A new survey has found that the majority gay men over the age of 45 living in the United States are single.
The survey was conducted by the AARP and interviewed a total of 1,782 LGBTQ adults across all 50 states about their thoughts on age and aging.
Here’s what it uncovered:
- 57% of gay men over the age of 45 reported being single.
- 39% of lesbians over 45 reported being single.
- 48% of bisexual men and women over 45 reported being single.
“Same-sex couples do not ‘partner’ at the same rate by gender,” survey concludes. “Gay men are far more likely to live alone, and this will influence the types of services needed by gay men as they age.”
Related: America is getting gayer and gayer, according to new Gallup survey
It continues: “Further, when asked about their social support network, gay men are less connected compared to lesbians on every relationship type tested, from LGBT friends to straight friends, from partners to neighbors.”
The results aren’t totally surprising though.
A 2013 survey found that 63% of gay men over the age 60 were living alone with no partner
And a 2011 study conducted by the Stonewall Organization in the UK found that gay and bisexual men over 55 are “almost three times more likely to be single than heterosexual men, 40 per cent compared to 15 per cent.”
Related: Can you be “too old” for Grindr?
there’s a lesson to be learned here.
which is what? don’t get old? Don’t lie about being bisexual when you gay?
More like: don’t fall for a pathetic, heterocentric study? Conducted by AARP! – gee, it’s not like AARP would have an ulterior motive with this subject, now would they?
AARP is essentially a lobbying organization for people over the age of 50. Their dues are ridiculously low, and their periodicals are quite supportive of lesbian and gay issues. What motives to imagine they have, exactly?
And how is a study of rates of coupling in older gay men “heterocentric” or “pathetic”?
This article seems to dovetail directly with the prior one about loneliness and depression among older gay men. It’s kind of weird that that one is not linked here. In terms of dating and relationships, I know there are organizations like SAGE that are dedicated to providing support and assistance to middle and senior LGBTQ people, and perhaps someone linked to SAGE or working in that same spirit has thought about resources, including friendship and dating apps, for older gay men.
It would also help if gay media didn’t so relentlessly focus on youth, but as I’ve commented before on Queerty, even when this site does positively highlight older gay men and focus on things other than bar culture, etc., there are comparatively fewer responses. It’s usually only when there’s something negative that the comments appear.
And that dovetails into straight society too. It is all based on youth. It’s no different.
Yes, gay men are much more likely to be addicted, depressed, and suicidal than straight people. Gay men still don’t have the same experiences as others. It’s not just like the rest of society.
Gay marriage was just legilized a few years ago…these numbers reflex what it means to be marginalized by society and the government.
These numbers will absolutely improve over the next 10 to 20 years without a doubt. In fact, most likely, mimic the numbers of general society.
As for now tho, there will be a need to help a the generations that were denied dignity and human rights that were afforded to…well…everyone else.
I agree that this could be a huge factor though time will tell. The younger generations will benefit in ways that are hard to quantify from a greater acceptance by society. Gay men over 45 like me remember times when gay sex itself was illegal and considered by the majority to be on par with pedophilia and bestiality. When I was in my teens/twenties very few of us considered marriage or children a viable life option–because it wasn’t at the time. Unless you were previously in a straight relationship and had kids from that.
I think even some of the young LGBTQ people coming of age *today* will have a little baggage to deal with though not nearly as much. Hopefully, they’ll better adapt to creating longer term relationships sanctioned by society. I don’t think our relationships will ever be exactly like straight relationships though–nor should they be.
1) Why is the automatic assumption that being partnered is always better than being single? Straight people have LOTS of miserable relationships. In fact that’s a central tenet of feminism. To some extent, we gays have avoided artificial relationships-for-the-sake-of-relationships, the kind of thing that heterosexuals have been shoehorned into since the beginning of time.
2) Now that I’m over 60 I’ll go out on a limb and say this. If you smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day, and/or you’re 50 pounds overweight, don’t blame all your problems on “gay culture”!
Great name. Are you single?
Heh heh. Are you falling for all this pathetic, mawkish heterocentric bullsh*t?
