Aging adults are searching for healthy relationships as they grow older. Despite the marketing by Silver Seniors, E-Harmony, Our Time and Match, the biggest challenge most aging adults have in finding and starting a new relationship is getting over their former relationship. Stereotypes abound, but the essentials remain the same.  Aging adults are looking for connection, companionship, sex, and somebody to spend time with. 

After losing a partner or spouse, whether from divorce or death, learning how to get along with someone new requires adapting and adjusting.  Unresolved issues, adult children, grandchildren, hopes and fears for the future are all brought into the picture, along with medical conditions and finances making dating a much more challenging experience. 

Finding ways to connect has also become problematic during COVID.   Bottom line – what motivates aging adults to find a new relationship is less about romance and more about companionship.

Looking for a Nurse and a Purse

An enduring stereotype of the helpless/dependent man trying to find a replacement after his long-suffering wife dies does have some roots in reality.  This is diminishing though, since many Boomer-men learned to handle cooking, cleaning, and other household maintenance without the gendered-role expectations. Similarly, women looking for sugar-daddies are still to be found, but perhaps not as prevalent. 

Underlying these stereotypes is the reality that we all need some support and care as we age, and finding ways to share these challenges is no longer the scandalous topic just because two folks have moved in together and are sharing expenses and caring for one another.

Foolish in Love

While there is, sadly, truth in this meme, what we are searching for as we get older changes.  Why we want to be connected with others changes in priorities based on a number of factors that didn’t play a role when we were younger.  There are legitimate concerns around finances, including having enough to last until we die, as well as protecting what we have from romance scam artists and con artists.