Young people are incredibly age-prejudiced, to such an extent that age is one of the most important filter criteria used to find a match on online dating sites. Age is the second-most important attribute used to help users determine if they’re interested in a potential match (after the photo).
This scenario is not just on Match.com, but on E-harmony, Ourtime, Plenty of Fish, OK Cupid, and the rest of the dating websites.
Because no matter how old you get, one thing about human nature never changes: nobody likes feeling lonely.
Older adults, however, look for companionship in a way that’s very different from their younger counterparts.
One thing we have been struck with has been the important role that dinner plays in the social (or not-so-social) lives of most older adults.
Nobody likes the idea of spending years cooking for themselves and eating alone.
The filtering mechanisms on these dating sites similarly emphasize the importance age takes in the minds of young match-seekers, with all users asked to specify the age range they are seeking, with many choosing ridiculously narrow ranges (e.g. ) Adults over 55 are far more flexible in their approach to companionship.
Part of this is probably the wisdom that comes with age, but even more significant is an essential truth about how age works.
With the obsession that today’s media has with youth and appearance, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s only the young who are looking for companionship, that dating is a young person’s game. Which of the following images do you think the media is more likely to use to accompany an article on online dating? At the same time, more older adults over 55 find themselves single and looking, either through divorce or the tragic loss of a husband or wife they loved for many years.
Maybe you aren’t looking for the next greatest love of your life. Many people who join these sites are simply looking for a friend — someone who they can share stories with, reminisce on days gone by, and maybe even meet up and go on day trips with. Wine, roses, moonlit walks, slow dancing, and chocolate are going to be just as enjoyable, if in a different way from when you were twenty.
While we hope that love is a possibility for the men and women on our site, we are pleased to know that they can find someone who they can relate with — even if it is only on a platonic level. Some pessimists think life stops when you get over sixty.
On the other hand, the 75-year old woman who has had past back problems and likes to stay in with wine and movies might be a great match for that 65-year-old man. The hottest online dating app for young people today is Tinder, which proudly claims to be matching over 450 million love-seekers daily.
Take a quick look at the Tinder user interface to the left.
Dating doesn’t stop though, nor does life, and if anything at this age you probably know a bit better what you would love than what you did at twenty.