Digital Dating: On Line Profile Content of Older and Younger Grownups

Communication must be addressed to Eden M. Davis, MA, Department of Human developing and Family Sciences, The University of Texas.

Choice Editor: Bob Knight, PhD


Older grownups are employing internet dating internet sites in increasing figures. Grownups of different many years may share motivations for companionship and love, but dating pages may expose variations in grownups’ objectives. Theories handling age-related alterations in inspiration claim that younger grownups are going to stress themselves, achievements, attractiveness, and sex. Older adults will likely promote themselves definitely and stress their existing relationships and health.

We built-up 4,000 profiles that are dating two popular sites to look at age variations in self-presentations. We utilized stratified sampling to have a test similarly split by sex, aged 18–95 years. We identified 12 themes within the pages making use of Linguistic Inquiry and term Count software ( Pennebaker, Booth, & Francis).

Regression analyses revealed that older grownups had been prone to utilize first-person plural pronouns ( ag e.g., we, our) and terms related to health and good thoughts. Young grownups had been more prone to make use of first-person pronouns that arage singulare.g., I, my) and terms connected with work and accomplishment.

Findings declare that more youthful adults improve the “self” whenever looking for partnership that is romantic. On the other hand, older grownups tend to be more good within their pages while focusing more on connectedness and relationships to other people.

As a result of societal trends and stigma that is deceased internet dating is currently perhaps one of the most typical methods for grownups of most many years to get an intimate partner ( Rosenfeld & Thomas; Stephure, Boon, MacKinnon, & Deveau). Certainly, popular news report that more older grownups have found times online (Watson) with one supply claiming that grownups aged 60 and older represent the greatest growing part of grownups making use of online dating sites sites ( Ellin). As such, online pages offer an original possibility to examine similarities and variations in younger and older grownups’ self-presentations when looking for a dating partner.

Self-presentation plays a role that is central finding dating partners; potential lovers utilize this information to determine whether or not to begin a relationship ( Derlega, Winstead, Wong, & Greenspan). Few research reports have examined age variations in dating self-presentations ( e.g., Alterovitz & Mendelsohn; McWilliams & Barrett) and now have relied on content analysis and qualitative analysis. A systematic analysis that is quantitative of language grownups used in dating pages may further illuminate motivations up to now at various many years.

Grownups of most many years may share specific motivations up to now, including companionship and relationship. But, grownups of various ages have actually distinct objectives, priorities, and motivations, which their self-presentations to possible dating partners may convey. Predictions in this research had been based on three key theories — sociocultural theories, evolutionary concept, and socioemotional selectivity concept. Collectively, these theories declare that individuals of various many years may promote themselves in distinct methods whenever searching for intimate lovers.

On the basis of the framework of adulthood, young adults’ self-presentations may focus on life tasks directed at gaining a foothold in adult functions, pursuing future achievements, and purchasing prospective procreation (and sexuality). In comparison, in belated life, people may look for intimate lovers who are able to be an integral part of their founded world that is social. In the place of looking for brand brand brand new achievements, older grownups’ self-presentations are centered on economic and real security. This study explored exactly how objectives and motivations over the expected life are highly relevant to grownups presentations that are their profile content.

Self- Versus Other-Focus and Social Connections

Sociocultural theories claim that more youthful and older adults may vary inside their objectives regarding by by themselves versus their connections to other people ( Hoppmann & Blanchard-Fields). In young adulthood, people take part in identification research and concentrate on self-relevant objectives such as for instance accepting obligation for one’s self and making separate choices ( Arnett). On the other hand, generativity issues are heightened in midlife and soon after life, with a focus regarding the requirements regarding the next generation ( An & Cooney). More over, in a communal context ( Fingerman) as they age, adults concentrate on connections to family, viewing themselves. According to a very long time of investment, ties to friends and family are of heightened value to older adults ( Blieszner).

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