A Librarian's Surrender
I gave a talk on my new book last night at a public library. I had a conversation about dating with the head librarian prior to my appearance. She's a single, attractive, bright, upbeat boomer woman, and I was surprised and disheartened to hear she'd given up dating. She said it had become more trouble than it was worth and that her life was filled with activities and friends. There was no rancor when she added she didn't want to complicate her life with any more dysfunctional men. I've heard this from boomer women before but she was the first I've had an opportunity to talk about it with in a while.
There have been a significant number of boomer women who have commented about this on Huff/Post50, and from what I also hear from single boomer women friends, it's clear that boomer women are troubled by dating boomer men. I urge men to consider their part in this gender disconnect if they hope to win a boomer woman's heart.
I've taken some heat in the past for being so outspokenly upbeat about boomer women, but in my experience they truly are amazing. I was surprised at first when boomer women talked about eschewing boomer men, and that they said this without bitterness. In fact they sounded less like they'd given up, and more like they're comfortable, single. It's likely some boomer women quit dating out of frustration with the process, but no matter the reasons, it seems nearly all have an alternate universe where they function happily and well.
A Guy's Take
Their nurturing, supportive friendships with other boomer women create strong foundations from which to venture out into the world, either with a man or solo. That boomer women have tight-knit circles of women friends is universal, and what's special is their friendships are unconditional, trusting, loving, caring, and solid. And boomer women bring their unique friendship skills into relationships with men. I'm experiencing these skills with my boomer partner and it's one of the reasons we're best friends and lovers, a perfect combination.
A Juggling Act
I'm amazed she's managed to maintain healthy relationships with her friends even when faced with prickly issues. They work through their issues directly and without posturing. They don't allow specific disagreements to devolve into one's that encompass the entire relationship, and consequently few friendships are lost.
Boomer women seem willing to sublimate their egos and become vulnerable rather than defensive. And there's a forgiveness factor to their process that prevents laundry lists from being kept. They're keenly aware that the best methodology for keeping friendships healthy is not allowing resentments to build up.
While being in relationship with a socially active boomer woman isn't new to me, Sarah takes her friendships with other women to another level. And I appreciate the time she spends with friends because it makes her more interesting. And since we both have friends, our time together is more about sharing experiences and less about being needy.
Initially I was suspect when a woman said she was okay being single, but I've developed friendships with several boomer women in the past few years and I've noticed how little their social lives parallel most men's. Their friendships with women satisfy at least some of their need for emotional intimacy, and few are waiting anxiously for Mr. Right.
It was difficult to get my arms around the notion that a woman didn't need a man. Like many boomer men I always thought we were indispensable to women. But we're not. When I consider all the men I've known, not one was ever single longer than it took to find another woman, including me. Boomer guys are far more focused on partnering than women, and I admire boomer women's capacity for creating fulfilling, lives as singles rather than jumping into relationships just to be in one.
So I admit I'm an unabashed fan of boomer women. Their ability to enjoy life absent a relationship suggests strength of character. Still, I confess there's something in me, maybe it's a guy thing that wants to see my single women friends partnered. But I thoroughly enjoy the time we spend together for lunches, movies, hikes, or coffee. And each time they talk about their lives as single women I become a bigger fan.
Visit www.kensolin.com for boomer dating articles, blogs, videos, and information about Ken's new book, The Boomer Guide to Finding True Love Online.