Survey: Dating & Love Among 55+ in 2021

Love is in the air for all—even seniors! In fact, the passion amongst those in their golden years is at an all-time high. So much so that STIs have become increasingly common among the senior age group, and treatments have increased by 23% within the last three years.

With a lot of love left to give and a little help from technology, today’s seniors actively play the love game. We surveyed 2,000 seniors (ages 55+) 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.

Table of Contents

 

What’s Dating Like for Seniors?

More than one-third of seniors have dated within the last five years and tried various methods for meeting new people. Dating seniors say they’ve had the best luck in meeting their significant others through an introduction by mutual friends (18%), dating apps or websites (13%), and local events (12%), such as parties and community activities.

Roughly a third of seniors who have dated within the last five years have turned to dating apps for help—and many have found success. About 66% of those using dating apps or websites had a relationship with someone they met through the platform. Seniors reported that the top dating app was Tinder, with 35% dating someone they met on the platform. Other sites where seniors have had luck finding relationships were Match.com (28%), Hinge (25%), Plenty of Fish (25%), and Bumble (24%).

What Do Seniors Value in a Relationship?

Every individual is looking for different things in a relationship, but it’s clear that seniors especially value trust in a relationship. We asked respondents to rank 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, with 47% of respondents saying it is the number one most important factor in a relationship. On the other end, common interests ranked as the least important.

Relationship Misfortunes Among Seniors

Some seniors aren’t so lucky when it comes to love. One in 10 seniors has never been in a romantic relationship lasting longer than one year. The struggle for single seniors doesn’t end there—54% have not dated within the last 5 years.

 

Heartbreak

Dating is especially difficult after experiencing extreme heartbreak, and many find that dating is simply too difficult after losing a spouse. Only 14% of widowed responders have dated seriously within the last five years, and 62% have not dated at all.

Cheating

From the age of 30 until now, 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. Forty-two percent of separated and divorced respondents reported that they’ve had a partner cheat on them at least once.

Overall, it seems that those who have never cheated have a slightly higher chance of being married. Respondents who haven’t cheated are 13% more likely to be married than those who have cheated on a partner.

Methodology

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.