As baby boomers of the fitness-crazed 1980s and art-conscious 1990s mature and lose spouses or settle down for the first time, options for dating are much more diverse, creative and widespread. How are the older and wiser fairing with 21st-century dating? Find out.
Although there are slow dating groups specifically for people over 40, the idea is also popular with daters of all ages who want more time than a speed date affords.
Seniors are getting connected, but at a very, very rapid rate. Nielson estimates that Internet use among seniors increased by 6 million people from 2004 to 2009, and more than 8 percent of visitors to social networking and personal blog sites are people over age 65.
He's desirable because he's the other kind of "fox": a good looking one. Older gentlemen with silver-gray or graying hair who tend to attract women are often called silver foxes.
With increased lifespans and more widespread acceptance of senior dating, the risks and realities of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have made headlines and factor into many resources for older daters. Safe-sex education now has an expanded age group.
An Internet search for "senior dating" yields thousands of choices, and with just a few clicks, the "anything goes" sites are not hard to find. Reputable sites are plentiful, though, and many have rules and filtering processes in place to protect users.
Single snowbirds have seasonal homes of their own or homes they once shared with a spouse in Florida and other warm vacation spots. It can be a great way to meet other single seniors.
Women typically outlive men by about five to 10 years. Sorry guys.
Many churches and other religious affiliated groups host singles and surviving spouse groups for seniors, for outings, care groups and classes.
Counselors, experts and even family members may have a figure in mind for when it's OK to start dating, but there is no hard and fast rule. As the saying goes, "You'll know when you know" that it's time.
A study released on Valentine's Day 2011 shows the effects of love or feelings of love on the brain, and one result is improved cognitive abilities. Whether cognition improves if you just like someone has not yet been measured.
They're actually called "cougars," and that's probably enough said.
According to a 2003 AARP survey of singles 55 and older, 42 percent of men and 35 percent of women said their No. 1 complaint about dating was "partners with lots of baggage."
Facebook is one of the top online destinations for people over 65, and many use it to stay connected with family and to find friends from the past.
Theories about this gender difference include the fact that there are more women than men in widowed age groups, so it's harder for women to find new spouses.
While there is a lot of humor associated with the "early bird" senior dinner schedule, it may be an advantageous window of time for starting a senior date night out. Quieter restaurants and more post-dinner time to enjoy another activity work well with many older lifestyles.
Women outnumber men by five to one in that age group, making it harder for them to find male peers.
"Senior Dating for Dummies" is real and proves that not all of us get wiser with age.
Surveys show that people over 55 are fast embracing technology -- and not just Facebook but also Twitter and long search sessions, with Google being their engine of choice. This extends to making date plans and finding online or offline singles groups.
In 2011 a California couple who met at a senior dance 30 years earlier finally tied the knot. The husband turned 100 on their wedding day; the bride was just 90.
A test involving handholding and an MRI proved this to be true, though "independent research" is advisable.