Mother Nature must not be working hard enough. Or the pharmaceutical companies are doing an absolutely marvelous job.
We’re seeing a different crop of seniors in the 21st century. Oh sure they have their arthritis medication and their hearing aids but that doesn’t keep them from being sprightly and lively human beings. Don’t bet on getting them a rocking chair or a hot water bag or the latest motorized wheelchair. That would be politically incorrect gift-giving.
Watch them in action. If you visit any of Florida’s gated and semi-gated communities, you’ll see seniors in immaculate white Bermuda shorts with the latest Nike sneakers and a band wrapped around their knees, arms and wrists as they hobble along the tennis courts and the manicured golf courses, eager to prove that they can still walk the talk.
“Did you see that double backhand I just executed? My 30 something opponent didn’t know what hit him!”
“These young punks think they’ve mastered the 9th hole, but that’s a difficult one and I see a lot of them using the wrong irons. They don’t know golf like we do!”
Retirement Issues? Boo!
Dating and the Elderly? Now…You’re Talkin’
We can’t remember how many articles and blogs we’ve written this year about retirement, financial strategies, self directed and ROTH IRAs, 1031 exchanges and real estate investing – all targeted towards the 50+ audience. Yes, these are issues that still hold some importance for the elderly because many of them unfortunately have not saved enough and are wondering if there are any catch-up strategies they can use to beef up their nest egg. Or else, some of them did save enough but the escalating costs of health care are eating away at their resources. Most of them fear that they will outlive their money. So while retirement planning and financial strategies form part of their “to-do” agendas, they also…like to have some fun.
Hello, little miss cup cake…
Some of them are asking what buzzwords they should be using to ask someone out on a date. And is it really necessary to tell miss cup cake my real age – a minor detail they agonize over.
Seniors and other elderly types are not necessarily looking to “shack up” with members of the opposite sex since they balk at the word “commitment”, but a date once a week or bi-weekly wouldn’t hurt at all. There’s nothing like being able to spend half a day on the golf course, gulp down a mug of ice-cold beer with the golf cronies, go home, take a shower, turn the tube on, snooze on the couch and then get ready for a dinner date. Those lamb shanks and that glass of wine would be more flavorful when shared with someone.
Our own elderly father – now 80 – has just learned to use e-mail and if he weren’t married, will no doubt be surfing the dating sites with gusto.
The cosmetic industry loves to reproach women by saying, “there’s no excuse for being ugly”. We think that might have come from Helena Rubinstein herself. And in the geriatric industry, the admonition is, “there’s no excuse for being lonely.”
Arthritic or not, a multitude of seniors would love to fox trot and sway their hips to the salsa if given the chance. But first…they got to find a date.
Dating and the Elderly
Dating Services: Seek and You Shall Find
If you were surfing a decade ago for sites dedicated exclusively to seniors, you would be hard pressed to find half a dozen. There are, of course, the reliable mainstays like AARP – the American Association of Retired Persons – and its Canadian counterpart – CARP. But their menus consisted of health care, insurance, travel, financial planning and nutrition issues. Nothing on dating and topics like…go ahead and chuckle…safe sex. We don’t think they’ve included these topics yet; soon they may have to.
What we have today is a ballgame of a different genre. Google won’t hide anything from you. According to Frank Kaiser who moderates the Suddenly Senior site, type “senior dating” and you’ll get at least 447,000 hits. The search engines are not limping or dragging their feet when it comes to the senior niche. Of the thousands they’ll give you, you’ll get a dizzying array of sites focusing on dating and the elderly.
Let’s name a couple of them: MSN has a 50plus relationships section on their 50+ segment. For a period of three months, you pay $30.00, and for a full year, $80.00. They target 50+ Canadians who want to meet people in a “safe, economical way” and members can type in their preferences regarding age, hobbies and intentions.
12meet senior.com is another site that is more international in flavor. There are members from Britain, Germany, Netherlands and other countries. The site caters to people who are “sincerely looking to meet other persons over 50.” If your interests are to look for a pen friend, traveling companion or just a fellow flirt, the site will ensure you get what you want. Signing up is free. After you register, you need to complete your profile. When all that is done, you get to browse their “gallery.” Just for fun, we took a peek at the gallery and some of the people don’t look like they’re in their 50’s – more like 30 and 40 somethings – but then remember that they may have posted photographs dating back 20 years ago – something to think about when you go fishing. This site charges more than MSN for annual membership – about C$180.00; but they have three-day offers that cost C$10.00. As a senior, however, you need more than three days to investigate. Seriously…
We looked at a third site, appropriately calling itself the thirdage.com. It’s more like a community of 50+ singles who seek advice or simply want to exchange opinions on topics. For instance, we read one comment from a man who said he was almost giving up on looking for a date because all the women he’s met so far insist on having sex during their first date.
Are the tables turning? Roles changing?
We honestly don’t know. But dating and the elderly are big business. To break the cycle of a solitary existence, simply seek and you shall find. Sounds almost biblical, but with the proliferation of robust, healthy and wealthy seniors who do want to love again, you’re bound to meet…er…as one lady put it, “the mirror of your soul.”