More than a third of Americans over the age of 50 are divorced, widowed, separated or have never married, according to statistics released in 2006 by the U.S. Census Bureau. And though many are dating, not everyone wants marriage. Many want a companion for going to concerts or other events and not much more. Others might absolutely want -- or not want -- sex as part of another relationship.
Many over 50 are no longer looking for that "soul mate," especially if they have a life they like. This doesn't just apply to confirmed bachelors, for many women, their careers and hobbies rank higher on their priority list than do permanent responsible relationships.
A 2003 AARP study of 3,501 singles aged 40 to 69 showed that about one-third of those surveyed were either in a relationship or dating one person exclusively. A comparable percentage had dated one or more people in the previous three years. But of those who were dating, just 8 percent listed "to find someone to marry" as their reason for doing so. Indeed, 49 percent said they were simply looking for someone "to talk to and do things with." However, dating isn't always easy, for those who may be returning back to the dating pool after years in marriages. Fortunately there are numerous ways for older folks to meet and get to know one another:
• Online dating and social networking sites, like BOOMj.com, SeniorFriendFinder.com, Match.com and eHarmony.com help seniors find like-minded people with whom they can connect.
• Travel programs, such as Elderhostel offer learning adventures worldwide.
• Volunteer programs, like the Senior Corps, connect those with community service programs in need.
• Institutes of higher education, such as local colleges, many offer tuition waivers or discounted classes for seniors.
* Denver and Boulder have many "Meetup groups" which offer classes and meetings to help youfind people of like interests and minds. See www.meetup.com.
* Denver's Colorado Free University offers classes on numerous topics, all excellent places and programs to bring people of similar interests together. See www.coloradofreeuniversity.com
Sexual evolution or revolution?
Just as older Americans aren't letting the years stop them from dating, they're not letting it end their sex lives, either. Many of the 3,005 U.S. adults aged 57 to 85 surveyed for a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) reported having sex:
* 73 percent of people aged 57 to 64
* 53 percent of those aged 65 to 74
* 26 percent of those aged 75 to 85
* Among the vary oldest group of sexually active adults, many over 85, 54 percent were having sex at least twice a month, while 23 percent reported engaging in sex at least once a week.
For more information read "The Second Half Begins at 50!" See www.boomerbookseries.com