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9 Things You Didn’t Know About Dating for Seniors

Mature couple wining and dining

Things have been moving so quickly here at Stitch Central recently that it’s easy to forget that it’s only a little over two months since we announced ourselves to the world. In fact, we’re not sure you could even call it an “announcement” … our first public appearance was in a blog article we published on the Tapestry Blog about dating for seniors titled “9 Things You Didn’t Know About Dating for 55+”.

The article shared some of the interesting lessons we had learned about dating for seniors from a closed trial we had been running in Northern California, and asked people to let us know if they wanted to be involved in a more expanded trial.

The response was overwhelming: 500 registrations in less than 3 days, and over 250 very detailed comments. We realized immediately that our little trial of online dating for seniors was something that resonated with people all over the world, and that we needed to go ahead and build something that would help us touch the lives of older adults everywhere.

And that’s the point at which we set about creating Stitch. 

It has felt a bit strange, then, that the article which inspired Stitch doesn’t appear on the Stitch blog. We thought it was high time we republished it here, updated to reflect what we’ve learned from the thousands of people who have registered for Stitch so far and told us their stories.

So without further ado, here are … 

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Dating for Seniors

With the obsession that today’s media has with youth and appearance, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s only the young who are looking for companionship, that dating is a young person’s game.

Go on, be honest. Which of the following images do you think the media is more likely to use to accompany an article on online dating?

Dating for Seniors: Romantic Date

Dating for Seniors: Group

Exactly.

Well, it’s time things changed. We are all living decades longer than we once did, and are staying fitter, healthier (and in some cases, friskier) further into our wisdom years than ever before. At the same time, more older adults over 55 find themselves single and looking, either through divorce or the tragic loss of a husband or wife they loved for many years.

This means that there are more seniors and baby boomers than ever before looking for some companionship to fill the void of their prior partner.

Because no matter how old you get, one thing about human nature never changes: nobody likes feeling lonely.

Older adults, however, look for companionship in a way that’s very different from their younger counterparts. Once you’re into your wisdom years your needs, desires and expectations are very different from what you’re looking for when you’re in your 20s.

Let’s take a look at nine things you (probably) didn’t know about dating for older adults:

1. Age DOESN’T matter

Match screen capture

Emphasis on age on Match.com

It seems counter-intuitive to say that people characterized by one attribute — how old they are — don’t care about age when looking for a companion, but it’s true. Young people are incredibly age-prejudiced, to such an extent that age is one of the most important filter criteria used to find a match on online dating sites.

Just check out the image to the right from Match.com. Age is the second-most important attribute used to help users determine if they’re interested in a potential match (after the photo). This scenario is not just on Match.com, but on E-harmony, Ourtime, Plenty of Fish, OK Cupid, and the rest of the dating websites.

The filtering mechanisms on these dating sites similarly emphasize the importance age takes in the minds of young match-seekers, with all users asked to specify the age range they are seeking, with many choosing ridiculously narrow ranges (e.g. “man aged 32 seeking woman aged 26-29“!)

Far more important is what shape you are in, how healthy you are, and what activities you can do.

Adults over 55 are far more flexible in their approach to companionship. Part of this is probably the wisdom that comes with age, but even more significant is an essential truth about how age works. Once you get into your fifties and beyond, the actual number of your age becomes less and less significant. Far more important is what shape you are in, how healthy you are, what activities you can do.

70 year-old woman looking for a man? If you’re active and like going for long walks and playing golf, you’re going to be much more interested in the fit and energetic 82-year-old who can share your activities than the 65-year-old with the hip replacement who can no longer walk long distances. On the other hand, the 75-year old woman who has had past back problems and likes to stay in with wine and movies might be a great match for that 65-year-old man.

Age is secondary. What you do with our age is what really matters.

Stitch Update: the registrations we are now seeing for Stitch is consistent with this sentiment, where the 50% of people are seeking companionship and not romance are telling us that age isn’t important to them as long as their companion can keep up with them. Having said that, we do find that the younger a user is, the more likely they are to focus on a specific age range, especially if their main goal is to find a romantic companion.

2. Neither do looks

Tinder App

Tinder: photos are all-important

The other stunning aspect of dating for young people is how much looks matter. The hottest online dating app for young people today is Tinder, which proudly claims to be matching over 450 million love-seekers daily.

Take a quick look at the Tinder user interface to the left. What stands out as the most important aspect of a person when determining if you may be a potential match?

It’s the photo.

With Tinder (and pretty much every other online dating system on the market today) the photo is all-important. This reinforces a message that young people get hammered with on a daily basis: nothing matters more than how you look.

We’d be lying if we said that appearance wasn’t important at all to the over-55 demographic, but it turns out to be a much lower priority.

Maybe this is because older adults are wise enough to know that looks have very little to do with whether someone is going to be a kind, loving and caring companion. Maybe it’s because the physical nature of attractiveness changes when you get older, or maybe they know that being “hot and sexy” is more a function of your personality than how you look.

Whatever the reason, most older adults will tell you that how someone looks is doesn’t matter much in their search to find a companion.

3. It’s not drinks, it’s dinner

Dinner

One thing we have been struck with has been the important role that dinner plays in the social (or not-so-social) lives of most older adults. Nobody likes the idea of spending years cooking for themselves and eating alone. And always being the lone single person when your married friends want to catch up for dinner starts to become a little tiresome. More than any other activity, dinner is where older adults feel the isolation of being alone most strongly.

This is why, for most older adults, a dinner date is the most important first step towards finding companionship.

This makes quite a comparison to how many young people organize their first dates, which usually involve meeting up in a bar. Several of today’s dating services are built specifically around this concept: Grouper, for example, hooks up groups of young people in bars and offers them a free first drink as part of the package.

For older adults, it’s not drinks, it’s dinner.

4. Not everybody is looking for love & marriage

No marriageThe fundamental premise behind most dating services for young people is that the ultimate goal is to find love and marriage. While this is true for some older adults, it is far from universal.

Many seniors really are looking for companionship and nothing more. Some are seeking someone to have dinner with, some are looking for someone to travel with them, others are looking for someone to share their favorite activities.

It’s always fun to have attraction, romance, and flirting.  For many people at this stage, that is enough. For others, it’s more. There is an entire spectrum of dating that goes far beyond the marriage-oriented online dating services available today.

