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View the full list Older adults are the fastest-growing demographic on online dating websites, so much so that there has been a recent proliferation of sites catering specifically for the senior market, such as Dating Over60s, Senior Friend Finder and Senior Dating.
Older adults believed the stereotypes themselves, until they found themselves involved in loving, intimate relationships.
Many expressed surprise at just how sexual and exciting their new relationships were.
In contrast, Elaine’s online presence was relatively short-lived.As Neil, 71, said: I recognised the net as the most practical way to connect with like-minded people of a similar age plus the ability to match for common interests/locality and see a photo. For others, the online dating experience is comparatively brief as they find a connection with someone almost immediately.Neil had been using dating websites for seven years and had established contact with about 200 women.Australian dating website RSVP claims that adults aged 50-plus make up 22% of its membership and the oldest registered member is 91 years old.In terms of how big this phenomenon is becoming, a 2011 worldwide survey of 25,000 married or cohabiting people found that 37% of those aged 60 years-plus had met their partners through the internet.Lorraine, 65, remarked: Apart from a dearth of available partners in their social or friendship groups, it is hard for older adults to work out who is actually available.Just because someone is single, widowed or divorced, that does not mean they are interested in dating. Older adults who have, for the most part, been married or cohabited long-term, fear the embarrassment of getting it wrong. For many older adults, online dating is easy, relatively safe, anonymous and provides a structured approach to what is typically an unstructured process. The setting up of profiles, viewing others’ profiles and photographs, sending “kisses” or “stamps”, responding with emails, chatting online or by phone and in due course meeting in real life, is a process organised and regularised by the online dating websites. Many older adults initiate meetings with numerous prospective partners over many months.Online dating or Internet dating is defined as a personal introductory system whereby individuals can find and contact each other over the Internet to arrange a date, usually with the objective of developing a personal, romantic, or sexual relationship.Online dating services usually provide unmoderated matchmaking over the Internet, through the use of personal computers or cell phones.The older adults in this study met their dating partners offline in a very short space of time and they usually became sexually intimate with them within four weeks.For some this occurred the first time they met face-to-face.