Fifty-something, Single, and Dating

Uggh. I hate the thought of going out with someone I barely know. Dating at sixty is as awful as dating at sixteen. One spends a couple of hours with a stranger, trying to be witty and amusing while conquering feelings of nervousness and wondering - "Is he as attracted to me as I am to him?" - or waiting for the date to end.

Then there's the decision to kiss him or not after that first date. Or, if you are wild for each other, when it would be appropriate to make love without looking easy or cheap. For those of us whose sex lives went from frequent or regular love-making sessions to none, this question carries some weight. At my age, I can count the number of times I've made love to a man in the past two and a half years on the fingers of one hand. Then again, I'm not as nimble as I used to be, if you get my drift. And neither is a man my age, unless he's kept up his fitness regimen. Even then, well, let's just say I am beginning to understand the charms of viagra.

My sweet niece called my one day, all excited. "Auntie Vic, she said, I think I've found you a man. He's funny, divorced, and a wonderful person. And he's 53 years old."

"Whoa," I answered, "Does he know I just turned 60?"

From experience, I know of few men who are looking for women who are older than themselves. True, most people are shocked to learn I am sixty. I look younger and behave and think like a 30-year-old, so that even my relatives are fooled into thinking that this tough old broad still has some juice in her. But I am becoming more keenly aware of my age with each year. I move more slowly, feel arthritis beginning to cripple my fingers, and can't multi-task with the efficiency I was once known for.

Which brings me to the business of looking for someone to date. I simply don't have the time, inclination, or energy these days to go shopping for a man. According to AARP magazine, "Of the 97 million Americans who are 45 or older, almost 40 percent—36.2 million—are on the loose." That's a significant number of people, but I suspect a large percent of them are women, so I would view this information with a jaundiced eye. At a social event last night in an art gallery, the number of mature women outnumbered the men by 3:1. Of the men that attended the event, almost all had arrived with a date or spouse. I didn't even bother to look for prospects but concentrated on enjoying the event with my two female friends. Ok, I'm willing to admit that most men would not be attracted to attending an evening of short story reading at an art gallery, but I've experienced the same phenomenon white water rafting or volunteering in a beer tent at a sports event. Most of the men I met at these venues were already taken.

Had someone told me six years ago that I would have been dateless in 2008 and so far in 2009, I would have called them crazy. After my divorce I was actively looking for a new relationship, but the truth was that the enormous amount of effort this took did not lead to satisfactory results. My last date was so excrutiatingly awful, with my partner talking about himself 90% of the time and evincing no interest in my hobbies or interests, that I literally counted the minutes before I could politely say goodbye. Now I prefer being by myself and calling my own shots. I look forward to a cozy evening with my loyal dog or going out with friends during the weekend. I am no longer ashamed of being single in a couple's world, and rather revel in the strange looks I get as I sit in a fancy restaurant alone, treating myself to a nice meal, and hugely enjoying my own company.

Last week I went to a place called Bark Farm and volunteered to walk rescued dogs and muck out their pens. I was surrounded by volunteers of all ages, each of them eager to help our unfortunate canine friends. Helping these abandoned creatures puts things in perspective. They are experiencing the same feelings of bewilderment and abandonment that I once felt. It breaks your heart to see these frightened and lonely pets, but you come away feeling you've done something to help alleviate their hurt. To me, such activities are more worthwhile and fulfilling than spending an evening with someone with whom I have very little in common. Sometimes I think it would be nice to find a new mate while I'm actively involved doing something I like, but I'll just chalk that up to wishful thinking.
  • Read these fascinating insights about dating in Seeking Love.


Anonymous said...

Love your blog, keep it coming!

Anonymous said...

am 55 and beginning my D w/ my wife of 22 yrs and trying to figure out appropriate ways of doing it to minimize problems for us and more importantly our two teen sons. I appreciate your blog and will return. The article Can 50-Year-Old Divorced Guys Get Younger Women? is hilarious and should encourage you, not discourage you - the author correctly disses the whole question and encourages dumb guys to be grown-ups. The best female company I've had recently is hiking w/ my 62 yr. old sister and I look forward to meeting her kind when I start dating again - AFTER the D. Your, and others', efforts to communicate their experiences and feelings so freely, taking advantage of new thinking (social networks, etc.), is way for me to learn, be realistic and optimistic. Many thanks, and good luck - your thinking seems very good. Anon.

Kerry said...

