Bringing Sexy Back
You know what they say, you are as old as you feel. Nowadays, older people get more youthful the older they become. Thus, they are reclaiming their lives, letting their hair down, revisiting their little black dresses, and hitting the gym with one thing in mind: to rejoin the dating pool.
Outlook had a one-on-one with three individuals over the age of 40, who have decided to start over on the quest for 'happily ever after' or who just want to have fun. This week, we meet Veronica*.
This 56-year-old mother of three has been divorced for close to two decades, and she has decided that she was ready to find her Mr Right.
Willing to romance: with a price
When she was 38 years old, she met William* 55, whom she thought, though good looking, was too short, fat, and old for her. He made several advances, but she always found some excuse not to see him. Admittedly, she stood him up on the first date after agreeing to meet him.
But he was relentless. Two years later, he flew back to Jamaica, as he was relocating and contacted her. "Which girl doesn't love gifts? I gave in and invited him over. We sat, and chatted. I kissed him on his lips, and so began a 10-month courtship," she told Outlook.
Valentine's Day, she recalls, was the most romantic one she ever had. Dinner at Strawberry Hill, strains of Surround Me with Love carried on Cynthia Schlos' melodic voice, cognac and wine by the fireplace, all at a temperature perfect for snuggling. She was completely swept away. "Between dinner and dessert, I was gifted a beautiful pair of gold earrings. Earlier, he had sent me a dozen red roses, and when they started to fade after a day or two, he insisted the florist replace them. He believed they should last at least a week or two. And they did, amidst much apology," she added.
There were many trips to the country, staying at some of the best hotels, dancing, dinner with his family, meals specially prepared by her.
But then her something sweet started to go sour. The fears of dating an older man decided to rear it's ugly head. "He started to complain that I wanted sex all the time, and that I must have had 100 boyfriends before he came along. "Well, I dated some, not as many as 100 though, and dating doesn't mean I slept with them," she explained.
She remembered him saying angrily that she should have become a nun and should have waited - until he came along, and that she should have made him wait. Pretty soon, she realised his romance came with a price, "I was being told to get rid of all my male friends, and find a better calibre of female ones - those of a lighter complexion. He even wanted me to get rid of my children's friends. He could tell by the clothes I wore, what kind of person I was - suggesting that I was a loose cannon."
They had made plans to move in together, but there was no way she was going through with it, "I couldn't subject my children to this. Plus, did I really want to be wife number four?"
David and Goliath
Veronica took a two-year break, focusing on other areas of her life. Once those were achieved, she resumed the quest for Mr Right. "So when I saw a tall, dark, handsome man, with green-brown eyes, I thought, for sure he was God-sent," she told Outlook.
She recounted seeing him at the ABM and as she walked by, he said 'Hi', so softly it was barely audible. She continued walking, for about six feet. "Then I turned back and said. 'My mother told me never to talk to strangers.' To which he replied, 'Your mother was right."
She continued, "For all I know, you could be a serial killer. Are you?"
David said "No." And then he gave her his number.
Two weeks passed, before she called. Their first date was a movie.
The bedroom encounter was steamy to say the least, and they spent 10 years perfecting it, "We were both uninhibited, and were up for anything (within reason). He was agile and virile, even going into his 50s (he's three years older than I am). We came short of bondage, because I'm claustrophobic and basically rewrote the karma sutra."
She realised that he didn't like kissing much and while it may seem small, this was a problem for her since she saw kissing as the foundation of intimacy.
Nonetheless, she was happy to have found someone her own age, with whom she might be able to settle down. But, he had a dark side. He was wild, a pathological liar, a drunk, and had a bad temper. "I became tired of trying to wrap my head around all this, as well as his having nine children with six baby mothers. He claimed to enjoy the same activities as me, but soon it was obvious that he really just loved sex and drinking," she affirmed. "I didn't know which was worse - that or the lying. I remember telling him that if I were standing in the middle of the road, and a bottle of gin (his drink of choice), was sitting in the road, with a car speeding towards us, he would save the gin," she remarked.
