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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. 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.

It’s often said that age is just a number, so as long as the lower number in your pairing is legal, go forth with courage.

“I hear from lots of people looking for love, unsuccessfully, that they’ve got a restrictive list of ‘filters,’ including age,” relationship expert April Masini told Fox News.

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. ) 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.

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. 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.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. 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 waiting on a hip replacement who can no longer walk long distances. The other stunning aspect of dating for young people is how much looks matter.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.Because no matter how old you get, one thing about human nature never changes: nobody likes feeling lonely.