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Despite the interest among many older adults, opportunities to develop salubrious (and sexy) relationships may diminish in later life, particularly as retirement, relocation, death, and disability shrink the size of, and access to, social networks.
To compensate, many adults have turned to social networking and, increasingly, online dating to satisfy needs for companionship, intimacy, and sexuality (de Vries 1996; Fox, 2004; Wright & Query, 2004).
Where else can I get anything like that except on 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.
Elaine, 61, quickly found a compatible partner: The third man I’d contacted replied to my message … I replied that I’d like to email him a bit to learn more about him.
We exchanged about three emails apiece and then we met for coffee.
The internet thus acted as a means for older adults first to initiate romantic connections and then to facilitate their offline formation into ongoing sexual relationships if they desired.