You think it’s easier or more fun to date younger women? Ken Solin, 69, an AARP dating expert whose columns also appear regularly in other Boomer-related sites and on Huffington Post, would disagree with you.
For 25 years, off and on, he lived in the “dating pool,” where he spent a lot of time typecasting his dates, some much younger than himself. “I hated it. We didn’t have the same frame of reference,” he says, revealing he’s now in a relationship with someone he calls his “best friend.”
Dan Collins, 51, a writer from Baltimore, MD, agrees. Younger women don’t get your jokes. They want to stay out all night. They don’t quite have the relationship skills necessary to sustain a meaningful relationship.
Solin says Boomer woman are stronger, have staying power, and his favorite line: “They don’t cut and run” at the first sign of trouble.
So how do Boomer women reach the “better pick” category of dating options? What makes them so great? From conversations with those who’ve been there and done that, there are at least five reasons:
1. They know themselves
Collins, whose closest friends are Boomer women, says he finds them more centered than younger women. They’re not just looking for a man to fill a void.
“[Boomer women] have learned what they like and don’t like, so there’s not a lot of ‘guesswork’ with them,” he says. They are not trying to fill a laundry list of requirements, he adds, because, “As we age, if we aren’t completely stupid, we begin to realize who we really are and what we really need in our lives.”
2. They’re confident
Beth Portolese, 56, a New Yorker who works in human resources and started a lifestyle website for women and men who are 50 and older—Fiftyisthenewfifty.com—says Boomer women have the confidence to forgive and understand, something that younger women often do not have.
For one thing, “Sex is less important,” she says. So if your man needs to take a pill for that, it’s not an issue with us; it’s reality. Likewise, she says, “If men have issues with their own sexuality, if they need medication to do the job, women get it.”
They don’t take things personally.
3. They relate to you
Women who are 50 years or more relate to similar things as you and have similar historical references, says Collins, such as “the world before the Internet, fax machines, and rewinding VHS tapes.”
Because of their shared experiences, Boomer women also have fewer expectations than younger women you may want to date. “We don’t necessarily want to get married,” says Portolese, “Like our male counterparts, we’ve been married before…We want companionship, instead.”
4. They enjoy your company
Collins, who admits he’s not the handsome rebel type, a type he says younger woman go for, likes it that women closer to his age are okay with that. They appreciate him for “the essence of the person inside…Are they caring, do they listen, are they accessible, kind, decent?”
It’s the older woman who appreciate the “Ward Cleavers like him,” he says, the guys who are dependable, good listeners and don’t go out drinking at all hours.
5. They employ wisdom
Women over 50 know “real relationships are difficult,” says Solin, and they will openly disagree with you, or vice versa, without running away. They know “real relationship skills take time to develop…and they are patient.” Interested in their own personal growth, they don’t feel the need to save or teach the men they date, he says, “They’ll wait to find the guy who has worked on himself.”