Dating a senior citizen

When Harold (Hal) Spielman's wife of 32 years passed away five years ago, dating did not enter his mind.First, he had to figure out how to work the washing machine.

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If your parent is recently widowed or divorced, or has decided after some time of singledom that it’s time to look for love, here are 7 pieces of advice you may want to offer for dating in the 21st century. Today, a pay phone is a rare find and a couple of quarters just won’t cut it if Mom needs to call for help or a ride home. Now it’s time for you to broach the subject of modesty with her. If your parent has lived alone for a while, it can be tempting to talk when she finds a listening ear.

When you were dating, your parents likely had you carry change for a pay phone — just in case. Mom wouldn’t have let you out the door wearing a micro-mini skirt or a skimpy bikini.

He continues to write articles on his website, Suddenly Solo.org, and also hosts an online radio show about understanding the new dating culture.

With its unique challenges, senior dating does seem to require a road map.

Many years ago your mom or dad probably had “the talk” with you. By asking questions and listening more than talking, she shows her date she is interested in him.

Perhaps over your teen and young-adult years your parent(s) initiated many talks about love, dating, sex and the selection of a life partner. She also gets to know more about him to decide just how interested she is. To your parents’ distress, the ability to get an erection was probably never an issue for the pimply-faced teenager you dated.

And an even larger percentage experience at least occasional trouble with achieving or maintaining an erection.

Fortunately, for many men, an oral medication taken shortly before sexual activity helps. Obviously regardless of age one can still get sexually transmitted diseases (although your parents may have referred to venereal disease, or VD, in their talks with you) and many unfortunately do. In the 2010 documentary film Catfish, the young star Nev Schulman discovered that the “attractive young dancer” with whom he had an online relationship was actually a middle-age mother of four.

While no one can replace the love you shared with a deceased spouse, it is never too late to find someone else that you can love.

If you aren’t interested in falling in love, that is perfectly fine as well, because when you go online to meet senior singles, you can just specify on your dating profile that you are looking for something platonic and that’s all.

Now, as the adult child of an aging parent you may find the tables have turned, and it’s your turn to have “the talk.” Sure, it’s hard. Besides, if he also knows the rule, he’ll make an effort to ask questions and give her ample opportunity to talk, too. For as many as 25 percent of 65-year-old men, however, erectile dysfunction is a regular problem, according to the National Institutes of Health.

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