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Recent research conducted at Swinburne University investigated the dating and relationship practices of older Australian adults aged between 60 and 92.

Those who had met their partners through dating websites went online because they felt there were very limited places and opportunities to meet like-minded others and because they no longer took part in the pub and club scene.

Older adults believed the stereotypes themselves, until they found themselves involved in loving, intimate relationships.

Many expressed surprise at just how sexual and exciting their new relationships were.

The Conversation UK receives funding from Hefce, Hefcw, SAGE, SFC, RCUK, The Nuffield Foundation, The Ogden Trust, The Royal Society, The Wellcome Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Alliance for Useful Evidence, as well as sixty five university members.

View the full list Older adults are the fastest-growing demographic on online dating websites, so much so that there has been a recent proliferation of sites catering specifically for the senior market, such as Dating Over60s, Senior Friend Finder and Senior Dating.

In terms of how big this phenomenon is becoming, a 2011 worldwide survey of 25,000 married or cohabiting people found that 37% of those aged 60 years-plus had met their partners through the internet.

Neil liked the structured approach to meeting people he found online and he liked that there were numerous potential partners who might be interested in him.

In contrast, Elaine’s online presence was relatively short-lived.

As Neil, 71, said: I recognised the net as the most practical way to connect with like-minded people of a similar age plus the ability to match for common interests/locality and see a photo. For others, the online dating experience is comparatively brief as they find a connection with someone almost immediately.

Neil had been using dating websites for seven years and had established contact with about 200 women.

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