Does retiree dating have any health benefits?

Outer Appearance

A common expression after enjoying a really fun or romantic time with a date, whether a spouse or someone you meet for the first time, is "I felt like a kid again" or "He/she makes me feel young." Best friends and good buddies can act and laugh like children when they're together, but romantic attractions and shared enjoyment seem to take the years off in a very specific way. Exercising, laughing and even physical attraction can release endorphins, the so-called "feel good" hormones that bring a natural kind of high, and often this hormonal rush of energy leaves people wanting more [source: Phillips]. Another uplifting and chemical reaction comes in the form of pheromones -- released as a scent -- which are mostly linked to the opposite sex or mating attraction in animals and humans [source: Pines]. Pheromones might trigger emotional and physical stirrings in the memory and mind that enhance attraction and again, leave people wanting more.

Do these chemical reactions improve the health of dating retirees? Science may not definitively support dinner and long walks on the beach as health boosters, but a desire for companionship and feelings of romance -- chemical or emotional -- can result in physical improvements. Attraction and enjoyment in dating is either there or just not there, but if it is happening, you likely want it to continue and will take some effort in getting ready for more dates. Personal grooming, involving anything from barber and salon visits to perfuming and adorning, sunning and clothes shopping, builds confidence. Getting ready for dates can improve self-esteem, which is connected to better health and less depression [source: Dye]. Even the smiles that come along with happy thoughts of dating or with memories of dates that were laughably bad can elevate your mood and health [source: Johnston].

Dating can also involve getting at least a little bit active, whether going outside for a walk or bike ride or heading indoors for dancing. Exercising the mind and body may even be part of getting ready to meet someone; it can get people moving in order to look better. According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), staying active improves balance, prevents or delays disease, and increases energy, among other benefits, and if you're dating and being active at the same time, it is good for the body [source: NIA]. When you look good you feel good, many say, but when your body feels good you also may look better because you have confidence in how your body is working -- and maybe even how you work your body to its best advantage on a date.