I recently began dating again after years of really "goofing off" about the matter. The fact is -- having been widowed quite young -- jumping back into the dating pool sounded better to my "conscious" than my "subconscious" despite all evidence to the contrary. Convenient excuses such as children and career made it that much easier to remain detached. Now -- some 12 years and many lifetimes later -- I've found myself ready to embark upon the rest of my journey with someone special and with that, has come a few new revelations about myself I would have never expected if asked prior to today, including the fact that I'm "good" with dating "grandfathers."
Notice I said "grandfathers" and not just "older men" (of whom I don't discount but who remain vastly different than their counterparts whose own children have children). At 47-years-old and amply wealthy on my own, I've found a great deal of reason to date men whose own children have children -- much of which stem from their highly developed views on family and life overall. The fact is, there seems to be an imaginary line men leap over when they move from fatherhood to grand-fatherhood and that line opens the door to a kind of "sexiness" very few men without grandchildren know.
With this in mind, I've pulled together 10 very compelling reasons for women to consider dating men at this later stage in life that expand well beyond financial security (the reason most commonly attributed to making such a choice):
1. They embrace your children as their own. Men who are also grandfathers seem to take the attitude "the more, the merrier." This relaxed demeanor helps to circumvent unnecessary anxiety when merging families.
2. Their wisdom and experience brings perspective where it might otherwise not be. Men who have fostered careers and led their families through many stages bring beneficial long-term perspective to their younger partners who might now be doing the same.
3. They are well-balanced, possessing a keen sense of priorities and placement thereof. In other words, men who are grandfathers don't always accept "business calls" during moments of personal importance, realizing that "life" is too short to be "professionally accessible" all the time.
4. They are gentlemen. Men of this age and stage realize that manners and respectable behavior matter well beyond what society currently accepts.
5. They are the first to accept "imperfection." Coping with the "realities" of life has seasoned men in this realm to accept and even embrace other's "humanness" in ways that fosters comfort, appreciation, and subsequent wisdom.
6. They are interesting and active. With healthcare being what it is today, men of this age and stage men are living longer and embracing their families and life overall more heartily than ever before.
7. They love sex and intimacy. Don't let their age fool you, men who are also called "grandpa" aren't old when it comes to sexual "desire" and their need for emotional contact with their partners.
8. They possess a sophistication and confidence that is wildly attractive. No doubt, this combination is the catalyst for many a Winter-Spring romance (playing right into the hands of women's innate desire for security).
9. They take pride in their position as "patriarch" of the larger family. Men who are also grandfathers adore being able to care for their entire families when necessity or opportunity dictates, providing a sense of purpose of which others cannot fulfill.
10. They realize their responsibility and place in the world beyond themselves. Men who are also grandfathers understand the need to "add value" where others may not, remaining fully aware of the generational impact of actively making life better for all through charitable giving and participation.
So you see, it is for these reasons and many more which go un-noted, that I have reconsidered my position on dating men who are also grandfathers. Truth-be-told, as my friend, Jo, reminded me, it is hard enough finding a suitable mate today without overlooking a wonderful man just because he has graduated well-beyond me in age and status. This isn't to say, younger men -- who are still in the throes of fatherhood -- are not to be considered. It just means that I am no longer disqualifying men who have moved on from this stage to the next simply because their seniority in life has brought forth the privilege of being called "grandpa."
That kind of thinking is just plain "outdated" in my opinion... if not "old" altogether. It's a mindset that deserves to be buried in pursuit of happiness and a thriving relationship -- don't you think!
