Why Online Dating is Perfect for Seniors


Filed under Friends & Family

First of all, I should say that most people I know, who are over the age of fifty, bristle at being called ‘seniors.’ They don’t consider themselves old, they resent the mail they receive from AARP, and they won’t even accept the discounts available at movie theatres, restaurants, and other commercial establishments, at least until they cross over the sixty mark. Then, they seem to lighten up a little.

I don’t think it’s a matter of vanity, at least not entirely. It seems to be more the fact that they don’t feel like seniors in the traditional sense of the term. These people are not our grandparents grandparents, if you’ll excuse a twist on some stolen imagery. These are not the pie-baking, chair-rocking, knitting needle-clicking grannies of yore. Okay, some probably are, but remember, many of them are the kids who went off to the Peace Corps, fought in Vietnam, marched on Washington, and danced naked at Woodstock. Sorry if that last one put a picture of your grandma in your head that you’ll never get out.

The point is, most of these ‘seniors’ are still healthy, vibrant, vigorous, financially stable and, dare we say it, sexually active human beings. They are online in record numbers, just like the rest of us, and they’re at online dating venues looking for the same things the rest of us are looking for; friendship, romance, companionship, love, and sex. And the good news is, there are a boatload of online services that are designed to cater specifically to the ‘mature’ dater.

o, How’s It Feel To Be An Old-Timer?

Amazingly, you only have to be over forty to find yourself included in this group, when it comes to online dating sites, but the fact is, there really are no rules. There’s nothing to prevent a man or woman of forty-five, or even seventy-five, from signing up at any dating or personals site on the web, and thousands do every day. The only point of the mature-specific dating sites is to make the search easier for the searchers, just like any other niche site. If you’re looking for someone in a specific ethnic, social, religious, or age group, it makes sense to go to where they congregate. If you’re sixty and looking for someone else who’s sixty, and you don’t want to sift through all the thirty-year-olds, then give a mature dating site a spin, even if you resent the terminology. Although, sometimes the sifting can be a good time in itself.

Now, some may think that because Grandpa doesn’t use his mobile phone for texting and downloading tunes, that he doesn’t appreciate, or understand, the technology¬†available to him. But people over fifty have embraced technology, and specifically the internet, with the same gusto as everyone else. They have discovered social networking and email to keep in touch with family and friends, they make their own travel and hotel arrangements online, they investigate and research drug and medical questions, and they are flocking to online dating venues like it’s half-price Viagra.

Anyone Seen My 8-Track of Herman’s Hermits?

It’s true that this is a generation that grew up without computers, and CDs, and satellite television, and talking automobiles. They were deprived of Playstation, wii, voice mail and fat-free bacon, but this generation grew up at a time when, if you wanted to communicate with someone far away, you wrote a letter. Long distance telephone calls were expensive, and generally only for important matters and special occasions. So, this is a generation of people who, by and large, know how to express themselves with pen and paper, or even a keyboard if necessary. They are almost certainly better equipped to pursue an online relationship, with a person they have yet to meet, than someone for whom “Id luv 2 mtU 4 dinA” is a sentence.

No slight intended to our younger readers, but the art of letter writing is still alive and well in many of these ‘mature’ folk, and it’s perfectly suited to the kind of relationships being conducted every day in social forums and online dating venues all over the web. Getting to know someone online is all about communication, including measured doses of finesse and nuance. There can be an intimacy, and a tenderness, in the written word that seems more difficult to get to in a face to face discussion. If you start out with the skill to express yourself, and reveal who you are, on paper or online, then you’re miles ahead of someone who doesn’t.

Does everyone over fifty possess these skills? Of course not. But I’d venture to guess there’s a much larger percentage of skilled letter writers in this age group than in the society of whipper-snappers that largely populates the netscape. Not to disparage whipper-snappers of any age, but writing skills have generally declined with the advent of so many electronic distractions, the personal computer included. Back in the dark ages of the fifties and sixties, television was pretty much the only game in town.

Off The Computer, Kid. Nanna’s Got A Hot Date.

So, the next time you dismiss the idea of Grandma getting lucky online, think again. She may be doing much better than you are. And, if you’re a ‘mature’ person ready for a new romance in your life, don’t dismiss the internet as a possibility. It affords the ability to search for and meet potential friends far beyond your own social and professional circles, and allows you to size them up without even having to speak to them. Then, if they pass initial muster, you can choose to begin an online dialogue. If you’re half as literate as I’ve made you out to be, you’ll be showing these kids a thing or two about online dating that will make them envious of your prowess as a date magnet.

Now, get out there and make us both look smart.

Article by Daniel Perkins

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