Page 3 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - February 2017 - 24-02
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Senior Times - February 2017 Page 3
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.
4. Not Everybody Is Looking For Love & Marriage
The fundamental premise behind most dating services for young people is that the ultimate goal is to find love and marriage. While this is true for some older adults,
it is far from universal.
Many seniors really are looking for companionship and nothing more. Some are seeking someone to have dinner with, some are looking for someone to travel with them, others are looking for someone to share their favorite activities.
It’s always fun to have attraction, romance, and flirting. For many people at this stage, that is enough.
For others, it’s more. There is an entire spectrum of dating that goes far beyond
the marriage-oriented online dating services available today.
Which goes a long way to explaining the next point ...
5. It’s Not Just About One Companion
Many older adults have multiple needs for companionship. Sure, some are focused only on finding that single life partner who will give them a loving relationship for the next few decades.
Many seniors are actually seeking multiple companions to fit in with their varied social needs.
• A dinner-date companion. • A travel companion.
• An exercise companion.
• A gardening buddy.
• A couples bridge partner.
This isn’t infidelity, it’s just common sense. A recognition that most older adults are prepared for the fact that no single person may be the solution to all their social needs, that they may be just as well served by multiple companions for a variety of different reasons.
6. The Real World Counts
Far more than their younger counterparts, older adults feel much more comfortable evaluating a potential match in the real world instead of online. That’s right, instead of texting and messaging, they actually prefer to talk to someone
on the phone to find out if they like them. Can you believe that?
All the millennials out there are shaking their heads, wondering why on earth anyone would like to talk on the phone when they can instant message instead. And that sums up the generation gap in a nutshell ... recent studies show that young adults are three times as likely to prefer to text than talk via the phone, the complete opposite of their older counterparts.
7. Trust Is Hyper-Important
Yes, trust is important to everyone,
no matter how old they are. But for a retiree on a fixed income, who has heard countless stories of peers being taken advantage of both online and in the real world, trust takes on a special significance. They might consider these questions
more seriously:
• Is this person who they say they are? • Are they authentically interested in
me, or are they after something more? • Are they truly looking for companion-
ship, or someone to nurse them through their later years?
8. Filters, Not So Much
One thing that many dating services
have in common is using fancy algorithms to help you find a partner based on a dazzling array of filters you provide them.
Older adults are far more refreshingly open-minded.
9. Online Dating Stinks
In case you hadn’t figured it out by now, all the differences described above lead most older adults to conclude that online dating is not a positive experience at all. It’s built around the needs of younger generations, who care a lot about age, about appearances, about filtering out potential matches based on arbitrary criteria, who are happy to spend inordinate amounts of time online, browsing and scrutinizing potential matches.
Most online dating sites which market themselves as being for 55 and older
are simply re-branded versions of dating sites for younger adults. None of them recognize that there are fundamental differences in what matters to older adults and what they’re looking for.
10. It All Begins With Hello
Unless you begin a conversation it’s difficult for a relationship, friendship, or companionship to begin. Let me encourage you to reach out and say hello to someone new today... and while you’re at it,
a smile couldn’t hurt either.
Publisher’s Note: Stitch helps
anyone over 50 find the companionship they need, from friendship to romance and everything in between. Their start was fueled by an article published called, “Nine Things You Didn’t Know About Dating for 55+.” We share much of it with you today, albeit condensed, to help you to get started if you find yourself
in a position to want to begin this process once again. More details can be found
at www.stitch.net.
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