Archive for the ‘Dating’ Category

Boomer dating: Playing the cyberspace numbers game

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Computer dating is a lot like a raffle. The more tickets you buy, the better your chances of winning. So don’t register with just one e-dating service, sign up with two or three: like,, — all of which have “mid-life” or “senior” age listings. Or google (and scout) for sites specifically embracing the 50- and 60-plus categories. There are  dozens of them.

Not immediately, of course. Sign with only one at a time until you’re comfortable with the process. But don’t put all our eggs in one skillet. E-mail a daily doze of appealing gents. Many won’t respond, but — do the math — all you need is one.

If, like our friend Amy, you complain, “No one answers my e-mails!” the answer is, “Try changing  your message. Or, even better, try changing  your photo. Not with a quickie cellphone photo, but with the help of a professional photographer in the afternoon — after a visit to a good hair stylist that morning.” Or, to put more arrows in Cupid’s quiver, add or change dating services. It may cost a little more, but, hey, it’s an investment in the rest of your life.

Boomer Dating: On being a size 18

Friday, October 7th, 2011





Every woman can’t be a size 6. But you might not  have to be. Just ask Mel. He is proof positive that  you don’t have to be a Hollywood starlet to get a man’s undivided attention. When I first met Mel, he was as stiff and unsmiling as a Strategic Air Command general during the Cuban missile crisis. His wife had left him after a 21-year marriage and he was, he told me, “hungry for affection.”

He’d had a series of disappointing dates which led only to another series of disappointing dates. Then along came a woman who had never won a beauty contest, but who knew how to fill a hungry man’s emotional plate. With someone to hug and be hugged by, ever-smiling Mel is now described by one and all as “a new man.” I haven’t met his new squeeze, but I’m sure she’s smiling, too.

Never walk your dog in a tattered T-shirt

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

A dog can be woman’s best friend if her neighbor’s widowed brother happens to be visiting. So when you walk Rover, dress to impress. Every day. A delicious 20-year-old can throw on a faded stretched out T-shirt for waking the dog and charm the tail off a squirrel. But when you’re going on multiple times that age, you just look homeless. Don’t be startled if men toss coins at you instead of hungry looks.

Don’t dress your age. Dress your best Wear cheerful colors, not drab browns that murmur meekly, “Please don’t look at me.” Consider contact lenses or a fashion frame. Granny glasses give you a granny look that does not bring out the Rhett Butler in a man. Or the George Clooney for that matter. Men like “attractive,” so be it. What are you saving your best clothes for? They’ll be out of style before you wear them. You’ve got ’em? Use ’em. If you don’t got ’em, get ’em.  That’s how you                                                                                                                  –excerpted from “It’s Never Too Late to Date”


Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

On the phone, Murray sounded  like a nice guy, and since he was in his early 80s, Bernice had no problem inviting him into her home to pick her up for their dinner date. At his age. he was not likely to be a sex — or homicidal — maniac.  When the doorbell rang and he entered, she sat on her couch, and Murray sat on a chair opposite her.

The conversation went well, and they were early for their restaurant reservation, so after 15 minutes or so, Bernice said graciously, “Murray, you’re so far away. Why don’t you sit next to me?”

It was a signal some might have thought “a bit forward.” But Bernice is as honest as young cherry tree chopping George Washington, and doesn’t play games. She was signaling, “So far I kind of like you. Let’s get to know one another better.” It was the first move in what might be called The Chess Game of Love, and the opening gambit of what became a wonderful nine-year relationship.

There are a lot of ways to say, “I kind of like you.” Some women are embarrassed to express them, but they go a long way toward jump-starting a relationship. Men need signals. They clear the air. They eliminate doubt. The man doesn’t have to wonder, “Does she or doesn’t she like me? Am I wasting my time?” They are encouragement to keep phoning and keep ringing that doorbell.

