‘Is 55 Too Old to Go on Tinder?’ What Dating Looks Like for the Middle-Aged

Here’s an interesting contribution from one of my readers!

I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about dating apps lately. There are 2 a.m. texts like: “Is 55 too old to go on Tinder?” And existential laments like: “I thought I was just leafing through photos but it turns out I was swiping yes, yes, yes, when I wanted to say maybe, maybe, maybe. Isn’t there any room for ambiguity? Not even an option to ‘save for later?”

All good questions, though I don’t have the answers. I have no experience with Tinder or any of the swiping apps—I only made it to the browser-based era of online dating. But as the first person in my friend group to divorce, nearly 10 years ago, I’m the prime confidante for questions too embarrassing to ask the happily coupled.

But I might be relieved of those duties now that we finally have an elder stateswoman of mid-life dating: Candace Bushnell, creator of Sex and the City—the book and series that tackled all the uncomfortable dilemmas of 30-something single women in the 1990s—is back with a new book and upcoming Netflix series that asks, Is There Still Sex in the City? And while she doesn’t bring back Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, or Samantha, it feels a bit like we’re at brunch with middle-aged versions of those archetypes, and they’re still talking about love and sex because, well, of course.

The book, part memoir, part fiction, is a guide to the Ides of 50, a stage of life when kids depart (along with most of the local estrogen), marriages teeter, and normally accommodating women stop being so accommodating. And because things are way more complicated now, they may also find themselves trying to figure out how to swipe maybe on a 27-year-old programmer from Connecticut.

Much like in the original SATC, Bushnell and her friends experience every romantic possibility so we don’t have to—from being courted by cubs (young men who pursue older women) to dating wealthy septuagenarians who think 59 is a bit old for them. She writes about re-dating an ex decades later and a laser procedure called the MonaLisa Touch that is supposed to rejuvenate a woman’s sex life like Viagra, except that it hurts and is almost never covered by insurance. You can hear Sarah Jessica Parker’s voice in Bushnell’s as she asks a new set of Carrie-esque questions: “Are -middle-aged women now catnip for younger men?” “Was Tinder an app for people that hated themselves?”

Bushnell, now 60, also touches on poignant aspects of what she calls “middle-aged madness”: the death of a parent, the isolation of divorce, the ache of realizing that even the most gorgeous among us will eventually become invisible.

Until recently, when we saw women in some midlife drama, it usually involved Diane Keaton in a gauzy romance set against a tasteful backdrop. No one was getting ghosted on Bumble at 49 with absolutely no explanation.

A slew of recent movies gets at the lighter side of midlife madness. Wine Country, directed by Amy Poehler and released this past spring, sees a group of old friends travel to Napa for a 50th birthday only to discover that no one escapes middle age unscathed. It has some hilarious moments, but it’s no Sideways, the 2004 Oscar-winning Napa road-trip film that was not only funny but also piercing and sad. I hate to say it, but many male midlife crisis films are often less earnest and take more fruitful risks, and we need more of that in stories about women.

And that brings me to the next beat in the 50-plus women genre: Otherhood, a good-hearted Netflix film that debuts this month. It’s about three friends, played by Patricia Arquette, Angela Bassett, and Felicity Huffman, who must rekindle their identities, separate from their roles as mothers, now that their children are adults. Arquette tells TIME she cherished the opportunity to play a mom at this stage: “I haven’t had a lot of chances to do material where the leads are all women, talking about friendship and parenting with a female director and producer.” (Director Cindy Chupack won an Emmy for her work on Sex and the City.) But Arquette really lights up when she talks about something apart from her role as a mom—her work pushing for the Equal Rights Amendment. And that’s the problem with the film: we already know these three mom archetypes too well. This is in contrast to Gloria Bell, released earlier this year and starring Julianne Moore, which gets at the complexities of existing in the in-between of young and old, a parent but not so needed, attractive but with sexual irrelevance in view.

Otherhood was also overshadowed by news of Huffman’s bout of real-life middle-aged madness when she admitted to paying $15,000 to get her daughter into college with faked achievements. The irony is that the real-life story might be a more powerful tale about mothers who need to separate from their children. It made us cringe, in part because we’ve all done things—albeit less egregious things—to help our kids, only to realize later we’d gone too far. It can be easier to see the truth in extremes.