Which goes a long way to explaining the next point …

5. It’s not just about one companion

Many older adults have multiple needs for companionship. Sure, some are focused only on finding that single life partner who will give them a loving relationship for the next few decades. But just as many are actually seeking multiple companions to fit in with their varied social needs.

A dinner-date companion.

A travel companion.

A hiking companion. A gardening buddy. A couples bridge partner.

This isn’t infidelity, it’s just common sense. A recognition that most older adults are prepared for the fact that no single person may be the solution to all their social needs, that they may be just as well served by multiple companions.

6. The real world counts

Senior with phoneFar more than their younger counterparts, older adults feel much more comfortable evaluating a potential match in the real world instead of online. That’s right, instead of texting and messaging, they actually prefer to talk to someone on the phone to find out if they like them.

Can you believe that?

All the Millennials out there are shaking their heads, wondering why on earth anyone would like to talk on the phone when they can instant message instead. And that sums up the generation gap in a nutshell … recent studies show that young adults are three times as likely to prefer to text than talk via the phone, the complete opposite of their older counterparts.

One of our favorite lines comes from a Huffington Post article on this very subject:

Kids, you’ve heard of phone calls, right? Did you know that there’s an app on your smartphone that lets you talk out loud to family and friends? Ask your grandparents about it.

It won’t surprise you, of course, to discover that most of today’s online dating services are designed around chatting with potential matches online before things get serious enough for a phone call.

Kids these days!

7. Trust is hyper-important

Yes, trust is important to everyone, no matter how old they are. But for a retiree on a fixed income, who has heard countless stories of peers being taken advantage of both online and in the real world, trust takes on a special significance.

Is this person who they say they are?

Are they authentically interested in me, or are they after something more?

Or, as we have been often asked by older women considering prospective male companions: are they truly looking for companionship, or someone to nurse them through their later years?

Stitch Update: the more we talk to the people registering for Stitch, the more we have come to understand how important the issue of trust is (and how absent it is in most online dating sites today). That’s why we’re currently working on a number of features for Stitch to ensure that the people you meet are who they say they are.

8. Filters, not so much

Profile

Match.com filter criteria

One thing that many dating services have in common is using fancy algorithms to help you find a partner based on a dazzling array of filters you provide them. Younger people can be zealous about the rules they impose on potential partners.

Ethnicity.

Religion.

Occupation.

Even eye color!

The profile selection page from Match.com paints a clear picture: young people dating have a well-defined set of filters, which they use to help them find that “perfect” match.

We’ve found older adults to be far more refreshingly open-minded.

Whether it was the Jewish 82-year-old, who admitted in her youth she would have only accepted “a handsome Jewish boy” but now “doesn’t mind about their background as long as they are kind”, or the 59-year-old devout Catholic who had never considered dating Protestants when she was younger, we found an incredible willingness to judge potential partners on their personality and shared interests than any pre-conceived notions of who the “right” partner might be.

Just another example of why we love our members … they never cease to inspire us.

9. Online dating stinks

In case you hadn’t figured it out by now, all the differences we’ve described above lead most older adults to conclude that, well, online dating is not a positive experience at all. It’s built around the needs of younger generations, who care a lot about age, about appearances, about filtering out potential matches based on arbitrary criteria, who are happy to spend inordinate amounts of time online, browsing and scrutinizing potential matches.

The online dating sites which market themselves as being for 55 and older are simply re-branded versions of dating sites for younger adults. None of them recognize that there are fundamental differences in what matters to older adults and what they’re looking for.

 

So what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!

110 Comments

  1. Ric

    This blog is spot on. I’m looking forward to Stich and hope you get a great database of 55+ members. Keep it up !

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Thanks Ric! We’re pretty excited about the response we’re getting from people all over the world right now, it’s encouragement like yours which really helps keep us going!

      1. Jasmine

        Age does matter…a lot! When I was 51, I married my 56-year-old Knight in Shining Armor and immediately had a midlife pregnancy scare. We lived incredibly happily ever after for 22 years until he died 2 years ago. Let me assure you, there are absolutely no similarities in dating at 55 and at 75…plus, it seems to me that 75+ men have almost opposite objectives from 75+ women. Maybe it’s because the airwaves are inundated with the young and beautiful, but while the senior senior ladies write they are seeking good intelligent conversation, shared interests and companionship, many gentlemen of the same age are seeking ladies who are slender (or curvy) and at least 20 years younger. (They explain by saying they are younger than their age. What does that even mean?!?) Before investing another dime, I need to know how and if Stitch will address the mismatch? Do you have a hidden stash of active 95-105 year old men who are seeking 75-year-old companions? Or is it something information and eduction can address?

        1. Andrew Dowling

          Well said Jasmine! I’m not really saying that age doesn’t matter at all, just that it takes on a very different dimension in our later years, as you quite rightly point out. Particularly for those seeking companionship rather than romance … I have many friends in the Stitch community who are 20 years my senior, while there is no way I could have said the same when I was 20.

          As for what the men on Stitch are looking for — I don’t really like to generalize about what other people want, but I can say that we see a very clear self-selection happening on Stitch. Older men who want to find a young woman have plenty of other sites they can go to who cater to that. The ones who are attracted to Stitch join us because they are looking for real people, shared interests and conversation just as much as any physical attraction. If you check out our member testimonials page (just click the “Testimonials” link at the top of the home page) I think you’ll see David’s comment which sums this up quite nicely.

          1. Jasmine

            Thanks, Andrew! That’s exactly what I hoped to hear. I’ve not joined any if the social sites, but I’ve peeked over friends’ shoulders as they either looked for correspondence from “matches” that never appeared or read the almost insulting ones attempting to let them down easy by saying they were or they looked too old. One 72 year old friend was asked to re-contact her 81 year old “admirer” after she lost 20 lbs, colored her gray hair blond and let it grow to at least shoulder length. Good grief! I’ll be watching the Stitch forums to find good intelligent conversation…that will certainly be a breath of fresh air!

