Back in the game: dating in your 50s | Life and style | The Guardian
Fellas, if you're in your 50s, single and dating (and feeling like you're trusted single girlfriends whose ages range from early 40s to lates. For those of you in your 40s or 50s who are recently divorced, widowed You are beyond the confusion of your 20s and 30s and have clarified. Single women in their 40s and 50s are increasingly feeling that their as men their own age use online dating to cherry-pick younger models. But life, friendship and love for the single woman in her mids and beyond.
When I asked her to think of the word, woman? For Coral, this revealed how polarized she was going into dating and relationships. Another client, Jennifer, age forty-six, described the people she was dating as shallow—players who valued looks over connection. In contrast to Coral, though, Jennifer herself also identified with the word power.
On the front of the card is the subject you want to examine: When you flip it over, there will be one word on the back. Flip over the card. Say out loud the first thing that comes to mind.
For clients like Coral and Jennifer and other clients like themreflecting on how they view themselves helps balance their approach to dating. What you think, you project and, in turn, attract. Our drive for perfection can override our sense of self-worth, and obscure our desires, even to ourselves.
Our desires can drive us at every age if we let them. The benefit of being guided by desire at forty, as opposed to twenty, is that you have more freedom, plus the wisdom of twenty more years of life to accompany you. I have just turned My age and stage, as well as the times, mean the game bears almost no resemblance to the one I knew and has become all the more tricky and bewildering.
There is a new raft of considerations I never had to face back in the day. A couple of months or so ago, I had a fling with someone much younger; something of an eye-opener in more ways than one, but I don't regret it for a moment.
It came about in a way that was slow-burning and then completely unexpected, most of all to myself. My friends were gratifyingly agog and full of safely married encouragement. I have no idea how I did it.
I have spent my life crucified by my curves, eating disorders and all, and these days I am worried about wrinkles as well as fat and physical flaws. But the venture was so incredibly exciting, if so madcap and doomed, that I found I didn't care what I looked like. It was almost as if the absence of competition — how could I possess the youthful attributes of women his age? I had to assume he appreciated qualities which I had and which they did not.
This was fantastically liberating. The other worry my friends voiced was porn. How could I compete with women his age who had been force-fed a diet of the stuff and learned practices and techniques that had doubtless never crossed my boring married mind?
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In the olden days, we had an expression — good in bed — which seems hopelessly unfit for purpose in Only in a bed? My hopeful answer was that plenty of men wax lyrical about the older women with whom they had flings when they were young. Surely no amount of mechanical "technique" learned from the internet can replace experience?
Friends asked if it was odd dating someone younger. Curiously, despite the gulf of reference and experience, not at all. We liked and respected each other. In the end, though, the inevitable futurelessness began to eclipse the fun, and it ended, but we remain on the best of terms. I was vulnerable when I was young, too, but at least I had youth on my side then, even if I didn't appreciate it.
It is the combination of middle age and new technologies that feels so scary and doom-laden. Yes, there is wisdom, experience and a different kind of hard-won confidence, but there is baggage, too.
In my 20s it was basic. Do I fancy him? If yes, does he fancy me? One tick, no sex, though possibly, if there was no alternative that evening. Two ticks, then sex. And possibly more sex, and if lucky, a relationship. Mistake dates could be written off quickly. A broken heart less so, but even then one only had oneself to consider. Now, it isn't possible to enter into things so lightly, which means there is pressure when one does enter into them at all.
The consequences of dating "mistakes" in middle age are more rippling.
Online dating leaves middle-aged women in 'single wilderness'
They are happy to welcome anyone but if he treats me unkindly, quickly brand him a "knob" and freeze him out in that inimitable teenage way.
Meanwhile, I hope to be with someone who has the potential to understand children and to love them. In this respect, a man without children of his own could be a long-shot. I am not able to tolerate anyone who I think will upset or disrespect them.
If that makes me fussy or demanding, then so be it.
A Message For Men In Their 50s, From Single Women
But sexting and Tinder — and happnwhich I learned about for the first time recently — have rendered middle-aged novices such as myself mere amateurs in the business of finding the right partner.
The stakes are high and yet we have a whole new skill set to learn, and fast. Sexting in particular is a complicated art, especially for someone who cares about nuance.
But I guess that's me, showing my age.
Perhaps I should behave like a grown-up and not go in for all this adolescent nonsense. It probably compounds my lack of success, but I find it part of the fun. Married friends say they envy the edginess in my life. But, believe me, the hurly-burly of the chaise-longue soon turns into a chaise-longueur. The notion of the deep peace of the marital — or at least vaguely familiar — bed fast becomes far preferable. I am fine with the hurly-burly for the time being but don't want it to go on for ever.
But in dating I am so often startled by people, in good ways and bad, and that does make me feel life is very far from dull, and maybe there is consolation to be had in that. I had a blind date with a man who seemed civilised and normal, till he spoke of the persecutions to which he is subject by colleagues, family and the state.