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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.Let’s take a look at nine things you (probably) didn’t know about dating for older adults: It seems counter-intuitive to say that people characterized by one attribute — how old they are — don’t care as much about age when looking for a companion, but it’s true.

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Because no matter how old you get, one thing about human nature never changes: nobody likes feeling lonely.

Older adults, however, look for companionship in a way that’s very different from their younger counterparts.

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 reinforces a message that young people get hammered with on a daily basis: nothing matters more than how you look.

Once you get into your fifties and beyond, the actual number of your age becomes less and less significant.

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.

But for a retiree on a fixed income, who has heard countless stories of peers being taken advantage of both online and in the real world, trust takes on a special significance. Are they authentically interested in me, or are they after something more?

Or, as we have been often asked by older women considering prospective male companions: are they truly looking for companionship, or someone to nurse them through their later years?

It’s always fun to have attraction, romance, and flirting. Which goes a long way to explaining the next point … That’s right, instead of texting and messaging, they actually prefer to talk to someone on the phone to find out if they like them. All the Millennials out there are shaking their heads, wondering why on earth anyone would like to talk on the phone when they can instant message instead.

Many older adults have multiple needs for companionship. And that sums up the generation gap in a nutshell …

We are all living decades longer than we once did, and are staying fitter, healthier (and in some cases, friskier) further into our wisdom years than ever before.

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