Love is in the air for all—even seniors! You may be inclined to think that they’ve had their fill in the romance department, settling into the boring life of monotony. However, this can’t be further from the truth. With a lot of love left to give and a little help from technology, today’s seniors are actively playing the love game. In fact, the passion amongst seniors is at an all-time high! So much so that STIs have become increasingly common among the senior age group, with STI treatments increasing 23% within a three-year period.
We surveyed 2,000 seniors about relationships to learn what love is like for the people who have been around the block a few more times than younger generations. Here’s what it’s like in the world of romance for seniors.
Relationship Status of Seniors
Almost 60% of respondents reported being in a relationship, whether they’re married, engaged, or in a committed relationship. Those in a relationship most frequently met their partner through a mutual friend, followed by meeting their current partner through work.
Some people find a love to last a lifetime—but only about 2% of them. One-third of seniors who are married and have been in a relationship lasting 50+ years typically met their current spouse while at school, whether it was during high school or college.
Dating Among Seniors in 2021
More than one-third of seniors have dated within the last five years and used various methods for meeting new people. Those who have dated within the last five years say they’ve had the best luck in meeting their significant others through mutual friends, dating apps or websites, and local events, such as parties and community activities.
Of those who have dated in the last five years, roughly a third have used dating apps and/or websites. About 66% of those using dating apps or websites had a relationship with someone they met through the platform. The top dating app on which people met someone they had a relationship with was Tinder, with 35% having met someone they dated on the platform. Other sites where seniors often found relationship success include Match.com, Hinge, Plenty of Fish, and Bumble.
What Seniors Value in a Relationship
It’s clear that seniors value trust in a relationship. We asked respondents to rank the following nine common relationship factors based on importance: trust, communication, honesty, empathy, emotional intimacy, physical intimacy, sexual attraction, loyalty, and common interests. Out of those nine factors, trust had the highest average ranking among respondents and common interests got the lowest overall ranking. Nearly half of all respondents ranked trust as the number one most important factor in a relationship.
Senior Relationship Misfortunes
Some seniors aren’t so lucky when it comes to love. One in 10 seniors has never been in a romantic relationship that lasted longer than one year. This number gets even higher for seniors who are currently single (not including those who are divorced, separated, or widowed). More than one-fourth have never been with a romantic partner for more than one year. And the struggle for single seniors doesn’t end there—54% have not dated within the last 5 years.
Some seniors may find that heartbreak is very, very real after losing a spouse. Only 14% of widowed responders have dated seriously within the last five years, and 62% have not dated at all.
From the time they turned 30, over half of seniors have experienced cheating in some form, whether they did the cheating, were cheated on, or a combination of both (not necessarily in the same relationship).
Cheating can play a major role in a relationship at any age. Of the respondents that were divorced or separated, 42% reported that they’ve had a partner cheat on them. Only about one-fourth of divorced and separated respondents had never been in a relationship where cheating was involved.
Overall, it seems that those who have never cheated have a slightly higher chance of being married. Respondents who have cheated are 13% less likely to be married than those that have never cheated on a partner.
Love Is Still Alive
While romance might’ve taken on a slightly different meaning, seniors are still very much in the game to find love. After all, this is why they call 55+ the golden years.
We surveyed 2,000 seniors (age 55+) in the United States about their experience with relationships and dating. We asked them about their current relationship status, how they met their partners, if they’ve dated within the last five years, what dating apps they’ve used, if they’ve cheated or been cheated on, and what’s important to them in a relationship.
Find a detailed overview of the survey results and original infographics to share in our media kit.