This relationship died a natural death.
Anthony and Veronica
Today, three years after the emotional loss of another, Veronica felt alone. She was happy, but somehow felt incomplete, missing someone to share her life with, so she dived into the dating world once more. This time, she decided to date more than one guy at a time before settling down.
Anthony was a man of her past. Loving him from a distance for at least 13 years, she got the opportunity to have him up close and personal. "Standing at 6 feet 4 inches, he was impressive at first sight, with his engaging smile and unparalelled sense of humour, and you get Mr Perfect - for me, anyway. There was so much energy between us, it often left me breathless," she expressed.
He was a dear old friend of the family and at Christmas dinners, she would fix his plate, mix his drinks and do silly things like warm his Christmas cake/pudding, and watch him play dominoes and win at it too.
Two months ago, she could not fight the feeling anymore and WhatsApped him, saying that they had known each other for some time, and she liked him very much - suggesting that they get together. Within seconds, he was on the phone asking if she wanted a relationship and asking whether she was at home. "He sounded elated, and I was on a cloud ascending into heaven. Within minutes, he was at my gate. Looking back, I can't help but laugh at how wild and crazy that first time was, for no sooner than he was in the door, he started removing his clothes," she confessed.
She recollected saying, "'Gee, couldn't we go on a date first?' But I didn't want to wait either. Thirteen years seemed enough." She continued, "The sweetest mouth I had ever kissed was locked to mine, and it was as if we had been doing this for years. Weak knees, pounding heart, and we hadn't even started making love. He is so strong, so powerful. Right off the bat, he hated my bed, saying it was too soft, too low, too wrong and he needed somewhere higher. Grabbing me by the hand, he pulled me along on a tour of my home as he scouted out his ideal spot. He settled on the dining table."
Their encounter was intense. "His main focus is to satisfy me, and I love that about him." She is still loving everything about him and waits to see where this goes.
Dating over 40
According to Counselling Psychologist Associate, Relationship Coach and Matchmaker, Olive Ellis, joining the dating world is not easy for persons over 40, especially those who have been in long-term relationships. She provided a few tips for those who are approaching this new and adventurous stage of their lives:
(1) Be emotionally prepared for a new relationship. Ask yourself, "Am I willing and able to put in the effort required for a committed, loving relationship?" All relationships take work, so before you commit to a relationship, examine whether or not you're prepared to do the work it takes to make a relationship successful.
(2) Mentally prepare yourself for a healthy, committed relationship. That is, deal with your unresolved childhood issues and/or emotional baggage from past relationships. Often, unresolved issues - whether from childhood, past relationships, or some emotional trauma - sometimes hold us back in our current lives. If your ex-spouse betrayed you, you may now feel you can't trust or commit to a new partner. If you had a parent who was abusive, you have probably attracted partners who continue this pattern of abuse. If you have not been able to resolve it on your own - and it's still affecting your view of yourself or your view of relationships - you may wish to seek help from a counselling psychologist, or another qualified professional to help you sort through these issues.
(3) Be physically prepared for a new relationship. Oftentimes, persons allow themselves to get overweight and out of shape, so start a health programme to lose weight and tone the body. It would be good to also visit the dentist to take care of cavities and other dental problems.
(4) Have an idea of what you are looking for in a partner. Persons need to be positive and not use past experiences to form a general opinion of the opposite sex. Do not 'settle' out of desperation to find someone, instead be patient and realistic.
(5) Get yourself out there. Visit the places that you like, so that you will find someone who likes the same things or activities as you do.
(6) Love yourself and be confident. Before even considering a loving relationship with another, you have to love yourself. In order to be capable of giving love to another person, you need to give love to yourself first. Be aware of your own abilities, gifts, strengths, and weaknesses. Like yourself as a person, inside and out. Have self-respect and self-confidence. And above all, be honest with yourself. The ability to make good choices - in a partner or in life - flows from having a genuine love and respect for yourself.
Join us next week as we examine another relationship in our 'Getting Sexy Back' series.