Dating in your 50’s
by Bruce Hartley
Can you think back to when you were younger and you started dating someone seriously and remember how your family reacted? I recall my parents telling me that I spent too much time with the people I was dating. I still can hear my mom saying “you’re never home anymore.” That drove me nuts and made me spend more time with my significant others. Yes, I “was that kind of teenager” way back in the 1970’s.
Fast forward to 2015 and think about what it’s like to be dating a guy long distance at age 52. We only can see each other during the summer and during breaks and holidays. My partner Bill and I have been together for more than a year and during the past summer we learned that some family members feel like they are not getting enough attention from us.
Some of our family said they “missed the old Bruce/Bill” and made it seem like they were referring to when “we were not gay.” I realized that they were basically saying what my mom said back when I was a teenager…“you’re never home anymore” and it really had nothing to do with our sexuality.
Many of us in our 50’s are dealing with similar things compared to our teenage dating years. The only difference is we are now spending time with our boy or girl friend along with possibly sons and daughters from previous marriages or relationships. This means that other family members, (parents and siblings) are getting less attention. Of course we should stay in communication with our parents and siblings, but it’s not possible to give them the same amount of attention as when we were single.
Dating at an older age is real and everyone should understand that this is not much different than dating as a teenager. There will always be those who feel like they are not getting enough attention. Give us “older folks” some latitude, and be happy when we find someone to share our lives with. Blending families is not simple at any age and it takes extra love and patience from everyone involved to make it successful. Kudos to those who are dating in their 50’s!
The Gayly – September 21, 2015 @ 3:30pm.