The criteria for a Match
A male acquaintance complained about a widowed peer who at 75 was behaving like a 20-year-old. He was dating and looking for love.
More power to him.
My last partner in romance died about four years ago, and although I didn’t think I was closed to a new adventure, maybe I am.
Cynical friends say a man at our age only wants a nurse or a purse, but I don’t think that’s the case. I like many men and suspect they are looking for companionship and a good friend.
We can all use a good friend, and companionship is nice. If limited.
I am spending some time with a tour group, and recognize that I need my solitary time. No big drama or complaints; sometimes I just want to take a walk alone and have the only narrator be me.
When you are with a lot of people, someone is narrating the present moment for you. It’s why I don’t have Alexa or anyone else telling me stuff.
“The sun is coming out.”
“I think we take a left turn here.”
“Look at that cloud formation.”
“That was a good coffee shop. I needed a really good cup of coffee.”
All of this is the companionable chit-chat that is harmless and fills one’s time instead of listening to a new bird call and trying to identify it; hearing the wind stirring in the trees.
I like listening to bird calls.
It’s been a long time since I heard catcalls.
The physical aspects of love are wonderful, but they are more wonderful with someone who you have already learned, and someone who has already learned you. Laughter is a great companion to romantic love in life’s later stages and is necessary to sustain a no-judgment zone.
We boomers had the advantage of the pill in our youth and the pill in our dotage.
The birth control pill became commercially available in 1960. Boomer women had birth control pills available when we needed them, even if we had to get past a physician’s frowning disapproval.
Viagra was commercially available in 1998, about the time some of us might have needed a lift.
So our sexual lives have been bookmarked by two important pharmaceuticals. I know there was the polio vaccine and all sorts of other important medical advances, but in terms of how we’ve lived our lives, it’s hard to surpass the Two Pills.
We had our drugs before we needed medications. And now THC is helpful for arthritis. Who woulda thunk that?
We might have to circumvent our adult children to live out our vices.
A friend was stopped by a man as she was exiting a grocery store.
“You look just like my wife. She died two years ago,” he said. He asked for and got her telephone number before his adult daughter intervened. He called my friend later, apologetically. “My daughter says that with my health problems I have no business dating,” he said.
I remember a friend who told me the heart is always seventeen. Unless you have a pacemaker or congestive heart failure or some other circulatory problems.
This is a challenge for those of us dating in later life. We are willing to be caretakers after long years of partnership, but what about after six months of partnership?
Some aging single men seem to have given up, or maybe their eyesight is fading.
Readers can tell me if men complain about an equivalent in the female gender. But my friends and I have noted the widowed or divorced or otherwise single guys over sixty who need ear hair grooming or need to launder more frequently.
It’s like during the lockdown of the pandemic; we discussed what we had let slide. We all did. Days lived in sweatsuits with hair growing out in wild directions.
Masks without makeup or lipstick or earrings.
But by now we should be resuming civilized behavior for social interaction.
The criteria most women have for a partner include:
— Financially independent
— Interesting companion
— Kind with a good sense of humor
There is also the Match.com phenomenon of what men think is appropriate dating material. For women.
Especially in the Midwest, a lot of guys pose with a big fish or a deer head with antlers. I don’t know about you, but the hunter-gatherer went out a while ago as far as a dating criterion. Also, bare-chested selfies taken in bad light and not a good image. For men or women of our age.
So for those men and women who want to put in the effort, more power to you. We don’t need to be wowed by physical appearance, but we do need to be attentive to each other, to how we treat others, to what makes us laugh, to the companionship of older age. We are done with drama and no narration of the day’s events, even the weather, are needed.