Older adults, however, look for companionship in a way that’s very different from their younger counterparts.
More than any other activity, dinner is where older adults feel the isolation of being alone most strongly.
This is why, for most older adults, a dinner date is the most important first step towards finding companionship.
This makes quite a comparison to how many young people organize their first dates, which usually involve meeting up in a bar.
Several of today’s dating services are built specifically around this concept: Grouper, for example, hooks up groups of young people in bars and offers them a free first drink as part of the package. The fundamental premise behind most dating services for young people is that the ultimate goal is to find love and marriage.
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.
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.
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.
Many older adults have multiple needs for companionship. And that sums up the generation gap in a nutshell …