As seniors turn to dating, taboos fade away

People move to retirement communities for a wide variety of reasons, but most don't do so to find love. However, that's exactly what happened to Regina Dreyer Thomas. In 2006, she met her boyfriend of nearly seven years, and today she serves as a perfect of example of the benefits romance and intimacy can offer to senior living, ThirdAge.com reports.

Thomas' experience even led to her pen a book - "Love & Successful Aging When You're 70 and Single." She says that since she got over concerns about what her children and grandchildren would think of her dating again, it has been smooth sailing. She also hopes that people can think of seniors and dating in a new light.

"It's the idea of lying in someone's arms and kissing and being cared for, whether or not it ends in sex," she told the website. "Even someone pushing a random hair away from your face – the need for these things doesn't fade with age."

While she may be one of the leading voices of senior romance, Thomas is certainly not alone when it comes to looking for love later in life. In fact, a growing number of older adults have turned to online dating over the last several years. Recognizing the trend, AARP recently teamed up with the dating service HowAboutWe.com to provide an outlet designed specifically for the over-50 crowd, NPR reports.

Dating may also be an important part of healthy aging, some experts say. According to the Mayo Clinic, any form of companionship, whether romantic or platonic, can boost your happiness, improve your mood and help foster healthy lifestyle habits.