Then he cut to the chase: "Is it OK for me to date? In fact, if I weren't married, I'd respond." The woman behind him — an impeccably groomed retired teacher with gorgeous red hair — confided that she'd just been abandoned by her husband of 39 years. I just want dinner, a movie and a little conversation with a man." Glancing at her cool-looking beads and earrings, I was tempted to ask her to accessorize me. "While you're at it," I went on, "tell everyone you know that you want to be fixed up." "That sounds scary." I couldn't argue with that. It was for me too, but the guys who delivered my Chinese food — the only ones I saw when I was newly divorced — weren't in the dating pool. But not taking one is even scarier." The lovely woman looked unconvinced, but I forged ahead.
Using social media and some strange AF theories on love, these singles will date their way around the world in the hope that they will finally find their perfect match.
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The next morning (or even that night) come the recriminations: Was it wrong to give that person the sexual green light when you had no intention of rekindling the emotional side of the relationship?
Marilyn, a 57-year-old single colleague of mine, recently reconnected with someone she had worked with many years ago. "No," Marilyn said with a laugh, "it's better than that: I'm in like with him — and that's exactly where I want to be." She further confided that they planned to make their reunions "a regular thing — if four times a year can be called 'regular.' But I think that's about all I really want." Marilyn's casual approach to maintaining a friendship with benefits typifies the mindset of older folks who have reconciled themselves to having "great fun" even if it's "just one of those things." And episodic pleasure-seeking may be more common than you think: In The Normal Bar, a book I wrote last year with Chrisanna Northrup and James Witte, we reported that 61 percent of female survey respondents who had partners fantasized about someone they had met.
Is that a deplorably manipulative state of affairs?