Are you a senior and single? As if dating wasn't challenging enough before, now there are apps and text messages. How do you find love after 55 – real love?
Love takes a lot of work. The Roman poet Ovid called love “an art,” which then meant “a craft.” You can learn love, but you must practice and work at love; otherwise, you will forget how. To love requires talent, a will, and a willingness to learn. Two lovers are always reconciling their desires, needs, and interests. Especially on those first dates, we are so willing to ignore what we want to please the object of our desire. The practice of true love is much like running a marathon together on a tightrope.
But it’s worth it, right?
“Human beings naturally crave intimacy, and this need doesn’t diminish as we grow older. Positive intimate relationships have been linked with numerous health benefits, such as lower blood pressure and reduced stress.” National Council On Aging
Falling in love again in old age is exactly the same feeling as when we fell in love at sixteen. In addition to feeling those butterflies in the stomach, many seniors also feel an improvement in their health and psychological well-being.
Why should anyone bother falling in love in old age? It’s fun! Our brain pathways are the same regardless if we are five or seventy-five. Dopamine and oxytocin flood our brains, making us happy and light on our feet. Dating is also one way to deal with boredom after retirement. Perhaps alleviating the loneliness of being single. Then there’s the pleasure of intimacy.
A healthy sex life in old age means you are probably happier, too. The level of sexual activity of older adults is positively associated with both sexual and life satisfaction.
However, despite long life experience, searching for a partner is not necessarily easier with age. Women still question their beauty, and men still question their masculinity. The fear of rejection is still there even when we are older. To top it off, many seniors are independent and are not looking for someone new in their lives -- at least not for a relationship.
“Among today’s older adults, those who were either widowed or never married were less likely to be in a dating relationship than those who were divorced.” NCBI
Senior dating tips? Sounds funny. I mean, how did you date when you were younger? You met for coffee, went for a walk, or perhaps a movie or dinner. Maybe you went to the amusement park together. Nothing changed there, and you can still do all those things when you meet the right person. New relationships for seniors don’t need to be only about love and intimacy. Social stability is important too -- you can date and be friends. There is a lot to be said about companionship.
“Later-in-life romances weren't the norm even a few decades ago. In generations past, older adults who were widowed were expected not to pursue a romantic relationship at all but rather jump right into the role of grandparenting. Things today couldn't be more different. And later love isn't just celebrated; it's also biological reality.” AARP
Don’t be shy. Did you know that over 130 million unmarried people are in the US? You aren’t alone. How to find love in old age isn’t going to be as simple as clicking on a mouse, but it may be a good palace to start.
You certainly know exactly what you expect from someone and don't want to make any compromises. If you're in the mood for a spontaneous date or looking for the love of your life, you should try the tools of the “younger generation.” We’re talking about dating apps for smartphones and tablets. Some providers have already specialized in dating for seniors.
Protect your privacy online!
“The vast majority of legitimate users of online dating websites are perfectly safe. However, online safety is an important consideration.” Psychology Today
Right? What do we tell our kids? Adult children often feel that they will lose some of the relationships they have with their father or mother when they begin dating. “Wow, Mom! You’re dating! Aren’t you too old?” “Isn’t 60 too old to go dancing, Dad?” Is it? No. We’re still people. We still like to have fun and enjoy our lives.
Did you know that 6% of Tinder users are between 55 and 64? Believe me; there are plenty of “older Americans” on Bumble, eHarmony, Match, and Coffee Meets Bagel, too. We’re not resigned to a life of solitude just because we raised families and are now retired.
“Contrary to popular belief, older people are often happier and more romantically attached than their younger counterparts.” Psychology Today
How will you be taking care of your love life today? We’d love to know. Then go ahead and share this with your friends. Want to read more articles like this? We invite you to subscribe to our newsletter where we send weekly emails with helpful and fun articles.
Senior Living FYI
Go Live Your Best Life!