Bravo for you! I, too, (Dee Vorst) aspired to dignity, integrity and a whole lot of humor.
New to the "dating whirl" - I started a blog http://suddenlysingleminded.wordpress.com
and have enjoyed great success in meeting a lot of really nice guys who Act and Date their age...
When my friends wonder about putting their toes in the internet dating pool - I always say - "come on in - the water is fine".
Have fun - See if you can find "Yappy Hour" where dog owners bring "their best friends" to a local bar Cheers! Kerryon

melwin said...

The internet has opened up a great avenue for people who may have trouble finding a date by traditional means.Online dating has an array of positives, like being able to get to know the person better before even meeting them. this gives it an edge over other forms of dating.
Married dating site for those looking for a married affair, or in a relationship,
and looking for a marital affair or married dating.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I"m not at a point of dating again yet, but the friends that are in relationships now met their gentlemen through internet dating. Many began with free and cheap sites, but after meeting mainly losers and weirdos they ponied up the money for quality sites like eHarmony. Not to say that losers and weirdos didn't appear, but with far, far less frequency. Please consider giving it a try and let us know how it goes.

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DVilla said...

Liked the blog. Exactly my feelings. I just started going out by myself. I don't know if I want to date, it is a scary thought.

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Anonymous said...

This is a good blog. We all find little bits and pieces of our divorses in each story. I worked since 12 yrs. old. Father died & left me 100,000. My X took all assests, tried to leave my son and I homeless, and up to this day laughs about it. After a 15 yr marriage, it took me 10 yrs to stop talking about my anger. Now approching 60 my heart is open for new experiences, but I still don't like the x.

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This was what the spell caster earlier told me and it came after he has done the spell and that same night, laura came to my house and spend the night with me.
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So i tried him too and the spell caster gave me hope and told me that he shall come with his kness in 3days after he has cast the spell.
I gave him all the requirements and at the 3rd i saw matino on my door on his knees begging with his dead mum he was so foolish to ever offend me, and he is sorry for all he has done.
This templeofancientancestors@gmail.com spell caster is wonderful. so powerful more than i espect.

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Orange County Mediators said...

relation issue comes in everyone life and we all have to cope with that. You need to enjoy every sec of life no matter you are single or couple. There is something better that is waiting for you

Anonymous said...

Divorce is a Rampant Epidemic especially when the government & military (NATO) is behind it!

I went to a father’s group in Texas (just north of Fort Hood) where some ex-military west pointer gave some real eye-opening comments. He basically said that the current Divorce process, legislation, court system and military is all one scheme that was put into play around the early 1960‘s. It was put in place for the Vietnam War, that’s when the divorces started to sky-rocket across the country (Google statistics). That in addition, it was also designed to be one huge cash-cow to lure greedy lawyers to facilitate and destroy more families on the civilian side to get enough statistics to make it comparable to the military statistics. However the military numbers are still much higher. That is why they then modified the scheme to use on police nationwide to raise the civilian stats as most are ex-military and won’t suspect anything wrong.

It is designed to send “single” male soldiers without family responsibilities to war and deny ex-wives any long-term financial support that was initially and may still be coming from the military/ pentagon’s money pockets. This is why laws traditionally have been favoring women. Women are lured to divorce partners with both positive and negatives reinforcements. The positive is they get the kids, the house, money in many forms-child support etc thus they benefit in the short term. To the military, the soldiers wives are expendable as are the soldiers and even their children! Simply the less money the military spends on wives, kids, ex-soldiers, the medical bills etc, the more they have for their drones, guns, or bullets. The scheme is very very complicated but based on very slow very subtle psy-ops brainwashing tactics followed by Machiavellian divide and conquer restraining orders. He said that any Freedom of Information request will gradually reveal key pieces of data that when analyzed together with confirm all this. Talking about this among other soldiers would also reveal stuff, so they came up with “leave your family problems at home” and the “zero tolerance” to divorce and get the spouses or soldiers out of the service quickly before they talk and expose the scheme. Many times this leads to actual suicides or apparent “suicides” to silence those that know too much. This is also the reason why the Pentagon does not want to release documents related to divorce. Part of the even bigger Military-Industrial complex. Similar schemes used throughout the world pushed through United Nations facades.

Basically makes wives and soldier fight and hate each other. The scheme basically exploits women’s emotional traits to spread itself to other victims. The media contributes to the fear mongering and makes things worst. Fear (PTSD etc) makes women fear for their safety or some play the helpless damsel in distress thus they then go pleading to the oh-so-willing authorities who provide them with military issued cookie cutter divorce packets to take to a civilian lawyer. They do this to hide where the process initially starts.