Archive for February, 2010

50+Dating: Does Sex Have An Expiration Date?

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

You remember Gloria Vanderbilt, right? She was the Poor Little Rich Girl who grew up to marry a Philharmonic conductor light-years her senior, and later moved on to make beautiful music with Hollywood director Sidney Lumet, Marlon Brando, Gene Kelly, Howard Hughes, and Frank Sinatra. (“With Frank,” she recalled, “it was magical.”)

Why else should we remember Gloria? Because she’s 86 now and still, she assures her friends (alas, we are not numbered among them), that she adores sex. Well, why shouldn’t she? In fact, why shouldn’t we all? It is magical. It makes us feel good — very good — and very loved. In fact, “To love and be loved,” someone once said and many have repeated, “is the essence of life.”

Yet when I talk about sex to older women — a lot younger than Gloria — many, too many, throw up their hands and exclaim, “Oh no, not for me!” In effect, “Been there, done that, it’s history.” They maintain that they don’t feel the need. They haven’t met anyone they feel they could enjoy a night with. And they have their girlfriends. Often it’s because they feel their bodies aren’t what they used to be — but, then, neither are men’s. (Oh, those watermelon paunches!) Okay, many of us had great figures once. (We still look nostalgically at our fading bathing beauty snapshots.) But that was then and this is now. Our full-length mirrors no longer tell us, “You are the fairest of them all.”

But so what? We need to stop saying, “No way!”  and start saying, “Okay” — only with the right man of course. We need to love our bodies. It’s the only one you’ve got. Tone it with exercise and, if it’s needed, a revisit to Weight Watchers. And don’t give up the trip. Try a couple of good dating websites (our book has a lot of great suggestions on how to make the most of them) and, if you remember sex fondly, give thanks for the memories, but want more than memories,  kiss apathy goodbye. Persist. Persist. Persist. Like the poem says:

MOTIVATION 101

I think that if I really try

I could find myself a guy

But I’m stuck in apathy

In endless hours of TV.

I guess that what I need’s a nanny

To tell me, “Hey, get off your fanny.”

50+ Dating: Want to fly? Flap your wings.

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Apathy — sitting and waiting for love without exerting the effort to make it happen — just may be the number one cause of single woman loneliness. Consider the robin. Could she fly if she perched apathetically on a tree branch waiting for a favorable breeze? Not likely. Robin knows that if she fails to flap her wings, an earlier bird is going to catch the worm.  So with a flick of her feathers, she’s airborne.

We know a woman in Colorado who — after her husband’s passing and a year of breakfast-for-one and supper with the six o’clock news — murmured a silent prayer as she walked in the cool mountain air: “Please, Lord, open my heart to a new love.

A few days later, her landlady rang her bell. “A new man just moved in a couple of doors down from you. Tall, kinda good-looking, and I’d say early 60s. Keep your eyes open.”

Joyce did. When she saw him head for the mailbox, she picked up her key and followed. A 20-minute conversation led to other conversations. “But,” Joyce complained to her son-in-law a couple of months later, “this relationship isn’t going anywhere. I’m out of practice. What do I do next?”

“For heaven’s sake,” he declared, “this is the 21st century. Ask him out for dinner.” But before she did, he did, and a few months later he asked a more serious question. “My answer was yes,” smiles Joyce, “and now only one of us has to go out for the mail.”

Joyce is a natural-born wing-flapper, but for some of us apathy is a malady more difficult to overcome. There were probably half a dozen women fantasizing about Victor as he passed their apartment windows that first week of his arrival on the scene. Unlike Joyce, they were too timid, or too afraid of rejection, to flap their wings.

50+ Dating: A Dog is Woman’s Best Friend,Too.

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Our friend, Harry, a handsome bachelor in his 70s, was walking his dog (“cute as a button and great woman bait.”) when an  attractive young woman in her 30s stopped him abruptly.

“Are you married?” she asked. Harry smiled. Hmm, he thought. She’s a little young for me, but, well, if she doesn’t mind, why should I? “No,” he replied, “I’m not married.”

“Are you straight?” she continued. Hmm, Harry thought. She really covers all the  bases. But okay. “Yes,” he replied, “I’m straight. Any more questions?”

“Just one more,” she said. “Would  you be interested in meeting my mother? She’s 60 and she’s really hot.”

Surprised and disappointed, Harry was tempted to say, “The date  I want is with you, not your mother.” But, fortunately, her cell phone rang, and waving goodbye, he moved on. Well, he thought, I guess I should take that as a compliment. And if the mother’s as good looking as the daughter, maybe I should get her phone number.

But a dog isn’t just  man’s best friend. When she wants a date, it can be a woman’s, too. And if you don’t own a dog, you should have little or no trouble finding a friend who does and would love to have you walk it — at least now and then. Just look your best, so that after he’s admired the dog, he can turn his attention to you.

Boomer Dating: Big children. Big problems.

Monday, February 1st, 2010

You’ve heard the old parental proverb: “Little children, little problems. Big children, big problems.” But have you heard, as Myra did in the first half-hour of meeting Mike’s daughter, “You must be in good shape financially. You were married to a doctor, weren’t  you?”

Myra felt as though she’d been hit by an SUV, but she recovered quickly. It’s normal for most older children, she realized, to be concerned about “gold-diggers.” So she smiled and replied, “Yes, and he left me financially independent.” Mike’s daughter return smile was one of relief, and the women’s relationship flourished from then on. (Next visit, she served Myra her favorite food: a two-pound lobster.)

First meetings with adult children can be uncomfortable. They can be worse than that. Judith’s prospective son-in-law-to-be arrived at  her house for their first meeting breathing fire and brimstone. He addressed his father but pretended that she wasn’t there. He asked his father to go out to dinner with him alone, “so we can have a man-to-man  talk.”

When several attempts to win him over failed disastrously and  fights about his son’s conduct occurred every time his name came up, Judith laid  down the law with her new man.  “Richard and I are never going to get along,” she said. “He doesn’t like me and never will. So from now on, whenever he comes to town, just let it be Father and Son’s Day. Take him to lunch, take him  to dinner, take him to a basketball game. I’ll just  go somewhere with a friend.”

Big children, big problems. Try and try again to make them like you. If they don’t, a truce like Judith’s beats going to war. Forget about his difficult children, and concentrate on saving your relationship.