Ask Johanna: Dating After 50

Dear Johanna, 

I’m a 51-year-old woman who has not dated for at least 10 years, since I’ve been so busy raising my son (I’m a single mom).  He’s now heading off to college, and I’m wondering how to go about getting back into the dating scene.  I’m feeling pretty out-of-it, since I haven’t done anything like this in so long.  Any suggestions?

Rusty in Roxbury


Dear Rusty,

I’d say it depends on what you are looking for.  If you just want to go out and have a few good meals paid for by someone else and you don’t care if what you end up with in the bargain is a guy who 1) plagues you for advice on how to win back his ex-wife or 2) talks all night about all of  his unsuccessful investment schemes (“But this one is going to work. I can feel it.”) or 3) describes how great his mother’s bread pudding is, down to the last raisin-filled bite,  which, by the way, he polished off at the house he shares with his mother before coming to take you out, then I’d say try  If nothing else, you can end up with some doozies to entertain girlfriends with over coffee.  But if you are really interested in meeting an interesting man, do what my friend, Sadhvi, says and go do things you enjoy doing: volunteer in a political campaign, learn to ballroom dance, attend lectures at your local university.  If the activity is interesting, at least you won’t feel like you’ve wasted an evening. But I don’t know about her bowling suggestion, since I’ve never been too crazy about the guys who hang out in bowling alleys.  Maybe the best idea would be to hang out in the lobby at a therapist’s office, since a lot of men over 50 are probably inside on the couch.

 Dear Johanna,

I’m a single woman, mid fifties, and I am interested in meeting someone, but I have this problem:  I seem to have no sex drive.  I’m afraid that if I start “dating” again, this could be a problem–and I’m just not sure I’m up for it!

Over it in Ottawa

Dear Over It,

I really don’t think you have anything to worry about, unless you are thinking of dating someone a lot younger than you are.  If you are looking at men in the same age group as yourself, don’t worry at all!  Why do you think there are so many ads on t.v. about things that will remain unmentionable in this column but which have something to do with things not functioning right?  Perhaps men over 50 are not up for it either! 

Dear Johanna,

I’m just barely over 50, and I’ve been dating unsuccessfully for years–going out with men I meet over or EHarmony or a dozen other sites.  I even tried a local Speed Dating event that only made me start laughing uncontrollably–the way I used to as a kid playing Musical Chairs.  Through all of this drama, I’ve also been joking and talking about all these fiascos with a co-worker…a man…who has always understood what I was talking about and made it all funnier by laughing.  Here’s my problem:  I’m afraid I’m falling in love with this guy, and he just might be feeling the same way…but–make sure you’re sitting down, Johanna–the problem is that he’s younger than I am–and I mean a lot younger. Should I give up?

Cradle Robbing in Cranston

Dear Cradle,

Don’t be silly!  Age is a number!  The important thing is how he feels about you–and how you feel about him.  Who cares what society thinks? You’re as young as you feel!  Go for it, cougar-girl!  I mean, you’re not talking about a sixteen-year-old, right? Are you?

2 thoughts on “Ask Johanna: Dating After 50

    That’s a great site. Free. Easy to navigate. Good guys, good laughs, good meals. I feel as you evolve who you are, you attract a different level of man. I do like the idea of sitting at the therapist’s office. Hysterical. As for sex, some PPL just don’t like it. Find one of those. As for younger men, forget the term cougar and just be you and let him be him. I’ve seen so many women give up incredible experiences because he was younger… We’re here to love. The time is now.

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