Single Baby Boomers and the Dating Scene

Author: Del Webb
Published: Thursday 9th October 2014
Summary: A majority of single baby boomers say they are interested in dating and finding companionship later in life.

When asked about their attitudes toward dating, 56 percent of single adults ages 50 to 75+ surveyed said they are open to dating, showing love and companionship knows no age limits. Among those surveyed:
"Love later in life is important to some, but what's most important is meeting people with common interests," said Fred Ehle, vice president of brand management for PulteGroup, parent company of Del Webb, the leading builder of active adult communities in America. "Single baby boomers who live in our Del Webb communities tell us they seek diverse opportunities to be social, date or find companionship."

Single boomers represented 27 percent of Del Webb homebuyers nationwide in 2012, with women comprising 68 percent of those single buyers, Ehle said. Del Webb has been surveying the 50 and older demographic for more than 15 years, seeking to better understand the attitudes and opinions of this generation.

Most Boomers Seek Same-Age Companions: But Age and Gender Differences Prevail

The Del Webb Baby Boomer survey found that while 44 percent of single boomers would prefer to date someone about their same age, there are significant differences between genders regarding the ideal age of their next date.

Best Way to Meet Single Boomers

When asked about the best ways to meet people and find love, single boomers surveyed agree on more traditional methods of finding companionship, with the top ways being: through friends/family (66 percent); social activities, fitness classes and clubs (56 percent); and church/place of worship (45 percent).

With about one-fourth of Del Webb residents being single, Ehle said clubs and events that allow for social interaction are more abundant and diverse than ever before. These groups include singles clubs, which have become very popular at Del Webb communities in the past five years.

"The singles clubs are popular because they are fun and provide great social opportunities. Many people have told us they have established good friendships and sometimes even found love and ultimately got married," Ehle said. He added that the survey showed that 45 percent of single boomers interested in dating would consider moving to a community that offers more social interaction.

Newlyweds Gary Williams and Lynn Trahan weren't looking for love when they met in the community choral club in Del Webb's Sun City Shadow Hills in Southern California.

"We weren't looking for a serious relationship. We told all our friends that marriage was out of the question. Besides, we didn't even look like a couple - she is almost a head taller than I am," said Williams, 67. The couple got married in December, about 18 months after they first met. "We are now like teenagers in love and enjoy doing many things together like dancing, working out and singing."

Meanwhile, some single boomers are looking for love in nontraditional places with 21 percent preferring dance clubs/bars and restaurants; 18 percent on-line dating services; and 17 percent citing the workplace.

Single and Loving It

According to the survey, the vast majority of single baby boomers (81 percent) think the best thing about being single is having freedom to do what they want, when they want to do it. Thirty-three percent of single boomers said this "freedom" gives them the opportunity to engage in social activities, hobbies and spend time with friends.

Meanwhile, men and women differ when asked about other reasons they like being single:

The Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey polled 521 online single adults 50 years and older across the U.S. to identify social trends and preferences among this group. The survey was conducted online by Russell Research January 18 – 21, 2013. At a 95 percent confidence level, a margin of sample error of +/- 4.2% applies to the sample. Figures for gender, age and geography were weighted where necessary to match their actual proportions in the population.

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