Take a quick look at the Tinder user interface to the left.What stands out as the most important aspect of a person when determining if you may be a potential match? With Tinder (and pretty much every other online dating system on the market today) the photo is all-important.Nobody likes the idea of spending years cooking for themselves and eating alone.And always being the lone single person when your married friends want to catch up for dinner starts to become a little tiresome.This reinforces a message that young people get hammered with on a daily basis: nothing matters more than how you look.
On the other hand, the 75-year old woman who has had past back problems and likes to stay in with wine and movies might be a great match for that 65-year-old man. The hottest online dating app for young people today is Tinder, which proudly claims to be matching over 450 million love-seekers daily.
That’s why we’re currently working on a number of features for Stitch to ensure that the people you meet are who they say they are. We’ve found older adults to be far more refreshingly open-minded. In case you hadn’t figured it out by now, all the differences we’ve described above lead most older adults to conclude that, well, online dating is not a positive experience at all.
One thing that many dating services have in common is using fancy algorithms to help you find a partner based on a dazzling array of filters you provide them. Whether it was the Jewish 82-year-old, who admitted in her youth she would have only accepted “a handsome Jewish boy” but now “doesn’t mind about their background as long as they are kind”, or the 59-year-old devout Catholic who had never considered dating Protestants when she was younger, we found an incredible willingness to judge potential partners on their personality and shared interests than any pre-conceived notions of who the “right” partner might be. It’s built around the needs of younger generations, who care a lot about age, about appearances, about filtering out potential matches based on arbitrary criteria, who are happy to spend inordinate amounts of time online, browsing and scrutinizing potential matches.
While this is true for some older adults, it is far from universal.
Many seniors really are looking for companionship and nothing more. A recognition that most older adults are prepared for the fact that no single person may be the solution to all their social needs, that they may be just as well served by multiple companions.