Age-Old Stigma

One of the most significant challenges we face in matchmaking is the rigid obsession with age. So many excellent matches never see the light of day because of age stigma. In a time where “sixty is the new forty” and most singles are taking great care of themselves, the Kelleher International matchmaking mavens challenge you to let go of the number in your head and date freely. Here are a few reasons to expand your mind and subsequently your dating pool.

“I’ll start by saying most of our European clients don’t care as much about age, but it is definitely a hang up for our American client base,” Kelleher matchmaker Patty Russell begins. “In the U.S. most men in their sixties will not date their age, but rather want a match in their fifties, forties, or younger. And men who want children mostly will not date anyone over thirty-five, even if they are forty-five. As matchmakers, we do honor our clients’ age criteria, but after a while, we will present them with someone closer to their age that checks so many of their proverbial boxes. Frequently they’re pleasantly surprised to find that attraction and chemistry aren’t tightly bound to age.”

Aside from healthy, mindful living or cosmetic medical procedures often used to fight the aging process, there are some secrets to maintaining a youthful spirit. Matchmaker Pam Nolen explains, “Youthfulness is depicted in how we move through the world. We all have heavy life experiences that shape our path, but what we do with that experience affects how we’re perceived. Being adaptable, hopeful, and happy brings out that youthful glow. A positive attitude and intention make a huge difference. So does smiling!”

When it comes to attraction, we’re not requesting you force yourself to like something or someone you don’t; we’re simply asking you to not jump to that conclusion. Patty adds, “We all have what we are attracted to, but saying “yes” or “no” to a potential date solely based on age means you could be missing out on a lot of prospective mates. The love of your life might be on the other side of that age gap ready to meet you. So many women and men in their fifties, sixties, and seventies are very youthful and look amazing.“

Another critical reason to let go of age stigma is the harsh reality that there are no guarantees in life. “Health and longevity are gifts that can be taken away in an instant,” says Pam. “Time and happiness are precious commodities not to be wasted. If there’s a chance for you to find love and be happy right now, then you owe it to yourself to take the leap. It starts with saying “yes” and going out on that first date.”

Let’s say we’ve convinced you to take a chance and you go out with someone outside of your age parameters, the post-date feedback we receive from you is essential. Erin Soskin of Kelleher Matchmaking explains, “As matchmakers, we love to know what goes into people’s particular attraction or resistance to dating certain ages. We look for a person’s best match going beyond a number. We tap into values, lifestyle, chemistry, and of course, physical attraction. By articulating what worked and what didn’t you help us fine-tune our selection process. A simple, “He’s too old for me” doesn’t help us provide you better service and matches.”

Age appropriateness is also an essential aspect of the age stigma to address. Erin adds, “If someone is sixty-five looking for a twenty-five-year-old that person likely isn’t going to find an ideal partner as they’re clearly not in the same place in life. Often people tie age to physical attraction, but when two people meet and begin to explore a relationship together, they find the number doesn’t matter when the rest of what they’re associating with age is there – good energy, physical fitness, a passion for life, and a desire for their partner.”

Kelleher’s Director of Matchmaking, Kimberly Colgate says, “It is common for clients to come to us with concrete ideas and parameters around age. For the most part, however, it comes down to attraction and lifestyle compatibility when we look at what makes a match. We often encourage our clients to meet without really knowing the exact age of their date. Kelleher International recently had a wealthy 52-year-old CEO come to us seeking a woman between the ages of 32-41. He had only dated younger women and felt that age bracket was his sweet spot with attraction. The challenge was that he had an older child and didn’t want another. We matched him with a fit, sexy, forty-six-year-old woman. Their first date was off the charts, and he said he had never been more attracted to a woman in his life. He found their interests and lifestyle goals aligned perfectly. As a matchmaker, this story is pretty typical since we know that dating within your age cohort group offers a particular compatibility you might not get dating ten to fifteen years your junior (or senior).”

Don’t get stuck on age and miss an opportunity to meet the love of your life. At Kelleher, we encourage you to keep an open heart and mind and allow us the opportunity to present you with potential mates that align with your values, hobbies, and lifestyle. Together we’ll find the one that makes your heart flutter and sparks fly. If you have questions about overcoming the age stigma, please share in the comments section below. Our matchmaking team is happy to help.