After 60, Men Need to Accept the New Realities of Dating
My last column was all about how bitter a pill rejection can be. When rejection becomes a steady diet, then life can look pretty harsh.
As someone who is over 60 and back in the dating scene, I have had to face up to some harsh realities of late.
2013 began with a full plate of emotional turmoil as the result of our ongoing national fiscal crisis, the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., the ever-present threat of global warming and...oh, hell, you can fill in the rest. Compounding all that was my own personal situation: trying to find that special someone in New York City.
Here, where thousands of men go online to "order in," a lot of gay men are too busy looking for the next hook-up for a night of "sexual Olympics" than for commitment. If you’re one of them, stop for a moment and think ahead.
Trust me: Once you’re into your sixties, you eventually come to the realization that you just don’t have it like you used to in the old days, especially when you are competing with men half your age who are also in the dating or hook-up scenes.
In the unforgettable words of Barbra Streisand in "Funny Girl," at this time of life, "a girl has got to have a sense of humor." As I get older, it becomes necessary not only to approach life with a sense of humor but also with humility. It’s only when you’re old that you can see the truth in the old saw that the world is meant for the young.
So what got me into this mind set? It all began with someone I really liked and viewed as a potential boyfriend. Then, on the third date, he told me he was "not romantically attracted" to me, followed by, "You’re really amazing but, I want to be really good friends." I immediately asked the server for the check.
Then just earlier this week at a bar, an Irish bloke who was sitting next to me at the bar is telling me intimate details of himself and how he "loves New York Italian men," a group I happily belong to. Then he dropped that he was more attracted to the man sitting next to me.
I quickly left my seat and beer at the bar so he could sit next to the man of his admiration and went to the bathroom). When I came out they were busily "sucking face" and I left the bar.
"What’s going on here," I asked myself? "I work out four times a week at a gym, watch my diet and grooming (no nose hairs here!). I think I look pretty darn sexy whenever I go out on the town (an expression that, yes I know, dates me). So what’s the problem? Am I just too old to be dating?
Gay men of a certain age simply have to face the facts of life similar to our heterosexual counterparts. Unless you look like Kevin Costner or have the bankroll of a Warren Buffett, dating -- and certainly hooking up with -- a hot stud probably is no longer in the cards for you. That’s doubly true if you’re on the prowl for younger men (unless they are looking for a "daddy," and you’re their type).
The quick answer to this dilemma is to look for men closer to one’s own age, who also prefer being with men near their own age and have an open and not-so-judgmental mind. Try choosing men who are not still looking to prove that they are still super-hot and sex gods by only choosing men half their age.
Well, at least I own a lovable Labrador retriever. It’s true: If you want unconditional love, get a dog.
Good luck, mature lover-seekers, wherever you are. Make sensible choices. If "Mr. Wonderful" does happen to appear one enchanted evening across a crowded bar or club, don’t hesitate to approach him. We all have to face fears of rejection and overcome it by taking a risk and putting it on the line.
Don’t delay. Valentine’s Day is fast approaching!
Dr. Vince Pellegrino has PhDs in educational theater and drama therapy from New York University and is a board-certified psychotherapist in New York City and Connecticut. He teaches communications at Hofstra University. He is currently working on a book, "Gay Communication Game," about "Gayspeak"; an interactive TV program featuring real-time therapy sessions in development. Go to Dr. Vince TV for more information.