Single Baby Boomers are Ready to Mingle: Study
“Single and ready to mingle” would be an appropriate phrase for post 50 men and women, according to a new survey commissioned by active adult retirement community Del Webb.
More than half — 56 percent — of single baby boomers surveyed said they were open to the idea of dating, while 45 percent said they already were dating.
“There’s always interest in companionship and dating,” said Fred Ehle, vice president of brand management for PulteGroup, Del Webb’s parent company. “People want to be around people like themselves and they want to share their experiences with each other no matter their age.”
But sharing their lives together doesn’t necessarily mean another trip down the aisle, according to the survey of 521 single boomers ages 50 and older. Only 11 percent of single boomers said they wanted to remarry.
Though there are concerns of what this will eventually mean for boomers’ health and safety as they get older, the study found single baby boomers reveling in being unmarried. Eighty-one percent of those surveyed said the best part of being single was having the freedom to do whatever they want, whenever they want. Women said the thing they enjoyed most about being single was not having to clean up after someone else (34 percent), while men noted they liked having the time and freedom to engage in hobbies and social activities they didn’t get to in the past, Ehle told Huff/Post50.
These findings reflect a demographic shift owing in part to boomers’ ever-rising divorce rate (more than 50 percent). Boomers are more likely than their parents’ generation to experience divorce, to be currently divorced and to remain unmarried in midlife, according to a Bowling Green State University study. Now more midlifers may choose to remain single or live on their own/with their new partners over getting married again.
“I surmise if you’re single, there’s not necessarily the life stage pressure to get married,” Ehle told Huff/Post50. “[When] you’re younger there’s a biological imperative to start a family. But at this age, most people just want to be with someone” without following the traditional path of marriage and family building.
But how are these singles finding each other? The Del Webb survey found single baby boomers are using the same methods as all age groups — “friends and family, fitness classes, places of worship and church,” Ehle said — as well as online dating sites.
In another interesting find, Del Webb asked survey participants what was the ideal age of their next partner — and as you can imagine the answers varied between the sexes. Far more men surveyed said they would like to date a younger woman (63 percent) than women surveyed said they would like to date a younger man (22 percent). And while 53 percent of single women over 50 said they’d like to date someone their own age, only 33 of single men in the same age group said the same thing. The desire to date a younger woman only grew with age for the men surveyed.