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In a gay community that glamorizes and idealizes youth, the dating landscape can be a difficult one for single gay seniors looking for love. Despite the prejudice and ageism this group often encounters, the senior years can be one of the most meaningful and fulfilling periods of the life cycle, and finding love, while perhaps more challenging, can absolutely be a reality.
What follows are a variety of tips for finding a loving companion, a relationship that can enrich one’s life and share in all that is yet to come during the sunset years.
As I often preach, “To find Mr. Right, you have to be Mr. Right.” This means it’s important to have your life in working order so there are minimal distractions or emotional baggage that could potentially interfere with your pursuit of a compatible partner. It also means loving yourself and having a strong self-concept and appreciation for who you are and what you have to offer.
As the law of attraction states, “like attracts like.” Our socialization process has taught us to minimize and fear the older years. To somehow believe that to be older means to have lost significance or to be less than. A unique aspect of self-esteem enhancement for older adults is to take stock of all the negative scripts and beliefs you’ve internalized about being a senior and counteract them with more validating, affirming values and visions.
Unless worked through, these negative “tapes” can be projected through your actions, words, body language, and nonverbal communication. and can act as a barrier to relationships. If you find that you’re holding yourself back in any way because of your age or that you’re preoccupied with youth or regrets, speaking with a therapist can help purge these negative barriers to your personal growth, so you can open up more possibilities for yourself in the dating world. You’re a good catch, but you have to believe it before another man can.
Developmental theorist Erik Erikson posits that the central developmental crisis of the senior adult is ego integrity vs. despair. In keeping with our first tip about getting one’s life in order to invite love in, this crisis resolution involves taking stock of one’s accomplishments and developing a coherent narrative about having lived a successful life that one is proud of.
If anything remains unfinished or if there are any lingering regrets, disappointments, or incompletions, now is the time to tie up these loose ends to improve your quality of life, boost your sense of wholeness, and cultivate new meaning and purpose. Not only will this serve to create more inner peace and happiness, but it will also create an energy about you that could draw people toward you. As the law of attraction states, “like attracts like.”
One of the top ways to meet other compatible, like-minded single gay men is to immerse yourself in activities and pursuits that embody your interests, talents, and passions. What matters to you? What are your values? What do you stand for? What makes you tick?
Take inventory of these questions, and then set about creating a life purpose around this. Not only will this give your life meaning and enjoyment, but you’ll likely also be positioning yourself near other single seniors who share the same life philosophies that matter most in an intimate relationship.
Online dating is very popular, but a sophisticated older gay gentleman will likely find these sites and apps to be a haven for hookups among younger generations. It’s possible to meet someone on these sites. However, senior men are a big minority. Perhaps one of the more relevant dating sites for the older gay single would be OurTime.com, a dating platform for singles 50+. You can also visit Meetup.com to join groups catering to your age group or hobbies/interests. If none exist in your area, you can be a pioneer and create your own specialty group.
Consider embarking on a gay cruise or taking up residence at one of the gay retirement communities that are popping up all across the nation to service the needs of the large baby boomer population. Finally, though not specifically dating-oriented, check out SmartGayLife.com, which offers different resources for gay seniors seeking holistic quality-of-life support. The site lists five resources and organizations that cater to the LGBT community and may help you meet others for dating and/or friendship.
As we get older, the test of time can take a toll on our bodies, and our sexual functioning may not be quite what it once was. This is a normal aspect of aging. It may be more difficult than when you were a young buck to achieve and maintain erections or reach climax. But, you can still embrace your sexuality in a way that isn’t performance-based or genital-focused — examples of sexual scripts men are socialized to follow.
Our bodies have erogenous zones all over that are ripe for the plucking. By learning about the different pleasure centers in your body and by learning about physical touch, massage, and Tantric sexuality, you’ll acquire a whole new extension to your sex life that you can share with your partner.
As long-time survivors of a homophobic society, you have learned character-building and how to be resilient through adversity. This positions you quite well to address the challenges of aging with success and empowerment. By taking some concrete action steps from the above tips, you’ll be gaining momentum in your quest for a compatible partner for dating and mating for what could be the most rewarding time of your life. Enjoy!