I’m back in the saddle again, out where a friend is a friend . . . Those words don’t ring quite as true in this day and age, where a friend can be someone you’ve never met, but you know or think you know everything about through a Facebook connection. The 21st century has also seen the advent and popularization of virtual dating, including very real, but still no contact, sex!
So, are you single or wishing you were and thinking of re-entering the dating pool in middle age, or even later? Dating is never easy, at any age, and can be even more difficult as we get older. Getting back in the saddle can be trying to say the least, and fraught with indecision. There are also a number of soul-searching questions that one must ask him or herself before heading out the door or going online to seek new social encounters.
The first question you should ask yourself is: What do you want to get out of a dating relationship? Are you just looking for sex and a quick fling in the hay or would you prefer to establish a more committed relationship with just one person? Are you really interested in having more children of your own, or in raising someone else’s brood to maturity and beyond?
Everybody’s Doing It!
Even though we may be older, the questions about who we wish to date and why are pretty much the same as when we were young and first starting out. Take a quick stroll through any dating website and you’ll see a plethora of 40, 50, and even 60 and 70 year-olds looking for love all over the place. Especially in an age where it’s so easy to communicate and make new friends, there’s no longer any need to sit home alone wishing you had someone to hold hands with at the movies.
Everywhere you look you’ll find examples of people who are just like you. There’s a 70 year-old lady in Sheboygan putting out feelers for a soul mate to grow old with, and a 63 year-old man in Buffalo looking for true love and someone who gives good backrubs. So take heart and start softening up the old leather, for you too can at least start looking for a casual cup of coffee or a Sunday walk in the park with a special someone.
Making a decision to start dating again is often tied to the reason you became single. The overwhelming majority of daters are coming out of at least one unsuccessful marriage. As almost half of all marriages end in divorce, it isn’t surprising that the dating pool is loaded with misplaced and lonely middle-aged singles.
Give it a try! What have you got to lose? You lost your virginity a really long time ago so it really doesn’t matter if he or she is the one. Go for it! In every age range, from young adults in their twenties to youthful and spry octogenarians, people are enjoying new beginnings with brand-new people.
Remember, you don’t have to get married. Shacking up is even more popular today than a generation ago and makes breakups, when they occur, far less messy.
So What If the Horse Throws You
So if the old nag bucks and kicks and throws you off; pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get right back on. Remember what it’s like to ride like the wind astride a sleek dark-maned beauty? Sex is just as good at 60 as it is at 16. Actually, sex at 60 is better since, by that age, you should know what you’re doing. And if you start chafing or get saddle sores, there are plenty of unguents, creams, and medications that’ll take care of the problem.
Things Aren’t Quite Like They Used to Be
Societal and cultural expectations have changed significantly in the last 50 years. Today, in the 21st century, men and women can expect to live well into their late seventies and early eighties. Not only are people living longer, but they are able to enjoy their later years in much better health than people of a generation ago.
In our grandparents’ day, a couple married for life. If one spouse died, the surviving spouse was expected to live out his or her days alone, as a widow or widower. Seldom was dating even a concern. Today, 50% of all marriages will end in divorce. Couples that have been together since their teens or early 20’s may decide to end their marriages after 10, 20, or even 30 years.
There is no longer any stigma attached to being divorced as there once was. Most divorced men and women will want a second (or third) crack at love and a meaningful relationship before cashing in their chips and opting for a single and perhaps more monastic existence.
Times certainly have changed, and for the better. No one is too old to enjoy the joys of companionship, the wonders of sex, and perhaps even love!