A few years after Aaron passed away, my girlfriends decided that it was time for me to start dating again, and even though it was scary, I took the plunge – and survived to write about it in my new memoir Candy At Last. If you’re following my book tour, you may have caught me talking about dating on The Today Show (watch the video here) or several other news outlets. Dating again when you’re suddenly single after decades of marriage definitely isn’t easy. Now dating involves online profiles, a debilitatingly large selection of prophylactics from which to choose, and even asking a man to turn over his medical records before you get intimate! All that said, dating at this stage of life can be a thrilling adventure if you have the right attitude. A few things I’ve learned that might be helpful to others:
Low stakes can equal more fun. When you’re young, dating is usually a quest to find a life partner—somebody fit to have children with, who will support you through thick and thin—which is a tall order. But at this age, needs are a lot simpler. It’s not crucial that the other person share your views on every major topic or make a certain amount of money. Just look for somebody attractive who you can laugh with, and who likes the same restaurants! At this age, there’s no real reason to date if it isn’t easy and a lot of fun.
Don’t take sex too seriously. I’m not saying you should sleep around (in this era of STDs, that’s definitely not a good idea), but when you do decide to go to bed with somebody, let go of any expectations and brace yourself for an adventure. At 60+ people’s bodies don’t behave quite like they once did. (I’ll leave it at that, but you can read more about what I’ve learned on this subject in my book.)
The tables have turned. With young couples, it’s often the women who are eager to settle down and get married, and the men who fear monogamy. But I’ve found that men on the 60+ scene are often the needier ones. Ladies, keep that in mind and don’t commit to anyone before you’re ready. Savor this second chance to play the field!