Valentine’s Day 2015 may have come and go, but that doesn't mean the love stops on February 15. The growing number of older people across Canada and the United States means that love isn’t just for the young, and love doesn’t just look like the hit book (and movie) Fifty Shades of Grey; love can come in many different colours and shades.
Fran Greene, a New York-based ‘Flirting, Dating, and Relationship Coach’ with a focus on older people, as well as the author of ‘The Flirting Bible,’ told RetirementHomes.com that Baby Boomers and seniors can sometimes find the dating scene challenging because they likely never expected to be single and looking to mingle while in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s or even older.
“No one expects at this stage of life to be back out there looking for love. My clients feel that at their age everyone is taken and it is so awkward and uncomfortable to be out there dating again,” Greene said.
Nonetheless, while it comes at a surprise for Boomers and seniors to be looking to meet their special someone at an older age, Greene said that they may actually find it easier to be on the dating circuit in their 50s or 60s than when they were decades younger.
“Meeting new people when you are older can actually be easier because the stakes are lower. At this point in your life it does not have to focus on marriage or even living together,” Greene said.
Jamison Gosselin, vice president of marketing, communications and resident enrichment for the Holiday Retirement chain, has seen it before. Holiday Retirement has more than 300 senior living communities across the United States, and with the growth of the senior living industry across North America, there are more Baby Boomers and seniors than ever before who are looking for love in retirement homes.
“This time of year, you can’t help but be reminded of love. And while there’s something to be said for being ‘young and in love,’ the growing trend of seniors finding love when they move into senior living communities proves you are never too old to fall in love,” he said.
“In our communities, seniors are much more active than they were in the past. They enjoy socializing and participating in numerous daily activities, which fosters new friendships—some of which even turn into romance,” Gosselin told RetirementHomes.com.
Lakeview Park, a Holiday Retirement community in Fenton, Missouri, will be host to a special wedding in May, when 85 year-old Nina weds her beloved, Phil.
“I kept seeing Phil at many of the activities the community offers. We would chat afterwards and started hanging out on our own, and our friendship just grew from there into love. We are quite excited for our wedding in May,” Nina said.
And if you are looking for new love this year, the first step is simple, but it still may take some work: being social.
“Take advantage of anything and everything that could potentially lead to making a new friend or getting a date. Don't turn down social invitations that have the possibility of meeting new people,” Greene said.