Why you should be meeting people in your golden years.
While on the one hand, we’ve normalized singlehood, joblessness, and a general reluctance-to-launch at 30, 35, even 40, it seems that, on the other end of the aging cycle, we’ve yet to be so generous. Our aging rebrand often fails to include a 60+ crowd.
Our golden years, however, are certainly under-acknowledged in romantic terms. There’s hardly a market for porn that skews itself to a greying crowd, we rarely find seniors the subject of rom coms or even romance novels, and our dating apps lean unapologetically young. But that said, there’s a plenty valid case for dating over 60—and we’d be remiss to discourage one another from doing so.
Here’s the thing: according to data from 2020, more than one-third of baby boomers are not currently married. Throughout their adult lives, this generation has faced higher rates of divorce than ever before. And what with the normalization of divorce—even later in life—and the ever-lengthening of lifespans, the choice to start at square one, intimacy-wise, circa 60, is an entirely logical one. When we’re all living to 95, and divorcing, contentedly by age 50, why on earth would we refrain from getting back out there? Intimacy is important, partnership is validating, and dating, while intimidating, is often fun.
As far as roadblocks go, plenty of folks have posited that an unwillingness to get back out there may have to do with the manifold ways in which the dating landscape has changed. For folks who are single (and mingle-ready) as senior citizens, the whole romantic universe has shifted. Between an app-based culture, a new enclave of terms surrounding monogamy and coupling, and a social scene that promotes lengthy background checks a la Google and social media all before you even meet a person in the flesh, it can all feel like a new dimension—which isn’t necessarily an inviting notion.
But hey, 60 is the new 40. And whether or not it’s intimidating, there is a scene for it. There are plenty of companion-ship seeking folks beyond mid-life, and you need not attend some niche speed dating event to find them.
Meeting people in the world
Experts all over the internet recommend reaching out to old flames via email or Facebook, striking up conversations in grocery stores or cafes, or allowing friends to set you up with blind dates from their circles.
Then, if you’re looking for some good reading, psychologists have compiled helpful resource lists for folks feeling apprehensive about getting back out there, there’s plenty of long-form self-help reading available and more pleasurably, romance novels to boot.
Modern trappings aside, flirting is still flirting. And odds are, you’re more comfortable in your own skin then you were at 22. So while you’ve got no kids in the house, while retirement looms, while you’ve got free time to travel, and cook, and entertain, what’s the hold-up?