Over 50, romance over? You might be pleasantly surprised by this quiz.
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People over 40 make up the fastest-growing group using online dating services.
Question 1 Explanation:
he fastest-growing group is people over 60. Online dating sites are easy to use no matter what level of computer skill you have, and there seems to be a site to match anyone’s interest. Most are open to all ages, but some are designed specifically for midlife and older—including one sponsored by AARP. Before enrolling in any service, take your time to browse through it and to read the fine print. Make sure it is legitimate (read online reviews to see if it might be a scam) and check that it uses a secure browser to keep your personal information safe (it should have an “https” URL and/or a lock icon somewhere on the window). Be aware that, while some sites are free, others charge fees. Of course, there are plenty of old-fashioned, low-tech ways to meet dates. Group travel, sports leagues, volunteer activities and community organizations all offer excellent opportunities to meet people with shared interests.
Older adults have been around the block—they don’t have to worry about their safety when using online dating services.
Question 2 Explanation:
While most people you would meet online are just like you, searching for a partner with similar life views and dreams, there are the dishonest few who use dating sites to lure people into risky situations. Never give personal information—social security or credit card numbers, home or email address, facts about family situations—to someone you have just met online. Don’t use messaging or email that is outside the online dating site. Report any person who asks for money or who harasses you through the site. When you agree to meet in person, always meet in a public place (like a restaurant or a shopping mall), make sure a friend or family member knows where you went and use your own or public transportation. If things start to feel serious, run a Google search on the person. Chances are, your date will be honest and perfectly harmless, but trust your instincts and use common sense.
People in the 50+ dating scene have a high risk of contracting HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Question 3 Explanation:
People age 50 and up account for almost 25 percent of those with HIV/AIDS in the United States—and because this age bracket generally doesn’t get regular testing, the number could be higher. The rates for people age 50 to 70 who have contracted chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have doubled in the last decade. The rise in STDs hasn’t prompted a rise in talking about older adults and safe sex, though. Safe sex campaigns and condom ads usually focus on teens and young adults. A 2010 study from Indiana University found that people 45 and up were the least likely to use condoms and that doctors generally avoided discussing sex and STDs with patients midlife and older. No matter how old you are, safe sex is important. If you’re considering jumping into the dating pool, talk to your doctor about STDs, get tested and use protection.
Baby boomers lead the pack when it comes to US divorce rates.
Question 4 Explanation:
The baby boom divorce rate has jumped more than 50 percent in the last 20 years, even as national divorce rates have stabilized. According to census-data analysis by Bowling Green State University, about one-third of Americans age 46 through 64 in 2010 were either divorced, separated or had never married. Boomers, who grew up during the sexual revolution, may feel less obligated to stay (or get) married than previous generations—they are living longer and healthier and are unwilling to spend decades more in unhappy relationships. Yet unmarried boomers are more likely to live in poverty and need food stamps or public assistance than their married peers.
Most older adults hope dating will lead to marriage.
Question 5 Explanation:
More adults than ever, of all ages, are choosing to live solo, refraining from marriage even when in a committed, long-term relationship. This purposeful lifestyle has an official moniker—Living Alone Together (LAT). The reasons behind sharing a life but not a home or a ring vary widely. Some couples have been married before and don’t want the legal commitment due to survivor benefits, alimony, Social Security penalties or even college financial aid for their children. Some people are reluctant to commit to being a caregiver in the future. Others simply like solitude and the independent lifestyle they have created. Most LAT couples are fully involved in each other’s lives, vacationing together, seeing each other daily, spending time at one another’s homes. And the trend will likely continue because younger adults are marrying later and less often than older generations.
If you have 50+ years under your belt, it may actually be easier to find a new partner than it was when you were younger.
Question 6 Explanation:
When a marriage ends, the very idea of putting yourself out there can be terrifying. It might take a while to be emotionally ready to form an attachment to someone new, because you’re mourning the loss of your marriage and adjusting to your new independence. When you’re ready, proceed with caution. It’s OK to feel scared, but try to evaluate whether your fear is about moving on or about the new person him/herself. Leave the baggage from your marriage out of the budding relationship—don’t compare your date to your former partner. Don’t leap into a commitment because you think it will provide new security. Rest assured that, in some ways, finding a good match when you’re older than 50 can be easier than when you were younger. You are more secure with yourself and you have relationship experience. You most likely know what type of person you would be most compatible with and are probably better able to express your expectations and limitations.
Expect your adult children to feel indifferent or actually relieved when you embark on a romantic relationship.
Question 7 Explanation:
They may be adults, but that doesn’t mean they won’t feel a sense of betrayal or even abandonment when you start dating. Your children may worry about your emotional health, not wanting to see you get hurt, or your financial security. They may not want to share family traditions or holidays with your date. This can lead to strained relationships. The best plan is honesty. Tell your family you are dating. (You can wait until you have decided a real relationship is likely.) Don’t force your date on them unprepared, too soon or too often. If your adult children live with you, be respectful of their feelings but remind them that this is your home and that you are entitled to your privacy and to entertain dates. Don’t lose yourself while watching out for your kids’ feelings. If you really like the person you’re dating, tell your family you want them to meet someone who is potentially very special to you.
Health issues are the leading deal breaker for those dating over 50
Question 8 Explanation:
A survey of people older than 50 using OurTime.com, an online dating site, found that poor health sets off the most alarm bells (78 percent) in a potential date. Questionable finances (76 percent) and physical unattractiveness (75 percent) were close behind as reasons not to date a person. Why? Many respondents said they hesitated over health issues because they didn’t want to become a caregiver. Money problems were a turnoff because they didn’t want to lose their own hard-earned savings to someone else’s troubles. As for wanting to be attracted to someone, that’s a normal desire for both genders, though women had a broader description for what could possibly be attractive than men did.
Men and women both look for the same traits in a partner.
Question 9 Explanation:
While men and women both say they want to be physically attracted to a person they date, what that means is very different for the genders. Women are attracted to a great smile and a sexy voice, while men look more at a potential date’s body and put a high value on good kissers. When it comes to personal traits beyond physical attractiveness, women seek out a good listener who makes eye contact, has a sense of humor, likes children, has life goals and can provide financial security. Men are drawn to a laid-back, playful nurturer who laughs at their jokes, is not materialistic and has an attitude toward sex that’s similar to their own.
If you have older parents, you’re more likely to be attracted to an older person as a partner.
Question 10 Explanation:
A study at the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland found that college-age women born to couples in their 30s are more likely to be attracted to men with wrinkled or weathered faces for both short- and long-term relationships. Young men born to older mothers (an older father didn’t factor in with these men) also were more willing to seek out mature women for a committed relationship. Another study discovered that many men, regardless of their parents’ ages, preferred an older woman whom they considered to be attractive over a younger woman who might be deemed more plain.
A vast age difference in a couple means one partner is in it just for sex or money.
Question 11 Explanation:
A 50-year-old man starts dating a 20-something woman; she’s potentially a trophy wife. A 30-something woman dates a 70-something man; she’s in it for his money. A guy in his 40s dates a woman in her 60s; she’s a cougar—it’s hot, but it won’t last. Who’s to say? In general, experts believe sticking closer to your age (maybe five to seven years in either direction) offers a better guarantee of similar expectations about time, money, children and long-term goals. It is interesting to note, on a societal level, that older women—cougars—have finally become an object of desire on a par with older men. But age is only a number, as long as the attraction lasts once the novelty has worn off. What’s most important is that you share each other’s interests, that you respect each other’s experiences and that you communicate your needs.
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