In my 23 years of writing newspaper columns and newsletters, one of the most curious and frequent comments I receive from seniors reentering the dating world is: “I look ___ years younger than my age.” They fill in the blank with a number—it’s often 10--but can be more.
An example of more years hit my inbox Monday when Bill wrote: “I’m 93 going on 73, and recently widowed. Am I too old to find a lovely companion? I live on Beach Road Capistrano Beach and am lonely. Marriage is not a possibility. I have followed your articles in the newspaper.”
I write for newspapers in South Orange County, California, and in Pennsylvania. I could tell Bill lived in South Orange County because of his reference to Beach Road Capistrano Beach. That road is about a mile long and all the homes there front the Pacific Ocean and are valued at several million dollars each. Bill may have included that fact, thinking living in such an expensive property might make him more desirable.
Over the years, women have been the ones who have made the “I look younger” comments most often, but, lately, it’s the men who have mentioned it the most.
Sometimes, children, grandchildren, or friends of singles tell the singles that they look younger than their age, hoping to motivate those singles to get out and date.
Just last week, we featured Chuck, a delightful widower, who, when he first emailed me, wrote: “I’m in my 70’s but look like I’m in my 60’s.”
My answer to Chuck, stated with a wink in my eye, was: “Regarding your age, we’ll let the women you meet decide how old they think you are. Looks are in the eyes of the beholder.”
Dave, also a widower, mentioned that his cardiac surgeon told him that he looks 15-20 years younger than his age. Dave said, “I’m blessed with my mother’s genes.” He had a birthday this week and said: “It’s like turning a young 72.”
Les, 91, also a widower, who lives not far from Beach Road in nearby San Clemente, has also been featured in this newsletter. Les has no qualms about revealing his true age. He’s a highly decorated World War II veteran, and proud of it. He lets his photograph do the talking. When I showed friends his picture, they said, “Les is very handsome; he looks about 80.”
Les added, “Tom, remember, I am 91. I’m slowing down but I do enjoy going places.”
Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler, 69, doesn’t worry about his age and how he looks. His girlfriend, Aimee, 28, is 40-years younger than Tyler. Aimee is more than a decade younger than his eldest daughter, Liv, who is 40. The couple has dated for three years and is rumored to be engaged. For Tyler, it’s not how young he thinks he looks, it’s what he does with his life that matters.
Another man emailed a while back, “I have dated women 10-23 years younger for my entire life and would not want to meet a woman my age. Having perused the dating sites for four years, women think they look younger than their age--virtually all of them, think much younger in fact
. Let me assure you, they don’t. Fortunately, I still have the physique of an athlete and younger women continue to find me attractive.”
Oh my. Maybe I need to drop down and do a few pushups.
This week, Judy emailed: “I am 74 but look 64. Would like to meet somebody who is trustworthy and enjoys the beach. Divorced several years but not able to find a match. Please help me find that special someone.”
Judy’s comment made me think of the refrain from the Beatles song, “When I’m Sixty-Four.”
“Will you still need me, will you still feed me
“When I’m sixty-four”
(See below a link to the Beatles’ When I’m sixty-four)
Judy shouldn’t dwell on how young she looks. Rather, she should simply get involved with activities she enjoys and get out of the house and meet new people. In that way, she might capture the eye of a nice man who, when he sees her in person, won’t care that she’s 74.
Why do so many senior singles say they look younger than they are? Probably because they hope they’ve still got what it takes to reel in a mate.
When Larry, another Champ, who we’ve also featured a couple of times, initially contacted me, he wrote, “I am 63, but feel 43.” He did not say he looks 43, he simply said he feels 43. Now, that’s different.
64, 74, or 84 --doesn't matter--it's the bounce in your step that counts.
How young you look doesn't matter; it's how young you feel
For senior daters, it’s not how old you think you look that is important, it’s your positive attitude and how young you think, and, how you tackle the adversities life has placed in front of you that determine your attractiveness. It’s what’s inside that counts.
Link to “When I’m sixty-four.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBOj_af5AR
Responses to the above article - published October 6, 2017
Champ comments from last week (Tom's eNewsletter members are called Champs)
Hamila, “I was put off by the gentleman who made the comment regarding having always dated women 10-23 years younger and has no interest in meeting a woman his own age. Sadly, I feel as if most single men are only interested in women much younger than their own age. Their loss!
“I am 69 and not going to tell you I look X number of years younger because I agree with you that ‘age’ is in the eye of the beholder.
“We need to appreciate what a person brings to a relationship and not dwell on physical appearance. Don't get me wrong, we definitely need to put our best self forward but we are all so much more than a number.”
John, “It is a natural tendency to put a younger age to help make a good first impression and perhaps reduce the chances of rejection. However, in the long run that will backfire as you claim to build a relationship based on honesty and eventually sharing full disclosure about yourself.
“Trying to explain why you lied about your age will create doubts about everything else you shared to build an open and honest chance at love. Best to start honest, stay honest, and build a more solid foundation if the relationship was meant to be; or not to be - that is the question, as Shakespeare claimed.”
Cheryl, “The last man I went out with had presented his age as five years younger than he is. We met for lunch, and he told me his real age, as well as why he'd ‘lied’ - he wanted to see if he could attract younger women, and knew that his chances were minimal if he'd told his real age.
“He said, ‘It's not dishonest if you tell the woman your real age on the first date.’ I was miffed, and wondered if he generally thinks it's okay to lie in ‘special circumstances,’ as long as, he eventually comes clean. His ‘innocent’ act caused me enough mistrust to not want to see him again.”