Compared to previous generations, the rate of casual dating has ballooned among adults over 50, who now account for one in four divorces since 1990 (Brown & Lin, 2012).
View current jobs from University of Melbourne and Swinburne University of Technology View all partners Older adults are the fastest-growing demographic on online dating websites, so much so that there has been a recent proliferation of sites catering specifically for the senior market, such as Dating Over60s, Senior Friend Finder and Senior Dating.As Neil, 71, said: I recognised the net as the most practical way to connect with like-minded people of a similar age plus the ability to match for common interests/locality and see a photo. For others, the online dating experience is comparatively brief as they find a connection with someone almost immediately.Neil had been using dating websites for seven years and had established contact with about 200 women.He was dating for the first time since the death of his wife and met his new partner offline within four days of meeting online. He and his partner were stunned at the outset by how quickly their relationship developed, he said.Numerous stereotypes apply to older adults as non-sexual beings or, as one participant put it, “past it”.He describes how his relationships unfolded: Of those 200, only one third progressed to regular communication, phone calls and emails, and of those 66 about half got to the coffee meeting stage. Out of those coffee meetings, usually only about one out of five developed into a romantic relationship.Now this may sound like rather poor odds, but from my point of view six or seven romantic relationships over six or seven years at my age is an extremely positive outcome.Australian dating website RSVP claims that adults aged 50-plus make up 22% of its membership and the oldest registered member is 91 years old.In terms of how big this phenomenon is becoming, a 2011 worldwide survey of 25,000 married or cohabiting people found that 37% of those aged 60 years-plus had met their partners through the internet.Elaine, 61, quickly found a compatible partner: The third man I’d contacted replied to my message … I replied that I’d like to email him a bit to learn more about him.We exchanged about three emails apiece and then we met for coffee.