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How Old Guys’ Baggage Can Slow You Down

Everyone brings baggage to a relationship. The older we get, the more baggage we carry. Your Old Mr. Right’s quirks are going to be different from those of a younger man.

Young brides cope with football addiction and dirty socks on the floor. Your older guy will deposit his socks in a hamper, and his sports cravings won’t be as testosterone-intense as they were. But mature men have plenty of foibles, and of course we senior gals have them too. The challenge is to reconcile theirs with ours. Here are some:

Past Relationship Memories

Both sexes suffer grief when a spouse divorces or dies. Women have the girlfriend support system, but few men have friendships of the shoulder-to-cry-on kind.  A grieving man may stay rooted in the past until you show him that yes, he can go on. Be sympathetic, but if references to the departed are constant and unending, he’s not ready for you. Let him go. Don’t let past memories consume future happiness.

Habits of Mind

Is he bookish? Frugal? A political pundit?  It’s too late to turn a Republican into a Democrat (or vice versa), too late to persuade a cheapskate to enjoy dinner in a five star restaurant. You’ll have to embrace these hold-over habits – for a while. Over time, couples evolve and just naturally become more alike in their thinking.

Behavioral Compulsions

A man who goes to bed at 9PM and a woman who retires at midnight might be able to make a relationship work, but it doesn’t sound like much fun. Here’s where compromise should happen so that intimacy can thrive.  More humdrum compulsions, like his need for steaks to be well done, or to have his boxer shorts ironed – you’re on your own.

Collections and Accumulations 

When he moves in with you, he wants to install his Meerschaum collection in your living room étagère. That’s wonderful if you love pipes with turtles or sea captains carved on their bowls. But what if you don’t want him displacing your Lalique crystal?  Differences in taste are tough to reconcile, and if your guy won’t accept compromise he’s being just plain unreasonable.

Children and Grandchildren

Adult children and their children can be a big source of comfort when you find yourself widowed or divorced. But too much dependency is risky. Most adult children are happy when their solitary parents find new partners.  Their well kept secret is that although they do love seeing you, less frequent visits are okay. They have their own lives and they’re glad you now have one too.

Performance Anxiety

Old guys are perfectly capable, if they are in general good health, of vigorous sexual performance.  If you fall for a man with a performance hang-up, your assurances, constancy, and sexiness can help him get over it. Remember this: it’s not your fault. And it’s not his. The fault lies squarely with erectile dysfunction “specialists.” Your warmth and caring will expose their idiotic assertions that Viagra-less sex is just a memory after 45.

Plain Old Stubbornness

Some old guys just can’t accept advice when it sounds like advice. State the obvious (“your sport jacket is out of style,” “take an umbrella – it’s raining,” or “there’s more to TV than the NFL.”) and you’re just talking to the air. Is he threatened by your comments, too trusting of his own wisdom, or simply trapped in ancient rituals? The only way to get ahead on this one is to persist, but not by nagging. Buy him the sports jacket. He will wear it. Or just let it hang there in the closet. Either way, you’ll have been true to your convictions.




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'How Old Guys’ Baggage Can Slow You Down' have 17 comments

  1. May 12, 2013 @ 3:49 pm Sienna

    RJ – I’m not sure I understand whether you’re in a relationship with a saggy someone whose butt is froggy or if you’re speculating on what might happen should the possibility arise. In any case, I’m with you on preferring to make love rather than just make sex, in which case, as love is said to be blind, the degree of sag or froginess would be essentially irrelevant, don’t you think?

  2. May 11, 2013 @ 11:47 pm RJ

    yuk! A saggy, man boobed, frog butt old man is just NOT a turn on. Why is sex, instead of making love, some kind of measuring stick? If I didn’t love him, I’d think I was being tortured!

  3. December 4, 2012 @ 10:46 pm Sienna

    Sated Hawkins — You’re an inspiration to all of us! I’m always delighted when one of my readers tells it like it is — that there’s nothing geriatric about making love with a senior man.

  4. December 4, 2012 @ 3:45 am Sated Hawkins

    My 70-year-old honey is the hottest lover I have EVER had, in a life that had a decent share of responsible sexual adventuring (I’m 50). He has a medical condition that bars him being able to get an erection or take boner drugs. It doesn’t stop him at all! My pleasure is his mission, and he is creative, imaginative, and an absolute ever-ready bunny.

