Dating has often been considered as only relevant to young adults. But with an increasing ageing population there are many older adults who are now involved in regular dating. There are also some interesting statics on older adults dating. For example, 14% of single older adults are in dating relationships. Dating is more common among men than women, but also it declines with age. Dating is also more common in those with a university education, and those with assets. Statistically, college educated professionals have longer life expectancy than blue collar workers.
There is an increase in the number of single older adults. Approximately one third of all Baby Boomers are currently single. And among adults 65 and older the majority are unmarried. Recent research has indicated that many older women view dating as a social activity which provides a unique relationship not achieved through friendships with other women. These women may often desire a close companionship, but are not interested in long-term conventional commitments, and they desire to maintain their own autonomy. Men appear to be more interested than women in formalising their relationship through marriage and cohabitating.
For many older men they may pursue dating relationships to mitigate feelings of loneliness. Older men who enjoyed higher levels of social support are less likely to date, which is similar to older women. Women generally enjoy a wider circle of social support and are less motivated to date and remarry. This is in part due to women maintaining a strong social network of friends and family during their lives. While men may begin to lose friendships from approximately the age of 30 and may only maintain friendships with work colleagues, or relationships with their children. The lack of connectedness in older men is a contributing factor to their feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Christopher Swane - Relationship Counselling and Psychotherapy - Wellington New Zealand