We may think of the older generation as being less internet-savvy, but when it comes to love, that’s not entirely true — in fact, recent research indicates people over the age of 60 are the fastest growing demographic using online dating sites.

Two professors from Kentucky’s Bowling Green State University, Dr. Wendy K. Watson and Dr. Charlie Stelle, are investigating online dating in later life, and so far they’ve discovered those older adults seem to “market” themselves differently on such sites than their younger counterparts.

For example, they focus less on appearance and status, and more on honest self-representation and compatibility. As such, the researchers feel the way dating sites use online coding terms isn’t addressing the needs of older people.

Watson and Stelle say sites geared at those over 60 should consider adding lifestyle categories such as compatibility and companionship, and personality characteristics like affection, intelligence, independence, purpose and goals, religion and spirituality, political beliefs, health and status.

The researchers also found seniors have their own special language when describing themselves and what they want in a relationship, using terms such as “young at heart” and “active” to show physical fitness and good health.

Watson says women in particular are interested in directness. “Their philosophy is: ‘Please don’t waste my time,’” he said. Stelle agreed, adding, “They are less likely to play games … They want to make a decision quickly and cut their losses, because they have learned life is too short for dating games.”


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