    I thought I was very well attuned to my body and have always been multi orgasmic but he has taken me to heights that are amazing. We share a sense of humor, many values though our politics are very different, he has baggage that gets in the way sometimes (so do I). But we talk it through, we laugh about it, and then I sleep all night in his arms, usually awakened several time for delicious orgasms and somehow he always gets it exactly right whether to make them sweet and easy or wild and free or a combination of the two, and with what rhythms.

    For 20 years no woman looked at him. I didn’t either until we got involved more deeply and now I think he’s a total hottie. Buff fashion model guys just leave me cold and always did. Also, while I’m pretty conventionally attractive he finds me beautiful and tells me often even when I’m out mucking in the garden or cleaning the attic.

  5. December 1, 2012 @ 1:01 pm Sienna

    If I have a mission in this blog, it’s to let the world know that age means nothing when it comes to great relationships and great sex, and that there is nothing geriatric about sex with a healthy man of 60, 70, 80 and beyond. Thanks for posting, Elton!

  6. December 1, 2012 @ 9:03 am ELTON

    I’m one of the perfectly capable old guys, and I’m 74, thanks for taking up for us.

  7. August 26, 2012 @ 1:09 pm JPWriter

    This is both a droll and a thoughtful way of commenting on a subject that resonates for me, espedially the part about children and grandchildren.

  8. April 9, 2012 @ 9:20 am AudreyZ

    Compromise – How about hiding the sea captain pipes inside the Lalique bowls?

  9. March 29, 2012 @ 2:20 pm Pollyanna

    I am a young-ish 57 and I’m dating a 67-yr-old. He wants to have sex and I don’t know if I can go through with it. I’m athletic and he’s not, I’m into rough sex and he is probably the sweet and gentle type. I guess I’ll give it a try, but it’s not ringing my chimes.

  10. December 2, 2011 @ 9:53 am Sienna

    Thanks for the kind words, Renee. Coming from you they’re golden. Your Boomer Lane blog is spectacular and I’m really glad to recommend it to my readers. See you on Twitter!

  11. December 2, 2011 @ 7:32 am Renee Fisher

    Listen, I am so glad you commented on my blog post, so I could find you (If you’ve commented before, then I’m glad I found you again). I love your blog! I ran a speed dating company for several years and I met Now Husband on Match. I’ve written a lot of posts about dating at this time in life, using my friend Susan’s uncanny ability to connect with the one man who will show up at the date wearing antlers. But I’ve also written serious stuff. I am subscribing!

  12. November 18, 2011 @ 5:19 pm Olivia

    I think a perfect relationship would be if you lived next door to each other. That way, you don’t have to have his collectibles and you can retreat when necessary. And so can he!

  13. November 18, 2011 @ 10:18 am molly campbell

    But we all have baggage, don’t we? Good grief. Apparently, I SIGH LOUDLY every few minutes. He has lived with that for years. So I tolerate that awful joke about the short man walking into the bar…

  14. November 1, 2011 @ 2:13 pm Carrie

    Maybe I’m a control freak, but I hate it when you make a simple suggestion and a man refuses it because he thinks if he gives in he’s being weak. my male friend is really nice, but he acts afraid of listening to me, like I will think I own him if he takes my advice. It’s so frustrating and is spoiling our relationship.

  15. October 29, 2011 @ 9:20 am Sienna

    Good for you, Liza. You get it — that the search for Old Mr. Right can’t be a search for Old Mr. Perfect. He doesn’t exist, and we’ve got our quirks, too. At our age, compomise is golden.

  16. October 29, 2011 @ 9:03 am LizaManAlley

    Too late. My significant other collects old photos of old trains and they’re all over the house. I would still want him to come and live with me, though. He’s worth the mess.

  17. October 27, 2011 @ 5:02 am Lillian

    Older men are totally unapologetic about what you call their quirks. They expect you to be okay with bad haircuts and jeans that hang loose on their butts, but you have to look like a movie star or they’re critical. It’s frustrating, but you can’t change them, as you say.

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