When it comes to finding love in our sixties and beyond, the stereotypes about aging we pictured in our youth probably don’t match reality.
As a twenty-something, I confess I used to think that sixty was the age of grumpiness, gray hair and decline. Chalk that up to older characters portrayed on TV and a limited exposure to that generation in my family and social circle.
As a sixty-something, I think differently about life. Even though there is plenty of gray hair, life is not at all about grumpiness and decline.
This collection of facts about life over sixty show some of its unique and fascinating aspects.
If you’re returning to dating after a long time away, these statistics could broaden your perspective about aging and help maintain your enthusiasm.
Facts About Being Single Over 60
➤ 44% of people 80 and older do strength training. That’s the same percentage as the youngest group of 18-39 year olds. (Study in AARP Bulletin, June 2022) For example, my mother is 94 and does thirty minutes of exercise daily.
➤ 26.6% of the population aged 65-74 are still in the workforce. Nearly 9% of people 75 and older are still working. (2020 US Census)
➤ It’s harder to stay in a relationship in big cities where divorce rates are higher.
➤ Small cities and towns have the highest percentage of single men and women. But once a couple commits, they tend to stay in that relationship longer than in urban areas.
➤ Men have an advantage in their search for love at 65 years old and up. 31.4% of the male population are single, while 57.2% of women are single. Plus, the female population compared to men grows with age since men tend to die younger.
➤ 50% of single adults between 50 and 64-years old say they are not looking for casual dates or a committed relationship. Over 65, about 75% are not looking!
➤ Our social network of friends and family shrinks later in life. Finding dates in that shrinking pool of prospects makes online dating tools all the more important.
➤ Seniors are not stuck in the past. Sue Malta, a sociologist at the University of Melbourne who studies aging, says this about dating later in life,
“…older adults are freer now to explore the fluidity of attraction and gender. Some who have identified as heterosexual their whole life are trying out same-sex relationships that they previously thought of as off-limits.”
Facts About Dating Apps and Online Dating
➤ Older online daters are more open-minded than younger daters. Dating apps and sites were first designed with a young demographic in mind. That meant lots of filters to zero in on the perfect match. Singles over 60 use fewer filters, according to Stitch.
➤ Dating app eHarmony says that for men and women over sixty, online dating use has doubled since 2013.
➤ Dating today takes time. An online dating study from Duke University found that for every 1 hour spent on actual dates, 2.9 hours are spent looking at profiles and 3.7 hours on replying to emails.
Facts About What to Wear on a Date
➤ If a man can’t decide what to wear on a date, he might want to wear blue. Studies show that women are attracted to men in blue.
➤ During the first date, a woman will base 55% of her initial impression of him on his appearance and body language, 38% on his style of speaking, and 7% on what he actually says. The bottom line as always is that you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.
Miscellaneous Facts About Dating
➤ Top dating turnoff for women is a man who keeps checking his phone.
➤ Of those re-entering the dating scene, 63% report dating is better later in life.
➤ Iceland has a dating app to prevent sleeping with cousins.
They have a relatively small population of about 376,000 with few foreign nationals. Also, their surnames don’t give much of a hint about lineage.
➤ Studies show that happiness is contagious and that potential dates find it hard to walk away from happy people. One of the biggest turn-offs during a date is negativity.
➤ A survey by Today about dating after 50 found that 60% of daters feel they make better decisions about compatibility now than when younger.
Final Thoughts on Being Single in Your Sixties
Becca Levy, professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health says,
“My research shows that positive beliefs about aging can act as a buffer against stress, bolster your sense of control over your life and even your will to live, and motivate good habits.”(AARP Bulletin, June 2022)
The opportunities we have as we age are different than in our youth. Don’t get molded by some stereotype that limits your chances to enjoy life to the fullest.