Individual lonely hearts often think that dating sites are solely for the young amongst us but it appears now that people aged 60 years or more are the quickest growing users in Internet dating. However, they may be after a different set of quality markers in their relationships than the younger generation.
With the myth of the youthful age of online daters, very little research has been conducted on this older age group. Two researchers, Stelle and Watson from a university in the US finally moved into this area to compile some research data.
They discovered instantly that appearance and status is not central to older online daters. They found that the seniors in our population appear to be far more content with possible partners representing themselves in an honest way and compatibility ranks far more highly than discussions around sexual matters and the current nightlife scene.
They also discovered that online codes used for and by the younger generation are easily misunderstand by older people. The wording in advertisements is of particular significance here. They also pointed out that words used such as intelligence, independence and political beliefs were absent from dating sites but they are words more commonly used by the older generation.
Further information absent from young adults dating sites were lifestyle characteristics such as companionship and compatability, which are of great importance to daters over the age of 60.
The researchers also revealed that the language usage of seniors’ online advertisements and profiles was quite different when writing descriptions of themselves and what they are seeking in a relationship. Watson elaborates with such expression as “young at heart” and “active” were often used to portray fitness levels and wellness.
In earlier research on dating at an older age, Stelle and Watson discovered that the older age group, and in particular women, had precise expectations in relation to dating. One thing for sure is that they do not like wasting time and they like to make a quick decision and get in on the act. Life is too short for them to sit and wait for action to take place.
Stelle and Watson are in the middle of their research and are continuing with their interviews conducted on the match.com and ourtime.com dating sites.