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.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.This makes quite a comparison to how many young people organize their first dates, which usually involve meeting up in a bar.Several of today’s dating services are built specifically around this concept: Grouper, for example, hooks up groups of young people in bars and offers them a free first drink as part of the package. The fundamental premise behind most dating services for young people is that the ultimate goal is to find love and marriage.
Stitch Update: the more we talk to the people registering for Stitch, the more we have come to understand how important the issue of trust is (and how absent it is in most online dating sites today). The profile selection page from paints a clear picture: young people dating have a well-defined set of filters, which they use to help them find that “perfect” match.
Whatever the reason, most older adults will tell you that how someone looks is doesn’t matter much in their search to find a companion.
One thing we have been struck with has been the important role that dinner plays in the social (or not-so-social) lives of most older adults.
While this is true for some older adults, it is far from universal.
Many seniors really are looking for companionship and nothing more. A recognition that most older adults are prepared for the fact that no single person may be the solution to all their social needs, that they may be just as well served by multiple companions.