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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 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.

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.

Far more important is what shape you are in, how healthy you are, what activities you can do. If you’re active and like going for long walks and playing golf, you’re going to be much more interested in the fit and energetic 82-year-old who can share your activities than the 65-year-old waiting on a hip replacement who can no longer walk long distances. The other stunning aspect of dating for young people is how much looks matter.

What stands out as the most important aspect of a person when determining if you may be a potential match? With Tinder (and pretty much every other online dating system on the market today) the photo is all-important.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.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.

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