Up & Coming Weekly

February 26, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 5 of 32

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM FEBRUARY 27-MARCH 5, 2019 UCW 5 Love, 21st-century style by MARGARET DICKSON OPINION Valentine's Day 2019 has come and gone, leaving in its wake warm and fuzzy memories and wilting red roses. But not for everyone. Older Americans, it seems, are increasingly striking out on their own by choice and by choices made by Mother Nature. According to data re- leased by the Senior List, divorce is rising among Baby Boomers — people born to parents in the post-World War II years 1946-1964. For Boom- ers, now aged 55-73, the divorce rate has tripled. For those 50 to 65, it has merely doubled over the last few decades. is is a contributing factor to television and online ads for dating apps targeted to seniors — ads featuring good-looking seniors smiling and chat- ting as they maneuver online dating and meet other attractive seniors to ride bikes or have cocktails. e reality, however, is more complicated and less attractive. Most people between 55 and 64 are already married, and the pool of those who are not shrinks daily, as obituaries attest. row in various health and financial issues, and senior dating slides down the priority list. Some states have hotter dating scenes than others, though, and the Senior List has ranked them. e top five states— Maryland, Hawaii, Connecticut, Alaska and Virginia — have relatively low but growing rates of single seniors, in the 12-13 percent range, and boast average senior incomes well above $50,000. at means the dating pools are expanding and that senior singles have disposable incomes to enhance their social lives. At the other end of the spectrum, Tennessee, Ken- tucky, Arkansas, West Virginia and Mississippi come in last for senior dating. eir pools of single seniors are declining, though not by much, and none of them have average senior incomes above $50,000. In other words, these states have fewer eligible senior singles. Where is North Carolina in all this senior dating data? e Senior List puts the Tar Heel state at No. 43 with about 12 percent of our population in this demo- graphic, which is barely growing and whose average income barely hits $50,000. It turns out that the most successful place for single seniors to find love is not a state at all. Both women and men 55 and up have the best chance of finding love in Washington, D.C. Could Congress possibly take credit for this? For more information, visit www.theseniorlist.com. e situation may not be so great for Americans on the younger end, either. In its December 2018 cover story, "e Sex Re- cession," e Atlantic reported that for all sorts of reasons, young adults are having less sex. Fac- tors include helicopter parents, living at home into their 30s, fixations on social media, dra- matically rising levels of professional and edu- cational achievement of women, and some not generally covered in Up & Coming Weekly. e bottom line is, today's young folks are starting later, dating less and entering fewer romantic relationships than their parents did. It is tempting to dismiss these changes as personal situations, but they have significant implications for all of us. America's declining birth- rate is already an issue for colleges and universities, whose pool of traditional applicants is diminishing annually. Will we become a nation of old folks, like Japan and Italy? Researchers tell us, and we know instinctively, that meaningful relationships of all kinds and at all ages make us happier and help us live longer. Chronic loneliness leads to depression and has been equated to the health risk of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. All of us, no matter our ages and marital status, should make a daily point of putting down our phones, peeling ourselves away from our computers and reaching out to other people. We may help some- one else. We may make new friends. We may find a new and more interesting job. We may even find the loves of our lives. MARGARET DICKSON, Columnist. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Where is North Carolina in all this senior dating data? one year special $ 15 for UP & CoMING WEEKLY rEadErs oNLY you save 89% off Tv GuIDe MaGaZINe Get A GreAt DeAL from tV GuiDe mAGAzine start Your subscription online, By Mail or Call online: tvguidemagazine.com/newsoffer mail: complete order form below call: 1-800-365-1940 WHeN CaLLING use PRoMo: K6fNsWPZZ Every issue delivers inside scoop on your favorite shows Breaking news keeps you in the know Highlights help guide you to what's worth watching Your favorite stars take you behind the scenes 28 Pages of easy-to-use primetime listings GrEaT rEasoNs To sTarT YoUr sUBsCrIPTIoN

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