The LIWC software showed that adults of different ages use different language in their dating profiles.
Notably, older adults used more positive emotion words such as “sweet,” “kind,” and “nice,” more first person plural pronouns such as “we,” “us,” and “our,” and more words in the ‘friends’ category.
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Online dating is becoming an increasingly prevalent context to begin a romantic relationship.
Nearly 40% of single adults have used online dating websites or apps.
Furthermore, the world of online dating is no longer confined to young adults; reports suggest adults aged 60 and older are the largest growing segment of online daters.
Obviously, adults using these websites are motivated to find a partner, but we know little about why they want to date or how adults of different ages present themselves to potential partners.
In other words, do older and younger adults have different motivations to date?
If so, how might their online dating profiles reflect these different motivations?
I explored these questions with my co-author Karen Fingerman in our recent study examining the profiles that older and younger adults posted via online dating websites.
In the largest systematic examination of online profiles to date, we gathered 4000 online dating profiles from men and women across the United States.
We sampled profiles evenly by gender and from four age groups (18 to 29; 30 to 49; 50 to 64; and 65 or over). To get a descriptive picture of the profile content, we looked at the most commonly used words across dating profiles.