Dancing with the Daunting: An Analysis of the Challenges in Dating and Maintaining Heterosexual Dyadic Relationships in Older Adulthood


  • Elaine Tran




The purpose of this paper is to identify and examine the challenges and difficulties associated in the process of dating for older heterosexual adults in dyadic relationships. A number of unique barriers are explored, including particular attitudes towards aging which shaped older adults’ self-presentation in online dating as well as characteristics older adults identified in prospective partners; barriers to dating due to the aging process, which manifested into smaller networks of social support; gender imbalance; and expressions of sexuality and intimacy. Moreover, gendered differences between men and women were also discussed, broadening into difference between presentation in online dating as well as relationship attitudes and outlook. Finally, some gaps within previous literature and research were presented in an attempt to promote more diverse and inclusive research on older adults, dating, and intimate romantic relationships.