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Sue Malta does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.University of Melbourne provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation AU.
Neil had been using dating websites for seven years and had established contact with about 200 women.Many described a sense of urgency that compelled them to meet up as quickly as possible.For George, 69, the “best thing” about online dating was the “speed” with which relationships could be swiftly advanced to real-life experiences.Lorraine, 65, remarked: Apart from a dearth of available partners in their social or friendship groups, it is hard for older adults to work out who is actually available.Just because someone is single, widowed or divorced, that does not mean they are interested in dating. Older adults who have, for the most part, been married or cohabited long-term, fear the embarrassment of getting it wrong. For many older adults, online dating is easy, relatively safe, anonymous and provides a structured approach to what is typically an unstructured process. The setting up of profiles, viewing others’ profiles and photographs, sending “kisses” or “stamps”, responding with emails, chatting online or by phone and in due course meeting in real life, is a process organised and regularised by the online dating websites. Many older adults initiate meetings with numerous prospective partners over many months.
Australian dating website RSVP claims that adults aged 50-plus make up 22% of its membership and the oldest registered member is 91 years old.