At the risk of sounding ageist (or ancient), dating sites are not purely the retreat of the young and inexperienced; far from it.
If the recent reports are accurate, seniors (those aged fifty-five plus, for those of us in the UK dating world) is the largest expanding group in the world of online dating. The baby boomers have, of course, been there, done it and got the ‘World’s best grandad’ t-shirt to prove it. Now that they’ve done the whole family-rearing thing and, for one reason or another, find themselves with time on their hands after (gratefully) handing back the grandkids, and are turning their hands to the Internet to find the opening pages of the next chapter of their lives.
There are specialised dating sites that target seniors looking for love online but, as individual dating sites populations grow, many of the mainstream sites now have multiple platforms for users of all ages; even differing sexual orientations can now meet under the same roof, in some instances.
Losing a loved one can be devastating for the one left behind. Not only at the time of loss and then bereavement, but in the period afterwards, too. After twenty or thirty years of marriage, couples develop a similar, shared social network. When one of the members of that couple moves on, either to the afterlife or pastures new in the corporeal world, it can be difficult for the one left behind to remain in the same social circles.
What has stopped ‘seniors’ from being part of the online dating community in the past is that t’Internet has literally been ‘new-fangled’. For the baby boomers who are just achieving that milestone, being a senior – or reaching middle age, as we’d say this side of the pond – they have used computers and the Internet as part of their day-to-day working life for the past fifteen years and it is no longer a foreign concept to the more experiences members of society at all.
So, is it any surprise that those who face retirement want to sail off into the sunset with an exciting, new partner they find on a dating site? Oh, I do hope not…