"At fifteen, when I was a high school junior, I had come upon a drawing in True Story magazine of a young man with dark hair and dark eyes. It had so epitomized my ideal boyfriend that I cut it out and put it in my wallet. It was still there the day I met Gerry Goffin. In the fall of 1958, when Gerry was nineteen and I was sixteen, he was a night student at Queens College ... One afternoon, while studying for a test in the student union with my friend Dorothy, I was having trouble concentrating ... I was just putting away my books when the door opened and Gerry walked in. My heart stopped. He looked exactly like the drawing in my wallet." From A Natural Woman, by Carole King. © 2012 Eugenius, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved
One day when King was 15 years old, disk jockey Alan Freed from WINS "told me to look in the phone book under 'Record Companies,' make an appointment, and play my songs for the A&R Man." The very next day, King took the express subway train to Manhattan, walked into Atlantic Records' offices unannounced, and asked if she could play her songs for someone. Moments later, she was performing for Atlantic's legendary founders Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler. "You got talent," declared Wexler, while Ertegun chimed in "Yeah, man, very soulful." From A Natural Woman, by Carole King. © 2012 Eugenius, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved
"In January 1960, I was a month shy of eighteen. The baby's due date was approaching, and all I knew about giving birth was that it would be painful ... As an apprehensive seventeen year old undertaking to learn exactly how childbirth worked and how much it would hurt, I wanted my mother to tell me how painless and uncomplicated her experiences had been. At the same time, I was grateful for her counsel. Had one of my daughters become pregnant at seventeen I would have said, 'You're much too young to have a baby!' but then I would have risen to the occasion, as did my mother." From A Natural Woman, by Carole King. © 2012 Eugenius, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved
"When I entered Queens College in the fall of 1958 I had no idea that Art Garfunkle and Paul Simon were anything other than fellow freshmen until I saw their photo in a magazine with a caption identifying Artie as 'Tom' and Paul as 'Jerry'... Paul and I soon became friends. Among the things we had in common were a similarity of age and a desire to stay involved in writing and recording popular music. Hoping to earn some extra cash, we began making demos together as the Cousins. Paul played bass and guitar, I played piano, we both sang. Some songs were his, some were mine, and some were written by other people. The income was negligible, but we would have done it for nothing." From A Natural Woman, by Carole King. © 2012 Eugenius, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved
"People often ask if I knew, when I was recording Tapestry, that it would become one of the biggest-selling albums in popular music, or that it would touch so many people. How could I know that? I was simply doing what I'd always done -- recording songs that I had written or co-written ... If quality of songs and integrity of presentation were factors in Tapestry's success, so were the timing of its release, an extraordinary confluence of good luck, and the determination of Lou Adler to ensure that the album would be heard by as many people as possible." From A Natural Woman, by Carole King. © 2012 Eugenius, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved
"I didn't want to be a star ... Everyone around me thought I was out of my mind. I was being offered an opportunity for which so many people had been praying their whole life and all I could say was, 'Please believe me. I don't want to be a star.' My rationale was that I viewed success and stardom as two different things. Successful recording artists were played on the radio, were respected by the public, and had longevity. The songs they sang moved and inspired people. Stars were hounded and mobbed, their privacy was nonexistent, and they were under constant pressure to reach #1 and stay there... I didn't realize that I was expressing a guiding principle of my career. I was hoping for career longevity and to my utter amazement and eternal gratitude I achieved it. And if that weren't enough, one of my albums would actually reach #1 and stay there for a very long time. But Danny (Kortchmar) and I engaged in such conversations before Tapestry was released, when I had no way of knowing what my future held. I just wrote songs, worked hard, created each day's blueprint from scratch, and hoped to high heaven that I was doing all the right things to give my daughters and myself a good life." From A Natural Woman, by Carole King. © 2012 Eugenius, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved
"I was so deeply involved in the making of Tapestry that it's difficult for me to describe those happy, productive weeks in a logical or linear fashion. But these random scenes remain vibrantly alive for me in memory snapshots: -- James (Taylor) and Joni (Mitchell) sitting on adjoining stools, their heads almost touching as they whisper to each other and share a private moment before Hank is ready for them to sing background harmonies on Will You Love Me Tomorrow. Though James and Joni are singing on separate mics, their closeness is an almost physical presence. I can't tell you what specific frequency it occupies, but the intimacy between them can still be heard and felt on this recording.
"I attained the highest pinnacle of success to which a recording artist and songwriter could aspire: I was awarded four Grammys for my work on Tapestry ... (but) I didn't know what to do with my success. I didn't want the problems that came with being famous, and I didn't want my private life to be public. I just wanted to do what I'd been doing as a wife and mother ... I made clothes or everyone in the family, tended our small garden, and occasionally went to sushi lunch in Little Tokyo with my friend Stephanie. I taught at the Integral Yoga Institute and attended cooking classes at The Source. I continued to embarrass my Goffin daughters by bringing their vitamins to school. And I continued to bring home health food instead of the Cokes, Pepsis, and potato chips that Sherry wanted." From A Natural Woman, by Carole King. © 2012 Eugenius, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved
King left the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles in the late '70s for the rural lifestyle of Idaho. For several years, King and her family lived in a cabin so remote that in the winter their only communication with the outside world was via something they called "ski-mail." King explains "visitors on cross-country skis brought our mail, and we sent mail out with them or other skiers ... We kept up with current events through a radio powered by two alternate twelve-volt car batteries that our neighbor periodically charged for us. In some ways our life at Burgdorf was complicated, but in other ways it was simple. Living this way brought everything down to basics." From A Natural Woman, by Carole King. © 2012 Eugenius, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved
"Over the seven decades of my life, my acts of giving back have included canvassing for civil rights in the 1960s, flipping burgers at a county fair, reading to children, reporting for a television news program on both the environment and illiteracy, and performing at benefits at locations ranging from grand hotel ballrooms to raise money for worthy causes to playing guitar on a flatbed trailer in a parking lot to raise money for a neighbor burned out of his home. But the project that has occupied literally half my time for over two decades has been educating staff, members of the United States Congress, and the public about the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act." From A Natural Woman, by Carole King. © 2012 Eugenius, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved
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