          2. Shirley

            You are incorrect. I am attractive, 65, with health problems. All the men have health problems. My husband had prostate cancer. Because he is 73 ,impotent, every lady in FL. IS CHASING HIM. He left me 5 years ago to live with a lady, now he’s with another lady. I CAN’T GET A DATE. I AM PRETTY

          3. Ji Li

            It seems, Andrew, that Stitch is catering to older women who are looking for younger men. And, I see a lot of that on the dating sites I am on. Many older women looking for younger men – but reality is that most men are not looking for older women. It might sound good for your site, and in your column to say “age doesn’t matter”, but you are very WRONG. Age does matter, at least to most men I’ve talked with on these sites. Most men still want a younger woman – maybe 5 years younger, and someone that is at least somewhat physically attractive. And, while companionship is great, you can join a local social club for companionship. They are everywhere.

            Men, and most women I’ve met and talked to online, are looking for commitment. I personally tried stating that I was not looking for marriage – because after 2 divorces, I’ve already lost enough to know I don’t want to lose more in another divorce. But then, I had many women ask me why I was not interested in marriage? They all said they would not date someone who is not open to marriage because their ultimate end goal was marriage and commitment.

            Now that I’ve changed what I’m looking for to include marriage, I get many more woman wanting to talk and meet up with me.

        2. Tom

          There are a number of men like me whom are seeking companionship. By that I man firstly friendship to engage in being together for conversations of many topics, having visits to local places of interest, walking at interesting, venues, having a meal together even with friends. However it has to be on a pleasant and positive mindset and not to unload baggage of the past. Surely fun and happiness should be foremost in our seventies.

          1. Linda

            Hi Tom. I agree with your entire approach. It takes time to develop a friendship and determine if basics are common. I am interested in omfortable mutual conversational in which I can learn, perhaps teach and have fun. I just ran into this site. Where do you live?

        3. J. Chambers

          Age absolutely does matter ! When my ex-husband (about 5 years younger) left for a woman 20 years younger than myself, you can bet that was upsetting and revealing. At 60 when I was first divorced, online dating worked pretty well. I was seriously involved with one widower; however, at this stage of life one isn’t about to put up with 2 horrible, dependent adult ‘kids’ and their families — especially if you yourself have one adult ‘kid.’

          I noticed after 65, even though I myself am VERY fit, I have a great financial picture and also a 2nd home — online dating dried up to nothing and I finally opted out. Though I would post pics of myself and the dates, that didn’t help.

          These men all look for women 10-20 years younger. We
          ‘older’ women are left out in the cold.

          This isn’t the ‘retirement’ I dreamed about. And meanwhile my ex lives in our old house he bought me out of and also a fabulous condo on the Florida coast.

          No – life is not fair to mature women.

        4. merlyn demonte

          ha, ha jasmine love you comment on stitch having a stash off 75 to 105 year old active men …
          waiting to see / read an answer from Andrew!!!

        5. Miz Kitty

          I think you right jamine! age does matter. Younger people sometime don’t know what I am talking about. I don’t mind talking to younger people but they don’t understand what it is to be older. For ex. They can not get their mind around that at a certain age the body slow down. The mind is will but the body is not. and there are other things too’ that the younger are not facing like the ending of your life. Why should they want to talk about a dark subject at their age. But for us it here! and it’s important and it hard to find people who you can share your feeling with. Miz Kitty

    2. Elizabeth

      Its taken me a year to read your Blog Andrew, and to become proactive in your site!
      However, now that I am truly ‘on board’ I think your concept is a great idea and very much needed.
      Continued success!

      Elizabeth

      1. Andrew Dowling

        No problem at all Elizabeth … Stitch didn’t even really exist when I first wrote this article, so I’m not surprised it’s taken you a little while to get involved! We still feel as if we’re very much at the beginning of Stitch and have a long way to go before we’ve delivered on our vision for what Stitch can be, but as long as we get continued encouragement from people such as yourself we’ll know that we’re heading in the right direction!

        Many thanks,
        Andrew.

        1. Johanna R

          I liked this and I think an old friend is connecting with more than friendship so this was good to read.
          Keep it up!

    3. Earl

      Damn skippy!

    4. debbie

      It that where she thinks it’s the best place for seniors

    5. Denise

      It’s a good article and there are differences in expectations when we get older. However, I still think some age indications are important. The comments about the 65 and 75 year old are true to the extent that people of exactly the same age do have different limits to their abilities, but my experience is that as we get older there are more similarities in those limitations even if not exact and there are still many other issues such as our life experiences that have made us who we are. There are generation gaps and always will be because of the society and culture we live in at various stages of life. I’ve had younger and older friends during my life but they have had limited involvements because of our ages and needs. There is a big difference between people in their 50s and those in their 70s. I believe as I have always done that up to 7 years either side is the most to accommodate all the needs we have at various ages. I have observed it as a psychologist and lawyer and stick to this even though some people live in the moment only so willing to accept anyone for the moment.

    6. Leslie

      Absoulutely! My exact sentiments. I’m surpassed the going out and dancing (even though I love doing exactly that!) It would be nice to just settle down with someone who wouldn’t mind investing their time into a relationship that really can blossom. Excactimente!

    7. A J Silberbusch

      Great article! It definetly resonates with me and friends who are boomer babies and seniors. I’m really looking forward to using an online tool that will facilitate meeting the fortunate ones who have lived long enough to appreciate who we are and the many blessings we have that we would like to share with others face to face.

    8. The real gorp

      so many gals are so superficial and simple. relationships take time and patience. we all have questions and concerns that require detailed answers. first impressions are guesses and wrong.

    9. bud a scott

      It’s all good

  2. Nancy

    Don’t have all the newest gadgets in the computer world – not even smart phone or lap top, but do use the computer. Would rather pick up and phone though and talk with someone. Hope there are Stitchers in the 70’s – or can accept one that age. Body not perfect but sure is busy anyhow. Thought I was registered and hope to be one of the first. I keep waiting to hear more. Friend but not foe: romantic or not, travel or not, but not sitting and watching movies or TV all night.

    1. Landou

      Some experts recommend NOT giving out phone numbers (or emails/names/place of work/etc) based on a possibly misleading profile. An in-person meeting in a busy public place is better way to screeen. Profiles are often not written by the writer.

    2. Miz Kitty

      Hi Nancy! what do you like to do? I am 59 and still active. I love walking and talking about everything. I am alone now, so I am looking for new friends to share my life with.

  3. Christopher

    This does seem to be a good, even “natural”, idea. I know that my own social lifestyle and pursuits have been changing through time and this progression in Stages Of Life. I’m commenting here because I just did a Search in related categories.

