Romance important part of growing old for two-thirds of over-65s
More than half of the people over the age of 65 think it is important to have a romantic companion, but a quarter of them worry about what their children would think if they started dating again, a survey has found.
According to the research by Age UK, six in ten over-65s said that they consider romance to be as important as friendship.
However, nearly a quarter of people and #65533; 23 per cent and #65533; are concerned about how their children will react if they start going out with someone.
A poll of 2,000 people found that one in eight over-65s is currently seeking a new relationship. Meanwhile one in six say they would try dating websites.
Nearly half of respondents said they rely on friends and family to set them up.
"This research shows that love and friendship continue to play an important role in our lives at all ages," the Telegraph quoted Lucy Harmer, head of information and advice at Age UK, as saying.
"Whatever life stage we're at, how we spend our free time and who we spend it with can have a huge impact on happiness and wellbeing," she added.
Age UK found that the top reasons that people in later life look for romance include the urge to be with someone who can mentally stimulate them and the desire for friendly physical contact. Others look for people to "ease feelings of loneliness", the charity said.
As well as showing how people over 65 have an eye for romance, Age UK's research highlighted the importance of enduring friendships for this age group.
More than half of the people polled said that they have a "best friend", with two-thirds of these people saying that they have been best friends for more than 20 years.
The vast majority of people said that the value they place on friendships increases, as they get older.
Despite the desire to find companionship, the poll found that 35 per cent of people think they are too old to join the dating game once more. These people worry about rejection and what other people will think.
However Donna Dawson, a relationship specialist, said that people should not let these feelings put them off.
"The need to love and be loved, whether by a friend or a partner, does not change as we grow older," said Dawson.
She said that that people should not be put of the prospect of finding a new partner just because of their age. She said that growing old is no barrier to romance.