An exploratory investigation into dating among later-life women

Fran C. Dickson, Patrick C. Hughes, Kandi L. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Much of the previous research on dating focused on the close relationships of younger adults, with little attention given to individuals dating in their later life. In addition, the opportunity for intergenerational relationships, such as friendships among members of different age cohorts and non-typical romantic relationships have significantly increased. The purpose of this study was to describe the dating experiences among later-life women. Fifteen women participated in in-depth interviews that examined their communicative experiences, impressions, and struggles while dating later-life men. Three themes emerged from this study: the need for independence, the need for companionship, and gender role conflict between dating partners. The results were also discussed in terms of the paradoxes that dating creates for later-life women. Finally, these results are discussed in terms of the unique relational challenges facing later-life women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-82
Number of pages16
JournalWestern Journal of Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Companionship
  • Dating
  • Dialectical Tensions
  • Gender Roles
  • Independence
  • Later-life Dating


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