I welcome Bushnell’s new series, so long as it’s brave enough to take us to those outer edges of female longing, insecurity, vanity, brilliance and connection. That was, after all, the beauty of the original. The SATC women were not subtle creatures. Most of us don’t have 600 pairs of shoes, nor have we left a man at the altar, but we viscerally understood Carrie’s self-destructive obsession with both the shoes and the man. And while it’s common for us to choose one of the four characters as our avatar, in many ways we are all of them at once. The challenge for the new incarnation is to be as open and complex about post-menopausal life as the last one was about everything that comes before.

Bushnell and her co-creators would do well to take a page from Season 2 of BBC’s Fleabag, which features a now Emmy-nominated guest spot from Kristin Scott Thomas. Her character gives a raw and riveting soliloquy about female aging and the liberation that comes with it. Afterward, young Fleabag, on the receiving end, says she’d been told menopause was horrendous. Thomas answers with a wink: “It is horrendous. But then it’s magnificent.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Jane Seymour on Finding New Love in Her Late-60s: No Tinder

This Oct. 6, 2019 photo shows actress Jane Seymour posing at The Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles to promote her role in “The Kominsky Method.” (Photo by Rebecca Cabage/Invision/AP)

Jane Seymour was in her mid-60s when her husband of 20 years decided it was over. The actress was floored.

“I had a long marriage and never thought it was going to end,” the 68-year-old said recently while promoting the second season of Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method,” co-starring Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin.

“I’m going, ‘I what? I date? What? Are you crazy? How does this work?’” Seymour said. “And then my kids would say, ‘Mom, there’s this thing called Tinder.’ And I’m like, ‘No, that’s not going to happen.’”

But similar to her character in “The Kominsky Method” who runs into an old flame, fate intervened, and Seymour stumbled upon a new romance. She has been with boyfriend and British film director David Green since 2014, about a year after her divorce from filmmaker James Keach, who directed “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” Seymour’s iconic role.

“Accidentally I ran into somebody I knew 38 years earlier who had been in a long marriage and his marriage ended,” she said. “It wasn’t his choice and my marriage ended, it wasn’t my choice. And we randomly met accidentally 38 years later and realized we were free, and we’ve been together ever since. So I do not have to date.”

Her experience drew Seymour to “The Kominsky Method,” in which she plays Madelyn, who reconnects with Arkin’s character (Norman) at a funeral following the deaths of their spouses.

“I do get this whole thing of having a relationship with someone that’s contemporary, you know?” Seymour said. “We’re both dealing with older children, exes, and our future … how long will we live? How can we stay healthy? How can we tick off our bucket list? Do we still want to work or do we feel like we’ve only just started, which is the case with me and David?”

The Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actress has four children and two stepchildren from her four marriages.

On top of acting and a busy family life, Seymour designs furniture and jewelry. Seymour recently had a one-woman art show in Washington, D.C., she writes books, runs a nonprofit, and produces movies.

“I do what I do because I love it,” she said. “I don’t think of it ever as a job … It’s called living. So I don’t see retiring. You don’t retire from life.”

In fact, Seymour said her own children have a tough time keeping up with her.

“Inside of me, I’m 20. OK? I hang out with my 23-year-old boys, and the other day I was with them running around Europe and they said, ‘Mom, can you slow down?’” she said. “I went, ‘No, this is the pace at which I go and you are a third of my age, so you better just catch up with Mama.’ I just love life.”

With age, she said, has come “more of a freedom in kind of accepting who I am and what I look like and how I feel now than I did when I was younger when I was trying maybe too hard to be something.”

Seymour first caught the eye of audiences when she played Bond girl Solitaire in 1973’s “Live and Let Die.” Asked what it’s like to be a sex symbol for nearly five decades and well into her 60s, Seymour scoffed.

“I’ve never thought of it that way,” she said, noting that she and her Bond character were both virgins. “So hardly a sex symbol. I didn’t know what sex was.”

Since then, Seymour has posed in “Playboy” three times, in 1973, 1987, and last year, when the magazine said the actress “is more of a sex symbol now than when she played a Bond girl.”

To Seymour, sexy means being comfortable in your own skin at every age. That’s why she hasn’t had plastic surgery, the actress said.

