Online dating leads to OAP divorces: Number of over-65s splitting increases as older people ‘catch up with the young in their use of the internet’


It was once viewed as an inaccessible minefield by many of the older generation.

But now it seems the growing number of ‘silver surfers’ could be behind a surge in another rising trend – ‘silver splitters’.

Online dating has been blamed for an increase in the rate of over-65s who are now getting divorced.

While overall divorce rates are falling, the over-65s have bucked the trend and are growing, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

From 2005 to 2015, the number of pension age men getting divorced has increased from 8,059 to 8,697.

Women of the same age group has risen from 4,654 to 5,554.

What’s more, the number of over-65s tying the knot went up by nearly half (46per cent) in a decade, with experts suggesting the rise of internet dating is partly responsible.

According to yesterday’s report, older people are ‘more connected, economically and socially, than they were before.’

Both living and working for longer were also likely factors in more people opting to go their separate ways.

The report added: ‘People aged 65 and over are more likely than ever to be working, and therefore be able to support themselves outside marriage.

‘They’re also catching up with younger people in their use of the internet – perhaps trying out online dating?’

Marriage rates – the number of people getting married as a proportion of the rest of the population – rose by a fifth.

And more than nine out of ten of the brides and grooms aged 65 and over in 2014 were divorcees, widows or widowers.

Sarah Jane Lenihan, a family lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said the internet was regularly a factor in divorce among older people.

‘We have definitely seen a rise with the rise of internet dating and it being more acceptable to start again,’ she said.

There’s less taboo and more acceptance of both divorce and online dating. Because people are living longer, many think “I don’t want to stay in this marriage for another 30 years”.

‘People are also getting remarried later in life as a result as well.’

Earlier this year, ONS figures showed older people were increasingly using the internet with 78 per cent of those aged 65 to 74 having ‘recently’ used it in 2017.

This compared to just 52 per cent in 2011.

The recent ONS said it meant they were ‘catching up with younger people in their use of the internet – perhaps trying out online dating’.




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