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Our Souls at Night, a movie about a widowed pair in their 70s who climb through each other's windows for booty calls, has just been released in the US.

And Australian columnist Kerri Sackville has just written a how-to-survive dating book for older women — inspired by her own horrific and hilarious experiences — that is currently sitting on her agent's desk.

"This is a silver tsunami, these are the people with [the greatest] purchasing power, and they're demanding that they see themselves represented." She notes the current trend comes on the back of recent film and television successes like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and the award-winning HBO hit mini-series Olive Kitteridge.

There might also be a growing awareness among writers and filmmakers that older people's relationships are inherently more complicated — and therefore "juicier" — says Professor Whelehan, because their love lives frequently involve more family members."A friend of mine who's about my age said she had to have an embarrassing conversation with her quite-old mother about safe sex," she says.

But suddenly, the poignant, heartbreaking and funny (and not-so-funny) dating experiences of women in late middle age and up have exploded onto our screens, and into our reading material.