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Younger adults were more likely to use first-person singular pronouns (e.g., I, my) and words associated with work and achievement.
Findings suggest that younger adults enhance the “self” when seeking romantic partnership.
We collected 4,000 dating profiles from two popular websites to examine age differences in self-presentations.
We used stratified sampling to obtain a sample equally divided by gender, aged 18–95 years.
Elsewhere, Groom and Pennebaker (2005) examined online dating profiles of younger adults and found that women were more likely to use pronouns (especially first-person singular) than were men.
Moreover, older women also may be a key in maintaining family ties or serving as a “kinkeeper” (Brown & De Rycke, 2010), and this may extend to their presentations to potential dating partners.
Theories addressing age-related changes in motivation suggest that younger adults are likely to emphasize themselves, achievements, attractiveness, and sexuality.
Rather than seeking new achievements, older adults’ self-presentations may be focused on financial and physical stability.
This study explored how goals and motivations across the life span may be relevant to adults’ presentations in their profile content.
Sociocultural theories suggest that younger and older adults may differ in their goals regarding themselves versus their connections to others (Hoppmann & Blanchard-Fields, 2010).
In contrast, older adults are more positive in their profiles and focus more on connectedness and relationships to others.
Due to societal trends and deceased stigma, online dating is now one of the most common ways for adults of all ages to find a romantic partner (Rosenfeld & Thomas, 2012; Stephure, Boon, Mac Kinnon, & Deveau, 2009).
Older adults are utilizing online dating websites in increasing numbers.