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When it comes to love, marriage and sex, Boomers and Millennials are truly generational case studies. While they differ in many ways, they do have one thing in common: they're forging their own way, and advertisers are taking notice.
The dating game, at every age
By the numbers, Millennials and Boomers are head-to-head. In 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 74.8 million Millennials, born between 1981 and 1997, and 75.4 million Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964.
While their numbers may be the same, the amorous approaches of both generations show some thought-provoking differences.
Single Boomers are on the prowl. Over a quarter of adults in the 45-59 range are single, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, compared with 19 percent in 1980. Match.com reports that 70 percent of those single Boomers say they date regularly, and 45 percent of men and 38 percent of women say they're having sex once a week or more. Retirement community Del Webb polled singles 50 and older, and found that 56 percent stated they are open to the idea of dating, 45 percent said they already were dating and 11 percent said they wanted to remarry. Of those Del Webb respondents, the majority of men - 63 percent - said they wanted to date a younger woman, while the majority of women - 53 percent - said they'd like to date someone their own age.
Boomers love online dating. Match.com's fastest growing demographic is 50 and older. The site reports a 300 percent increase since 2000. According to the Pew Research Center, one in five people ages 25 to 34 have used online dating. Still, when it comes to coupling off online, Millennials take the cake: According to Pew Research, 8 percent of 18-29-year-olds reported they met their partner online, compared to 1 percent of those 65 and older.
When it comes to confidence levels, Boomers are ahead. Match.com reports that 82 percent of Boomer women feel confident in their sexual moves and 62 percent know what satisfies them. Compared with Gen Xers at 52 percent and Gen Yers at 38 percent, it seems experience may help Boomers feel more confident in their sex lives.
Flirting online may be for the younger set, but online stalking? We all do it. Pew found that younger adults are more likely to flirt online: 47 percent of people 18 to 24 say they've done it. The same study found that every age group likes to snoop on their crushes online.
Love and marriage happens for some Millennials…eventually. Goldman Sachs reports that Millennials are getting married and having kids later than past generations. In 2010, the median marriage age was 30 years old. In 1970, it was 23. And, other Millennials are talking about skipping marriage altogether. According to Pew, 44 percent of Millennials believe that marriage is becoming obsolete, compared with 35 percent of Boomers.
Judging from the research, it's not just men and women who are from different planets—it's a generational thing, too.