Leftover Lover

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Text on Button the LEFTOVER lover
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“Leftover lover” can mean different things depending on the context. In the context of food culture, the term “leftover” was first used in the early 20th century when refrigeration became more common in households, and referred to food that could be kept and consumed at a later time or date. One might enjoy leftover food because of how the flavors can be enhanced overnight due to chemical reactions that take place after cooking and may identify as a “leftover lover.”

In the context of dating culture, a “leftover lover” might be a single “older” person getting reacquainted with the dating landscape, if they even left it to begin with, and might also be referred to as a hopeless romantic. According to a study published by AARP, 50% of adults over 50 are single and actively dating. This can sometimes be regarded with a negative connotation, as in China when the term “leftover women” is used to describe unmarried women who are over 25 years old and therefore considered undesirable by society. Dating can be challenging for older people due to these judgments that people have about aging, as well as insecurities and additional responsibilities such as children. A lot of people find online dating to be an easier way to meet new people, and apps aimed specifically at singles over 50, such as OurTime and SilverSingles, are available as digital dating options.


Grimm, M. (2020, February 7). A woman’s guide to dating leftover lovers. Mimosas & Fries. https://mimosasandfries.com/a-womans-guide-to-dating-leftover-lovers/

Hood, A. L., & Bacher, R. (2023, February 08). 16 dating apps and websites for over-50 singles. AARP. https://www.aarp.org/home-family/personal-technology/info-2021/online-dating-apps.html

Lanquist, L. (2016, April 8). What it means to be a ‘leftover woman’ in China, shown in a moving video. SELF. https://www.self.com/story/what-it-means-to-be-a-leftover-woman-in-china-shown-in-a-moving-video

Petrzela, N. M. (2018, November 20). The curious history of leftovers. History. https://www.history.com/news/the-curious-history-of-leftovers

Catalog ID IB0366