YOU might think passion-filled romance is only for the young. Well, think again. For research has proved older people are still likely to feel the spark of attraction.
Academics analysed data from nearly 5 500 men and women who had signed up to an online dating site.
Users have to fill in a questionnaire asking them to rate how important various factors are to them when looking for a partner, on a scale from one to seven.
When it came to sexual attraction, the researchers found that it was almost as important to the over-75s as it was to the young.
The findings contradict the stereotype of elderly people who value cosy companionship over passion.
Researchers from the University of California analysed data from eHarmony.com users aged between 20 and 95.
They divided them into four groups – “young” (under 40), “middle-aged” (40 to 59), “young-old” (60 to 74) and “old-old” (75 and over).
While there was evidence that users began to value sexual attraction slightly less at around the age of 60, it did not decline any more after that, the researchers wrote in the journal Psychology & Ageing. So someone over 75 may be just as interested in a passionate fling as someone in their late 50s.
“Contrary to the stereotype, older adults still value sexual attraction quite highly,” the researchers said.
“Overall, young-old and old-old users had similar preferences in this sample.”
Josephine Menkin, one of the study’s authors, added that people sometimes resist starting a new relationship in later life because of certain “barriers”, such as concerns about upsetting adult children.
She added: “It is possible that older adults who are using online dating are especially highly motivated to re-partner, and sexual interest may be one of the motivating factors that encourages people to actively seek a partner online, instead of just seeing if they happen to meet someone in person.”
Less surprisingly, the researchers found that across the age groups, men consistently valued sexual attraction slightly more than women, who place a greater emphasis on companionship.
They also found that divorcees were more concerned with feeling that spark of desire with a new partner than those who had never been married.
The study authors wrote that they had decided to compare people of all ages looking for a new partner because this helped them to ignore other factors, such as the way passion tends to fade over time among those in a long- term relationship. – Daily Mail
Comments are closed.