Sunday November 12, 2017

Older, single and ready to mingle: the complicated reality of dating in your sixties

Dating when you're older comes with unique challenges.

Dating when you're older comes with unique challenges.

Listen 4:17

Being young and single is easy. 

For Jill Whitford, who found herself single after 34 years of marriage, in her sixties and living in a new city, dating has been challenging.

"Dating is an interesting endeavour. At this point in life it's much more complex. There are so many more factors that you don't have to think about when you're a teenager or when you're in your twenties."

Jill Whitford

Jill Whitford had been married to her husband for 34 years. (Courtesy of Jill Whitford)

Jill uses dating websites. But she wishes the people on them would be more up-front about their baggage.

"Most of the people you're going to be involved with all have exes or they have kids or they have bitterness attached to not having those things."

Meeting and dating new people gets wrapped up with other realities of getting older, such as illness, physical disability or cynicism about life in general.

As Jill puts it, she doesn't need just another friend, but she finds older singles are not open about their sexuality. 

"I look at the kids now, and people are so upset by things like Tinder. I don't know, maybe the kids have it right, you know? They want to have sex. They put it out there, they want to have sex."

Having navigated the dating pool for a while, Jill wonders if the romantic part of her life might be coming to an end.

"I don't want it to at this point, but it might be time for me to ... live my life, and if something wonderful happens, appreciate it, because my conscious efforts are not paying off at the moment."