Dating After 50 - Island of Sanity

Island of Sanity

Men & Women

Dating After 50

A personal reflection.

I'm a divorced old man. I've made some tries at on-line dating but haven't been very successful. And it occurs to me that there's a good reason why. Well, maybe because I'm ugly and boring, but besides that.

As I write this, I'm in my 60s. I tend to look for women in at least roughly my age range. When I do a search on a dating site, I might look at women as young as 40, but that's about as young as I'm going to even try. Because let's be realistic: few 20 year old girls want to date a 60 year old man. I suppose there are some young women out there who have a thing for older men. But even if I met such a girl, would I want to get involved with a 20 year old? It might be fun for a couple of dates, but I doubt it would work out long term. I'm old and set in my ways. She's still young and creating herself.

So let's say I limit my search to women 50 and older. If a woman is in her 50s and not married, there are three possibilities: She's never been married. She's a widow. She was married but is now divorced.

If she is 50 and never married, why not? Did she never meet a man who wanted her? What's wrong with her? Did she not want to get married, but now has changed her mind? Why didn't she want to get married?

I saw a video once on the Internet where a woman said that when she was in her 20s, she decided that she didn't need a man and she could make it on her own and she was a strong independent woman and so on. Now, she said, she's 34 and "I'm all alone. I don't have anybody." The poor woman was crying that she just wanted some love and companionship. She sobbed, "I don't care if you're rich or poor, handsome or ugly. If you're a man and you're breathing, I'll marry you." You couldn't help but feel sorry for the poor woman. So yeah, maybe when a woman was young she wanted to be independent, but now that she's getting older she's feeling lonely and being independent isn't so much fun anymore. But what was she doing during those single years? If a woman slept with 50 men, I don't want to be number 51.

But most likely, she's divorced. And statistics say that 70 to 80% of divorces are initiated by the woman. So the odds are that if a woman is in her 50s and single, that it's because she divorced her previous husband.

Maybe she had some very good reason to divorce him. Maybe he cheated on her or beat her up or something. But probably not. Usually when a woman divorces her husband, it's for far less dramatic reasons. He doesn't make enough money; she's just not satisfied; she thinks she could do better; etc. So if a woman divorced her last husband for some relatively trivial reason, what makes me think she'll stick with me? More likely, the first time we have an disagreement, she'll be out the door looking for yet another guy.

So women much younger than me would likely think me too old and not be interested. And women my own age are probably single because they divorced their previous husband, and have thus demonstrated that they have no commitment to the relationship.

Also got me thinking: Would it be better to get involved with a woman whose previous relationship had been good, or would it be better to find a woman whose previous relationship had been bad? If her previous husband was a good man, I presume either she's a widow or if she initiated a divorce she now regrets it. So if I got involved with her would she have a positive view of marriage and start out expecting things to be good? Or would I find that I could never live up to her fond memories of her former husband, perhaps exagerrated in the memory? Or if her previous marriage was bad, would that mean that I'd be so much better by comparison that she would really appreciate me? Like, "Wow, he only gets drunk and beats me up once a week instead of every day!" (Okay, maybe not that extreme.) Or would she be constantly on guard and the least little thing I did she'd be saying, "Here we go again. Just like that last jerk." Like one day I'm 5 minutes late getting home from work and she's immediately assuming I must have been out having an affair with another woman.

© 2022 by Jay Johansen


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