I gave the guys a little dating tough love last time around, so it's only fair to give the guys some equal time to speak on the state of the midlife singles scene as they see it.
I wanted to know how men feel about dating fellow boomers, so I gathered up a few of my middle-aged guy friends, bought them a few beers, and picked their brains about their dating life: the good, bad, and ugly. They were buzzed just enough to let it rip.
Their feedback was insightful, honest, and very real. It was also cringe-worthy, because as a long-time single girl once myself (up until very recently) I made a lot of dating mistakes, and at times I felt they were describing me.
Now I know what you girls are thinking: By the time you're post 50, everyone is bitter, jaded, or hardened -- especially about dating -- so why should I listen? These guys are probably all a bunch of sorry-ass losers who've struck out at love and know nothing.
Yeah, some have struck out, but who hasn't? If you're single and 50+ years old, you've probably seen it all, done it all, dated it all, and chances are, have a bad attitude about it all. Join the club! Everyone in the 50-something dating pool has had their fair share of hookups, breakups, and fuck ups, and that's a good thing. It makes you human.
The truth is, dating in your 50s can blow sometimes, but it doesn't have to suck.
In fact, midlife can be a great time to be single, and my man friends here agree. These are nice guys, not shallow, not players, they're looking for LOVE, not games, not one-nighters, younger chicks, or the bigger, better deal. They're looking for smart, substantial, age-appropriate women who know who the Beatles are.
In other words, they want women like YOU. So ladies, if you're listening, take note.
Note to the men: This stuff works both ways, so listen up.
"I actually prefer dating women my own age because we have a common base of things to relate to, talk about, laugh at, or commiserate over. Women my age 'get it.' Very little gets lost in translation. Put it this way, if a woman isn't familiar with Woody Allen's early work, then it couldn't possibly work."
"Women over 50 are the sexiest humans in the world. They're in command of their bodies, and in charge of what they want and need."
"Women in their 50s generally have more time and freedom. They're more relaxed, especially if they're empty nesters. We've both been through the hell of raising young kids and now we can hang out."
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"Women over 50 are the sexiest humans in the world. They're in command of their bodies, and in charge of what they want and need. They don't care about stretch marks or a few extra pounds -- and neither do I. Besides, I've got a big gut, so who am I to talk?"
"Women in their 50s can be a little too anxious to get involved. Right after the first date, they want you to meet their kids, their parents, their pets, whatever, without any regard to your comfort level. It feels rushed."
"I've dated some divorced women in their 50s who are so bitter and angry toward their exes they can't see straight. It's hard to get close when she's still fuming."
"You can feel the desperation with some women in their 50s, especially if they've been single a long time or if they're newly divorced, or they want to get married."
"If a woman tells me what to do with my kids, or gives me unsolicited advice, or criticizes my parenting skills, I run for the hills."
"Women who judge you based on how much money you make, or in my case, don't make, is a deal killer."
"I've met some women in their 50s who believe having sex as quickly as possible is a way to ensnare a man and it's not."
THE BOTTOM LINE
Men who seek out and date women in their 50s do so because they WANT TO. Because they dig chicks who have a little more maturity and experience; because they enjoy the mutual compatibility and sympatico you get with someone your own age; because there's more freedom and fun; because women in their 50s are hot as hell, and I'm not talking about menopause.
Ladies, if you stay open to the possibilities, TRY to have a good attitude, make peace with yourself, let go of fear and grief, and don't jump into the sack too soon, you'll see that midlife dating doesn't have to blow or suck at all.
Unless you want it to, of course.
Guys and gals, what say you? What's the state of your singles scene?
Treva Brandon Scharf
The Late Blooming Bride