It's Never Too Late To Date At last, a dating book for 50-somethings Wed, 09 Nov 2011 16:07:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Boomer dating: Playing the cyberspace numbers game Wed, 09 Nov 2011 16:03:02 +0000 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.

]]> 0
Boomer Dating: On being a size 18 Fri, 07 Oct 2011 01:55:26 +0000 WEIGHT WATCHER PLANS ARE WONDERFUL




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.

]]> 0
Never walk your dog in a tattered T-shirt Wed, 05 Oct 2011 02:06:33 +0000 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”

]]> 0
50-PLUS DATING: A KISS IS JUST A KISS? Tue, 15 Jun 2010 22:27:40 +0000 Paula had been dating Richard for more than a month. He was a newly-retired  IBM executive who, though divorced, still maintained a friendly relationship with his ex-wife. That was a big point in his favor. Divorced men can be bitter. He was kind, considerate, interesting, and fun. Paula had one question about him: Why didn’t he ever attempt to give her a goodnight kiss? What in the world was wrong with him?

Often after their dates, Paula would invite him in. They’d talk. They’d discuss plans for other dates. Then Richard would get up, put on his coat, and leave. At the door, Paula finally asked her question:  “Richard, why don’t you ever kiss me goodnight?” Richard beamed. He seized Paula’s shoulders and kissed her as enthusiastically as if this was the final scene in a $50 million dollar romantic movie. Paula beamed. “That was some kiss,” she said. “Why did you take so long?”

As it happens, it turned out to be Richard’s farewell kiss. Paula was a multi-tasking dater — on as well as eHarmony — and she met someone else who, among other things, was an even better kisser.  If Paula had asked that question sooner, or Richard had been more aggressive, this story could have ended very differently. But he who hesitates gets tossed.

]]> 0
BOOMER DATING: JOIN THE SIGNAL CORPS Tue, 15 Jun 2010 22:00:33 +0000 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.

]]> 2
Finding A Man After 50 and Knowing When to Let Go Wed, 05 May 2010 22:40:41 +0000 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.

]]> 4
Boomer Dating: “I just got pinned at 84.” Wed, 05 May 2010 19:40:27 +0000 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.”

]]> 4
Do We Ever Outgrow Intimacy? Sun, 04 Apr 2010 18:07:50 +0000 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.

]]> 3
Boomer Dating: Winning Words Tue, 09 Mar 2010 17:26:16 +0000 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.

]]> 0
50+Dating: Does Sex Have An Expiration Date? Wed, 17 Feb 2010 01:08:06 +0000 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.”

]]> 0