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Fifty is the new 40, and 70 is the new 55. People are staying younger, living healthier and leading active lives much longer than ever before, and today’s senior ladies are certainly proof positive of that fact. Images of granny in her rocking chair with knitting needles have been replaced by the reality of stunning, active women “of a certain age” all around us.
Many of us are uncomfortable with the label of “senior” (though we still take the discount at the restaurants!) because we don’t look, feel, act or think like the seniors who came before us. Still, when circumstances change and you find yourself back in the dating scene after 20, 30 or 40 years, it’s easy to feel like you’re a relic of days gone by, on the outside looking in.
The truth is, you do fit in, and you do belong with all of the others searching for love. You still want and need the love of a man, and (trust me when I say this) there are thousands of good men who would still love to love you.
There is no need to try to be somebody you aren’t. Maybe you’ve still “got it” with a slim figure and the greatest legs since Ann-Margret in those Elvis movies, but miniskirts and bare midriffs are going to make you look foolish and desperate. There are plenty of fashionable choices for women of all ages these days, so make good choices.
They say a man’s appearance becomes more distinguished as he ages. A modern lady becomes more elegant. You’re not competing with 20-year-olds. If that’s what a man wants, that’s what he will look for.
A discerning gentleman looking for a woman over 50 wants someone with the mature qualities of a life-long partner and someone he can be proud of around his adult children.
If you want to try the cougar routine and seduce younger men, that’s your call. Just be aware that the men in that dating pool are usually looking for sex and a wealthy sugar mama. And don’t be too surprised if you accidentally snag a gigolo who expects to get paid afterward.
“The game has changed since you
were 21 but less than you think.”
You may have spent decades in the arms and bed of one man. Even if your mind is ready to move on, you are bound to feel extremely uncomfortable the first time a man approaches you or takes you on a date. Don’t run, but have a glass of wine instead.
You are doing nothing wrong, and the man in front of you is probably a great guy. In fact, it may be his charm and endearing smile that triggers your flight response when you feel those juices of attraction flowing again, after you kept them in check for so long.
Don’t let attraction feel like guilt or fear. You are a free woman with a lot of life to live and a lot of bottled-up love left to give. Let those feelings bubble up to the surface.
Once you get used to them, you will love the feeling, and you will feel more alive than you’ve felt in years. You’re just starting to tune back in and reconnect to life, so don’t fight it.
Avoid the jungle when you go out on the town. It might be fun to check out the loud clubs where they stamp your hand and you need a crowbar to get through the crowd, but you will tire of those quickly and won’t find what you’re looking for.
Try the quieter upscale dinner and dancing clubs in the wealthy suburbs, around the lakes and in the mountains. They often have rather loud bands or a disc jockey playing the modern songs you like, but you are more likely to be among a somewhat older, more sophisticated class of eligible men. The kids can’t afford these places or just aren’t attracted to them.
Ladies can feel comfortable sitting at the bar in most cases, so bring a lady friend, young or old. Get out on the floor and dance with her. When a gentleman apologizes for accidentally brushing too close to you, you will amaze yourself with the comfort, charm and confidence with which you can now so easily and naturally respond.
Strike up a conversation. Life has made you comfortable in your skin, so take advantage of the freedom that gives you.
On the other end of the spectrum, you might prefer to stay in the city and check out the VFW clubs, Legion halls, bowling alleys, ballroom dance clubs or corner pubs. Mature men still like to get out, but they want to find friends of the same age with common interests.
And they will be thrilled to find you, too. You might just be the hot new commodity that gets them interested in the really good things that life has to offer again.
Of course, getting back into the dating scene is not just about going to bars and waiting for a guy to hit on you. Eligible men are everywhere.
Check the newspaper for senior events or anything that will attract men — fishing contests, lumberjack days, rodeos, county fairs or a sale at Home Depot. Keep your eyes open whenever you’re out shopping for groceries or getting your oil changed.
Of course, attending church is a great way to get involved with people. Volunteer work is also great. You might be too young and active for the guys at the nursing home, but their grown sons will come to visit them, so try volunteering there.
And if you’ve never gotten computer savvy, now’s the time. If you can click a garage door opener, you can click a mouse and try online dating. There are sites just for seniors where you know the guys are looking for a real, mature lady.
Or you can try the general sites and see how that goes for you, too. Just sign in and start looking at the men’s profiles. Most sites have some limited browsing capabilities with a free membership, so find one you like and join.
Ladies, the world is still your oyster. You learned long ago that all this talk about a “man’s world” is a bunch of malarkey. Women always called the shots and still do, and you’ll be a lot better at it now.
My last bit of advice is just to say that you need to let go of the past and have fun. Don’t turn your date into a therapy session or talk incessantly about your former or deceased husband. Older men are better listeners than the young ones, but they have their limits, too.
Sure, the game has changed since you were 21 but less than you think. You’ve still got the goods, and men are still eager to earn your affection.