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Rather than seeking new achievements, older adults’ self-presentations may be focused on financial and physical stability.
This study explored how goals and motivations across the life span may be relevant to adults’ presentations in their profile content.
As such, online profiles provide a unique opportunity to examine similarities and differences in younger and older adults’ self-presentations when seeking a dating partner.
Self-presentation plays a central role in finding dating partners; potential partners use this information to decide whether to start a relationship (Derlega, Winstead, Wong, & Greenspan, 1987).
Findings suggest that younger adults enhance the “self” when seeking romantic partnership.
In contrast, older adults are more positive in their profiles and focus more on connectedness and relationships to others.
Moreover, as they age, adults concentrate on connections to family, viewing themselves in a communal context (Fingerman, 2001).We also examined gender differences in these patterns.Elsewhere, Groom and Pennebaker (2005) examined online dating profiles of younger adults and found that women were more likely to use pronouns (especially first-person singular) than were men.Due to societal trends and deceased stigma, online dating is now one of the most common ways for adults of all ages to find a romantic partner (Rosenfeld & Thomas, 2012; Stephure, Boon, Mac Kinnon, & Deveau, 2009).Indeed, popular media report that more older adults are finding dates online (Watson, 2013) with one source claiming that adults aged 60 and older represent the largest growing segment of adults using online dating websites (Ellin, 2014).
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Adults of all ages may share certain motivations to date, including companionship and romance.