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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.

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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One thing that many dating services have in common is using fancy algorithms to help you find a partner based on a dazzling array of filters you provide them. Whether it was the Jewish 82-year-old, who admitted in her youth she would have only accepted “a handsome Jewish boy” but now “doesn’t mind about their background as long as they are kind”, or the 59-year-old devout Catholic who had never considered dating Protestants when she was younger, we found an incredible willingness to judge potential partners on their personality and shared interests than any pre-conceived notions of who the “right” partner might be. It’s built around the needs of younger generations, who care a lot about age, about appearances, about filtering out potential matches based on arbitrary criteria, who are happy to spend inordinate amounts of time online, browsing and scrutinizing potential matches.

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

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.

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?

Stitch Update: the more we talk to the people registering for Stitch, the more we have come to understand how important the issue of trust is (and how absent it is in most online dating sites today). The profile selection page from paints a clear picture: young people dating have a well-defined set of filters, which they use to help them find that “perfect” match.

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