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J Aging Stud. 2013 Apr;27(2):159-65. doi: 10.1016/j.jaging.2012.12.006. Epub 2013 Feb 9.

Relationship goals of middle-aged, young-old, and old-old Internet daters: an analysis of online personal ads.

Author information

1
University of California-Berkeley, 630 Bayberry Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27517, United States. sheyna.alterovitz@gmail.com

Abstract

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY:

Research on courtship patterns and romantic relationship in later life has not kept pace with the burgeoning number of older adults interested in dating.

DESIGN AND METHODS:

We conducted content analyses of themes arising from 450 personal ads written by middle-aged (40-54), young-old (60-74), and old-old (75+) participants.

RESULTS:

Significant differences between the young-old and the middle-aged were few; those between the young-old and old-old were numerous. Compared to the old-old, the young-old and middle-aged were more likely to mention adventure, romance, sexual interests, and seeking a soul mate and less likely to mention health.

IMPLICATIONS:

This study increases our understanding of relationship goals in later life and highlights the error of treating all older adults as a homogeneous group. Practice and policy can benefit from more nuanced distinctions between age groups and an enhanced recognition of the vibrant emotional, romantic, and sexual lives of older adults.

PMID:
23561281
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaging.2012.12.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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