    But with some thought, I’m wondering how it may work out, in fact. I mean the first most distinct “difference” here is the self-selected and identified age-group. But can’t that be found in other online venues too, even if an overall participating public includes more categories/ranges?

    So I expect that execution will be everything. And extent of participation. I’ve personally been online a relatively longtime, with a background including quite a bit ‘high tech’ (was also in the industry). I know that others around my age are not as experienced or oriented. How everyone will “get here” in the first place and then be able to practically wield this to mutual advantages is yet to be seen, I suppose.

    I’ve perused this site, and its several areas. Aside from the advocacies and explanations about various differences in social, recreational, lifestyle and interests/abiities in the “mature” populace, I’m still a bit unclear about just what, more manifestly, is specifically different here.

    No, I haven’t registered. Yet.

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Hi Christopher,

      Thanks for such a thoughtful and insightful comment! We can’t comment on some of the specifics of how the individual features of Stitch will work until we’ve released it publicly, but we do believe there are some fundamental differences between what our users are looking for compared to what existing products provide, and you’ll see these borne out in some of the features of Stitch. So no, it won’t just be a branding exercise to one specific age-group (there are dating sites out there that do this already), but something that really is actually quite different.

      You are right, however, that it all comes down to execution — which is why we’re going to be very keen to get feedback from everyone who signs up once we launch.

      If you want to stay updated on what we’re doing but don’t want to sign up yet, just subscribe your email address to our newsletter and you’ll get regular updates from us so you can hear when we do launch!

      Cheers,
      Andrew

  4. Eileen

    It seems that you have a potentially FABULOUS product! Thank you for recognizing the need for a site to connect older adults .I’m delighted to be a part of the process.

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Thanks Eileen! We know we’ve got a long way to go before Stitch does everything we know people want it to do, but we’re working very hard to get there … and as long as we receive a lot of support and input from our users along the way we know we’re going to get there. Thanks for coming on the journey with us!

      1. Nancy

        Thanks Andrew for answering Eileen first. I also answered and yes, I think you have a product here. If Eileen asks for information to get hold of me, please feel free to give her my email address. Of this generation, we want friends – people we can connect with, have fun with and maybe we even know people in common. This is a very important site you are establishing.

    2. Nancy

      Eileen: I should have said the same thing, but didn’t. Thank you for doing so. Yes, I am glad to see this site for us “elders” = wouldn’t it be great to have Bachlorette /Bachloret (guess my spelling isn’t great) for our generation. Have always thought of answering them about that. But you have paved the way – and if you live in the Bay Area – near enough to Foster City/San Mateo, would love the chance to chat and meet with you.

  5. Cynthia

    How many members do you have ? How many do you foresee having when you are in full swing ? When do you expect to be up and running ?

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Hi Cynthia,

      Stitch is only just getting started so our user numbers are small, but they’re growing rapidly (helped a lot by the recent press we’ve been getting in journals like The Atlantic). We’re initially focusing on a couple of locations before we open up the platform globally, and the actual release date depends on the feedback we get from users in the meantime. If you register for Stitch or subscribe to our newsletter you’ll be kept in the loop about the locations we’ll be rolling out, as well as when we launch Stitch globally.

      Thanks!
      Andrew.

  6. Maya

    Well, this has real potential! I tried some of the dating sites and nope, they sure didn’t work for me! So I signed up for this right away. I am lively, relatively uninhibited, smart, active and often bored — don’t have enough friends and people who want to do stuff: spontaneously go to a movie, do something different. Play! I really need to play and laugh more and am looking forward to meeting like-minded people. Thanks for doing this; I have high hopes!

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Thanks Maya! We’re still working towards the official public launch of Stitch so hang tight and keep an eye out for the updates we’re sending out regularly to anyone who has signed up … we hope to be able to open up the first version of the site soon.

      Regards,
      Andrew.

  7. Maya

    Uh-oh, I forgot to say I am a rabid non-smoker, so no smokers, PLEASE!

  8. Trudy

    I’m pretty excited about your insight as to what us seniors are interested in.It is far beyond what the younger set wants.I personally would like to meet a christian man who enjoys gardening etc, Not looking for marriage.Good luck on the new site.Trudy

  9. Toni

    Sounds interesting. Maybe you are on to something. I would give it a fling.

  10. Deby

    This sounds awesome! It would be fun to have friends to go out to dinner with, movies, and etc.

    1. ronnie

      humans are always searching for something of value, finding a friend and being one to share moments while life lasts precious

  11. Bethany

    I have been on the online roller coaster for a year now and it really is disheartening to see the deceit that goes with it. Posting pics that are 20 years old and saying boasting things that are so not real either. Being online gives you a sense of protection from being caught in an untruthful statement. Someone’s smile or sense of humor can be just as big of a turn on as a picture. After you decide they aren’t weird you exchange phone numbers and chat a few times before you decide to meet. This gives you a voice behind the picture and can seal a deal to have a meal together not a drink or coffee. You can learn alot over a meal. Table manners mean alot to some of us…..still believe I can find that 1 special person…still believe in love at 54 !!!!

  12. Cynthia

    55+ how about us that are over 50 but not yet 55? This sounds exactly what I have been looking for. I want to make more friends, companions without all the complictaions of so called dating to fing a relationship.

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Hi Cynthia,

      I got a lot of feedback from people about the age I chose when I first wrote that post, so Stitch is actually open to anyone over 50. It’s a bit of an arbitrary restriction but we had to choose something … we’ll be interested in hearing feedback from people about where we should be drawing the line (or even whether we should be drawing a line at all).

      Cheers,
      Andrew.

      1. Cynthia

        Thanks Andrew

  13. Anne

    Awesome…..you are right on target! Keep up the good work.

  14. Deborah

    Looking forward to this site’s debut. I have tried many of the others….disastrous. I wholeheartedly believe in finding many instead of just one….but if one came along and could fill the needs that the many can fill….perfect. We all need friends and companions….I’m excited!

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Thanks for the vote of confidence Deborah, we love hearing that people are excited about what we’re trying to do. We know it’s not going to be perfect from day one but as long as we keep getting great input from users about what we’re doing we know we’re going to get there!

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  15. Brigid

    Love the idea. You are spot on and I hope you set the world on fire.

