontology at San Diego State University. Professor Garrett obtained his BSc (First Class Honours/ summa cum laude) from the University of East London and his PhD from the University of Bath. He has over 20 years experience in large data management, manipulation, and analyses. He has coordinated the digitizing of one of the largest longitudinal databases in England (Child Health Education Survey, 1962), and has worked with all three longitudinal from-birth databases sponsored by the British government. As the team leader of a United Nations Population Fund, and as the Program Manager/ Director of Programs with the United Nations International Institute on Aging, he coordinated a five-year project looking at support for the elderly in the People’s Republic of China. While with the United Nations, professor Garrett founded the international aging magazine ‘BOLD’. More recently, with the Minority Aging Research Institute at University of North Texas, Garrett was responsible for coordinating a statewide study in all the nineteen pueblos in New Mexico. He has also designed and implemented training/educational courses in Pueblos and Reservations in the State of New Mexico as the Director of an educational program at the Center on Aging, University of New Mexico. Since 1995 Garrett has been working exclusively with national American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations, he has compiled the most comprehensive databases on health of AI/AN populations in the nation. Garrett established and maintained a Monograph series on Indian health for the National Indian Council on Aging with eight series published. After joining the faculty at San Diego State University in 2004, he was the chairman of the department of gerontology.His talk at University of California San Diego TV was viewed over 1,555,000 making it the most popular video for 2013.