Older daters don't want to play games

Feb. 13, 2012 at 12:44 AM
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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Older Americans, the fastest-growing demographic in online dating, are looking for different traits in a date than their younger counterparts, researchers say.

Dr. Wendy K. Watson and Dr. Charlie Stelle, Bowling Green State University professors of gerontology, said adults 60 and older do not appear to focus on appearance and status.

The senior population appears more interested in honest self-representation and being compatible than in sexual prowess and nightlife.

The researchers found the language of seniors' online ads was different when describing themselves and what they were looking for in a relationship, using terms such as "young at heart" and "active" were used to show physical fitness and good health.

Watson and Stelle suggested those age 60 and older might be more interested in personal characteristics such as affection, intelligence, independence, purpose and goals, religion and spirituality, political beliefs, health and status, than younger daters.

In previous senior dating research, Watson and Stelle found older women had specific expectations regarding dating -- they don't have a need that has to be fulfilled.

"Instead their philosophy is: 'Please don't waste my time,'" Stelle said. "They are less likely to play games. They want to make a decision quickly and cut their losses, because they have learned life is too short for dating games."

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