Majority of Over 40’s Using Online Dating to Find Death Do Us Part Relationships

A recent survey conducted by researchers at Oxford University found that the heaviest users of internet dating sites were not young people but the over 40s. The numbers visiting such sites had gone up from 6% to 30% in the past decade and that about half of those who had used this method had been successful.

The findings point to the fact that more people are making relationships through the web than by the more traditional activities such as dinner parties, clubs and well meaning friends.

Most Peoples’ Death Do Us Part Expectations are not Met the Second Time Round

Almost all of these people will have had at least one previous till death do us part relationship and the majority of them will be actively seeking another such relationship in the hope that they will be able to get it “right” this time around.

But much has changed since till death do us part was invented. Almost everyone can give an example, real or apocryphal of a loving couple who have been together for sixty year and have regular exotic couplings. If such people really do exist, then God bless them. It is just that this is not what it is like for most people.

Death Do Us Part Invented When Lives Were Short

Death do us part and especially the bit about forsaking all others was invented when the average lifespan was about 19 and when few people moved very far from the place them were born but now anyone getting married in their 20s would be very lucky indeed to find someone who would constantly arouse their passions and not ever be a disappointment for the next sixty years. Indeed, anyone getting married today is statistically more likely to get divorced than not and a large number of those who do not part, stay together “clinging to nurse for fear of something worse”. Increasing numbers who are in perfectly stable relationships are not even bothering to marry for reasons that have very little to do with lack of commitment.

So is till death do us part still an appropriate model for the over 40s?

The forsaking all others part is perhaps more relevant to the younger age group wherever children are involved and is concerned with property rights. Men need to avoid the responsibility of bringing up children in the mistaken believe that they are the father and women want to avoid partners who father children elsewhere and dilute the inheritance of her own children. But this is largely irrelevant for the over 40’s and in the days of reliable contraception increasingly less so for the younger group as nowadays there is absolutely no reason at all for having an unwanted child.


© Copyright 2013 Timothy St.Ather, BA, MBA, MSc, FCIPD, AFBPS, C.Psychol., All rights Reserved.
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Timothy has extensive organisational experience gained in both the public and private sectors. During the course of his career, Timothy has held senior management positions with the Montague L Meyer Group, Polaroid (UK) Limited, Geest Industries, United Business Media and the Tootal Group. He has been Principal Advisor to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) where he was responsible for a major survey into the London Ambulance Service. He is consultant psychologists to a number of recruitment and outplacement companies and a tutor in Strategic Management on the Open University Business School MBA programme. Timothy is considered to be one of the most experienced and insightful assessment psychologists in the UK, He works extensively with senior managers both individually and as part of high performance team building programmes. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS), a Founding Principal of the Association of Business Psychologists (ABP) and a member of the US Organisation Development Network.