Looking back at the 80s and 90s, I see the dating concept was magnificently different than that of today. Young couples were not allowed to stay out late, probably hung out at the local mall or the ice-cream shop or enjoyed roller skating in the park. Cellphones were not common and a brief call on the landline in the family room barely gave any privacy. Nowadays we see every individual with a cellphone in his or her hand. Social media has become an important element in everyone’s life, and one can easily know a lot of about a person before actually going on the first date with them. Dating does not always mean you are looking for a lifelong partner, often it is just for a casual fling and many dates do not even go beyond the first date. One-night stands are the norm, and dating these days also leads to friendship and companionship if not true love.
The average person begins dating at the age of 14 these days and keeps it easy going and fun. Some people meet the love of their life early on in their dating period, let’s say perhaps in their twenties, but some people continue to enjoy the life free of commitments well into the middle age. Often a personal tragedy, an unexpected loss or even a change of feelings leaves you single when you least expected it. That time is perhaps the most difficult in any person’s life and to fill that void is a Herculean task.
I look at my neighbor, a 64-year-old man whose wife died of a sudden heart attack and left him in complete shock. He went into a period of grief and eventually decided to date again to find companionship. His adult children felt embarrassed, but I encouraged him and made him realize that there is no harm and shame in dating after 60. With all of us leading a very busy life that keeps us on our toes, friendship, companionship and even romance has become every human’s need, even those who have crossed the age of 40, 50 and 60.
I talked to some mature individuals who date, and they shared they experiences and some tips with me. Following are their accounts on Older Dating:
“I lost my husband of 33 years in a car crash. Our son was settled into his life and I did not want him to rip apart his life and be there for me 24/7. I tried reading clubs and gardening activities with the local community group, but I longed for warmth and companionship. I still had my looks and sense of humor, and a friend from the reading club introduced me to online dating. I met George then. We get along quite well. He is 61, and we are going to the movies tomorrow.” – Susan, 63.
“My daughter was always on my case to begin dating. I am a 50-year-old single parent. Never dated again after falling pregnant after a one-night stand. Devoted all my time and attention to raising my daughter who is in college now. She wants me to be more social and give time now to myself. Upon her much insistence, I went on a date with the area grocery store owner. He seems nice. Always greets me with a smile and once asked me out for coffee before too. He is a widower with two teenage sons. I am looking forward to more dates with him now. I feel I should not have waited too long to date. It’s healthy to focus on one’s own self.” – Laurie, 50.
“I am a lawyer and have always focused on my career. I have been in relations, but I was never on the market for a long-term commitment. My career has been my pride and joy, and I never felt the void of a husband or children. Neither I am looking forward to that anymore. I love the thrill of my work and the challenge it brings for me. I am constantly on the go; my work requires a lot of travel and I will never slow myself down for a relationship. However, I enjoy going on dates whenever I have the time, and love a good session in bed too. I always turn to a dating site and that provides me with what I am looking for. It feels good to just unwind and relax and enjoy a cup of coffee with someone. People often raise an eyebrow when I tell that I have a date – because my age is 54. Would that stop me from dating? Never. I advise everyone to take decisions that benefit you, and online dating works perfectly for me.” – Rachel, 54.