Optimal Health

Dating At 55

fullsizeoutput_e07

The research has clearly shown that people in healthy relationships live longer, happier lives. NBC News reported that the risk of death was 32% higher for single men compared to married or coupled men. Livescience.com linked people in healthy relationships to longer lives as opposed to single people living alone.

I never thought I would be part of the dating scene at this age.

After all, isn’t this the age when you are supposed to be settled? It has definitely reinforced my belief in the fact that nothing is certain and that we must embrace the uncertainty in life. Even if you are in a relationship now, there is no certainty that you will be in one tomorrow. That is just reality.

Dating at age 55 has been both fun and frustrating at the same time.

I have met some amazing people and learned a lot as a result. Some of the people have even turned out to be great friends. On the other hand, I have met some interesting characters also. I always go into the date with an open heart. However, more often than not I am finding that it is not my heart they want open if you know what I mean.

I have heard it all and continue to hear things such as, “I don’t know what I want.” Is it possible to be over 40 and still not know what you want at that stage in your life? I can understand being in your 20’s and not knowing what you want, but 40’s and 50’s? Certainly not judging, just trying to understand.

I also hear other things such as, “ I need more time,” “I’m not quite ready,” “I’m still getting over my X,” “I’ve got too much going on right now,”……………………………………..The tales get frustrating. I call them tales but in a way I see them as excuses driven by fear or the need to continue to explore what else is out there. I’ve been guilty myself of telling the tales.

The smorgasbord is just too large with too many options making it difficult to settle on a certain entrée. Also being able to swipe right on your smart phone to order in, has certainly changed the face of dating. Again, I have been guilty.

So when do you settle down? When does one stop with the tales and embrace the beautiful gift that is before them?

Listen, I get it                                     

Perhaps not everyone wants a relationship. At least not now. But what about when you are 65 years old sitting on the sofa alone?  There is a great chance that your options will be more limited at that point. Just something to give some thought to. A study by Karen Fredrikson, Ph.D, found that 58% of LGBTQ seniors live alone compared to just 25% of straight older adults. It also found that 15% of that population had seriously considered suicide within the previous 12 months. What does this say about our community?

I think the LGBTQ community is different from the straight community in that many of us do not have children and at my age, our parents are deceased. This leaves us with a smaller support network as we age, which in my opinion is reason enough to settle down and stop looking over the smorgasbord for a better entrée.

I am certainly not suggesting that one settle just for the sake of “having someone.” I am only trying to provoke self-thought and examine the behaviors of my fellow LGBTQ family as I continue to date. I’ve come to understand that the muscle dude in the park and the man I may look at as a troll, both have feelings and that we are all making our way in this world as best we can.

I have learned to stop chasing the rainbow and perfection.

There is no perfect being or perfect relationship. I am open to meeting Mr. Right with no limitations. Limitations get in the way. In the past I have told myself, “Oh he’s too young,” “He’s too big,” “He’s too small,” His butt is too small,” He walks funny,” “He talks funny,” “He’s too Nellie,” “He’s the wrong race,” and the list goes on.

I have learned the importance of accepting and loving people as they are and at the same time being completely open to the possibility of a relationship even though they may not have EVERYTHING I want. No one will ever have EVERYTHING we want.

At the end of the day, it is about having someone to share life with. I have found mutual caring and great conversation to be important for me. I have found it increasingly important to look at the person’s inside and not so much the outside.  Color of skin, fat bootie, no bootie (like me), masculine, feminine and anything else we deem as necessary. I guess we all have our preference and there is nothing wrong with preference.

Things I find important in someone are kindness, caring, adoration, loving, respectful, laughter, fun, and motivation. I commit to look beyond the surface and not value the wrapping over the content.  

So I will continue to date, knowing that the kind, caring, adoring, loving, respectful, fun and motivated man will show up for me. And when he does, we will both know. We will leave the stories, excuses, fears and tales behind. None of those will be an issue anymore.

