An elderly individual searching for love and dating is bound to encounter many more obstacles than a typical younger individual, but ironically, this population is in need of companionship even more than typical due to physical needs, career discontinuation due to illness or retirement, distance from family or children, etc. Example of some of the obstacles to finding appropriate and lasting companionship include: a larger amount of female elderly companions looking for love as opposed to males, as women outlive their male partners. This causes an imbalance and can make it more difficult for women to find a partner; one suggestion to get around this problem is to outreach further into one’s social network and even consider online dating with the right precautions set in place (more on that in the following paragraph). Another obstacle is the concerns, judgements and/or devaluations from younger family members, especially children of recently widowed individuals who are just beginning to date again. Although the concerns may often come from a place of good intentions, such as when their elderly parent or family member is dating an individual whose background doesn’t fully match theirs or if they are exploring online dating where there may be abusive and parasitic scenarios lurking at times. The third main obstacle that exists for elderly individuals who are beginning to date again are mobility, health, and intimacy issues: declining health in one or both partners can complicate factors of the relationship such as making time to spend with one another and being able to get to know one another without supervision from caregivers.
Although dating can be a great way for seniors to connect with others outside of their main communities and rekindle and embrace who they are, it is a whole different ball game.
Pros and Cons of Online Dating
Seniors using dating apps are given a wide range of choices that are tailored to their specific needs, such as certain websites catering to more long-term relationships or offering topics of shared interest or backstories that can allow them to better connect with others. There is also the control aspect of it all: seniors are able to navigate their own experiences through their own account and can choose where they want their romantic life to go. While these are all important pros, there are also some cons to online dating. The problem of fake accounts and scammers exist for any age in online dating, but seniors are especially prone to fall for these scam accounts. Vulnerable seniors who are looking for love may be more easily scammed into giving out critical personal information. One way to help combat this is by enlisting a younger family member or friend to monitor their account from a distance; meaning rather than tracking their every move on the app, checking in on what they are experiencing from time to time as well as helping facilitate meet-ups if the relationship progresses to that point. Older adults can also be cautious by starting out with setting up virtual dates first and therefore not exposing too much and giving out too much information about themselves at once. It can never hurt to be cautious: just the other day, a Nigerian man from North Texas was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $418,030 in restitution to victims for scamming the elderly on dating apps.
It is important for elderly individuals to find some sort of companionship, whether it be through a romantic relationship, making friends through specific shared hobbies, or participating more in community events. Increased socialization and support through one’s social network, especially later in life, decreases the effects of loneliness and physical health complications related to depression. For seniors interested in online dating, there are many benefits. However, it is essential to take precautions and receive guided support while navigating online resources and dating apps.
With the right resources, support, and precautions, the chances of success are actually pretty good. Feel free to get in touch anytime to receive guidance and support to be the best you.
Remember, every day is a new day to be your best.
Phone: (321) 758-5161