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At the age of 53, Nicholas (who is also the creator behind successful Radio 4 series How to Have a Perfect Marriage) met his partner – who is 15 years younger – on a site called Out Everywhere.
It has an ’emphasis on the social rather than the sexual’. Nicholas joked: ‘I looked at him and I just wanted to shag him.’ They met up and they hit it off, eventually marrying just over four years ago.
He said he has first-hand experience of this isolation and loneliness from the myriad of calls he receives from older LGBTI people.
‘One of the main questions I get asked by a lot of older people over the age of 50 is that they feel very socially isolated,’ he said.
It’s specifically for older men looking for younger partners. He said the app is for ‘older gentlemen and their younger admirers’. It’s not an app, just a very old fashioned website,’ he joked.
‘[It was] probably developed 2,000 years ago.’ According to our survey, 40% of survey respondents are on dating apps.
Gay Star News asked survey respondents: ‘What do you think about sex and getting older?
‘We were both following someone else and I happened to notice one of their conversation threads. ‘I then noticed Matthew was funnier than the guy I was following so I followed him,’ he said. They moved in with each other and five years later, tied the knot.
That number climbed only three percent, to 28%, among only people who have retired. He’s tried dating apps like Tinder, Grindr and Plenty of Fish.
He said: ‘[I] didn’t personally experience ageism, but noticed there were a significant number of profiles with age bars on them.’ A number of these were actually people in his own age bracket.
For the short time he was single after coming out and ending his almost 20-year-long marriage with his wife, he said dating, for him, was all about finding activities that didn’t necessarily centre around sex.
He said he also tried a site called Outdoor Lads, which is a group of ‘gay, bisexual and trans men who get together to enjoy adventures and activities.’ Nicholas said: ‘They organize social events rather than dick pics.’ There are also sites like Meetup, where you can focus on a social activity like a gay pump class, museum tour or LGBTI tennis lessons.