  16. Alba

    I will like to.meet people in my area Carmel,California

  17. Martha

    Hello. Very excited about this new site.I think it’s a wonderful idea for Seniors.I have been doing online dating for awhile.Very discouraging.Im so hoping this one will be different.I wish you so much success with your endeavor.

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Thanks Martha! Our biggest challenge is going to be making sure everyone hears about Stitch so we can get a lot of really nice people signing up … the real key is making sure that the people on Stitch are the sorts of people want to meet. So anything you can do to help spread the word will be welcome!

      Really appreciate the positive feedback, and here’s hoping we can live up to your hopes for Stitch.

      Thanks & regards,
      Andrew.

  18. Stephanie G

    Signed up a couple of weeks ago … before I realized you weren’t “open for business” yet. I’m hoping it will be soon! How do we find out what your schedule is for our areas?

    Stephanie
    p.s. – The one thing I haven’t seen mentioned about the other dating sites for over-55’s is that it feels a lot like a job search. Thousands of applicants and no response! 🙂

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Hi Stephanie,

      Whereabouts are you located? I wish we could give a firm rollout schedule for all areas but a lot does depend on how many people sign up in any one location … we just don’t want our very first users to get a negative experience because there aren’t enough people for them to meet at first. Depending on where you are, we could be available to you in a few weeks to a few months from now.

      I really like the analogy about applying for jobs … I think I’ll have to write a blog post about that idea some time soon!

      Thanks,
      Andrew.

  19. Lorraine

    Hello,
    Just got done reading all the info and found it very interesting..I am signed up with another dating service until Nov. It is great to know how much you are
    interested with the older crowd. (hooray)
    I am from Maine and I know that it may make a difference but am positive
    you will do your best.
    Good Luck to you and I wish you the Best.
    Lorraine S.

  20. Aimee

    I would like to meet some senior people in my age(about 50 years old) and near my city, Houston. Just Signed up and have a try

  21. violet

    I only tried “Ourtime” and opted out when men and even women in their late 20’s early 30’s were reaching out to me. I’m in my 60’s… I am not a cougar… And since I live life on life terms I had zero trust in anyone half my age trying to reach me. I only signed up for Stitch because there was a segment on the news for folks 55 and older to meet.

  22. Freda

    I was very excited when I heard about Stitch and sighed up about two months ago. Although I had too many exspectations and did not realise that a new website like this takes time to fully come to help
    the many older people like us and to be able to serve in the many area’s where we live.
    I have not met any one yet, but I will be patient and hope full, it will happen…
    Thanks for all your good intensions and with time I know, you will make many of us older ones
    HAPPY CAMPERS

  23. LovApp

    Very excited about this new site.I think it’s a wonderful idea for Seniors.Love the idea. You are spot on and I hope you set the world on fire.

  24. Michelle

    I’m very hopeful, looking for male friends for activities and companionship but wondering about the over abundance of females. How do you plan on attracting more men to the site?
    Also, location is a real factor, so I need more than just a hint about a potential friends distance from me. I work 30 miles from home and would also be up for events after work.

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Hi Michelle,

      Great to hear you’re hopeful … we are too! The question about the men is a good one, as we’ve certainly found that women are much better at telling each other about Stitch, so our word-of-mouth growth to date has ended up giving us more women than men on Stitch so far. We’re starting to market primarily to men now and are seeing this dynamic change — in the last week for example our new signups have been approximately 80% men as a result of our new campaigns. It’s going to take a little while as the membership grows, but we definitely think you’re going to see a change in the coming months.

      As for how we indicate distance for our members, this is something that we’re talking a lot about right now. Some of our members have told us categorically that they don’t like their city name appearing on their profiles, and they feel very passionate about this. On the other hand, many others want to see where someone lives as location is so very important to them. We’re weighing up the two requirements at the moment to see if there is some way to please everyone (but you know what they say about trying to please everyone!). I think we’ll probably move to indicating more precise locations on profiles eventually, we just need to work through the implications of that before we do so.

      Regards,
      Andrew.

      1. violet

        In general there is usually more females than there are males. I’m falling in love with Stitch because I felt safe at the event I attended. 2 men 7 or 8 women, but I enjoyed myself with this group and plan to be more involved. As a Latina I would enjoy meeting fellas that are Latino as well….

        Its not easy meeting new people especially if there is a hidden agenda. Or past experiences have been negative, but I’m hopeful with Stitch and believe it will get better. I’m not in a rush, but am hopeful that I will meet that special someone in the mean time I plan to enjoy the moments spent with the other members of Stitch!!

        1. Andrew Dowling

          Hi Violet,

          Thanks so much for such encouraging feedback! We’d welcome your thoughts on ways to get many more Latino men to sign up too … so if you’ve got any suggestions please let us know!

          Many thanks,
          Andrew.

          1. violet

            Sadly, if Stitch was looked at as a way to meet, greet and eat women men might come out in groves due to word of mouth. What man really wants to open up to another man if they are not sharing in “machista” way?!
            Still, I’m hopeful that Stitch will be more of an avenue for me to meet others. I still love people and still believe in humanity. And since I’ve been around the block several times I’m pretty confident that I can weed out the “dandelions” no matter how good looking….

    2. Howard

      Hi, I’m new on here and looking for a companionship, someone we can go on dates together, movies

  25. Ellen

    keep me informed on the over 60 age group events too~

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Hi Ellen,

      If you’ve signed up for Stitch then you should be able to check out the events once you’ve logged in to Stitch … we’ll be introducing the ability to search for events near you shortly to make it even easier. Please let us know how you go!

      Andrew.

      1. Susan

        Andrew just come across your site but find its women on your blog never done this before perhaps need help have now one to ask. Age 71

        Regards

        Susan

  26. Jenny

    Helpful post, I like it….!!

  27. Margaret

    I agree with almost all of this – but the part about the phone? that can be problematic for those of us with some hearing loss. I get along fine in person, even in restaurants, but my cell phone is a trial. Hearing aids and cell phones are not a good match….Email can be a much better alternative.

    1. Marcie Rogo

      Thank you so much, Margaret for bringing up that point. Email is a great alternative!

  28. John

    I couldn’t disagree more on the age thing. Look thru a handful or more on Match or any other site and women over 55, as an example, are just as restricvtive on age range than the younger generations. I defy anyone to show me otherwise.

