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Research shows older Americans who date are better off

After older adults get divorced, they jump back into the dating pool.

Or do they?

Susan L. Brown, one of the sociologists behind the divorce findings in this month's cover story, seeks to find that out in her report on "Dating Relationships in Older Adulthood: A National Portrait," which will be published in the Journal of Marriage and Family in October. Here's a peek into what she and her co-author found.

By the way, dating is described as "currently having a romantic, intimate or sexual partner" and "older" adults are 57 to 85.

• Dating is common among older single adults, with 25 percent of men and 10 percent of women reporting they date. (Men's numbers are higher mostly because they date younger women, while women tend to date older men.)

• Daters are better educated, richer, healthier and more socially connected than non-daters.

• Daters were three years younger than non-daters (68 and 71).

• 57 percent of daters were divorced or separated; 56 percent of non-daters were widowed.

• 37 percent of daters had a college degree.

• 40 percent of daters work.

• Daters, on average, had assets of $521,000 versus $162,000 for non-daters.

• Daters rated their health more favorably than non-daters.

• 90 percent of daters reported they can still drive a car safely.

• 62 percent of non-dating women are widows.

Unlike earlier studies, theirs found the more social the person, the more he or she dates. Socializing is not a replacement for dating, it's a way for couples to meet.

Surprised? I am. Their study finds daters looking like a fairly attractive lot.

Patti Ewald

Research shows older Americans who date are better off 07/23/13 [Last modified: Thursday, July 18, 2013 3:39pm]
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