On the movie, Gravity: “It’s the story of how George Clooney would rather float away in space and die than spend any more time with a woman his own age.”
−Tina Fey, 2014 Golden Globes
I think probably every woman at the Beverly Hilton and at home last night snickered after Tina Fey delivered this precious gem at the Golden Globes. Why? Because, as we “mature” ladies know, it can feel very true.
Online I am frequently approached by men nearing 70 years old. I am 41. At one point, I became so fed up with the droves of emails from men clearly outside my age group (at the other extreme, too) that I rewrote my profile to include the following warning: “If you are old enough to be my father or, alternatively, young enough to be my son, please do not write me as I will not respond.”
When I receive emails from older men, I like to joke with my mother that I can send the guy her way if things don’t work out. But, the truth is, he probably wouldn’t be interested in her. And that’s a shame because, at 67, she’s still a great catch. Good thing my stepfather, who happens to be 10 years older than she is, already caught her years ago.
This age thing knows no bounds. After my friend’s mother-in-law became widowed in her late sixties, she began seeing a man in…you guessed it, his late 80s. Yes, that’s right, late 80s. He’s in great shape, golfs every day, and even worked until he was 89. They recently moved in together. He’s now 92 and she’s 74, and they, I have to admit, are blissfully happy. So maybe there’s something to it?
I can’t say that I haven’t tried dating an older man. I have actually gone out on dates with men nearing 15 years my senior. But, the truth is, I personally have found that we don’t have as much in common. We are often at different stages in our lives. I am busy raising my three school age children, and would even contemplate having more, and they have either already finished raising their own family or haven’t yet started one and don’t actually want to father children anymore, let alone be a stepfather to mine. It seems that as much as I don’t feel comfortable with them, they don’t feel comfortable with me.
Up to this point, the most compatibility I have had has been with men less than 10 years older than me. But, alas (insert sigh), here I sit, lamenting that I have not found the right relationship. A friend of mine who started her family in her mid-forties, a woman who is at least fifteen years older than I am, advised me that I’m being way too shortsighted, and that I’m excluding a wonderful group of men who, nearing or at retirement, may be able to devote more time to me and to my family. She does make a valid point.
But, I admit, I am just not attracted to older men. I look young and, more importantly, I feel young. Yes, there are many men in their 50s, 60s, and beyond who are in great physical condition. At 77, my stepfather is one of them, working out at the gym and swimming daily. But discussing my date’s upcoming second hip replacement surgery (true story) is not my idea of a turn on. At that moment, I saw my future flash before my eyes.
All joking aside, what I do value most is simply the comfort of being around a contemporary. When I’m with someone who is closer to my age, our interests tend to be more closely aligned and our past experiences more similar. There are men who do feel the same. Another friend of mine is eight months into a great relationship with a man her age and they are still going strong.
People say that age is just a number. I don’t necessarily agree. Age is the mark of life experience. Shame on those guys that only want to date much younger women. They are missing out on a dynamic group of ladies who are smart, confident, and interesting, beautiful women who have benefited from the years they have lived and who can bring a comfort that men won’t know is missing until it’s gone.
So float away, George Clooney. Sandra Bullock is better off without you.