The study also referred to actual (vs virtual) social networks. So it focused on more than couples.
However, primates (and many other mammals) pair bond, and research shows that among humans pair bonding is pretty universal and serves other purposes besides procreation. Emotional support, available intimacy, care during illness ans injury, division of labor…and more. Studies show that (even given dysfunctional relationships) people live longer and are healthier when pair bonded. I fail to see what is either artificial or heterocentric about that. I also fail to see how this is any sort of indictment of gay culture when the results clearly recognize the fact that people of my generation were lead to believe (while growing up and after coming out) we were never likely to form strong pair bonds.
I have been single long enough that a relationship is not too likely for me and i am comfortable as a single man (especially with all these daddy-lovers around). But overwhelmingly my friends who are coupled, be they straight or gay reap benefits. There is no part of feminism that recommends giving up pair bonds, just the acknowledgement that marriage is not the be all and end all for women. You seem awfully bitter about this topic.
as Annie replied I didn’t even know that any one able to earn $8091 in four weeks on the
computer . why not check here…
@dwes09: You mention “the acknowledgement that marriage is not the be all and end all for women.” I’m concerned that in gay media we’re getting awfully close to the rote assumption that marriage is the be all and end all for gay men.
Please take a look at my comments on the nearby article on Depression; I try consistently to fight the conflation of “being single” with having no “(actual) social network” (as you correctly put it I think). Gay media sites are starting to conflate these two things more and more. There’s a great danger in this. I see a LOT of screwy posts here on Queerty that reflect this confusion, where the poor guy seems almost on the verge of suicide but he’s blaming all his problems on “gay culture” and wanting support for that misguided view, as if that would be helpful.
Yes, it’s crucially important to have a network of non-sexual friends, but you’d almost never guess that from reading most gay sites.
This issue is multifold
These are survivors.
They’ve made it through the plague. That indicates something important.
Additionally there are much fewer of us than younger men saved by the meds.
The only thing between love and you is you.
Yes, there’s something to that. There’s a demographic challenge with fewer numbers. Still, there are a lot of us around.
Agree. Give this time it will balance out in time. I believe the newest generation will marry later and there will be more older LGTB couples than now.
Gay men who are older now didn’t have the chance to develop emotionally AS openly gay men in the same way. It’s left them with emotional problems and a lack of social skills that get in the way of relationships. Younger guys I meet have more realistic and grounded views about relationships.
We are every bit as emotionally developed as you. And given your comment, I’m willing to bet your social skills are not your best assert.
We, in fact needed a great deal of emotional strength and social skills to deal with a level of disapprobation you probably cannot imagine.
If anything was a source of emotional damage it was the years of massive death from HIV. And we needed maturity and social cohesion to get through that.
Clearly , speaking out of your ass is not a sign of “more realistic and grounded views” about anything.
Sweetie, You know not what you talk about. That is a very naive point of view.
I’m part of “we.” I’m gay. I’m including myself among those gay men who lacked emotional maturity because of the limitations of homophobia.
My lifetime partner of 56 years, married 14 years, met in 1962 at Boston Massachusetts when I was 20, and in the Navy. We had to be quiet about our relationship as I called him my roommate. I was a Navy Musician who played the flute, an obvious candidate for chastisement. I was honorably discharged in 1963, went to work, and moved on, watching our progress continue over the years. Each of us must learn who we are, not pretend to be someone others think we should be. I left the Mormon church in 1959 as I disagreed with their fake doctrines.
My main point is that today, there would be more like me and my husband if civilization had learned and evolved by the time we met.
It’s weird how everyone talks on this site…
It’s like a Russian troll farm practicing field. Weird idioms…British slang…agressive and angry and then counter aggression.
Honey buns, I know exactly what I’m talking about. It would be bizarre if gay men WEREN’T profoundly affected by homophobia and HIV.
Who’s “we”? How do you know how emotionally developed I am? You sound insecure to me. That’s just fear talking. Set it aside and just be honest with yourself, if no one else.
