Silver surfer daters 'more honest' in search for love
OVER-60s are more likely than younger singletons to use realistic photos when looking for love online, according to research indicating that "silver surfers" are the fastest growing group of internet daters.
Older people also tend to describe themselves in more gentle and discreet manner on their online profiles, and are less likely to lead their suitors on a wild goose chase.
These are the conclusions of researchers who trawled popular online dating sites to find out how people of different ages present themselves to others.
Such websites have increased massively in popularity over the last few years. Some people believe they have fuelled an increase in casual, no-strings-attached sex.
However, while the biggest users are younger adults, researchers say the fastest growing group of users is now the over 60s.
Sites specifically aimed at older audiences are proliferating in Britain, such as ukmaturedating.com, over50s.co.uk and fiftyalready.com.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, users do not advertise themselves as being particularly wild, according to Dr Wendy Watson, of Bowling Green State University in Ohio in the US.
She said: "We are finding that older adults appear to market themselves differently on online dating sites than younger adults. Gone is the focus on appearance and status."
She went on: "We believe that over 60s appear to be more interested in honest self-representation and being compatible rather than discussing areas such as sexual prowess and nightlife.
"We also found the language of older people's online ads was different when describing themselves and what they were looking for in a relationship.
"Terms such as 'young at heart' and 'active' were used to show physical fitness and good health."
She also said dating sites could be missing a trick when it came to how clients wanted to describe what they were after.
While most ask if users are seeking a date with little commitment, or a long-term relationship, she said many older singles would prefer to say they were simply after 'companionship' - a word frequently used in more traditional 'personals' pages of newspapers.
They were also more likely to want to know more about their prospective date, such as their ambitions, political and religious beliefs.
The results of the group's research have been presented to the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America in San Diego, California.
Dr Charlie Steele, who co-presented their findings, said the attitude of many older singels to online dating could be summed up in the demand: "Please don't waste my time."
He explained: "They are less likely to play games. They want to make a decision quickly and cut their losses, because they have learned life is too short for dating games."