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Many older adults have multiple needs for companionship. And that sums up the generation gap in a nutshell …Sure, some are focused only on finding that single life partner who will give them a loving relationship for the next few decades. recent studies show that young adults are three times as likely to prefer to text than talk via the phone, the complete opposite of their older counterparts.

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.But just as many are actually seeking multiple companions to fit in with their varied social needs. One of our favorite lines comes from a Huffington Post article on this very subject: It won’t surprise you, of course, to discover that most of today’s online dating services are designed around chatting with potential matches online before things get serious enough for a phone call. Yes, trust is important to everyone, no matter how old they are.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?More than any other activity, dinner is where older adults feel the isolation of being alone most strongly.This is why, for most older adults, a dinner date is the most important first step towards finding companionship.Part of this is probably the wisdom that comes with age, but even more significant is an essential truth about how age works.

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

This makes quite a comparison to how many young people organize their first dates, which usually involve meeting up in a bar.

Several of today’s dating services are built specifically around this concept: Grouper, for example, hooks up groups of young people in bars and offers them a free first drink as part of the package. The fundamental premise behind most dating services for young people is that the ultimate goal is to find love and marriage.

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

We’d be lying if we said that appearance wasn’t important at all to the over-55 demographic, but it turns out to be a much lower priority.

Whatever the reason, most older adults will tell you that how someone looks is doesn’t matter much in their search to find a companion.