At almost 48, and not a drinker, it’s nearly impossible to meet other gay guys. I’ve tried dating apps (not hookup apps) but everyone has this perfect ideal and if you’re not it than there’s no chance of any relationship. Hell, getting beyond a brief chat is difficult. Years ago, when I was young, I met guys in person and we did things together. Now it’s pass or fail by app without even getting to know the person.
I get that this is just how society works today, but it’s working more for the younger generation rather than those of us who have been around longer.
Yeah, I’ve encountered this. It’s almost like you get TOO much info up front. You learn, say, 30 little factoids about someone new, and 4 or 5 are appealing and you identify, and 4 or 5 are maybe UN-appealing and you’re a little intimidated, and the other 20 factoids you’re indifferent to (but maybe those are very important to the other guy, you have no way of knowing!) — and he lives a little too far away so you end up never meeting anyway. Probably worth a try, maybe… or maybe not. It’s so hard to tell.
I’m 49 and couldn’t agree more. Can you believe I broke down and actually PAID for a match membership? Guess what it got me? Not even ONE response to the many messages I sent. I’m not a drinker either and for the most part really can’t stand bar atmospheres. Ultimately, I’ve been realizing that unless I do something drastic, the status quo will continue. But damnit, I’m not giving up yet!
One last thing and it’s kind of a pet peeve. Regardless of your computer experience or age, we should all remember how to use proper spelling and grammar. It’s not hard to do and only takes a little extra time before you hit that “post comment” button. 🙂
Why is a match membership ‘breaking down.” Why would you see that as a sign of weakness?
It’s not “just how society works.” Society is made of individuals. Individuals have choices and experiences. This is not a law of nature.
A gay life is not worth living after 40.
Maybe for some, but the real key is that love is the main point for having a good relationship, not sex.
Sad for you olmeca. I am sorry you feel that way. I disagree i am fifty and having a ball. (No pun intended) Life is more than sex and having guys all over you. There are many great things in life after 40. Plus there are a lot of 40+ men out there that are hot in more than one way. We as a community need to see each other beyond just sexual objects. We are more than a hot ass, big c_ock and hot bod. We are a hell of a lot more than just that shallow crap. We are like a diamond with multiple facets. There are too many of us who need to look beyond a twink and look at others our own age. There are way too many men 40+ who are hot for many different reasons.
Isn’t that for each individual man to decide for himself?
I’m 63, broke, and my equipment doesn’t work because of the meds that I take. I’m considering taking a “long swim” somewhere. Being gay has been the unhappiest part of my life.
Hi there. I hear you. Life hits hard. It’s trite to suggest easy answers when you’re feeling down. I don’t know your details, but I can empathize. I’m 55, black and haven’t had a relationship in 30 years. Lots of sex, but dating is difficult for a non-drinker, non-smoker, non-recreational drug user (not even pot). I’m not fun at bars. I had an average-sized dick, so the guys who actively sought me out really wanted the stereotypical BBC, or they simply weren’t interested due to “preference”.
I was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago and had aggressive chemo and radiation treatment which left me permanently damaged in my anal and genital areas. My dick shrank from the radiation, I can no longer ejaculate, I can’t feel a full orgasm. I lost at least 2″ in length and 1.5″ in girth. I didn’t have much to spare to begin with. It’s much more difficult for me to feel desirable as a gay man, especially a black gay man, seeing how much focus there is in the community on dick size and performance.
It’s difficult to find a way to be happy when you don’t see love in your future, but I take comfort in knowing I haven’t lost myself. I try to be kind, considerate, decent, because that’s who I was and who I want to be. In that way, I’m very glad to be me. My experiences and difficulties influence who I am, but the worst that’s happened to me doesn’t define me. I hope you can find some comfort honoring the person you are and always have been despite your challenges. Take care. Russell
Frank Lee Mideer
To me, the issue is an individual case of person by person. My husband and I have been together in a monogamous, happy relationship for nearly 40 years. It takes much work and humor and compromise of wills. I would wish that all people (gay, straight, men, women, bi and trans) could have the years of joy and contentment we have had together.
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