By Tom Blake
In my 23 years of writing newspaper columns and newsletters, one of the most curious and frequent comments I receive from seniors reentering the dating world is: “I look (number) years younger than my age.” They fill in the blank with a number—it’s often 10—but can be more.
While women are more likely to make the comment that they look younger than men, some guys still do it.
Sometimes, children, grandchildren or friends of singles tell the singles that they look younger than their age, hoping to motivate them to get out and date.
Chuck, a widower who lost his wife of 40 years nearly two years ago, said, “I’m in my 70s, but I look like I’m in my 60s.”
My answer to Chuck: “Regarding your age, we’ll let the women you meet decide how old they think you are. Looks are in the eyes of the beholder.”
Dave, who turns 82 this week and is also a widower, wrote, “My cardiac surgeon calls me his 65-year-old, 82-year-old. I’m blessed with my mother’s genes.”
On my FindingLoveAfter50.com website, I posted a poem that Dave sent me when he was 81. The introduction to the poem indicates his age. This week, he wrote, “Would you please remove my age from the introduction? Stating my age has no relevance.”
At least he didn’t ask me to lower it. Apparently, he refers single women to his poem on the website, but doesn’t want them to know his true age. Regarding this week’s birthday, he said: “It’s like turning a young 72.”
Wouldn’t it just be easier to state his true age and convince women via his activities and physical fitness that he doesn’t act 82?
Les, 91, San Clemente widower, has no qualms about revealing his age. He’s a highly decorated World War II veteran and proud of it. He lets his photograph do the talking. When I showed friends his picture, they said, “Les is very handsome; he looks about 80.”
Les added, “Tom, remember, I am 91. I’m slowing down, but I do enjoy going places.”
Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler, 69, doesn’t worry about his age and how he looks. His girlfriend, Aimee, 28, is 40-years younger than Tyler. Aimee is more than a decade younger than his eldest daughter, Liv, who is 40. For Tyler, it’s not how young he thinks he looks, it’s what he does with his life that matters.
A man named Larry emailed, “I have dated women 10 to 23 years younger for my entire life and would not want to meet a woman my age. Having perused the dating sites for four years, virtually all women listed think they look much younger than their age. Let me assure you, they don’t. Fortunately, I still have the physique of an athlete, and younger women continue to find me attractive.”
This week, a woman named Judy emailed and said, “I am 74, but look 64. I would like to meet somebody who is trustworthy and enjoys the beach. Divorced several years, but not able to find a match. Please help me find that special someone.”
Judy’s comment made me think of the refrain from the Beatles song, “When I’m Sixty-Four.”
“Will you still need me, will you still feed me? When I’m sixty-four.”
Judy should forget how old she looks and simply get involved with activities she enjoys and get out of the house and meet new people. In that way, she might capture the eye of a nice man who, when he sees her in person, won’t care that she’s 74.
Why do so many senior singles say they look younger than they are? Probably because they hope they’ve still got what it takes to reel in a mate.
Another man wrote and said, “I am 63, but feel 43.” He did not say he looks 43, he simply said he feels 43. Now, that’s different.
For senior daters, it’s not how old you think you look that is important, it’s your positive attitude and how young you think, and, how you tackle the adversities life has placed in front of you that determine your attractiveness. It’s what’s inside that counts.
Tom Blake is a Dana Point resident and a former Dana Point businessman who has authored several books on middle-aged dating. See his websites at www.findingloveafter50.com; www.vicsta.com and www.travelafter55.com. To receive Tom’s weekly online newsletter, sign up at www.findingloveafter50.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.