When Rhonda Lynn Way was in her 50s and on the dating scene for the first time since she was 21, she had no idea where to start. She tried to use dating apps, but the mid age dating felt bizarre and daunting. Way is now 63 and still single. Throughout their adult life, their generation has had higher rates of separation and divorce, and lower rates of marriage in the first placethan the generations that preceded them. And as people are living longer, the divorce rate for those 50 or older is rising.
Since separating from her husband, one Boston-area alumna in her late forties has had numerous dates and even a long-term relationship. For those over 45, the world of dating is more complicated for a variety of reasons, ranging from the logistical to the emotional.
For many, returning to that scene after divorce or the death of a spouse means adapting to new modes of social networking, such as Internet dating sites. For everyone older—and less energetic—facing the risk of rejection takes courage, creativity, and resilience: in short, more personal effort.
That is how the game is played after My objective is not to be alone the rest of my life. Sharing experiences on a daily basis is very important to me. The AARP report also revealed what seems a more general ambivalence about dating.
Overall, men were slightly more likely to date than women, but women in their forties went out more often than their older counterparts. Women tended to add financial stability; men more often noted physical attractiveness and potential for sexual activity.
People want to know if there is romantic potential or not. Should we kiss at the end of the first date?
Slotnick says her more proactive clients aim for a date a week. If you can find them. Those still at the peak of their careers ages 45 to 65 probably work a lot and tend to be more isolated because they are bosses in a corner office, or work from home.
Most older singles are also divorced with children, she adds, with little free time outside of solo parenting and career obligations. With those over age 65, generalizing about dating trends is hard, cautions psychologist Judah Ronch, a professor at the University of Maryland—Baltimore County, who specializes in geriatric mental health.
Increasingly, those 45 to 55 are meeting online, through sites like Match. There are also many shared-interest niche sites that focus on ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, religion, or activities. Those over age 45 comprise the fastest-growing segment of users at Perfectmatch.
The Boston-area alumna who has used Match. Why should your wife have to play golf? Both Greenwald and Sternbach concur.
Sternbach often omits last names when introducing people, to avoid any pre-date Google research. That kind of vulnerability is something a lot of highly successful professional people are not comfortable with.
How people evaluate partners and their own needs necessarily changes over time, Greenwald says. Those in their twenties and thirties look at potential—to hold down a job, earn money, be a good parent, evolve. For a while there was some potential. Obviously, I have my own baggage.
Problems you might run into when dating over 40
In the end, emotional obstacles can often be worked through, says Sternbach. My client has never been happier. Who Built the Pyramids? Stem-Cell Breakthrough in Treatment of Diabetes.