Sat 25 Aug 2012
Recently, I read an interesting article in the Huffington Post about a survey focusing on dating issues in the over-50 set. The survey was conducted by OurTime.com, an online dating site for singles over 50. The survey found that one of the biggest taboos across the board for 50+ daters was health issues. About 64% said they would refuse to date someone with health conditions. I find that surprising and very, very sad. I’d expect better from folks over 50. Do they all plan to join monasteries at the first sign of stiff joints, high cholesterol, heart trouble or diabetes? Apparently so!
More over 50′s were open to dating someone they felt was “less attractive” (68%) then were singles under 35. I hope that’s because the over 50′s realize that the less-attractive person they’re “slumming” with may feel that they are doing the same thing. Beauty is a personal scale and older daters should know that one person’s ideal may be another’s horror show.
The survey said that over-50′s are more likely to play the field than are under-35′s. I think that’s because older singles have learned that keeping a laser focus on each dating partner is the worst way to find a mate. In fact, over 50′s have learned that looking for a mate is the worst way to find one. They’re smart enough to just look for people to date that they can have fun with, whereas younger folks often commit so hard to each dating partner that they send the partners running for the hills.
Some issues were weighted according to where the singles’ lived. For example, 70% of the over-50′s were willing to date someone of a different religion as compared to only 56% of those under 35. And religion as a criteria was much more important to folks from the South and the West than to folks from the Northeast. On the other side of the scale, but still with a regional flare, is politics. More under 35′s (66%) were open to dating someone from another political party than were over 55′s (60%). And 75% of those from the Northeast would date across party lines as compared to only 50% of those from the South.
Those numbers get flipped when the issue is race. More younger folks (75% as compared to 46%) are ready to date outside of their own race. And the numbers flip again when the issue is snooping on a dating partner by checking text messages and the like. More older folks (75% as opposed to 63%) felt that it’s bad form to snoop to try to confirm suspicious behavior. Cheating is more acceptable to older men than older women (53% to 35%)
I think that the fact that more older than younger people are willing to date those from other religions is due to the older folks having learned that good people and bad people can be found in every denomination. But “good” verses “bad” in terms of acceptable morals or behavior is very much a sliding scale, whereas fundamental beliefs that make us who we are don’t adjust as easily. That’s why I think older folks are less likely to date outside of a political party. Liberal verses conservative is a fence that’s apt to be too high to scale over the long term.
Like I said, I found this survey – and Huffpo’s run-down of it, fascinating. To me, it says a lot about how much we all learn and grow and change as we journey through our lives. It also makes me more determined to hold on tight to my darling hubby (although he’d tell you I held on too tight even before I read the survey). There wasn’t a category for how many older daters would take on an over-the-top duck lady, but I suspect that’s because I snagged the only man crazy enough to do that!