Fast & Furious: Dating Men In Their 50s

shutterstock_153137504Fellas, if you’re in your 50s, single and dating (and feeling like you’re not getting anywhere), consider this a little friendly feedback from the ladies.

Maybe you’ve heard it all before, maybe it doesn’t apply to you, maybe you already know it all. It doesn’t matter, because when it comes to dating women, I say you can never know enough.

And women, lest you think you’re off the hook here, you’re not. Even though I’m talking to the men, many of these points may apply to you too. Dating in midlife isn’t always easy, but at least you’re all in it together.

So men, before you break out into a cold sweat, know that all this is well intended and researched. I’ve gathered input from three of my most trusted single girlfriends whose ages range from 40s to mid-50s. They’re smart, sane, successful, and they’re here to help.

And so am I. I’ll be chiming in with my own advice since I’ve dated more than a few 50-something men in my day and can speak from experience.

We love you and want the best for you guys, so listen up.

TOO FAST

Maybe you’re divorced, newly separated, or single forever. Maybe you’re lonely, horny, you want a girlfriend, need some company, or just need to get laid. Who can blame you? We ALL want love, but some guys blow it by rushing.

GF #1:

“There seems to be some kind of ‘trying on of a girlfriend.’ On the first date, I’ve had a guy take my hand and rub my shoulders, without any words of seduction or romance, to me, that’s a turn-off.”

GF #2:

“Some men don’t want to invest the time it takes getting to know you. If you don’t sleep with them fast enough, they get frustrated and lose interest. They want to rush things, have sex first, and if they like it, then they’ll get involved.”

GF #3:

“Online daters, especially the older ones, are like kids in a candy store, not ever giving anyone a chance because there’s always someone else.”

My Advice:

Slow down. Don’t get too flirty too fast, don’t text, and definitely don’t sext. Even if you’re fresh out of a miserable marriage and new to the singles scene, take a breath.

You can be romantic and take the lead, but exercise patience. Guys that are too fast getting in are probably going to be too fast getting out.

Chivalry and romance aren’t dead – in fact, they’re alive and well and much appreciated. So take your time getting to know your date. Ask questions, be curious. And when you’ve accrued a decent amount of courtship hours, then you can bang away.

TOO FURIOUS

Ok, so you’re livid at your ex, or fuming about the divorce, or bitter you’re still on Match.com after all these years. In other words, you’re furious. We get that your circumstances might suck, but don’t let them consume you. Make sure your anger is in check, and doesn’t turn into emotional baggage you carry around everywhere you go.

GF #1:

“The biggest turn-off for me is when a divorced man compares you to their ex-wife. You can prepare a lovely Italian meal for a guy, and all of a sudden he brings up the fact his ex made the best lasagna of all time.”

GF #2:

“Men in their fifties can be cynical, especially if they were in a bad marriage. They talk about how awful their ex-wives are, and how much money they had to give them.”

GF #3:

“Getting involved with a guy who’s still reeling from his divorce can sometimes feel like he’s having an affair, except that the ‘other woman’ isn’t a woman, it’s his anger.”

My Advice:

Dump the baggage, dude. Stop talking about your ex, your kids, your money, etc. If you’re still that angry and wounded, get help. A little therapy, some meditation, or a little alone time wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Neither would some medical marijuana. The point is, don’t date until you’re fully healed.

SO WHAT DO WOMEN WANT?

GF #1:

“Nothing is a bigger turn-on to a woman in her 50s than a man that makes her feel like she’s the best thing that ever happened to him.”

GF #2:

“Be honest with her and don’t lead her on. Listening and wanting to know everything about her earns you major points.”

GF #3:

“Keep an open mind and heart. Let go of your fear and allow yourself to love again.”

Here’s the good news: my girlfriends really dig you fellas in your 50s. Despite the occasional dating disasters and mating missteps, there’s a lot to love. You’re older and wiser, smarter and sexier than you were in your younger days. You’re more sophisticated and polished, and your life experiences give you more depth and better perspective. I say it’s time to use it to your advantage.

We’re rooting for you guys, so go get ‘em (just don’t go too fast).

Marriage And Midlife: A First For Us Both

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Robby and me at Rite Aid, our new favorite date place.

Getting married for the first time at this age is a little weird. At a time when most people our age are looking at colleges with their kids, Robby and I are looking at wedding venues. While our peers are preparing for empty nests, trying to figure out what to do after their kids leave, we’re trying to figure out what gifts to register for. While most folks in their 50s are dealing with the trials and tribulations of teenagers, we’re just getting our heads around the concept of having in-laws.

Friends like Sharon Hodor Greenthal, who’s my age, writes a blog called Empty House, Full Mind www.emptyhousefullmind.com.  In it, she talks about getting older too – with someone she’s been married to for 26 years.  The good news about growing older with Robby is that we’re already old.

Our lives and priorities may look very different, but we all have one thing in common: we’re all middle aged. And that’s weird too. When you’ve been single for as long as Robby and I have, it’s easy to forget about age. You’re too busy working, and living, and dating, and moving at warp speed, until you stop and look at yourself in the mirror. Then it hits you.

Your hair is a little thinner, your middle is a little thicker; what was tight is a little looser, what was firm is a little softer. Your teenage hormones have lost their rage, and your college six-pack has become a keg. You hit fifty and your body changes right before your eyes. Oh, and your eyes go too. I can’t see shit anymore. But maybe that’s a good thing – at least now I won’t be able to scrutinize my wrinkles as hard as I used to.

There are more aches and pains. You either have high cholesterol or low T. You may play as hard and run as fast, but you pay for it the next morning. You learn to love Aleve, and ice packs become your new best friends.  Your memory isn’t what it used to be either.  I’d go into more detail on this, but I just forgot what I was going to say.

Getting married at this age is sometimes tough too. Like when I’m the dressing room at a bridal salon surrounded by girls half my age. They’re young, perky, and I’m as old as their mother. I look at them and think, you have your whole life ahead of you, and I’ve already lived half of mine. You’re probably going to get pregnant in a few months, and I’m about five minutes away from menopause. These young brides and I may be walking down the same aisle, but our path and pace couldn’t be more different. They found the man of their dreams in their 20s, I found mine at 50. They partnered early, I bonded a little later. They have youthful exuberance, but I have the kind of confidence that can only come with age.  When it comes to finding love though, age really is just a number.

There’s something weird about getting married at midlife – weird, but wonderful. And Robby and I are embracing it, and each other, with the kind of open arms that can still hit the hell out of a tennis ball. Yes, we may be a little creaky and kvetchy, but that’s okay because we’re in this together. We have a long life ahead of us, filled with romance, adventure, and visits to the pharmacy to get our prescription Lipitor filled – and get a scoop of ice cream too while we’re at it.