In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy the dating process. I would love your feedback. What has your dating experience been like? Are you kissing a lot of frogs? Let me hear from you at vinceshifflett.com

In love,

Vince

20 comments on “Dating At 55

  1. Sabrina Oglesby

    Hi Vince Sabrina just found your card logged on OMG I loved your blogs wanted to read more. adding my email so I can keep reading. miss working with you we had so much fun.😘

    Like

    • Sabrina,

      I am thrilled to hear from you and so grateful for your kind words and support. I miss working with you as well. We had a blast. I look forward to more of your feedback on my blog post.

      Much love,
      Vince

      Like

  2. John A Jones

    Thank you for being so transparent and vulnerable. I think this is a topic that many(myself included) will benefit from!!

    John

    Like

    • John,

      Thank you so much for your feedback. I think you bring up a good point re: your spiritual practice keeping you accountable. I have noticed that when I stray from my spiritual practice, I become disconnected and not the person I say I am.

      Abundant blessings to you my beautiful friend,
      Vince

      Like

  3. A great article, poignant but true. As I get older, I feel the dating pull decreases each year. What doesn’t seem to decrease is the amount of dishonest people. I hear time and time again, everything I am looking for in a person, people claim to want, however the honesty, communication, time and dedication is rarely there. People tell me what they want but don’t seem to put the effort it takes to develop a foundation to start a secure and solid relationship. I find people to be emotionally irresponsible and fear commitment (in fear of finding the next best thing in most cases) and when times become challenging, it’s easier to run away than to communicate, reach a common ground and move forward by acknowledging each other’s feelings, respect and avoid the same issue in the future. I am in no means a pessimist but a realist. I always seek the positive in people and each situation. When things don’t go as hoped or somehow I am disappointed, I do a self scan of myself and ask myself if I could have done something different. I’m not afraid of saying ‘I’m sorry’, but I refuse to take full responsibility especially if the other refuses to take any responsibility. When someone can’t admit their flaws, assume any responsibility or say the simple words that they are sorry, it says a lot of their character. I admit, sometimes I give someone the benefit of the doubt more than they deserve but I’m not a quitter, I don’t find relationships disposable, I like to invest my time, emotions, efforts for a common goal of a future together with that special someone. My one and only Therapist told me once years ago not to hang on too long with the wrong person, as you are only preventing yourself from meeting the right person who might be just around the corner. My point is dating is a good experience as it helps us determine what we are willing or unwilling to accept in a person as we age and grow into ourselves. Don’t let one bad apple or frog ruin your future perspective on dating. When we give up, is when we stop finding the right person. Stay positive, humble and always remain honest with yourself so you can be honest with that special loved one. Thanks for your words of encouragement and validation. We all have similar experiences but it’s what we make of it, that makes us. Kudos, good read…

    Rolando Saldana

    Like

  4. yuri margossian

    Yet another very interesting read, Vince, thank you.
    I have a few points to comment on :-
    Only one thing in life is certain or guaranteed. the fact that we will die at some point. We can’t chose to be born, be successful, happy, healthy or find our soul partner, but we will die, so we have to make the best of our time.
    You mentioned about seniors spending evenings alone and contemplating suicide. This is possibly because of a multitude of reasons including the fear of rejection because of their age or physique. The youth want’s an Adonis and they are very picky. the mature man wants companionship with added benefits, but mostly companionship, a voice, a noise at home, someone to romance, to talk to, to argue with, to love.
    There is no perfect person, you are right. To me, the most perfect and beautiful person was Diana. However, had she survived the car crash, would she have been as perfect as before was my wake up call.
    You lovely gentlemen who are giving up on finding true love, or a companion in life, don’t give up. He’s out there somewhere looking for you and you’re not going to meet if you’re locked up at home.
    I have a dear friend in this predicament. His mother lived with him, she was his constant companion. She has now gone and he’s stuck in a rut at home and doesn’t go out at night to meet anyone.
    A lovely lady I knew worked all her life, didn’t get married, no kids. She retired and decided to go on a cruise. On the cruise, she met a man and they hit it off. He asked where she lived and she said New York. Where in New York (I can’t remember the finer details) ? 5th Avenue and main. Oh, I live on 5th Avenue and Main. Where ? Shifflett Towers. The Shifflett Towers, I live in the Shifflett Towers. which apartment ? 40th floor apartment 408. But I live on the 41st floor apartment 418. Turned out that they lived in the same building for over 40 years and had never met. They ended up getting married and knocked through the floor/ceiling to make a 2 floor apartment. The point of this story is that he’s out there somewhere, but you won’t find him sitting at home alone. Go out and get rejected, so what, their loss. But one day someone will actually say ‘yes’ and it might well be the man of your dreams.
    I also agree with Ken, love yourself before you love another. It’s not fair on him.
    Go for it guys, Perseverance is the key word here.
    Thank you once again Vince and my apologies for going on too long as usual.
    Yuri x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Warren Wells