  29. Judith

    I’m curious as to what percentage of your members have premium membership. I just joined and being able to look at only 3 or so members/day is somewhat limiting! Trying to decide which membership plan (if any) to upgrade to.

    Thanks! Stitch seems promising and certainly different than the other sites.

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Hi Judith,

      At the moment about 10% of our active users are Premium Members, although we are now seeing that start to rise now that Stitch activities and events are seeing so much activity and the community is really starting to grow. We are actually about to launch a major change to our pricing model in the next week, which reflects that we’re trying to make Stitch as much a membership-based community as a dating site, and one where all our members are part of a community which helps them find like-minded people. In the new model we’ll be consolidating our existing Bronze/Silver/Gold plans into a single Premium Membership of $60 per year (i.e. $5 per month), which is much lower than the current plans but paid annually to help emphasize that Stitch is a community that our members are joining, and works very differently from any other site. We’ll be continuing to keep the Free plan which you can use as long as you want though — and do have a few other plans to help make it less limiting for you, it’s just going to take us a month or two to put them in place!

      Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Stitch support team if you’ve got any questions, we’d be happy to help out.

      Cheers,
      Andrew Dowling
      Founder & CEO, Stitch

  30. Jane

    It was interesting to read the comments. I noticed that there were very few men who contributed. Is this normally the case, and more importantly, is this an accurate barometer of numbers of interested males verses females?
    Thank you for taking my question.
    Jane

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Hi Jane,

      Very happy to be open and honest with you on this question — at this point (July 2015) we’ve got almost twice as many women as men. It would be great if the ratio was 1:1 but the reality is that in the over 50s group there are more women seeking companionship with people their age than men, which is driven by a number of factors, not least that there are fewer men in the population at large, and those that are aren’t always proactive about seeking companionship. Having said that, we are constantly working to increase the number of men on Stitch, and always welcome new suggestions to help in this area. We also notice that our men are much less likely to write comments on posts and activities than our female members — I think most online social media sites observe a similar phenomenon. It’s yet another one of the many differences between the genders — which of course is why men and women enjoy each other’s company so much!

      Regards,
      Andrew.

  31. Denise

    Good article except that while I agree that it depends on the fitness etc of the person that can vary with ages, particularly as we get older, fitness is usually not included in the profiles and I believe there are still some differences in views and needs between generations. For instance people still working, even part time, have different needs to people who are retired. A relationship may still work, but may have more complications. Also past histories, which still make us, even though we change and evolve, still have some impact on who we are and our perceptions, and people whose ages are significantly apart are likely to have less in common. e.g. a 70 year old and a 55 year old for instance. While people may die at any age, there is more likelihood that someone 70 has less active life left than a person 55 and that could be important for people looking for long term relationships. Who wants to be left on their own when they are older because their partner died much earlier if it can be avoided to some extent. I think an indication of the age of the person is still important for us mature adults. No need to state age preferences if not wanted but at least it gives a bit more ideal about a person than can be provided in the limited profiles.

  32. Mark

    This article is spot on! My feeling is that once you start hitting 55 and you’re alone (single, widowed, divorced or whatever), you just want to live! You want to howl at the old man in the moon, to let life know that you’re still appreciating it.

    I think that distance, like age, in many cases doesn’t matter. However, on ‘those’ other dating sites, it seems that everyone is looking for that perfect person within a pizza delivery distance. A lot of these folks, would be hard pressed to try dating 30 years ago without cell phones, instant messaging, internet or restaurants, entertainment venues and such on every street corner.

    I believe that people in our age group don’t mind driving a bit to meet someone and spend some quality time with that person. All we need is good driving weather and possibly a bladder break or two. 😉

    1. Denise King

      I think that to say people over 55 don’t mind travelling a distance to meet someone is a bit generalised. Some people may not mind, but others do, for various reasons – time available, ability to travel, preference to have friends in own location etc. Most sites I’ve seen allow people to choose a distance range so that individuals are catered for, not just lumped into all over 55s. The same applies to ages. We all differ. Most people don’t have the same needs or interests that they had at 55 when they are in their 60s or 70s except perhaps for wishful thinking. It is difficult to tell people’s ages from their photos or profiles and I believe at least prefereces for age groups and distance should be included.

  33. Jennifer

    Every “older” man I’ve communicated with on this site has been insincere. Although I think the goal of the site is commendable, the personal outcome experience l’ve had is more realistic.

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Sorry to hear that Jennifer. We know that’s not the case for everyone given the mountain of positive feedback we’ve received from so many of our members, but of course we’re not in charge of every member of the site so can’t claim to be perfect. When you say they’re “insincere”, are you saying they are claiming to be someone they are not? If so please report the members concerned so we can take action.

      Thanks,
      Andrew.

  34. Wondering

    I am 56, very recently retired, very active, fit and adventurous. Is this a venue where I may find mature women of similar traits? Oh, and I considered a “senior citizen” now?

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Lucky to be retired so young! Stitch is definitely built to help people like you meet mature women with similar interests. We are still very new and so our community is still growing, but it’s free to sign up and check us out and we’re growing daily so please feel free to sign up and let us know what you think!

  35. Arnie

    Hi,
    WOW…….what a wonderful opportunity to meet people my age……thank you! I agree with all of what is posted and would add that everyone is differently unique and looking for someone who compliments their specific qualities. For me knowing one’s self has been huge when connecting with others.
    Wishing everyone much success and many loving connections…..
    Arnie

  36. ‘Linda’.

    Great article, well written and extremely thoughtful. Age is just a number and there are lots of us out there looking for a n other. Thanks for sharing.

  37. David

    Hola Andrew Dowling,

    Would you please use the word sex at least once in a while. I am no old dude in a trench coat. I want to date, share and have sex. Are there woman out there over 60 who desire friendship yes. fun yes and yes attraction/sex? Your site is a very, very good site. I am not complaining. I am just curious if I am some sort of “rare” elder. I am also curious regarding the near absense of interest in/discussion of attraction, chemisty and sex to be found on this site.

    Namaste,

    David

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Hi David,

      Great comment! In lots of the interviews I’ve given over the last 12 months I’ve actually mentioned many times that one thing I find refreshing about our members is their willingness to talk openly about issues related to sex, given the topic of sex over 60 doesn’t get much coverage in traditional media (although it is increasing). Interestingly enough those comments rarely get published, maybe because they’re seen as too racy, I’m not sure.

