Whatever the reason, most older adults will tell you that how someone looks is doesn’t matter much in their search to find a companion.One thing we have been struck with has been the important role that dinner plays in the social (or not-so-social) lives of most older adults.Part of this is probably the wisdom that comes with age, but even more significant is an essential truth about how age works.Once you get into your fifties and beyond, the actual number of your age becomes less and less significant.But just as many are actually seeking multiple companions to fit in with their varied social needs. One of our favorite lines comes from a Huffington Post article on this very subject: It won’t surprise you, of course, to discover that most of today’s online dating services are designed around chatting with potential matches online before things get serious enough for a phone call. Yes, trust is important to everyone, no matter how old they are.But for a retiree on a fixed income, who has heard countless stories of peers being taken advantage of both online and in the real world, trust takes on a special significance. Are they authentically interested in me, or are they after something more?Far more important is what shape you are in, how healthy you are, what activities you can do. If you’re active and like going for long walks and playing golf, you’re going to be much more interested in the fit and energetic 82-year-old who can share your activities than the 65-year-old waiting on a hip replacement who can no longer walk long distances. The other stunning aspect of dating for young people is how much looks matter.On the other hand, the 75-year old woman who has had past back problems and likes to stay in with wine and movies might be a great match for that 65-year-old man. The hottest online dating app for young people today is Tinder, which proudly claims to be matching over 450 million love-seekers daily.
Once you’re into your wisdom years your needs, desires and expectations are very different from what you’re looking for when you’re in your 20s.While this is true for some older adults, it is far from universal.Many seniors really are looking for companionship and nothing more. A recognition that most older adults are prepared for the fact that no single person may be the solution to all their social needs, that they may be just as well served by multiple companions.Maybe this is because older adults are wise enough to know that looks have very little to do with whether someone is going to be a kind, loving and caring companion.
Maybe it’s because the physical nature of attractiveness changes when you get older, or maybe they know that being “hot and sexy” is more a function of your personality than how you look.Or, as we have been often asked by older women considering prospective male companions: are they truly looking for companionship, or someone to nurse them through their later years?