SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • aging;
  • couples;
  • dating;
  • gender;
  • gerontology;
  • social support

Dating in later life is likely common, especially as the proportion of older adults who are single continues to rise. Yet there are no recent national estimates of either the prevalence or factors associated with dating during older adulthood. Using data from the 2005–2006 National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationally representative sample of 3,005 individuals ages 57–85, the authors constructed a national portrait of older adult daters. Roughly 14% of singles were in a dating relationship. Dating was more common among men than women and declined with age. Compared to non-daters, daters were more socially advantaged. Daters were more likely to be college educated and had more assets, were in better health, and reported more social connectedness. This study underscores the importance of new research on partnering in later life, particularly with the aging of the U.S. population and the swelling ranks of older singles.