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Swinburne University of Technology provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.

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.

Recent research conducted at Swinburne University investigated the dating and relationship practices of older Australian adults aged between 60 and 92.

Those who had met their partners through dating websites went online because they felt there were very limited places and opportunities to meet like-minded others and because they no longer took part in the pub and club scene.

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.

Neil liked the structured approach to meeting people he found online and he liked that there were numerous potential partners who might be interested in him.

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Even after the death of a spouse, many older adults want to date again—and quickly (Altterovitz & Mendelsohn, 2011).

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.

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”.

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