What are the biggest dating issues for men and women in their 60's? I'm not unfamiliar with these issues, since many of my clients are in that age group. Still, I decided to take an informal poll, gathering input from both sexes by querying a few dozen of my friends, clients, and acquaintances. My findings were as I expected, as both men and women had a lot to say:
Men said: “Women over 60…”
1) are bristly/defensive/bitter, with a tendency to blow up or lash out over inconsequential matters
2) have no (or very low) sex drive
3) expect monogamy/commitment/marriage too soon
4) are too independent and focused on work, family, friends, and hobbies (too many things other than him)
5) are too settled, inactive, not sociable or adventurous enough, more homebodies than world-travelers
6) don’t look as good as their pics, and/or act differently than portrayed in online profiles
Women said: “Men over 60…”
1) only want younger women, and lie about their age without guilt or shame
2) are controlling, clingy, and need too much attention
3) have a low sex drive and/or ED
4) are too settled and inactive, or just plain couch potatoes
5) can be jealous of women's careers, don’t respect women's independence and expect them to work less
6) rely on women to teach them their own emotional landscape, thereby forcing her into the role of “mother”
What Stood Out
By far, each group had one complaint above all.
The men’s was that older women can be bitter and defensive, prone to harsh, angry, rage-filled confrontations, when long-held resentments (for past partners' behaviors) are taken out on the new guy.
Women’s top complaint was that men feel entitled to lie about their age, some even casting thinly veiled blame—as if somehow women have forced them into it by refusing to acknowledge the value of the men’s exceptional health, fitness, and energy.
There's a lot to unpack here, mainly because both complaints are valid.
Many men justify shaving 5-10 years off their age by saying: “but I feel and look better than I did at 40!” As if energy stores and gut size are all that matter when assessing compatible age range!
A woman has a right to determine the range she'd like to date in, and smart women base that decision on factors beyond a man's current state of “virility."
For starters, the statistical likelihood that a 65 year old mate will be sick, dead, or dying in 10-15 years matters. Women statistically live 5 years longer than men, and tend to be devoted care-givers. I don’t care if you look and feel younger than Justin Bieber; if you’re 65 years old, your potential life partner has a right to know before she wastes time replying to an email, much less dating you!
(As an aside, when I was actively online dating at age 47, I lost count of the number of 65 year old men who tried to convince me they were closer to 55. Since the majority of my relatives live into their 90s, I conceivably had 45 years left on this planet, while the men deceitfully pursuing me had 15 years, at best.)
As for women's disproportionate reactivity, it is as real, rampant, and unacceptable as the men I polled state. No self-respecting man would tolerate that behavior, yet many women have a skewed perspective on these occasional angry outbursts.
Women underestimate the true measure of wreckage they cause. Since men don't wear their hearts on their sleeves, women are often blind to the fear and pain men can feel at the receiving end of a tirade. They have no idea how ill-equipped men are to navigate bouts of unchecked rage. Even for those who can respond in some useful, productive way, any romantic feeling or affection that man had for her will start to shrivel up and die that day.
Senior Daters Primary Issues Are The Direct Result Of Younger People’s Issues.
Young women regularly fail to speak up for themselves or state their needs in clear and honest ways. We, as a society, in general, still raise our girls to believe being opinionated or contrary is unacceptable, that her needs are somewhere between secondary and burdensome to everyone else.
Women grow up holding all their feelings, opinions, and disappointments inside. Every time a woman censors herself a resentment builds. Is it any wonder those resentments come out with terrifying force later in life?
(I’m not saying it’s right. I’m just saying, it is what it is.)
Meanwhile, young men are regularly taught their self-worth lies in their accomplishments, with a focus on their physical capabilities. By the time they’re cresting middle-age they’ve lost a few battles and learned the hard way that life will beat a man up a bit.
Such ego-bruising leads many to feel they're forever striving to prove themselves. They hardly know better than to value themselves based on what’s left of their manly/youthful attributes (e.g., energy, health, and fitness).
The reason some men wrongly blame women for “having to” lie about their age, is that by age 65 most men are emotionally exhausted from a lifetime of forcing themselves into the roles assigned to them. In addition, many are haunted by the feeling that not only will they never measure up, but maybe they never knew what women wanted to begin with?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristin Casey is a Certified Intimacy Coach based in Austin, Texas. She is also an IPSA trained Surrogate Partner. Her first book, a memoir Rock Monster: My Life with Joe Walsh, was released by Rare Bird Books in March, 2018.