Having surveyed near to 2,000 LGBT people from across the United States, an organization called AARP has come across an unusual and somewhat discouraging disparity – 39% of lesbians over the age of 45 are solo, which is a significantly lower number than the 57% of gay men who enter their fifties as single.
As if dating wasn’t already hard enough, the stats are now working against you too.
But fortune still favors the brave, so own who you are and keep trying.
Here’s how – plus a few other pieces of advice for single gay men in their fifties.
Staying Comfortable with Who You Are
A cute Atticus quote has been circling the internet these days. Never go in search of love, it says, go in search of life, and life will find you the love you seek. Yes, it’s naïve and aimed primarily at high school girls, but there might be some truth to it. Be your best self whatever you do, and love will find a way.
The extended version would speak of never-ending growth and development, particularly in the context of self-esteem, tenacious spirit, and courage to be alone. And before you start rolling your eyes, be perfectly honest – is your confidence fully immune to those 30-year-old hotties in gym shorts?
So, what Atticus is really saying is this:
Don’t fall in the trap that midlife has set for you.
Keep believing, but not in some mysterious power of love. That’s for high school sweethearts. Believe in yourself is the rule of thumb, whether you’re a gay man or a 16-year-old girl. You’ve been through a lot, so let that drive you forward. If you end up alone, so be it! At least you’ll be in some fab company.
The Truth Is – You’ve Earned Your Age
It’s easier said than done, making your peace with the uncertainty of love.
Don’t you think we take your pain for granted because we don’t. The harsh reality is that many others will, so take control of the narrative while you still can. Own your age instead of being worried about what comes next. Your age is the sum of your experiences, your achievements, and your discontents.
Come to think of it, the fact that you’ve tried it all can be surprisingly liberating. You’ve already spent decades trying to please others around you – to look better, to dress immaculately, to read more books, to be wealthier and more successful. Now is the time to start doing all this for your own delight.
Free yourself from the pressure of trying to be perfect.
You’ve got nothing more to prove, so why not just enjoy it?
It’s like social anxiety. The moment you realize that people are not intimidating, everything that makes you fascinating comes up to the surface to dazzle. Find that lever within you and simply turn off your need to impress. When you approach life with a sparkle in your eye, the wrinkles are no longer visible.
Keep Dating, But on Your Own Terms
Another liberating thing is that you’ve got nothing to lose. Will clubbing break down your confidence? What’s so frightening about kids half your age? Yes, these hunks have perfect skin and toned abs, but the experience is on your side. You’ve been there and done that, so you know all the tricks in the book.
Remember that the next time you feel insecure about going out.
Not only is youth wasted on the young, but there’s also something magnetic about an older person who refuses to have his spirit retired. Think Ian McKellen or Stephen Fry. Sure, they’re rich and famous, but aren’t they also charming and witty, suave and intelligent? They’re sexy because they don’t care.
So keep dating on your own terms.
Don’t let your age be an issue, it’s as simple as that. Convince the person you like that you’re worthy of their attention simply by being your cool, flirty self. If you’re thinking now, all that sounds fine and dandy, but I’m simply tired, see headings one and two. Read them again and again until you are not.
Because dating doesn’t have to be hard work. As soon as you free yourself from the pressure, something we’ve already talked about, dating will once again be fun. Go out whenever you feel like it, to wherever you want, without any tension of having to be adequate. Be the one who sets the rules.
If You’re in a Hurry, Then Be Proactive
Oh, and another thing – don’t waste your time on 30-somethings who are only looking to have some good old-fashioned fun. Unless, of course, that’s what you’re into as well. Playing love games is truly beneath your age and wisdom. Enjoy flirting but be upfront about your intentions. It’s the adult way.
We lose so many precious years trying to untangle other people’s cords, and that’s what makes us so tired of dating in the first place. Don’t overthink whether or not he actually likes you. Simply ask him. No, the magic won’t be gone; you’ll find it in lazy afternoons, not in those will-we-won’t-we charades.
And need we mention that you shouldn’t go after younger guys alone?
Gay dating sites may be brimming full of Armie Hammer-like types, but why would you limit yourself to an ideal version of something that doesn’t really exist? You’ve been around for long enough to know that everyone’s flawed and everyone has something spectacular to offer. So, broaden your dating horizon.
It’s not that you can’t charm a budding flower.
You absolutely can.
It’s not about being practical or disillusioned either.
It’s that you’re finally wise enough to appreciate the beauty in diversity.
So, stay open. Don’t stop surprising yourself, and don’t stop tempting your fortune. Cliché or not, these are the best years of your life. You’ve still got more to learn and so much to teach. Be curious about others and excited about who you are. Eventually, it all falls down to your courage to be alone.
Because when you stop being afraid of your 50-year old gay self, life will find you the love you seek.