Dating for Boomers With Baggage

2. Looks are as important as they were in high school.

Most singles agree this is FALSE. No one’s seriously seeking a Miss Universe or a GQ cover boy anymore. “The issue is to be able to meet somebody you can click with,” says Wayne Smith, 61, who with his new girlfriend now house-sits all over North America. “The sexual attraction thing is not paramount. It’s up there but not at the top of the list.”

That’s because priorities have shifted. “When you’re in your 50s, you’re looking for companionship,” points out Vogels, who often hears from lonely older folks. “You’re looking for someone to travel with, to enjoy dinners with, to spend lonely nights with – obviously, you’re not looking for the mother or father of your children.”

3. I’m female, 60 and single, and I might as well be a born-again virgin. All the men my age want younger women.

TRUE … and FALSE. Okay, some men do set their sights on women young enough to be their Girl Guide cookie dealers. There may be a biological drive that compels them. But nowhere near all men feel that way. “That just never entered my mind,” says Robin Pitcher, a 68-year-old Toronto man who’s dating a woman in her 60s. He insists age was an important factor only when he was younger. “As you get older, it couldn’t matter less.”

“I think that for all the talk about men who are interested in somebody in their 30s or 40s, there are serious men who are not,” says Marina Glogovac, CEO of Lavalife Corp. Her company launched offshoot Lavalife Prime specifically for older men and women, and she says 50 per cent of the membership is male. “These guys are really mature, and they’re not looking for 30-something. They are interested in a meaningful and engaging experience.”

4. Speaking of online dating, it just won’t work after 50. Point, click, forget it.

FALSE … and TRUE. Internet dating didn’t work for Pelman, who struggled to write an online profile that might connect her to a kindred spirit. “I thought, my God, I love poetry, literature, opera, ballet, walking. What kind of guy is going to love that?” But Smith had better results. Although he met his current girlfriend in the real world, he’s still friends with a couple of the women he met online.

“In terms of success, the numbers are probably similar to those offline,” says Vogels. But the good, the bad and the ugly can be grossly magnified by the sheer volume of online encounters. Plus, says Vogels, when you have an Internet profile, “It’s a little too easy to cast your net back into the pool and see what else comes up.”

5. Time to hang up the handcuffs. There’s no sex life for singles my age.

Utterly FALSE, says Glogovac. “People in this age group are more sexually empowered,” she insists. Apparently, having a history is hot when you’re over 50. “By now, you have a self-definition that’s based on where you’ve been. This is where experiences and who you are become sexy and interesting.”