You might think dating after middle-age is impossible for single women.
Not so. I’ve been single (again) now for 24 years, so it’s a topic near and dear to my heart.
I enjoyed the slide show on MSN-Nine Ways Dating Changes After 35 by Denise Wolfe. I emboldened the three quotes I like best.
Meet and Greet
You’ve learned to play safely: You always meet strangers in a public place, and you never enter a new man’s car or apartment without telling a trusted someone where you are. You urge your friends to set you up. Suppose it’s a horrible date—so what? You’ve survived worse.
Cautionary note: One of the worst dating assumptions I’ve made was to assume that since I was fixed up by a friend, my date was automatically trustworthy. Not so. What our mutual friend hadn’t known was the smart and handsome man she introduced me to with the fancy job and fancy house had a history of aggression towards his former wife that led to his arrest. I now practice universal precautions. Trust must be earned over time. No exceptions.
The young me would have loved to get a call from a new date as soon as I returned home from seeing him. The mature me would find this creepy or insecure.
The young me would hope to spend every waking moment with my new love. The mature me feels claustrophobic if my family and friendships are interrupted by a new partner.
And the best part of dating while mature?
Forget Fairy Tales
It’s not about lowering your standards. It’s about choosing better standards by which to judge.
Once upon a time, a very young friend of mine went on a blind date with a local reporter. He was pleasant enough, whip-smart, and bald as a billiard. It was all she could do to get through the date, and not too long afterwards, she met a guy who looked like Peter Frampton.
Her Frampton look-alike had many other good qualities besides his hair, so she married him (but not until after the reporter wrote and published his account of the disastrous blind date in the Sunday paper!).
Twenty-years later, they’re still married. Her husband still looks like Peter Frampton. The Peter Frampton of today, that is.The younger version of my friend might not have agreed to a date with the mature version of her husband. Her quick assessment could have overlooked all the qualities that make a great life companion. That would have been a shame.With age I feel decreased desperation to be part of a couple, and an increased sense of optimism (usually) that everything will be just fine, with or without a love interest.And that’s not bad at all.
Are you middle-aged and single?
What advantages do you find in dating at this point in your life?