Valentine’s Day can cause mixed emotions for older adults who are single. Some may still be mourning the death of a spouse and find the holiday to be painful. Others who are divorced might feel like they just don’t have the opportunity for romantic love.
With women outnumbering men later in life, some single seniors feel the odds are stacked against them. Between the ages of 60 and 64, statistic show there are 2.3 single women for every single man. By age 70, the gap has widened to 4 women for every 1 man.
Many older women say the numbers are even more challenging because men their own age only seem to date younger women.
By the Numbers: The Statistics on Dating in Later Life
Despite some of the stereotypes that seniors are too old to date and far too old for sex, most older adults are looking for a romantic relationship.
- 48% of adults over the age of 50 use the internet to find a serious relationship. 26% of them are looking for friendship and 14% want to find someone to date casually.
- While 75% of seniors do not want to re-marry, they do want a serious partner.
- 85% of both men and women say sex is very important in a relationship.
How to Meet Other Single Seniors
If you are a senior who is ready to mingle, it can be difficult to meet someone who interests you. Here are a few suggestions you may find helpful or might want to share with a senior you know who is trying to expand their social circle:
- Take a continuing education class on a topic you want to learn more about, such as gardening or guitar.
- Join the Road Scholar organization (formerly known as Elderhostel) and enjoy local travel programs or overseas adventures with other older adults.
- Volunteer your time with a local non-profit agency. The local United Way agency in your community can help you find one that meets your location preference and interests.
Another avenue more and more seniors are turning to is online dating websites.
What Seniors Should Know about Online Dating
An Oxford Internet study revealed 36% of adults between the ages of 40 and 70 met their current partner through an online dating site. Before you or the senior you love go that route, there are a few safely issues to be aware of:
- Phone conversations first: Safety experts advise seniors to begin a new friendship on the telephone. Call on a mobile phone so your phone number can’t be used to track your home address.
- Meet in public places: If the phone conversations go well, the next step is an in-person meeting. Make sure to only meet in public places preferably during daytime hours to start.
- Keep family informed: If you will be meeting an internet connection in-person, be sure to let friends or family know when and where. Also let them know you will check back in after your date to let them know you are safe.
Senior Planet identified five dating sites they considered to be senior-friendly:
- AARP Dating
- Our Time
- OK Cupid!
We hope this information helps you or the senior you love feel more confident heading back in to the dating world!