50 Shades of Aging: Dating as a Senior

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY month – maybe. The divorce rate for people age 50 and up has doubled since the 1990s, in a time when divorce rates overall have fallen 18%. It appears that younger generations are contributing to that decline, marrying later when their career and finances warrant the commitment and being more selective in whom they marry. Of course, many millennials cohabit without the legalities of marriage, so the jury is out in terms of the stability of their overall relationships.

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That said, boomers have given their kids one more thing to be infuriated about when mom and dad decide to divorce, start dating and – the horrors! – even have sex in their 50s and 60s. Living longer has caused many of these boomers to re-evaluate their lives. They’ve raised their kids, and now it’s their turn to have some fun … and “their” doesn’t necessarily include their partner. Plus, let’s face it: Women outlive men, so there are a lot of older women alone – and senior isolation is a real and dangerous thing.

Is Senior Dating Different Than Dating When You Were Younger?

The first two lines of the song “The Second Time Around” by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen state: “Love is lovelier the second time around, Just as wonderful with both feet on the ground.”

Perhaps the “both feet on the ground” is the key piece here. You’re older and supposedly wiser. Where you meet could change. I admit I met my wife at a nightclub. Caveat – I was in the band, and a friend brought her to see us play. Still, seniors returning to the dating scene probably won’t be hitting the nightclub. A different kind of club might be in order. 

Joining groups where your interest matches others is a good place to start. These include: dance classes, art cafes, group theater excursions, senior gyms, special interest and hobby groups, senior trips and excursions. The point of any of these is to meet in a safe, public place. And perhaps it’s a sign of the times for anyone, but let others know where you’re going to be. (We’ll get to the kids in a second!) As for the first kiss and who picks up the check? Opinions differ. Follow your intuition.[ 

SEE: 13 Ways to Solve Sleep Problems in Seniors. ]

So, What About Sex?

Well first, it’s a health issue. The earliest boomers came from the “free love” generation, the 60s. At a stage in life when many would expect sexually transmitted diseases to be waning, STD rates for those 55 and older have increased by 43%. Over the past several years…

This article was sourced from US News.

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