Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Finding A Man After 50 and Knowing When to Let Go

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

If you believe in senior dating fairy tales — something we’d all like to believe in — it’s possible for all of us to live very happily ever after. It may not be easy. We may meet a lot of frogs along the way who won’t turn out to be princes when we kiss them. But if we persist and push the right dating buttons, we’ll finally meet a man who likes our looks — even though we’re not 21 anymore — and is ready, willing, and eager to date us.

Enid met Len on a dating website. He liked her picture. She liked his. She liked his well-written profile, too. He sounded like a winner and she enjoyed their first date and those that followed. What she didn’t like was his gradual increased pattern of pleading poverty. At first, he had pulled out his wallet with alacrity. But after he saw her Lexus and her well-appointed condo, the retreat from tab-taking began and persisted. His explanation: “I’ve got a pension from my old job, but it’s not very big. But between that and Social Security and the occasional odd job, I get by.” But not enough, it seemed, to pick up restaurant tabs (anyway, he said, he preferred home cooking) or even movie tickets.

Still he told interesting stories of his days in the merchant marine and the Navy, and it was nice to have a man around the house (and in her bed), even if she’d thought her cooking days were over. But sometimes it got embarrassing. Like birthday parties for her grandchildren to which (“Oh, gosh!” as she rang the bell) he always forgot to bring a birthday present. So the first year was great, the second year his naval battles began to get boring, and by the third year Enid had begun to feel the relationship was a mistake she should have ended long ago.

End it, finally, she did. But her regrets aren’t over. “I wasted three years,” she said. “I kept thinking he was the wrong man, but I didn’t do anything about it.” But then she added, “Oh, well. There were some good times. No use moaning and groaning. I’ll just have to do better next time.” She will if she persists, persists, persist.

Boomer Dating: “I just got pinned at 84.”

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Yogi Berra was right: “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” So any woman who decides at 50, or  60, or 70 — or even 80 — that her dating days are over needs to consider the good and happy life of my friend Charlotte. Charlotte lost her husband 15 years ago, but decided shortly thereafter that she didn’t like being alone one bit. She answered an ad in her local newspaper and that was followed shortly thereafter by a phone call that led to a long and happy ten year relationship.

But nothing is forever and just before their 10th “anniversary,” her “almost husband” (neither had seen any point in getting married) took seriously ill and was moved to another state by a son who felt that his father’s care would be too much for Charlotte. Sadly, she agreed, but soon discovered that one thing hadn’t changed. She still didn’t like being alone. “I have lots of friends,” she told me, “and I love you. But the truth is, I miss male companionship.”

I’m a natural-born matchmaker and I thought immediately of Marvin. We played bridge occasionally and he had recently lost his wife. He was four years older than Charlotte and was  in good health. The fact that he still played golf was pretty good proof of that. So at the first opportunity, I told him, “I know a very lovely woman I’m sure you’d like.” When he growled, “I’m not ready,” I simply said, “Okay, tell me when you are.” Two months later, he told me quietly, “I’m ready.”

He was and so was she. What started with a date for dinner is now a full-fledged relationship.  Full pledged, too. Last week he sat beside her on the couch, slipped a small packet out of his pocket, and said, “Go ahead, Charlotte.  Open it.” Inside she found something he’d saved for 70 years — his gold high school graduation ring.

It was too big, but she had a jeweler rectify that, and she wears it proudly. “I never thought,” she smiles, “that I’d be pinned at 84.” Like I said, Yogi Berra was right. No matter what your age, “it ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

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: 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.

Senior Dating: Playing the Blame Game

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

So you’re on your second date, the first one was so promising that he takes you to a holiday office party. Scores of employees are milling around, drinks in hand. You stand quietly beside him while he chats briefly with a man you assume is an office pal. But he doesn’t introduce you. Then a woman comes by. Again: two-way conversation and you feel like a termite-infested tree. Finally, he introduces you to someone, but it’s too late. You’re still steaming.

“I’m going home!” you say angrily. “You just stay and enjoy yourself!” You turn to go. He clutches your arm. “What’s wrong?” he asks. “What have I done?”

“It’s what you haven’t done.  Ten friends and one introduction! What am I? A leper? If  you’re ashamed of me, next time just  come yourself.”

“Oh, no,” he exclaims. “You don’t understand. This is a big company. There’s no way I can know everybody’s name.  Even if I do  know them, sometimes under pressure people get a mental block. I’m one of those people. I bet it’s happened to you, too.  But  I’m sorry. Really sorry.”

Okay, that makes sense. It’s forgivable. But it doesn’t solve the problem. This does. Next time you’re in a who-are-you social situation — and it can happen just bumping into an acquaintance walking down the street — all you need to do is say to the “nameless” newcomer, “I’m Roberta. What’s your name?”

He (or she) tells you his (or her) name. You’ve self-introduced smoothly. Your date is saved embarrassment.  You don’t feel left out and offended. And everyone goes home happy.