      But even more interestingly, even though in conversation I’ve found a very large percentage of our members are happy to talk to us about sex, you’re right that it isn’t happening so much on the forums, or on profiles, etc. I think this is because while it’s a part of what many people are looking for, they don’t want things to be misinterpreted that it’s the only thing they’re seeking. Why don’t you post something on the Stitch forums and see what people have to say — we’d be very interested in their comments. Based on the private discussions I have with our members you are not a “rare elder” at all … but it remains to be seen whether people will feel comfortable talking about the topic as openly as they do in private — let’s find out!

      PS. I just called up your profile on Stitch and was a bit confused as to where you are located — are you in the Canary Islands?

      Regards,
      Andrew.

    2. j barrett

      Hi

      JUst opened this page and was so pleased to see how many people in their late 50’s and above are interesting in looking for friendship, companionship and intimacy even!
      I will turn sixty next month. DOes anyone else out there feel as if they are still in their thirties – I do.
      THanks to my love for exercise in all forms I have managed to stay quite fit and my age has not restricted my activities of daily living.
      I would love to meet someone my age or even older who I can have great conversation with, a man who is respectful and know s how to treat a lady and is also fun loving and loves great home made food (admitted food snob)
      ONe thing worries me however – I have heard of many woman and I am sure men as well, that have been burned by someone they initially thought to be
      Great and subsequently revealed their true colors.

      1. Andrew Dowling

        So pleased you found us J! Why don’t you try signing up for Stitch to see what the community is like?

        Regards,
        Andrew.

      2. merlyn demonte

        hi there j barrett..
        I think that’s nice just to chat ,
        not expect too much , FRIENDSHIP via e.mail ha, ha
        and exchange news , the country your in ,
        I don’t know where you are ,
        merlyn

  38. David

    I am visiting the Canary Islands for three months I am returning to New York on April 6, 2016.

    Namaste,

    David Fletcher

  39. Cathy

    After being a widow for two years, I am just recently getting back into the dating scene and everything that you stated is spot on.. I signed up for an online dating service and as you said, it’s just a rehash of the younger ones because all that the men are looking for is physical attributes. This new dating game is altogether different than when I dated 55 years ago. I’m just beginning to feel comfortable with it.

  40. Kathleen

    I don’t agree that age doesn’t matter. I am a 80yr old woman looking for friendship a casual relationship. Men in my age group are all looking for younger women . and looks do matter.

  41. Sue

    Absolutely agree with all the points made here. Just started connecting — in person — with a guy that eHarmony matched me with. I ran through a lot of “matches” on eHarmony and elsewhere, so much of them, in fact, that I started to recognize the email content a poser would send to me. It was the same story, over and over, without much variance. Single dad, daughter (usually) in boarding school in some foreign country. The guy usually born overseas (covers them when they can’t write English well) and often works in some strange profession that has him wandering all over the earth. Sharing this in case there are others out there meeting these “trawlers.” But I digress. Trust is important, so is companionship, and not necessarily marriage or looks. My current connection and I are having fun, enjoying each other and that’s a lot!

  42. lindasye

    I don’t think online dating is not good for senior citizens. More and more senior people are looking for companionship online now. Since many senior couples have their first date as a result of their meeting on a senior dating site, that means, of course, you two should meet in a well-light, public venue.However, once you’ve met, she’s expecting gentlemanly behavior from you. That means, yes, you drive to pick her up. Only after the two of you are a couple and well past your third month of commitment can you start asking her to meet you at the venue.

  43. ginny

    This is just a thought, but, did you ever consider a way to meet another senior in a city you are visiting just to have dinner or see a play or see the local sites.
    if, for example, i wanted to go to New York to a play but don’t have anyone to go with or meet up with, i could see if there is another senior in NY that would like to meet up for the evening.
    sometimes due to time or money restrictions your friends cannot go. or maybe they don’t like plays and don’t want to waste their vacation doing what you enjoy.

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Hi Ginny,

      That’s actually something that Stitch caters for … we’ve had great examples of members travelling to other cities (even other countries) and meeting other Stitch members there. Any member can suggest a play they’d like to attend and then members in that area are able to comment and come along. It’s a great way to have some company while you are travelling!

      Andrew.

  44. Sally Harris

    I haven’t joined, but would like to be kept informed for future use perhaps.
    Thank you – seems like a great idea.

  45. Anthony

    Great

  46. John S Hawkins

    John from little old England, I’m fed up with trawling through dating sites who promise twenty virgins. I’m 84 & hoping to find an attractive lady who is at least 70 with similar aspirations as me, just friendship & companionship/romance if that develops. Having read your forum comments I didn’t see many members from UK. Do you think this will be a possibility in the near future? A 84 I may not have too long to search. I agree with all the comments about age difference & would worry about the younger matches that some sites push on to us oldies. Best wishes John S Hawkins, Lincoln. UK

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Hi John,

      Yes the current state of pretty much every dating site out there is quite horrible. Stitch is very different. I can see you’ve joined up now so look forward to seeing you in the community! It’s true we’re only starting out in the UK but we’re growing there now and have a couple of initiatives coming up which should really help spread the word about Stitch in the UK!

      Cheers,
      Andrew
      Stitch Community Founder

  47. Suzanne

    I am glad I have found your site as maybe another elderly woman lived the same situation in the past and could give me her opinion. I am 67 years old woman and have been single for quite a while. There is this 79 years old gentleman who keeps asking me to live with me. We went for supper a few times but he is very persistent and even though I appreciate his company I am very concern about developing a true relationship with him. My worry is about age. He is very fit at 79 years old with a recent bill of health. Nothing is wrong. If I agree to live with him how worried should I be about future health issues. Example: I am too old to lift him if he falls. I cannot give him a bath once he get disable. I know it can happen to me as well but in 10 years he will be 90 years old. Should I be concern and not get involved with someone 14 years my elderly? This is not out of selfishness but consideration for both our ability to take care of each other. I could get sick sooner than he and maybe he will not be able to take care of me. A relationship is more than watching TV together or going for a visit at the zoo. He is a fantastic guy and I wish I had known him many years ago. Maybe someone would share their experience in a similar situation. Thank you to those who will.

