Dating at Midlife/Dating Age Range

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Question
Dear Philip Belove,

I am a single man with no children in my mid-40's. I would love to have a dating life with the ultimate goal of marriage, but I'm unsure what's a reasonable age range for me to date. What age range on a woman would be considered to young, and what should I consider to old? If I ever want children (And I'm beginning to think it was a mistake for me not to have had any children as a younger man) ONLY a younger woman can still bear them for me. A woman/mother near 20 years my senior once seemed interested, but due to her age range I was reluctant to return her interest. I am a Church going man so my choices are limited to Christian women (God's rules not mine), but there seems to be a shortage of women within my age range in the Church (At least at our local denomination/affiliation). Also, if I out live an older woman (Depending on us having a world left to live in) I will again find myself alone. So, Mr. Belove in your opinion, What would be the best age range for a man in his mid-40's? I will await your reply. Thank you.

Answer
Men at mid forties can date women between 55 and 21.  There are young women who really appreciate much older men.
It's really up to you. Some women have the necessary maturity. Some don't.   I have interviewed hundreds of men and women.  The men vary greatly in terms of their cut-off age, when is too young.  Often older men do not want to start a family  or a second family and so they have an older cut off.  I also know men in their 50's and 60's who start second families, usually only one kid, and they are extraordinarily happy with that young child. Think about Jacob and Joseph, a child of Jacob's late years.  These men who want families will connect with women under 30.

As an orthodox Christian (forgive the term, the Jewish equivalent of you would be Orthodox Jew) I believe you will find many women quite interested in creating that kind of life with you. Sometimes a visit to other congregations is very instructive and interesting.  If you arrive as a new single man in a new congregations, you will be immediately evaluated by all the single women in the room.  They will notice you. Some will find an excuse to say hello and to see what it is like to speak with you. You will have many choices. You might want to consider doing that as an exercise.  I suggest you have someone to discuss your observations with later. This is a life changing decision you are going to make.  

As to outliving an older woman, you have to think deeply about your concerns. These matters are not in your hand. When older people consider marriage possibilities, they know that one of them will watch the other die.  This, for older couples, is the equivalent of how younger couples look at each other as potential co-parents.  It is appropriate and normal, when you are over 45 to begin to consider your mortality.

In Romans, when "elders" were spoken of, they meant people over 45.

Also, it's important at your point in life to consider why your are single and why you have been single.  "When I was a child, I thought as a child Now it is time to set aside childish ways. Before I saw through a glass darkly. Now I see clearly.  I see myself face to face.  Now I know as I am known. Now I know others as I know myself."   Maybe it's time to  think introspectively about why you have remained single. The success of that process may aid your ability to find a suitable mate and to create a viable life together.  

Please feel free to follow up.  Let me know if you'd like to speak with me about any of these matters.

Philip Alan Belove, Ed,D

www. drbelove.com
drbelove@drbelove.com

Dating at Midlife

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Philip Belove, Ed.D.

Expertise

Hi. I`m Philip Belove (that is my name, really). I`m 71 and I`ve been a psychologist all my midlife, the past 35 years. My specialty has been counseling and coaching other midlife adults.  I think we all figure things out as we go along, but even more so at midlife. Being between 40-ish and 60-ish and single is like being a stranger in a strange land. I`ve learned which questions help people find their own way. I created this category, I publish a blog at www.drbelove.com and I write articles for various web sites. My commitment is to help people 1) understand and improve how they deal with others, 2) understand the forces that rule the relationships they are in, and 3) make the decisions which will shape, or create, or end those relationships  so they achieve the goal of midlife development  to finally live with personal satisfaction. I`ve been divorced twice myself. I`m in a satisfying relationship with a fine person. I`m very interested in learning about your challenges and in offering what I can.

Experience

Professionally: Licensed Psychologist. Marriage and Family Therapist. Coach.Author. University Lecturer. Personally: I'm 71. I've probably made all the big mistakes, er, learned the big lessons.I've forgiven myself and made many apologies and I've made it into a good, stable, sweet relationship. I now have a perspective on midlife.

Publications
Please check out my book, Rabbis in Love, at www.rabbis-in-love.com Also my blog at www.drbelove.com The Rabbi book was done as part of a research project. My collaborator, Marilyn Bronstein, and I wanted to interview couples with very successful marriage and also we wanted to talk to people who cared as much about their spirituality as love. Maybe being able to love and be spiritual were one and same, we thought. So we found a rabbi couple and the interview was so astounding that we interviewed nine more rabbi couples. One dropped. They'd revealed too much. It's a fascinating book and, Jewish or not, religious or not, these couples do a lot of things right and there is a lot to learn from them.

Education/Credentials
Masters in Counseling Psychology, Alfred Adler Institute Doctorate in Consulting Psychology, focus on family therapy, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

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