If you are recently divorced or widowed, and are an aging boomer who hasn’t dated in years; if you can barely remember what dating was like except a fuzzy memory of being young, happy and free, then you may be wondering how dating at middle age is different. This article talks a little about dating for middle aged people.
I am almost 50 and was recently thrown back into the middle aged dating pool when my husband came out of the closet. While I was married I often missed dating since marriage usually seemed so predictable and boring. The idea of being chased by a new man and discovering everything about him seemed so much more exciting then yet another date night where my husband and I ran out of things to talk about since we had heard every story we ever had after 20 years.
I was unpleasantly surprised to find that there were a lot of bad things about dating that I had forgotten about when I started dating again:
1. Being judged on your looks
I was used to being judged at the store by what was in my wallet or at work by what was in my brain, but is had been WAY too long since I was judged on my looks. And those looks were not so great as 20 years ago!
2. Liking someone more than they like you
This is VERY painful and if you haven’t experienced it in many years and are still reeling with grief from a death or divorce it can cut like a knife.
3. No regular intimacy
Let’s face it, when you are married you get regular physical intimacy pretty much on demand, even if it is not that great it is still something.
You have to hope you get a date and if not you are faced with finding someone friend to do stuff with on the weekend or weeknight. I have found meetup.com to be a great resource for me as well as a way to meet other middle aged singles who are in the same boat.
5. Courtship rules
It is best to go slow, even though you may want to go right back to where you were in your marriage while it was good. This means letting information about yourself out slowly and slowing down the dating process so you are not like a kid eating too much candy all at once and getting sick. If you are used to sharing everything with your spouse, this may feel strange. Also letting the guy pay may be weird. I found myself automatically grabbing for the check at the restaurant since I was the bookkeeper in my family. If you are a feminist and used to bossing men around at work, passively waiting to be asked out on a date may feel awful.
So what is new for us at middle aged that we have not forgotten about:
1. Online dating
There is a whole new world out there and it is like Facebook for daters. I thought as soon as I posted my profile I would be flooded with date offers. While that may be true for some, the offers are not always what you want. You have to have a lot of patience for the right date offer to come along.
2. Functionality issues
Let’s face it, everything does not work as well as it used to for men. This may be especially embarrassing on a date and will keep men from feeling comfortable going on a date. Men often think that dating way below their age will solve the problem, but this idea has it’s own set of problems such as commonality and whether to start another family.
3. Bad man to woman ratio
Men start to die off in middle aged, sadly, and this leaves way more women than men in the singles pool. By age 60 some estimates show there is 1 single man for every 2 women.