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. We are all living decades longer than we once did, and are staying fitter, healthier (and in some cases, friskier) further into our wisdom years than ever before.Maybe this is because older adults are wise enough to know that looks have very little to do with whether someone is going to be a kind, loving and caring companion.Maybe it’s because the physical nature of attractiveness changes when you get older, or maybe they know that being “hot and sexy” is more a function of your personality than how you look.This makes quite a comparison to how many young people organize their first dates, which usually involve meeting up in a bar.Several of today’s dating services are built specifically around this concept: Grouper, for example, hooks up groups of young people in bars and offers them a free first drink as part of the package. The fundamental premise behind most dating services for young people is that the ultimate goal is to find love and marriage.Far more important is what shape you are in, how healthy you are, what activities you can do. If you’re active and like going for long walks and playing golf, you’re going to be much more interested in the fit and energetic 82-year-old who can share your activities than the 65-year-old waiting on a hip replacement who can no longer walk long distances. The other stunning aspect of dating for young people is how much looks matter.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.
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.And always being the lone single person when your married friends want to catch up for dinner starts to become a little tiresome.Older adults, however, look for companionship in a way that’s very different from their younger counterparts.Once you’re into your wisdom years your needs, desires and expectations are very different from what you’re looking for when you’re in your 20s.