Dating among older adults

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(Life Wire) -- Like 20- or 30-something singles, older men and women are dating and embracing their sexuality.

But many older singles -- some of whom have already been down the aisle -- aren't looking to exchange their single status for a band of gold.

However, society’s view of “old age” has not always kept up with the reality of being old in America.

For many women, their careers and hobbies rank higher on their priority list than do romantic relationships, according to Belove.

As Margaret Murchie, a 52-year-old realtor in Honolulu, Hawaii, a self-proclaimed independent woman who dates but has never been married, puts it simply, "They have to make me happier than I am now on my own." 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.

Regular positive interactions with family and friends and being involved in different social networks can help older adults be healthier.

Conversely, loneliness has a negative physical and emotional impact.

Although frequency of sexual activity may decline in older adulthood, many older adults continue to enjoy a physically and emotionally fulfilling sex life.

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