Have you seen it? Two older fellas meet for morning coffee in a McDonald’s TV commercial.
They get attracted to, then flustered by, a lovely older woman sipping her latte at a nearby table. Cut to the next day. Our boys are back with a spring in their step. One in a sport coat, the other sporting a toupee. The lovely lady also is back with her latte but is quickly approached by a handsome older gentleman who joins her and grins at the competition who are left only with their Egg McMuffins.
The ad makes you chuckle, but it’s not a joke. Baby Boomers are dating again. Get this: three “Senior Dating” websites carry four million users and in the past month alone, one of them increased by a million and-a-half singles. That’s a lot of dating. And that’s just the three big web sites. There are specialty dating sites: JDate, Christianmingle, BlackSingles, SilverSingles. Folks 55 and older are clicking on American dating websites more than any other age group - up 39 percent in the last three years, according to the Internet tracking firm Experian Hitwise.
Put that statistic alongside the 37 percent of folks over 50 who are unmarried - either widowed or divorced - add the Internet and you have a “Senior” dating bonanza.
When I was covering the Aging Boom in America for CNN in the early 90s, Ken Dychtwald, gerontologist and founder of Age Wave told me his mother had approached him cautiously to ask his advice on dating. She was uncomfortable getting back into the game and unsure of herself and what her friends might think. But now, 20 some years later, cultural attitudes have changed dramatically and no matter what age you are, longing for companionship, a partner, a lover, a friend, is just plain human nature.
The Internet makes it easy. Finding love without a computer was one thing, But now, as the New York Times put it, “It’s a Brave New World”.
Bowling Green State University studied this phenomenon and concluded that older online daters are focused on “honest self representation and being compatible”. No games. Women especially want to make a dating decision quickly because “They have learned life is too short for dating games”.
Now if those two dudes in the McDonald’s commercial hadn’t dilly dallied for a day, they just might have gotten the girl.
Being direct works at any age.
Love may be lovelier a single click away.