Our lives can take many turns, and you never know what your timeline will be. Through marriages, divorce, deaths, and just never settling, there has been a noticeable increase in older adults participating in the dating scene compared to previous generations.
Of course, we are all happy to have a longer life expectancy, which brings more years to enjoy romantic relationships and seek companionship later in life. Additionally, the global population composition is changing, with a significant increase in the number of older adults. The World Health Organization projects that by 2050, the global population aged 60 and older will reach 2.1 billion, more than doubling the number from 2017.
Older adults today are often more open to the idea of dating and seeking romantic partners compared to previous generations, who may have held more traditional views on love and companionship.
The advent of online dating platforms and social media has made it easier for people of all ages to connect and explore potential romantic relationships. Older adults are increasingly embracing technology and utilizing these platforms to meet new people.
Dr. Kelly Kennedy, a counselor and owner of Modern Wellness Family Counseling, has experience with clients who are dipping their toes into the dating scene at different stages of their life.
“I have a lot clients who are dating when they’re older. Even when I have a client say they are not into online dating, there is just a shift now that if you are looking to date, you have to take it on,” Kennedy said.
According to a Pew Research Center study conducted in 2019, the use of online dating platforms has increased significantly among older adults. For example, adults aged 55 to 64 who have used online dating platforms doubled from 6% in 2013 to 12% in 2019. Similarly, for those aged 65 and older, the percentage increased from 3% to 6% during the same period.
While Kennedy absolutely encourages women and men to embrace the opportunity of finding love, one thing she cautions her clients of is internet safety. Having missed the initial boom of online dating, many need reminding of how to stay safe when meeting new people online.
There are several dating apps and platforms that cater specifically to older adults and provide a supportive environment for dating and companionship. OurTime is a dating site and app designed for singles aged 50 and older. It offers a user-friendly interface, tailored matches, and various communication features to connect with potential partners. SilverSingles and Senior Match are popular dating platforms targeting mature singles. It focuses on creating meaningful connections and offers a personality test to match users based on compatibility. While not exclusively for older adults, eHarmony and match.com are great options known for their thorough matching systems that consider personality traits and compatibility.
When choosing a dating app, consider factors such as user interface, privacy and safety features, matching algorithms, preferences of your geographic area and the overall reputation of the platform. It’s a good idea to try out a few different apps to see which one resonates with you and aligns with your dating preferences and goals.
Kennedy notes that you may reconnect with an old high school friend online, or with someone in a Facebook group for a hobby you love. There is still the possibility of meeting someone out in the world, a traditional meet-cute if you will, but if you’re serious about wanting to find someone, online dating offers tons of options.
Dating at any age happens as we put more focus on personal fulfillment. With more emphasis on individual happiness, older adults are prioritizing their own needs and desires. This mindset encourages everyone to actively pursue romantic relationships later in life.
Remember, everyone’s dating journey is unique. Be patient with yourself and enjoy the process of getting to know new people if you are taking on this new dating challenge. And have fun!