Definition of 'mature' in online dating.
It is slightly different from 'senior' which has more of an age implication, though the two terms
usually apply together. We don't in general mean people who are looking for a partner much older
than themselves (this is relatively unusual and a specialised dating area).
By 'mature' we mean people who have reached a stage in life (which may not be age related ie
senior) when they have experienced one or maybe more serious long term relationships - they
probably have children, and very probably a divorce (or two, even more) in their history. They have
worked for a living and learned the lessons of the workplace - indeed their career might still be
continuing or even ended. They are looking for a partner who is round about the same age or of
the same generation and they have a fairly well developed idea of the kind of person they are
seeking - their attributes, habits and interests - eg fun loving guy, must be able to laugh at himself,
solvent with a full head of hair, likes eating out and hiking.
They are probably over 35 in age, maybe a lot older, but remember that there are people who can
be mature (using our definition) even in their mid twenties. Hence not 'senior' but 'mature'.
So, mature people have a collection of 'baggage' - lessons learned, good and bad memories,
probably family and community relationships, networks and responsibilities.
Compare this with people who are younger and still looking for the 'right' person first time around.
Their career might not yet be established, and with social and community networks being less
developed they are more flexible about moving home and less 'set in their ways'. They probably
have less specific ideas about what they are looking for in a partner. Conversely, mature people
may attach less importance to things such as wealth, perhaps having formed the opinion that
money doesn't buy happiness.
How does mature dating differ?
Usually, mature people engaging in the online dating process have relationships which have
ended (many would say failed),often with pain attached. Any pain will have instilled caution and a
natural desire to avoid similar situations again. Pain might originate from, for example, infidelity,
addictions of one sort or another (drugs including alcohol, gambling, sexual addiction even
addiction to sports), unpleasant personal habits, lack of shared interests. Quite often there will also
be a desire to avoid people who remind them of a former partner.
Also, we have the simple fact that getting to know someone really well takes time - there is so
much more personal history to exchange between 'matures'. It can be quite wearing meeting a
new person every week, and listening to their painful divorce history and about their family issues
takes energy. Taking that forward further, we come to the point where two family networks are
being melded - that is a lot to absorb and manage.
Further, as we said earlier, mature people tend to be older and see life as more finite and probably
'passing by' more quickly. Therefore there can be a pressure to 'get on with it'. This is in conflict
with the caution bred out of historical pain which may exist.
Some mature people may have a sense that they have already experienced the 'real love of their
life' and this could get in the way of a successful new relationship because of the high standard by
which it is being measured (ie their 'real love of their life').
Finally, there is availability of time. With family and social networks on both sides, it can be
challenging for some to find time for the dating process and developing a new relationship. This
can be extremely frustrating for some people, and if you are serious about finding a new partner
then you will have to set aside serious amounts of free time and be flexible about it. This means
that someone starting out on the mature online dating process may have to reconsider their
priorities in other areas.
After all, showing flexibility is about demonstrating a positive attitude to a potential partner for the
rest of one's life, and of the importance of that desire to find a partner.