Is dating in your golden years different from when you were young? In a word, yes! Not only do people change, how we live changes too. If you’re single and living in a senior living community, before you jump headfirst into the dating scene, take a look at how dating is different now after 65.
Expectations are not the same:
In high school and college, dating expectations centered around finding someone with whom to create a long-term relationship that often included marriage and a family. But decades later, expectations swing away from the goals of youth, toward relationships that, while they may be long term, are focused on sharing interests, friendship, and time together.
For some people, the past dating expectation that the man pays for dates has also changed. Many women prefer to pay their own way to limit the feeling of owing something, especially early on in a relationship.
Online dating is here:
There was no internet back in the 1960s, but that was then and this is now. Today people of all ages, including seniors, at least try online dating to see if there is someone out there for them.
On the upside, online dating is a great way to meet people without actually having to “meet” them live and in person. Senior online dating sites offer profiles and usually photos of each person allowing seniors to peruse profiles and narrow down choices before even contacting anyone.
On the downside, online dating sites can be dangerous, especially for vulnerable seniors without a lot of internet know-how and experience. For example, a senior who is still grieving the death of a spouse may feel that meeting someone new right away will help them, but many times it sets them up for even more heartache. Online dating sites not only help good people come together, they are also home to predators who know exactly how to capitalize on the vulnerable. Before giving online dating a try, find out more in the us.norton.com blog, “Romance scams in 2021: What you need to know plus online dating scam statistics.”
Social norms have changed:
If it’s been decades since the last time you went out on a first date, be prepared for social changes to the dating scene. Today for example, women are more likely than ever to ask a man out, if they see fit.
Another change is that many seniors no longer are compelled to remarry, and are content to live alone or with a friend and enjoy a variety of relationships without choosing just one. Thus, when dating, it’s important to align with others who follow the same social norms right from the start. If you’re looking for that one special person, but you’re dating someone who is seeing others as well as you, it’s a recipe for heartbreak. The foodanddating.com blog, “Unhealthy Social Norms for Relationships,” looks in-depth at the dark side of social norms.
Age doesn’t matter as much:
The older we get, the less the distance between age groups seems to matter. For example, in our teens and 20s it’s most likely that we will date someone near our own age. Indeed, it was often frowned upon for a younger person to date someone considerably older than them.
But in our 60s and 70s, dating someone 10 or even 20 years older or younger does not seem so strange. The decades appear to erase the stigma and more seniors feel it’s natural to date someone outside their own age group, either older or younger.
Another factor is that 60 years ago, there were far fewer financially independent women, and most in their senior years were dependent on a spouse or family for financial help. With the rise of women in business, more women feel secure in their own capabilities and finances to date anyone they want, without regard to finding someone to provide for them.
This phenomena also benefits men who may find themselves in a relationship where they are not the only one who pays for everything. Men who are themselves financially sound are also more likely to find someone who is in step with their lifestyle and knows how to enjoy the finer things in life, without expecting to be supported financially. To find out more about age and dating, the marriage.com blog, “What Is the Psychology Behind Age Difference in Dating,” looks at some of the science involved.
Dating can be a great way to meet someone new or to just make new friends and expand your social circle, but it definitely is not the same as it was a half century ago. Find out more in The Atlantic article, “What It’s Like to Date After Middle Age,” which offers an anecdotal look at how much dating has changed for today’s seniors.
At North Chandler Place we understand that getting older doesn’t mean giving upon a love life or new relationships. We go the extra mile to make sure our residents have plenty of activities where they can meet new people and make new friends. North Chandler Place is an excellent choice for moving to a community where seniors have a variety of living options from independent to assisted to memory care. Curious about how to fund senior living? Check out our free guide, A Family Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing. To speak with a professional about all that North Chandler Place has to offer, contact us today!