The best signal of all is straightforward, and it can be a great icebreaker. One woman we know opened her door to a first date to find a surprising visitor. Stunned by his good looks, she said, “My goodness. You’re so handsome. You’re almost as good-looking as my husband was.  Come on in.” He laughed. She laughed, and their relationship was off to a good start. The lesson: Don’t hesitate to give a sincere compliment.  And — as long as it’s positive — don’t keep what you’re thinking a secret.

Do We Ever Outgrow Intimacy?

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Intimacy is wonderful. For young couples, it’s cotton candy. For seniors, it’s molten gold. It can enrich your years and, simply put, make you feel good — and loved. So why do I hear comments like, “I don’t want to be bothered with that stuff. I don’t need it any more?” They make it sound like medicine with an expired label when, in fact, intimacy can be a cure for what ails you.

Whoa! I’m not necessarily talking about sex — though I think that’s wonderful, too.I’m talking about affection. There are, after all, a lot of men in their 50s and beyond who have cardiac disease and  have been advised by their physicians that for them the Little Blue Pill is “poison.” And some women fear that because they’re older, intercourse will be impossible without discomfort. (Not true. There are many lubricants in drug stores available without prescription that take care of that problem.)  And they worry that their bodies aren’t as seductive as they once were. But, hey, men don’t look like Charles Atlas anymore either.  But for  many senior women (I’m thinking of one in particular) hugging, passionate kissing, and pillow talk are the best part of their relationship.

It takes time to develop that kind of relationship. Not one or two dates. More like half a dozen. And sometimes — because some men can’t start a fire unless you put a torch in their hands — it’s the woman who has to be the aggressor. Personal experience. A few years back, I dated a really nice man afflicted with a severe case of shyness.  On the fifth date, he gave me a brief  peck on the lips. On the sixth, when he repeated that, I went on the offensive. “Come, come,” I said, “I want a real kiss!” He gave me a Hollywood kiss that even George Clooney  couldn’t equal. And that was a signal to both of us that intimacy was now a distinct possibility.

So, do we ever outgrow intimacy? Never. And (all the studies on longevity show) we never outgrow the need for it either.

Boomer Dating: Winning Words

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

I am convinced more each day that if a woman wants to go from being a one-some to a two-some, the most important change she can make in her life is to hang her cloak of shyness and timidity deep in the back of her closet.

Case in point. A couple of evenings ago, my friend Gwen and I parked our car in our favorite restaurant’s lot and headed for the door.  When I reached it, I stopped dead.  Standing there, waiting for friends I guess, was a tall, silver-haired, attractive man. Two words popped out of my big mouth: “You’re cute!”

He almost fell over, then recovered quickly. “Well, you’re beautiful,” he said.  (Stunned by my unexpected remark, he had obviously suffered a concussion.) “Are you married?” I asked. “No,” he said, “what about you?”

“Actually,” I said, “I was thinking about you for a lovely friend of mine.” That didn’t work out. When I told him she lived two hours away, he quickly dismissed her, explaining, “I only date local women.” By that time, appetites were calling, and Gwen and I said goodbye and went into the restaurant for dinner.

I tell this story because it’s a perfect example of how easily a relationship can begin with a couple of well-chosen (in this case, spontaneous) words. I’m in a long-time relationship, but if I weren’t, it would have been dinner for three instead of two. As little girls, we’re taught to be polite, well-mannered, and tospeak to strangers only when spoken to – and probably not then. You can let those lessons stick forever like crazy-glue, or  you can decide that you’re a big girl now and, within sensible limits  (you wouldn’t strike up a conversation with a grim-looking man packing a 45), you can say what you think when you think it.

Too many of us see an attractive man – at a museum, on a bus, at church or a social gathering – and think, “Umm, I’d love to meet him,” but swallow the thought and the four or five words it would take to make it happen.

Try it.  You’ll like it. So, I’ll bet  (we all like compliments) will he.

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:


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.