The older adults in this study met their dating partners offline in a very short space of time and they usually became sexually intimate with them within four weeks.
For some this occurred the first time they met face-to-face.
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View the full list 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.
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.
In contrast, Elaine’s online presence was relatively short-lived.Older adults believed the stereotypes themselves, until they found themselves involved in loving, intimate relationships.Many expressed surprise at just how sexual and exciting their new relationships were.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.Many described a sense of urgency that compelled them to meet up as quickly as possible.For George, 69, the “best thing” about online dating was the “speed” with which relationships could be swiftly advanced to real-life experiences.The internet thus acted as a means for older adults first to initiate romantic connections and then to facilitate their offline formation into ongoing sexual relationships if they desired.Having returned once again to the dating trenches, I've been surprised by just how many attractive women there are in Sydney and how few of them want to have sex with me.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.