Partner Preferences Across the Life Span: Online Dating by Older Adults

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Abstract

Stereotypes of older adults as withdrawn or asexual fail to recognize that romantic relationships in later life are increasingly common. The authors analyzed 600 Internet personal ads from 4 age groups: 20-34, 40-54, 60-74, and 75+ years. Predictions from evolutionary theory held true in later life, when reproduction is no longer a concern. Across the life span, men sought physical attractiveness and offered status-related information more than women; women were more selective than men and sought status more than men. With age, men desired women increasingly younger than themselves, whereas women desired older men until ages 75 and over, when they sought men younger than themselves.

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