How to start dating when you are in your fiftys

Being single in my fifties feels like I’ve finally got myself back.

There is such a joy to being able to do whatever you want without permission.

I even met one recently who had just won her class in an Iron Man contest (basically a triathlon on steroids) for age 64-69.

But there is a definite demographic shift going on when it comes to our relationships.

I now shudder when I hear a woman say, “I’ll have to ask my husband.” I finally understand my Great Aunt Florence, who never married and lived alone in a cottage by the sea, happily collecting cat ornaments.

Her life was completely uncompromised and I can entirely relate to her contentment. As a nutritionist and hypnotherapist, I see many fiftysomething women.

Many fiftysomething women’s desire for a different kind of life is also hindered by the need to look after ageing parents and/or demanding children. I don’t have to cook “his” dinner or do “his” washing. I can go on holiday when and where I want, I can eat the food I fancy and spend my money exactly as I please.

"They can smell me a mile away," she told me after she chatted with him about restaurants, real estate, his children, and his grandchildren, while the rest of us kids enjoyed a game of floating beer pong in the pool. "I don't want you to get hurt, dear," she whispered with reserved aplomb.

"He is married, you know."Megan isn't a homewrecker and by the time we made it back to Los Angeles, with the help of Tinder we found her another suitable match, Gary, 68, an accomplished businessman who lives in San Francisco, vacations in Palm Springs, and loves golf.

Gary was smitten over message and they met up in between Los Angeles and Palm Springs a few days later. Throughout the weekend, as I explained Megan's preferences to my college girlfriends in their early thirties, they made a face like they had swallowed sour milk and erupted in a chorus of, "That's gross," "ewwwww," and my personal favorite, "he's like my grandpa." To be fair, Uncle Jack was actually someone's grandpa.

Megan's quick-witted retort is to rattle off the names of male celebrities who are sexagenarians, septuagenarians, and even octogenarians who you would probably sleep with: Harrison Ford, 71, Clint Eastwood, 83, Jack Nicholson, 76, Robert Redford, 77. "From an early age I just found older men to seem reliable and supportive. Bush (he was president at the time) was the most handsome man in the world.

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