“I made a choice a long time ago not to do all the things that other people do because I’m not trying to look like me when I’m 20 or 30. It’s kind of pointless,” she said. “So, I just thought, let’s put on a gray wig and have some wrinkles and actually play characters.”

Seymour said she’s one of the lucky actresses who’ve landed great roles after 40.

“Hollywood’s been pretty good to me, actually,” she said. “Back in the day, they used to say if you’re a woman and you’re 40, you’re done. Well, when I was 40, I got ‘Dr. Quinn.’ So that’s when I started. And to be honest, right now I feel like this is my moment because there are all these amazing characters that I can now play without having to worry about whether I look like a leading lady.

Her eyes glimmered: “And I can still play it like a leading lady if I put my hair and makeup together.”

 

The Absolute Dater – Making Online Dating Easy Again

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Finding Love After 40: Save Your Dating Life With These 6 Essential Tips

Surely, getting back to the dating scene after a long marriage or a lengthy period of being single could be a struggle at first for everyone. Even if you are considered a ‘master in flirting’, there could be a few bumps on the road for you.

First of all, the dating scene or ‘game’, if you wish, will most probably not be the same as the ‘good old days’.

However, because ‘you don’t have it in you’ anymore, but due to the fact that your life and expectations have, indeed, changed in your 40’s.

1. Have realistic expectations (for yourself)

If you are picturing the following scene in your head: you are going to hit the bars until late, and are going to be ‘extra sociable’, going at events non-stop…Well, that might not work out just the way you are fantasizing. While there may be some women over 40 out there capable of doing that- kudos to you, in all honesty. However, for most women, it would typically be a hard task, as they would have a difficult time managing their tight schedule- be it work or kids (if they have any), or both.

Therefore, a more convenient way to give your dating life a chance would be…well, with the help of online dating. In this way, you could be in the comfort of your own home and start up a conversation with a stranger who might just be right for you. However, you should have something important in mind…

2. Be authentic when you date online

Namely, to be truthful. It is always quite a temptation to modify your appearance on social media platforms, such as dating apps. That goes for anybody- no age limits here. However, that is not a good idea especially when you are on the lookout for a potentially steady relationship. The key message here is the following: in order to attract the right kind of person for you, you should present yourself authentically.

Dishonesty should be strayed away from, as it would not bring you anything of substance in the long run. So, say ‘no’ to the temptation of adding a picture of when you were younger, for example, and just be yourself. You’re worth it and, not to mention, you look just as great!

3. Don’t rely solely on apps 

Nonetheless, online dating shouldn’t be a restriction by no means. Whenever you feel like it or have the time you most definitely should consider going out to meet new people. Swiping left and right can become overwhelming and tedious at some point, so head out to your favorite bar, coffee shop, or whatever else your thing is and enjoy yourself.

It is important not to neglect the opportunities real-life meet-ups by chance could bring. While dating apps bring a bit of comfort, as it is so easily accessible, a lot of success always comes with the ‘traditional’ way of meeting new people. At the end of the day, it is really up to you and your preferences.

4. Be patient

You have either left a marriage that was not working out or you have been single for a while, whichever the case may be- you just have to allow yourself to be patient. There seems to be this tendency of having specific expectations and wanting to meet the ‘perfect’ one right this very second. Of course, it is understandable why a certain ‘rush’ might prevail, especially if one has been looking for a partner for a sufficient amount of time.

However, key characteristic to always preserve is patience. It is very important to remain patient and positive, as frustration would only delay your chances to find true love.

5. Don’t get ‘too attached’ to the ‘idea’ of what you want

If you are in the habit of ‘knowing’ whether your date is right for you in the first couple of minutes, even seconds…Well, you might be setting yourself up for failure. Dating in your 40’s means you most probably know what you are looking for but for some reason, a lot of women put themselves under the pressure to find it incredibly quickly.

However, making up your mind in such a fast, negative manner in actuality prolongs the experience of finding a suitable partner. So, keep in mind: there is really a fine line between being judgemental and ‘going with your gut’.

6. Resist the temptation of dating someone who reminds you of your ex

It’s kind of to be expected that you could be drawn to an individual with similar qualities as your ex-lover. This is due to the fact that there is certain comfort in ‘familiarity’. However, the logical question you’d need to ask ourselves is: if it didn’t work out with this type of person before, why would it work out now?

