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More than any other activity, dinner is where older adults feel the isolation of being alone most strongly.This is why, for most older adults, a dinner date is the most important first step towards finding companionship.Let’s take a look at nine things you (probably) didn’t know about dating for older adults: It seems counter-intuitive to say that people characterized by one attribute — how old they are — don’t care as much about age when looking for a companion, but it’s true.Young people are incredibly age-prejudiced, to such an extent that age is one of the most important filter criteria used to find a match on online dating sites. Age is the second-most important attribute used to help users determine if they’re interested in a potential match (after the photo).This reinforces a message that young people get hammered with on a daily basis: nothing matters more than how you look.We’d be lying if we said that appearance wasn’t important at all to the over-55 demographic, but it turns out to be a much lower priority.Older adults, however, look for companionship in a way that’s very different from their younger counterparts.Once you’re into your wisdom years your needs, desires and expectations are very different from what you’re looking for when you’re in your 20s.

One thing that many dating services have in common is using fancy algorithms to help you find a partner based on a dazzling array of filters you provide them. Whether it was the Jewish 82-year-old, who admitted in her youth she would have only accepted “a handsome Jewish boy” but now “doesn’t mind about their background as long as they are kind”, or the 59-year-old devout Catholic who had never considered dating Protestants when she was younger, we found an incredible willingness to judge potential partners on their personality and shared interests than any pre-conceived notions of who the “right” partner might be. It’s built around the needs of younger generations, who care a lot about age, about appearances, about filtering out potential matches based on arbitrary criteria, who are happy to spend inordinate amounts of time online, browsing and scrutinizing potential matches.

Take a quick look at the Tinder user interface to the left.

What stands out as the most important aspect of a person when determining if you may be a potential match? With Tinder (and pretty much every other online dating system on the market today) the photo is all-important.

This means that there are more seniors and baby boomers than ever before looking for some companionship to fill the void of their prior partner.

Because no matter how old you get, one thing about human nature never changes: nobody likes feeling lonely.

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