5 tips for bachelors over 50
Take a look at yourself. Are you wearing the same kind of clothes as you did 20 years ago? No? How about your eating habits, still chowing down those bacon cheeseburgers five times a week? I see. Then why, pray tell, are you dipping into the same romantic repertoire as you did a generation ago, when you were a fresh-minted slacker with five roommates and a kegerator? Here are some tips for dating like the mature adult you now are, not the callow kid you used to be back in your college days.
1. Avoid the club scene
If the gal you’re dating is a few years younger than you are, it’s natural to try to impress her by partying down at Chez Whatsit until 4 a.m. on a weekday night. This might even momentarily rekindle your own youthful spirits — at least until you have to drag yourself out of bed three hours later, slog semi-consciously through a day of work, and beg off another night of debauchery because of sleep deprivation. Try a quiet night of Scrabble instead.
2. Wear a suit and tie
Sure, it felt cheesy when you were 22 and going on your first job interview, and sneakers and jeans are so much more comfortable. But when she reaches a certain age, a gal wants to see that you care enough about her to make even a token attempt at dressing nice. On the same note, grabbing a couple of slices at the local pizzeria may have worked back when you were cruising for a college girlfriend, but to most normal adults, “dinner” means something that comes with appetizers, drinks and dessert.
3. Take it slow
Gone are the days when you can meet a lady for a first date, spend a wild night at your place and have her move in with you three days later. By the time she reaches her fourth or fifth decade, the average woman has accumulated so much baggage (kids, careers, two or three cats) that even negotiating a goodnight kiss can be a major maneuver. Be patient, and you’ll eventually reap your just rewards.
4. Talk like a grown-up
“What’s your favorite app?” no longer cuts it as a conversational ice-breaker; try updating your patter with questions like, “So how many kids did you say you have?” or “How long were you and your second husband married?” By the same token, you might want to go easy on references to The Flintstones, Miami Vice, and Magnum, P.I.. Instead, earn bonus points by conversing intelligently about the latest Helen Mirren flick.
5. If you say you’re going to call — then call
Twenty-five years ago you might have shrugged impishly and promised to call “soon.” But the casual insouciance you so carefully cultivated in high school won’t make you irresistible to the women you date today; they’ll just assume you aren’t interested and move on. Persist in this kind of behavior, and one day, when you wake up, you won’t be a middle-aged single guy on the prowl; you’ll be an old single guy who gets avoided by women who can smell the desperation coming off you in waves.
Bob Strauss is a freelance writer and children’s book author who lives in New York City. He’s also written the Dinosaur guide on About.com, the online information network owned by the New York Times.