    All of the things that you said ,are spot on! As a black man in America, I can tell you some horror stories! God bless you and your truth!

    Like

  6. Kurtis Session

    Great article Vince! I’m 50+ and can say I’ve never dated. I didn’t come out among the gay community until my late late 20s. I found it very difficult meeting people in the early 90s, plus living in a small conservative Town didn’t help either. I found myself only being attracted to one particular race, only to be rejected by the same particular one I was into. My first objective was only to meet someone and to be in a loving relationship, being that I was clueless about the gay community, ended up only finding one night stands aka hook-ups. My expectations was always high at first finding someone to date but after No social connection, I then became used to being single and then turn into a workaholic. Kurtis!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kurtis,

      There are loving relationships out there and there is one just for you. The one night stands (hook-ups) are out there also. We, as conscious beings must set the intention for exactly what it is we want, then trust the Universe (God,Spirit) to send it our way. There are many out there like you and I that desire a meaningful, deep relationship. Everyone is not out just for a piece. 🙂 Our time will come.

      Much love to you,
      Vince

      Like

  7. Grant Williams

    Thank you for writing this. I’ve spent the last 18 months trying to date in Atlanta and it has been a frustrating process. I’m 45 and have made a real effort to be open and honest but that has not been reciprocated. Instead there have been games, untruths and what seems like a lot of wasted time. Oddly things go well for two or three months and then something changes without any communication or explanation. It’s happened with four different guys so I recognize I play a role in the outcome but I can’t figure out what I’m doing to cause it. I’m going to keep trying but the process is tedious and to spend three or four months with someone who turns out to be be very different than I thought seems like such a waste of time. Anyway, it helps to know I’m not the only person trying to learn from past mistakes and still finding a lot of frogs.

    Thanks again! Grant

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Grant,

      Many of us in the same boat it seems yet it seems difficult and challenging to navigate the waters. I appreciate your feedback. We will continue to learn about ourselves as we move forward on this journey. For that part, I am grateful.

      Vince

      Like

  8. Wow! Deep insight. At 44 I had better get on the ball.

    Like

  9. Great article! I see myself in this article as a 52 y/o who has been single for almost three years now. My parents are deceased and I have one biological brother who lives 1600 miles away.

    Like

    • Jeffrey,

      Really appreciate your response. I think there are many of us with the same thoughts which is why I wanted to share. When the time is right, he will appear. For both of us. 🙂

      In love,
      Vince

      Like

  10. Stephen F. Trask

    I’ve wondered at my age if dating is even possible anymore. I feel invisible over 50, as most guys my age have partners, are chasing younger, or are what I’d call “a tad unstable.” But, you’re article was honest, refreshing, and real. Thank you for this 😉

    Like

  11. Kenneth Jackson

    Thank you for your comments.
    I have found my lifelong partner. He is indeed the love of my life. One must first love yourself before you can love another.
    Ken/Dallas, Tx

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: