That’s what I thought, anyway, in my snobby and blinkered youth. Because time sped by and suddenly I’d joined them – without the perm and cardi because nobody has them now – but 60 all the same.I’d had a longish marriage and then a 10-year love affair with a man much older than I – the cartoonist Mel Calman.In desperation to be with someone, we often choose the wrong people...At a deeper level, as in all questions of the spirit including love and meaning, we must at some point face ourselves, and being alone, although undesirable, provides that important opportunity. When women are younger, they are often advised to stay away from "bad boys" who "only want one thing" and who are definitely poor marital prospects.While this is sage advice for unmarried women of childbearing age, it might be misleading advice for women who have been there and done the family thing. Age is an undeniable factor in life that colors who we are and how we are perceived in the dating world.
The first thing I discovered was the chronic shortage of available men. I can understand this – nice firm body, the rejuvenating prospect of starting over again, maybe more kids. In a long marriage you age together; in a weird way your spouse remains that young person you first knew, you hardly notice the wrinkles and the thickening waist. When I meet a man he mirrors back to me my own mortality. For instance, there was the tooth business, or the lack of them.
When he died I fell in love with somebody 15 years younger than I was – a Hungarian artist – and lived with him for seven years.
So I hadn’t really come to grips with my age at all; it had ricocheted up and down, reflecting the person I was with.
In their twenties men want to have as much sex with as many different women as possible. Of course in their forties and fifties all of that hard work will be undone in a blazing crisis of self that returns them squarely to stage one, armed this time with enough Viagra to pre-empt their premature excitement.
For these reasons and others, my friend Megan O'Brien, a successful woman in her own right as the founder of the marketing agency Beauty Brander, almost exclusively dates men in their sixties and older.