Dating After Forty

By Pam Drake

Dating After Forty

I laugh! Dating after 40? I didn’t date that much before 40. Of course, I had been married. That took up most of my 20s and 30s. I was divorced at 46 and considered dating-life a thing of the past. My life would consist of grandbabies, work, retirement then death.

As a sales rep, he often called on our office. We joked about our lame dating lives. Just two people bantering to kill time. Or so I thought – then the phone call. Did I want to have dinner? What? You know that feeling you got in school when the teacher asked you to answer a question, and you were daydreaming about Dickie Neff? Oh, yeah, I’m sure you weren’t thinking of Dickie Neff, but you get the drift. I couldn’t go to dinner. I had laundry to do, trash to take out; maybe I’d even wash my hair which was already clean. He refused to take no for an answer.

What should I wear? What will we talk about? Do I pay? Prior dating experience consisted of men holding the door, paying for dinner and me wearing a dress. A dress! I didn’t have a dress! I live in Oregon! Who in the heck wears a dress in Oregon? Panicked, I called my 21 year-old daughter, Stacey. “Mom, is it a date?” she asked. How was I to know if it was a date? He didn’t say the word “date.” Maybe we are just two friends going to dinner. Stacey told me to be safe and smart. Meet him at the restaurant. Why would I need to worry about safety? Who in their right mind wanted a 46 year-old divorcee, mother of two, who didn’t own a dress?

Dinner went well. He ate his meal and mine. No room in my stomach for food. Butterflies had already claimed the territory. Conversation revolved around work, family and music. “How would you like to go over to the Marriott?” Eeeeeeeeek! He continued, “They have a piano downstairs. I can play, and we can sing.” Piano and no room key – whew.

He played; I swooned. Slowly he pulled me close and kissed me. WAIT A MINUTE! “How old are you?” I said in a voice I didn’t recognize.

“Twenty-six,” he calmly answered.

A bionic leap launched me from the piano bench. My heart pounded. I expected the cops to blast into the hall arresting me as a child predator. This man, er, boy, was five years older than my daughter! “I’m 46,” I stammered.

That was the beginning of dating after 40. Over subsequent years, I’ve dated only younger men. Why? No one my age would ask me out. Too busy with younger women, I guess. Now I’m 61, and my son, James, swears the 38 year-old recycling man has a crush on me. Hmm, could be…

About this writer

  • Pam Drake Pam Drake started her career writing social dramas for schools. She continued to pursue her passion for writing by creating business newsletters and as a contributing editor for Christine Columbus. Currently, she is writing a book on traveling with children. Pam loves spending time with her family and living in Portland, Oregon.

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18 Responses to “Dating After Forty”

  1. Barb says:

    What a great article! Thanks for the humor and levity in the face of what can be an uncomfortable reality!

  2. Judi says:

    Wonderful article!!

  3. linda brown says:

    Brings back oh too real memories of dating for me as well! Baby boomers, our second (or maybe third or fourth) time around.

  4. Patricia says:

    Absolutely tingling. You have always kicked butt with your writing, my friend. Hallelujah! I am so proud of you and excited. Yes, I could feel everything you wanted the reader to feel. You did it, YOUNG Woman! xoxox

  5. Carolyn says:

    Pam, that is hilarious…I love it! You are beautiful and who wouldn’t want to ask you out…at any age!

  6. John says:

    Had fun reading this and smiled the whole way. Being the only guy to comment so far, guys really don’t care about age, just a smile, an ear to bend, a gentle touch and eyes to look into and dream……

  7. Karen says:

    Pam – you have the unique talent of describing in words what most of us feel and can relate to.
    i found myself wanting more, which translates into a great read. Congrats, my friend.

  8. Paulette says:

    It is only fitting that you would get your first published written word in a magazine called Sasse…LOL. It is terrific and you are terrific!! Keep it going!!!

  9. Paulette says:

    Oops – I mean Sasee..and the picture is beautiful

  10. Stacey says:

    That was great. I had no idea I was part of it though. Very proud of you and love you.

  11. Heather says:

    You write with a wonderful tempo and with a tone that delightfully carries the reader along. Hope to see more of your articles soon.

  12. Ben says:

    I loved this article! Pam clearly has earned the ‘Cougar’ title in her pursuit of younger men.

    An a younger man, I can say that I appreciate the perspective of an older woman more than some of the young twits my age.

    So, Pam… care to connect and create interesting content for “Dating after 60?’

  13. Judy says:

    I loved the article! You are such a lovely and fun person. I always knew you would be good at anything you tried! You have talent. Love you!!

  14. Scott says:

    Woo Hoo! I’m a proud adopted son.

  15. You go, girl!!! I also struggled with dating until the age of 42, then I remarried. Still married at 52 and it looks like this one may last. Hope I never have to date again! Follow me on twitter Twitter/ohiopoet

  16. Jerry says:

    From Arcanum to the national print media. I’m very happy for you.

  17. Penny Gerharter says:

    Goooh Pam ! I have always thought of you as “Big
    Personality & Fun Loving.” I am so glad you
    shared yourself with us.

    Enjoy those young guys, I would!

  18. Becky Gash says:

    This is just as whitty and sweet as you are in real life. Love it!

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