Dating after fifty

Dating after fifty

The day will come for 50% of us, if it hasn’t happened already for you, that you find yourself without a partner at an age that everything on your body has started to sag, wrinkle or turn a sallow colour, your hair has disappeared, greyed, or significantly thinned, your bones creak when you get up in the morning and your joints seem to be in need of a lube job, while your muffin top has settled in permanently and having sex doesn’t happen that easily anymore either.    Fortunately, with any luck, your peers—the group from which a new partner will have to be recruited—will have the same problems, if not worse. The men I dated the last ten years seemed to have significant health problems that I have been lucky to escape so far—-knock on wood. Between fifty to sixty years old the accumulated effects of life style and genetic predispositions first came to the surface in the shape of circulation, metabolic or organ failures, in addition to worn-out joints and other parts of the body that hurt, or need to be replaced.

I am completely shocked that aging happened to me. How could that be? I still think I’m about 36 or so, but when I look in the mirror I see this older woman looking back at me. I avoid mirrors nowadays.    When I go on line and explore the dates I could have with men my age, I can’t help thinking these are old men who have written a nice story about themselves. Of course this is a case of hypocrisy on my part, or rather denial, as I am that same age; whether I can accept it or not is a different matter altogether.

I read profiles of men who are about to give up and threaten to go off line if they haven’t had any luck finding a mate within three months. They don’t know I have already been looking for a number of years. It is not easy to find someone who has compatibility in most areas of life and who is also a mature and good person. Let me tell you, the latter can only be experienced while dating for a while.    Many men my age are looking for a mate that is ten to twenty years younger than they are. What is that about? Is it that they desire this for the younger body or the younger mind, or just because they can? Women tend to become more radical and stronger minded as they age. In my experience, men of my generation tend to avoid debates and healthy exchanges of opinions and often interpret a difference of opinion with their mate rather as having a non-supportive wife. Many men need to be in a one-up position to feel equal, I observed. True equality between mates is difficult to obtain in that generation.

The hetero sexual women I know of my age who have become strong and independent, have also often given up completely on finding a men, or might seek men who are younger, as our generation of men seems to have been unable to change and adapt to the current realities.    Some younger bucks have approached me looking for an older woman, using much flattery and smooth talk—I am not falling for it! I can’t imagine that somebody of twenty-odd years younger would really be interested in my old, sagging body (sure, with an experienced mind and much more wisdom than 30 years ago) when he could have so much nicer-looking, agile, adaptable younger women. There must be an ulterior motive to his quest.  Yes, I admit it, I am discriminating: on age—bite me!

I have met men who went through marriages and partners like it was a case of changing out a hot water heater, every 10 to 15 years another. I met men who wanted to replace their wife who had passed away, just to fill the empty spot as soon as possible, regardless of compatibility and seemed to want some warm body to pick up the slack in their housekeeping situation.    I met men who needed to be dominant and showed an aversion to women with an opinion; men who wanted just to have a pen pal, so they would not feel so lonely; and men who seemed really confused and unable to carry on a normal conversation and in my opinion, very likely, mentally ill. I met a man whose former mates–all four of them–died or mysteriously disappeared, one of those wives gone in the middle of the ocean in the Bermuda triangle; honestly: no fiction.

Would I rather be back in my twenties, or even my thirties, you ask? God, no! To think of all the life I would still have to go through, the insecurities, the confusion, the hurts of broken hearts and the failures, the separations and the many goodbyes I have had, the stupid things I have done in my life and the wasted energy of worrying and trying to get out of the difficult life situations I had created for myself: I would not want that again.

Of course, hindsight is 20/20. When I was in the middle of it, I possessed the arrogance of the young and assumed that whatever I did, it would be ending all right.  In the end, it did. I came out all right; I am healthy and have a lot of accumulated wisdom and knowledge, and have a comfortable life with some friends, some family and with a professional life. I am now waiting for the miracle that a healthy, attractive and compatible man had gone through that same process and came out wanting an EQUAL partner at this stage of life, that we met, that we liked each other, that we came together as life mates and grow older in the last trimester of life, accomplish our combined goals, doing the things we both desire. After all, we are social beings and our fulfillment as a human being lies in being together with others.


About BABYBOOMER johanna van zanten

My name is Johanna van Zanten. I am a baby boomer, interested in writing and connecting with other writers and readers to engage in discussions and information sharing, to share a point of view about current global issues, writing, and publishing, diversity, immigration, travel, music, life, specific baby boomer issues, and dating/relationship issues. I have written a novella, ON THIN ICE about baby-boomer Adrienne and will link this blog with the information website for this novella. Right now, I am trying out the blog.
This entry was posted in Agents, Babyboomer, Creative fiction, Dating, Dealing with aging and dating, Short story, Uncategorized, world issues. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Dating after fifty

  1. Lisa says:

    You are beautiful, fun, full of life and have many interests that keep you interesting. You are motivated, cherished and valued by friends and colleagues. If that guy happens to find you, he will be blessed, as we have been!

  2. The T says:


    I am really pleased to see you writing about this topic. As someone who is trying to trend how the “dating” female views love and it’s prospect for a future in her life, I find the idea of dating in a world of 50+ somewhat mystic. I am only 42 years old, male, and yes, my preference is younger…however, you should know I’ve dated many older women when I was much younger than I am.

    I should be careful here. This is not about about a war among different ages of women, this is about the maturity level of who I am… I am 42 years old, however, I act about 25-27…I tend to date girls about the same age as I act…

    It’s not about “equipment” I have seen some 50+ year olds with incredible bodies that make 30 year old chubby girls cry… so let’s bring focus to the table…work out, eat properly and don’t be jaded be a little innocent… it’s a good thing…too much empowerment as an older female means that the cougar that you are has sharp teeth and is more domineering than the alpha male that wants to enjoy time with you… so striking a balance is key to being happy and dating people at any age…

    I will be watching your blog…I tend to look objectively at differing attitudes and how I can use that information to assist me on my journey. I really appreciated your blog today…thanks for writing about such an interesting subject… I look to learn more…


  3. Thanks so much Lisa, for your support, much appreciated.
    People like you keep me writing.
    Love you!

  4. Sara Peeling says:

    I think that men date younger women because they have less baggage. I know that personally I don’t like to commit myself to someone who has trust issues. Of course there is the whole typical attraction to a younger, firmer body, but I think it’s because they have enough baggage of their own, and carrying another person’s just isn’t something a mature person with self worth is interested in.

    You should try out a younger man mom, worst case scenario you have a bad time. But if you keep things light, even in the trimester of your life, you will have a good time. Find comedy in all situations.

    I love you!

    • Thanks for your comment and suggestion. I’ll think about it. Last time I had a mixed result: I’d say half and half positive/negative. Best thing was you were born!
      In my age group things might be a bit different than in yours.
      Love you too.

  5. Celya723 says:

    Wholly interesting subject of enlightenment, thank you for airing it! I’m 57 this summer, never married, mother of an adult son. Funny how life changes us physically as well as mentally, experiences worth having sometimes at a mental/physical cost, and one hopes to not be a burden
    too young in life. I’ve met the men who prefer a much younger mate, and those who like an equal match. Then there’s the men who’ve loved “older” ladies – all their lives! Their aunties, moms friends, teachers, older siblings pals – they’re what turn them on! From thin to voluptuous their fantasies lie with The Ladies. And these men are eager to please! All one learns to maintain one’s self, the beauty, health and clothing, they appreciate and embrace as a matter of fact. None of that squawking about costs or denigrating “it’s a waste of time/money” comments. I hope when my knight settles in he embraces my arthritic hands and knees as well as he embraces the sunny-natured will I surround myself with. After all, isn’t that what mature men expect when they cast their net for a younger mate? ; )

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