It’s no secret that intimacy and relationships are the most important part of life. They are crucial throughout our lives, but especially in our latter life for happiness, health and overall well-being. Unfortunately, finding a partner later in life can be challenging.
Many of the difficulties that we face when approaching love are based on expectations that love ought to be the same as it was during middle-age. Instead, it is important for older people to define new and authentic modes of intimacy and sexuality, so knowing where to find potential partners is important, and is, interestingly, more accessible than ever before for today’s aging population.
There were more than 40 million Americans over 65 in 2011, according to the U.S. Administration on Aging, an 18% increase from 2000. The administration also reported the number of Americans age 45-64 rose by 33% from 2000-2011. A large number of these Americans are single, with 55% of women and 28% men over 65 stating they were unmarried. The senior population has steadily increased with each passing year.
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With so many people unattached later in life, it’s only natural that some of them would dip their toes in the dating pool — especially the Baby Boomer population.
For those who don’t have the option or simply don’t want to meet other singles through family and friends, here are the top five ways seniors are finding love in 2017 for those who are seeking friendship, intimacy or love:
There’s one notable way in which the dating scene has changed since most seniors were last dating — the Internet. According to a 2013 study by the Pew Research Center, 11% of American adults — and 38% of those who were single and looking for a partner — said they used mobile dating apps or online dating sites.
Here are the most popular dating sites for those over 65:
Community centers offer fun celebrations and outings in neighborhoods that allow many seniors to gather, meet one another and have social stimulation. Generally senior centers offer a calendar of events and special celebrations during the holidays. Senior community centers are an excellent way to meet others with similar interest in your community.
For those wary of the World Wide Web and those too shy to meet people in social settings — dating coaches, services and matchmakers are the way to go! Judith Gottesman, a geriatric social worker turned matchmaker who works with Jewish singles comments, “A surprising number of older people don’t use computers at all, and many who do aren’t comfortable using them for dating sites. Dating coaches and matchmakers seems to make sense and break the barrier for many seniors.”
About 90% of the estimated 3,000 matchmakers in the United States will work with seniors, though not necessarily exclusively, said Lisa Clampitt, co-founder of the Matchmaking Institute, which trains professional matchmakers. But there are not as many men as women simply because women typically outlive men. These services can be pricey, though. In fact, $2,500 is the starting cost for many matchmaking services as these coaches tend to include personality tests, spiritual background information as well as cater to niche demographics.
Learn more about today’s matchmakers for senior citizens.
For those who are truly ‘old school’, neighborhood grocery stores, libraries and venues for hobbies are excellent places to meet not only potential partners, but also friends. While it can be more challenging to meet a possible mate on a chance outing to the store, it makes for a romantic story for those who do meet on these happenstances!
Whether the stars are aligned for these couples, or luck plays a big role in their meeting; seniors have to be a bit more extroverted and aggressive to meet in these settings.
Believe it or not, many find companionship and love in senior living communities. Whether it’s assisted living or independent living, being in close proximity and sharing activities, meals and lives together in these close-knit communities contributes to seniors’ happiness and overall quality of life. Read these stories of seniors who found love in assisted living and discover why love prospered in these unlikely places.
While seniors desire love and romance, they face obstacles beyond the social norms and taboos. Here are a few obstacles many seniors need to get passed in their twilight years:
Happiness is important at any age, but companionship plays a huge role in contributing to good quality of life and happiness as a senior citizen. If you or a loved one desires companionship after age 65, you need to be proactive to rediscover the art of flirting, being confident and finding a way to meet people.
Whether choosing an expert service, moving to an independent living community or searching online works for your situation — it’s important to find your ‘joie de vivre’ by seizing the day. After all, you are not getting any younger.
Do you know any good places seniors can meet or have any stories about ways to find love after 65? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below.