The Graying Of Online Dating

Online Dating

The Graying of Online Dating

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Written by: Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Known as America's Relationship Expert, Dr. Wendy Walsh is an award-winning television journalist, radio host & podcaster, and the author of three books on relationships and thousands of print and digital articles. More than 1.5 million people follow her sage advice on social media. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and teaches in the Psychology Department at California State University Channel Islands and has been the host of "The Dr. Wendy Walsh Show" on iHeart Radio's KFI AM 640 since 2015. Walsh is also a former Emmy-nominated co-host of "The Doctors," as well as former host of the nationally syndicated show "EXTRA." She was named a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2017 after speaking out about harassment at a major news network.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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Grandma’s got a profile! And she’s no longer sitting home with a crochet project. Today, when seniors become widowed or divorced, they are more likely to be online looking for love.

Online dating has long ago lost its stigma among young people as a creepy place for anti-social people to meet. Today the vast majority of young, single people have visited an online dating site.

But the news this year is that singles over the age of 60 are the fastest growing demographic in the online dating world. A little slower to gravitate to this high-tech social world, aging Americans are making up for lost time.

Senior profiles are different.

A massive study was just completed by two researchers who specialize in gerontology at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio: Wendy Watson, Ph.D. and Charlie Stelle, Ph.D.

Analyzing senior online profiles of Americans from a number of dating sites, they noticed their habits and style was very different than the profiles of young singles.

They found that older online daters are looking for different things in a relationship and their profiles reflect that.

Unlike young singles, there is less emphasis on money and beauty and more emphasis on health and potential for a long life.

If the online dating code word for a woman with body fat is “curvy,” the code words for mature daters who have good health are “active” and “young at heart.”


“Perhaps the young can take

a lesson from wise seniors.”

Looking for authenticity.

And singles over 60 seem to be looking for authentic companionship more than a trophy date.

They are more honest in their profiles and less likely to get into lengthy game playing. Their goal it seems is to focus on compatibility and companionship rather than nightlife, sexual prowess and social status.

The researchers suggested in their paper that online dating sites expand their profile selectors to include categories like independence, intelligence, affection style and life goals.

While they referred to sites that market to seniors, like, the researchers’ recommendations might be well suited to all dating sites.

Knowing someone’s lifestyle and looks is only the beginning of looking at one’s compatibility.

Relationships are about a mutual exchange of care and everyone has their own attachment style — the way they like to give and receive that care.

Some people are touchy-feely. Others need their space and shrivel at public displays of affection. Some are comfortable (and even crave) emotional intimacy, while others like to avoid topics that feel too close to the bone.

Perhaps the young can take a lesson from wise seniors who finally have figured out what’s important in a relationship.

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