Positive attitude in senior dating
By Tom P Blake Finding Love After 50
Last week, our topic was what I considered to be the most important issue for older singles to understand: "Where are the men?"
This week, based upon the responses, I write about the second most important issue: the importance of a positive attitude in senior dating. Nearly every response (not all) revealed a positive attitude from our Champs. I have included a mix of the responses today.
My cousin Peggy, well, she's not my real cousin, we have the same last name and when we correspond, we address each other as "Cousin," although we've never met, wrote: "I found this newsletter to be one of the best ever. Men over 50 have been in short supply forever.
"I will be 70 in April and have been single since 1978 after a 16-year- marriage and five kids. I nearly remarried a couple of times since then but the situations didn't work out. I have not dated in years but have wonderful people in my life. If I meet someone special, that would be a delight, but if not, I can keep enjoying friends and family as I have all along. I will save Dr. Ruth's quotes and re-read her words, and your words as well.
"Joan Rivers recently said her New Year's resolution is to marry a billionaire on life-support. I think you and Dr. Ruth are more realistic."
Jackie emailed, "Reading your column today was like going to my annual check-up and hearing my doctor tell me the reason I feel lousy is that I need to lose 20 pounds. Thanks for the honesty and wake-up call!"
Next, I compare the responses of two women whose comments both started out with similar words but finished much differently. The first began with "I am so annoyed..." and the second began with "I am sick of comments..."
Marta said, "I am so annoyed with folks who complain about the lack of available partners; this seems kind of whiny, short-sighted and self-absorbed to me. Life is risky, and without guarantees of ANY kind. Nobody was ever promised they would have the children of their dreams, enjoy perfect health, or be happily partnered. Here's my recipe for people who want to act in order to attract love (romantic or other kinds), and learn to stop futile complaining:
Get fit, care for your appearance and health
Practice and model loving kindness and self-acceptance; e.g. by cheerfully forgiving yourself and everybody else for being imperfect
Criticize just a little less and be grateful just a little more
Cultivate the loving relationships you already have with family, at work, in your community
Find a way to volunteer in a way that expresses your talents and makes you feel good
"The above may not bring your Romeo or Juliet, but I do guarantee that over time, these habits will raise self-esteem to the point you will realize you are complete and have love to GIVE, partnered or not."
The second woman said, " I'm sick of comments like Dr. Ruth's 'commit to having a good life with or without a man'...I think these comments are ridiculous cliches to try to make women feel better who are lonely and miserable. I'M MISERABLE! All I ask is that I'm not presented with generalized cliches that maybe work for younger women at the peak of their careers or who have more men to choose from and date; it's pretty scary to be alone over 60."
Elaine emailed, "Pointing out the statistical difficulties doesn't help your Champ population. What are they supposed to do with this information, get depressed? And yet Elaine went on to say that Dr. Ruth is correct, adding, "If you maintain your looks and interests along with attitude, you're far ahead of most of the competition."
Comment to Elaine: I sure didn't include the statistics to depress women. Isn't it better for them to understand why meeting quality men later in life is difficult vs. plodding along thinking there is something wrong with them?
Diane said, "Based on your stories, it sounds as if it's not just the numbers that are against some women but their attitudes. You nailed it with your advice to know the stats and focus on having the best life you can.
"It works for everything. I've been unemployed for some time and that's scary at my age. But as my sister-in-law says, "It only takes one!"
Jennifer stated, "When the male-female ratios are against women, the women in the best physical and mental shape are the ones who will find a mate. These age-related odds are a fact of life and nothing can alter them. The woman who is serious about finding a man recognizes that she must make an attractive presentation and this means keeping herself mentally and physically fit.
"The overweight and out-of-shape woman who leads an uninteresting, boring life and who likes to complain all the time will not appeal to many. It's unfortunate but some women will not be able to find a mate. Those who make the effort will increase their odds tremendously but those who neglect themselves will not."
Elizabeth, "We women must create our own happiness, not wait for a man to make us happy. Waiting for someone else to be in charge of our happiness is a life wasted. Happiness starts from within!"
Sandie wrote, " I am 61, a widow, was married for 36 years and I am a partner person. I have been alone for almost five years and it is getting easier. I have had to learn a different way of life, and that takes time.
"I am coming to terms with the fact that I may not find a gentleman to spend the next chapter of my life with. Accepting that and learning to do things I enjoy alone has been a big help. I am well dressed, not over weight, and certainly of average looks. If I were a math test I would be a B-.
"The men I would like to get to know better are asking out the 48-year-old ladies and I cannot compete with them. I have decided not to try. When I attend social meetings maybe I will meet some nice ladies to hang out with( go to movies, eat out, get together to watch silly chick flicks on television, etc.) I want Champs to know that because we can no longer attract a man does not mean our life is over. We have each other and that is nice."
My response to Sandie: You are not a B-; you are an A-. When we judge people, we are not grading a math test because we must include the most important item to judge: inner beauty. And you have that in spades.
You can see in these comments that a positive attitude in senior dating makes all of the difference in senior dating and in life.