At the end of May we partnered with six members of Glorious Broads to explore the female perspective on the evolution of love in later life. It was a session full of female empowerment, deep reflection, sincere connection, and joyful laughter. Our session offered space for participants to explore their own journeys and experiences of love throughout their lives.
What we learned from these women is that in our younger years, often our ideals about love and romantic relationships are led by idealistic visions bestowed upon us by outdated social conventions to find a partner, settle down, and have kids. Additionally, being brought up with media and fairy tales that cast a hopeful expectation of prince charming often created unrealistic expectations.
“Things change and we realize who we are, and who we want to be with.”
Over time and with lived experience dating, coupling, marrying, and divorcing we learn about ourselves and the realities of love, which in turn allows us the space to work through the illusions that can misguide us in our early years. Our earlier experiences with love help us recognize that we cannot change someone to fit our ideal and that we ourselves are not interested in changing for someone else. We are interested in finding love but not at the cost of sacrificing who we are and the life we’ve established for ourselves. In other words, “It takes a good man to be better than no man”.
Still, in our younger years finding a romantic partner felt easier as the opportunities to meet someone through our robust social networks at school or work were abundant. These social structures also served as a vetting system, since you often had a chance to get to know someone first or at least knew someone in common who could vouch for a fella.
Why this is important
The idea of vetting to ensure a person is indeed real, not a scammer, and who they say they are remains important in later life but is harder to establish due to a decrease in such social structures. We learned that there’s an unmet need for dating services that provide a level of screening to ensure the safety and quality of matches.
Although everyone has different desires for a romantic companion, when we are younger we tend to seek a partner for looks and lust, stability, or to start a family. In our later years, as we’ve leaned into our true selves and gained strength in who we are and what matters to us, we become practical romantics. We value friendship, genuine connection, and intellectual compatibility over appearance or status and are open to the opportunity of romance — but aren’t necessarily seeking it out. As one participant put it, “I want a full-time man some of the time.”
What we’re learning
Dating in later life feels like a chore. Women want someone to be on the hunt for them.
As we heard, finding a romantic partner in later life is not a necessity; therefore, the process needs to be improved to be easy, enjoyable and yield quality results. Many women discussed how current dating apps and singles events are exhausting and time consuming, often feeling like a chore. Women in later life want a cost friendly skilled professional to take the burden out of finding quality matches. An everyday matchmaker who knows you like your hairdresser or manicurist does, who can not only offer a vetting function but who can use their skills and intuition to bring well suited individuals together.
Make dating in later life fun, easy, and safe
Glorious Broads, and the modern, non conforming older women of the world, are looking for “brain sexy” men. Those who, like themselves, are confident, curious, independent, and driven, and who will embrace them and meet them where they are in their life and lifestyle. Few products exist today that allow older adults to find real partners who will have their backs, with whom they can achieve “scary intimacy,” and will be a companion they can have “a really cool life with”.
Easy, safe, and enjoyable services that foster authentic connection and bring together people with similar intentions, lifestyles, and desires for romantic engagement are needed. What might the reinvented speed dating, dinner club, or matchmaker experience look like with these insights in mind?
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