What's keeping women over 50 single these days? Mature women are healthier and more attractive than ever. If you ask them this question, many of them say the reason they're single is because they have a hard time finding considerate, emotionally mature men.
In my practice, I talk to a lot of boomer men who have recently hit the singles circuit again. Time and again, I see them trying to apply the same dating rules they used in their 30s. The problem is, mature women don't want to be treated like 30-year-olds.
Here are some encouraging statistics, ladies. The most dramatic growth in single-person households should occur among those aged 45 to 64, as baby boomers become middle-aged. These households are expected to increase by 42 percent, and it appears the number of men living alone is growing faster than the number of women. Translation: If you're a boomer woman, there are plenty of single older men to date!
Here are nine qualities mature females look for in a man they're dating.
Good sex. By the time you hit middle age, you're not really interested in teaching a boy how to please you. Women want men who know what they're doing. And the myth about performance issues with older men is wildly exaggerated. In fact, a recent study published in the British Medical Journal found that sexual activity, quality of sex, and sex drive in men who were middle aged or older was highest in men who reported very good or excellent health. If you meet a very healthy boomer man (age 45-64), rest assured that he'll probably be able to keep up with you.
No whining. Women over 50 have spent the last two or three decades comforting sick or discouraged kids, cheering on first husbands as their business grew, and now they may even be taking care of elderly parents. What women report to me that they want in a mature man is optimism, resiliency, and flexibility. They don't want to be his mother, psychiatrist, or nurse. Been there, done that.
Manly manners. The mature neo-feminist doesn't see anything wrong with a man who opens the door for her, gets up from his seat when she stands or approaches, helps her on with her coat, pulls out her chair, and gives her his arm while walking down the street.
Good hygiene. Women want men who smell good--not like bbq, cigars, or beer. They want a man who clips his nose hairs, cares for his teeth, and wears clothes that are clean, not stained. A good haircut and trimmed nails are sure giveaways that he takes care of his body and wants to look, smell, and feel good for her.
Sensitive kisser. If a man hasn't learned how to kiss by the time he reaches 50, he'd better be coachable. Women don't want to be pecked, and they don't want a tongue down their throat most of the time. They want him to use his lips like fingers. Slow kissers are best.
Self-awareness. The typical mature woman I speak with is looking for a man who is emotionally evolved. He doesn't have to be in therapy or a men's group, but he does have to have worked through his issues. Women want men who are smart about themselves and about life.
Attentiveness. Men, if you want to wow a mature woman during your date, look into her eyes and listen. A woman needs to feel important and special. A woman wants a man who pays attention to what she is saying. She wants to believe that he's interested in her and that there is nothing else going on around her. If he can ask great questions, that's a big plus.
Style. It's not just men who are visual. Women size up their date quickly--in the first few seconds--by his clothes, shoes, and accessories. Mature women want a guy who has put some effort into his "look." An exquisite pair of shoes or an impeccable shirt can make all the difference in her first impression. Men who lack a sense of style should go to a men's store and ask for help.
Honesty. Women tell me they respect men most who tell them the truth. If he wants to see her again, he should call her and tell her so, even if he doesn't want to make another date right away. If he doesn't wish to see her again, he should call her anyway and thank her for her time. He could explain that he didn't think the chemistry was there, or that he wasn't sure about compatibility. In that case, he should be kind and wish her well.
The single women over 50 I speak to about dating don't necessarily care about a man's money, as long as he's financially stable and has a job. They are much more interested in finding a companion who is kind, considerate, and isn't dragging a lot of heavy baggage with him. Really, guys, is that too much to ask?
About the Author: Barbara Kennedy, MPH, MSW, is a well-known relationship coach, prominent speaker, and public health educator with a private relationship coaching practice in Scottsdale, Arizona. Her new book is Baby Boomer Men: Looking for Love.
Also From ThirdAge: