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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.Reflecting this growth, as of 2014, 56 percent of people age 65 and older used Facebook (Duggan et al., 2015). Since 2013, online dating rates among adults age 55 to 64 have nearly doubled from 6 percent to 12 percent (Pew Research Center, 2016), triggering the dawn of new dating sites with minimum age requirements. Max, 69, said: I guess one of the things, Sue, that I’ve been absolutely staggered [about] and you know, God, I’m no oil painting, but I’ve been staggered …how the middle-aged and mature woman is a very sexual individual who wants to go to bed and be stroked … While not all relationships worked out, online dating provided a simple and easy way to locate and connect with interested and available people.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.
Many expressed surprise at just how sexual and exciting their new relationships were.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.Despite the interest among many older adults, opportunities to develop salubrious (and sexy) relationships may diminish in later life, particularly as retirement, relocation, death, and disability shrink the size of, and access to, social networks.