Therefore, you should rationally make the effort to avoid dating a person who is unhealthy for you. Working on healing and finding your inner peace is crucial for this. So, you could do this at your own pace or seek out a professional to guide you through the process. The key point here is: avoid repeating the previous negative cycles of an unhealthy partnership and allow yourself to explore beyond that in your 40’s.

In conclusion, looking for true love in your 40’s is different from when you were 20, for example, but it brings a plethora of new, exciting opportunities your way.

So, as long as you are authentic and giving yourself a fair chance, there is absolutely nothing you can’t achieve- finding a fulfilling, loving relationship is one of those things.

 

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Dating experts offer tips for lovelorn singles over 50

Carol Greenfield, 68, has had her share of bad app dates. She misses meeting people in person: Chemistry, she says, is hard to capture on a screen.

Over 50, single and ready to mingle? Here are some online dating tips, profile pointers and meetup guidelines from experts who know how to get seniors back into the matchmaking game.

Don’t fudge your profile photos

“Authentic dating profiles get the best results, and in midlife, no one expects a six-pack or perfect body,” says Julie Spira, a relationship expert with senior dating app OurTime. So opt for pics taken in 2019 that capture how you’d actually show up for a first date: in nice clothing, at your current weight and without a filter erasing your crow’s feet. A full-length body shot is essential, Spira adds — people will pass if they think you’re hiding something. And limit yourself to one group shot.

Don’t play it coy

“It used to be that once you connected with someone, you waited three days to get in touch again because you didn’t want to seem overly interested,” says Spira. “Technology has made that obsolete. If you don’t respond in three hours, your hot lead for romance is going to go cold.”

Raise your age cutoff

Many 50-plus singles vainly reject the idea of dating older, severely limiting their potential mates. Psychologist Chloe Carmichael recommends that people be open to dating those who are as much as five years their senior. That way, she says, you can greatly expand your dating pool without creating major age gaps.

Keep it brief

Most older singles have had rich life experiences, but the “About Me” section isn’t the place for your long-winded memoir, says Spira. Aim for three to five sentences that focus on your present life, possibly with a funny quote or a few emojis to quickly convey hobbies and passions.

Steer clear of TMI

Your matches are sure to ask about your relationship history, but that’s not an invitation to divulge your ex’s five-year affair with the dog walker. Be ready with a simple, blame-free sentence. For example, “The marriage ended a few years ago because we ultimately developed some trust issues, and I’ll be happy to tell you more down the line.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

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Dating experts offer tips for lovelorn singles over 50

Carol Greenfield, 68, has had her share of bad app dates. She misses meeting people in person: Chemistry, she says, is hard to capture on a screen.

Over 50, single and ready to mingle? Here are some online dating tips, profile pointers and meetup guidelines from experts who know how to get seniors back into the matchmaking game.

Don’t fudge your profile photos

“Authentic dating profiles get the best results, and in midlife, no one expects a six-pack or perfect body,” says Julie Spira, a relationship expert with senior dating app OurTime. So opt for pics taken in 2019 that capture how you’d actually show up for a first date: in nice clothing, at your current weight and without a filter erasing your crow’s feet. A full-length body shot is essential, Spira adds — people will pass if they think you’re hiding something. And limit yourself to one group shot.

Don’t play it coy

“It used to be that once you connected with someone, you waited three days to get in touch again because you didn’t want to seem overly interested,” says Spira. “Technology has made that obsolete. If you don’t respond in three hours, your hot lead for romance is going to go cold.”

Raise your age cutoff

Many 50-plus singles vainly reject the idea of dating older, severely limiting their potential mates. Psychologist Chloe Carmichael recommends that people be open to dating those who are as much as five years their senior. That way, she says, you can greatly expand your dating pool without creating major age gaps.

Keep it brief

Most older singles have had rich life experiences, but the “About Me” section isn’t the place for your long-winded memoir, says Spira. Aim for three to five sentences that focus on your present life, possibly with a funny quote or a few emojis to quickly convey hobbies and passions.

Steer clear of TMI

Your matches are sure to ask about your relationship history, but that’s not an invitation to divulge your ex’s five-year affair with the dog walker. Be ready with a simple, blame-free sentence. For example, “The marriage ended a few years ago because we ultimately developed some trust issues, and I’ll be happy to tell you more down the line.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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