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Hi Suzanne,

      Glad you found us! You may actually be better to ask this question on the Stitch forums inside Stitch, as that’s where most of our members discuss and answer questions like this, rather than on the Stitch blog. Let me know if you need any help!

      Regards,
      Andrew
      Stitch Founder

      1. Jan Chambers

        First, you must stop at 67 calling yourself ‘elderly.’ I am 2 years older than you are and I do not call myself nor do I think about myself as ‘elderly.’ Part of that is because I fast walk 4 days a week (Mon/Wed/Friday & Saturdays) and the other days (ex Sunday when I do not have to do anything) I use hand held weights and do 10 sets of 10 exercises (I space it out during the day and do this while watching tv.)

        NO ONE at this age/stage needs to live with someone, forget about his age for a moment.
        To me, if I were to find someone, I would like someone to be here 2 or 3 nights a week and I could do the same at his home. You are so right to consider if he becomes disabled and you would then feel like you are required to take care of him. Undoubtedly, that is what this man is thinking about.

        Do NOT feel obligated to have him live with you. Tell him you love (if you do) or care about him very much but at this stage of life other arrangements are unnecessary. Do NOT do anything because you have fear of ‘losing’ him.

  48. Marlene

    I couldn’t possibly disagree more about age doesn’t matter. Seniors experienced with loss crave love, companionship, excitement, and potential longevity. We rarely find what we set out for. If you find your soulmate, suddenly age becomes less important. An element of risk becomes a companion. Men risk financial security much more then women simply because more times then not, they can. The nurturing woman is more apt to risk her heart and overlook age and potential health issues for the right man. Love amoung seniors has a depth and commitment unknown at any other time in life. It is also more complicated then other generations can imagine. Right decisions with the right mate is a gift beyond words. Wrong decisions with the wrong mate can be crippling for life.

  49. 55AndStillAlive

    Why does it seem like society is so against women over 50 being proactive in finding love? or desiring marriage despite being past our childbearing years? We get treated as though we’re somehow being tramps or that we’ve let the side down because we don’t want to wind up like the bitter dried up older women who are content to stay single with their cats and ‘female friends’ who just sit around and complain about their female problems or trash talk men for being dogs! It annoys me that we older women get labeled as ‘desperate’ and told to “wait for God’s time” or that “the right one will come along when you’re not looking: and the while men our ages are out there living it up, meeting and marrying women and starting whole new families…sometimes with women from foreign countries who are young enough to be their own daughters! Maybe some of those women are content to be quasi-lesbians, but I love men and I want to have one and it doesn’t make me bad for feeling that way! I’ll want men in my life well into my old age. I’ll only stop wanting a fellow when I am DEAD!!!

  50. Mary Jacobs

    I’ve never heard of Stitch. On-line dating for Seniors is very hard. Seems to me the impression I get is that Men over 65 lose interest in even taking care of themselves, describe themselves as Average, when in fact, they can’t see their toes when they look down and seem to expect a response just by including you in their “Favorites”.; or just a “Hi” as a message. But from what I’ve heard, younger Adults also seem to deal with these same responses.

  51. Ji Li

    Wow! Oh Wow! I can’t believe how wrong this article is by Andrew Dowling.

    I’m a 61 y/o divorced male, and I can personally tell you from the past 2-1/2 years of using Match, OurTime, OKCupid and others that this article is almost exactly opposite of what I’ve experienced – in nearly every point of the article. Maybe not to everyone, but certainly to about everyone I’ve encountered.

    Age is important!
    Looks are still important! Just as intelligence and humor/wit.
    Marriage commitment is “very” important to so many women!
    Loyalty and commitment to only one partner is important.
    Most women I’ve met want to text – which I hate.
    Filtering is very important, especially about things like religion, ethnicity, age, weight, etc.
    About the only point I really found true in this entire article is that TRUST is very important – but i think that is true for all ages, along with respect and loyalty.

    OMG Andrew. I can’t believe you are so far off with all your points.

  52. PastIt

    For men who are seniors it’s a lot easier. For women, a lot more difficult. Why? Because men always seem to want the younger women and when I say younger I mean the under 35s. Skinny, blonde, the whole 9 yards. If you are over 55, not white, and overweight…forget it. No one wants you. That is the truth. Get used to being alone lol

    1. PastIt

      JiLi: True…trouble is the men want to text as well..exclusively! I hate it. To me, it’s putting people at arm’s length and a way to avoid intimacy. Sadly, that seems to be the going thing. If you don’t text, you won’t date. Too bad.

  53. Connie Douglas

    …let’s admit there are many things affecting senior dating least of which include sexting as a part of the scene. Men have had access to, specifically, on line pornography since the internet… beautiful young woman on line they pay to have pleasure with. With the onset of senior dating sites some men go to dating sites instead seeking woman who will oblige them with naked pictures of themselves and sexting and the cost for men to experience this is their site membership and their time. This appears as an alternative for men who may be having some sexual dysfunction occurring because of age or illness or men who are not interested in being real with a real person that includes emotion or a relationship. Whatever the case may be this is happening since these men want to experience pleasure however they are able get it. I don’t judge men one way or another about this. Times are changing and the way men and women relate is changing to. The idea that men and woman are seeking fun and adventure rather than spending their later years alone is exciting and challenging. As a woman I believe the boundaries we had and the expectations we had about men needs some tweeking. Men are not bad and evil for the most part. In fact they are for the most part good people that see and feel and experience the world differently than woman. It behooves a woman of any age to go on line and seek out sites that explain men’s behavior and tells woman how to talk to men before women embark on… online dating primarily because the “rules” have changed. No person, man or woman wants to feel on line pressure to do anything they are not used to…so here in lies personal thresholds that may need some readjustment and thoughtful consideration. The way we choose to text and talk to each other and finally meet makes all the difference.
    as to whether we find a person to have fun with and enjoy. It starts with being respectful, honest, fun loving and straight forward and may need our willingness to let old stereotypes and “rules” slide a bit…and just for the record there is a female robot programmed with a g-spot ( punch this into your computer and watch what comes up ) She is beautiful, able to communicate and able to experience a robot orgasm …what ever that is lol . Her cost $6,500 to $10,000…imagine what this will do to male female relationships.

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