The elections are over. In spite of ongoing protests, the 2017-2020 White House is shaping up. Life in the Washington Metropolitan area is getting back to a “new normal.” In the midst of all the chaos and economic unknowns, men are still dating. Men over 40 in particular with their eyes on the bottom line have their challenges.
I had the incredible opportunity to speak with a 45-year-old, African-American man, divorced father of two and a retired Navy Chief about his dating challenges. For the sake of this post, I will call him Mr. Chief. Mr. Chief has traveled the world twice, visited 47 countries and five continents. So he has seen his share of women in various cultures and at different stages of his life, even dated a few. However, he’s still single.
He remains active even in retirement. He maintains his daily workout regime and has an active social life. So he isn’t one that would necessarily be at home on a Friday night with nothing to do. He meets women wherever he is, but with his active lifestyle, his challenges revolve around what age group to date. Each age group has its concerns, and we took the time to review each of them.
Younger women (aged 28-35): Does he want to be a Manther; an older man that preys on younger women? Since Mr. Chief is active, the idea of dating younger women is appealing because of their youthfulness. In his experience, they are typically as active as he is with an adventuresome spirit. High energy. Sexually zealous and as concerned with physical health and appearance.
It all looks and sounds good but then the flip side. There are some generational hindrances. Music. Lifestyle. Children, etc. While he may be listening to jazz, she is more interested in the latest hip-hop release. He is more bit settled being a divorced father of two that has completed one career and embarking on a second. Probably most importantly, although Mr. Chief doesn’t want any more children, he is willing to be a bonus Dad.
Middle-aged women (aged 36-49): Does he want to be in a long-term committed relationship? The pros of Mr. Chief dating women more closely aligned to his age have been similar values and goals. More partnership-minded. Just as adventuresome and sexually astute. Living a balanced lifestyle with physical and financial health; i.e. retirement on the horizon. Having additional children has been negotiable. Caring for one another while caring for children and aging parents. More compromising and a fifty-fifty arrangement as much as possible.
The cons haven’t been as extreme. The familiar pattern is the women wanted either a committed relationship or they didn’t. Blending families is a hurdle. Both of them set in their ways and negotiating happy mediums.
Older women (aged 50-up): Does he want to be Boy Toy or Maintenance Man? Mr. Chief saw the advantages of dating an older woman are established and as interested in the fiscal bottom-line. They aren’t interested in building a life with someone. The priority is typically companionship; travel partner, sounding board, and confidante when it comes to caring for elderly parents or enjoying grandchildren. Enjoying the fruits of their labor and their sunset years.
Can you hear the violins playing in the background? But there are some sour notes. For example, unlike the younger women, some were not as adventuresome. Sex often was more of a chore than a pleasure. He encountered being treated more like an adult child, being told what to do, as opposed to an equal partner. Also, there were some age-related health challenges.
On the other hand, some of the older women he dated only wanted a maintenance man or sex on demand. Which doesn’t sound like a problem until he realized he wanted more.; commitment, partnership, etc.
After asking some critical questions, reviewing his experiences over the years and drawing conclusions he’s decided that middle-aged is the way to go for him.
Male Call: Patience. Don’t rush to make a decision only because we don’t want to grow old alone. Dating over 40 is challenging but certainly not the end of the world.
Photo: Getty Images