General Interest

Love ‘n Stuff – After Fifty

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The end of July marked the end of the first month of some marketing done by www.afterfiftyliving.com – and so we’ve been spending some time reviewing the “stats” – learning about the site, and also about you, our visitors. One of the most fascinating stat is that the single most popular section of the site, by far, is the Companionship section. That doesn’t mean necessarily we’re all out there “looking for love.” For some of us, that’s true – for others, at least according to the articles that are popular, we’re looking to either hang onto what we have and/or resolve a companionship issue. All of this will help to inform and shape what you see in the AFL Companionship section in the near future.

So, imagine my surprise this morning when I find this article in the Boston Globe: Data Mining the Heart, by Courtney Humphries. She does a great job of discussing some trends that are emerging from a relatively new dating site, OKCupid.com. OKCupid was founded by some Harvard math majors who love their stats. And so, along with providing a very nice service to the public, they are analyzing what’s happening in the world of love, as it displays itself within the online dating arena.

Here are some of the trends they’re finding:

• Men need to make several extra tens of thousands of dollars to compensate for being an inch shorter;
• two-thirds of men’s messages go to the best-looking one-third of women;
• women rate most men as being unattractive – but send them messages anyway;
• users add an average of 2 inches to their height and 20% to their salaries;
• race matters more than people admit;
• women get more male attention when they flirt or smile in their photos, while men do better when they don’t smile and/or look away from the camera.

Interesting stuff. And it can be argued that it’s important stuff, too – except for one thing. The data seems to fall off the face of the earth beyond the age of 52. Now, I’m beyond the age of 52, and fully 96% of the visitors to www.afterfiftyliving.com are age 45 and over. Wouldn’t you just luvvvv to know about us? I would argue that a lot of what’s true for 20, 30 and even 40-somethings may take a very different shape or different tone when you’re After Fifty. Maybe one of the problems here is that OKCupid doesn’t have a large base of subscribers who are After Fifty. That’s fine. What I’m more concerned about, though, may be the general perception that after a “certain” age, love ‘n stuff is irrelevant.

We think love ‘n stuff is relevant – very much so, after fifty and way, way beyond. And so, dear friends, let me know. Are we on the right track here, or not?

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