Valentine’s Day RX for Single Women Over 50


written by Ellen Freudenheim, MPH

Forget the hearts and flowers. For single women over 50 Valentine’s Day can be, well, a bummer.

Love of the romantic persuasion is hard to find at any age-but especially for women as they age.

“The male-female ratios start getting worse for women at about age 50,” says Ellen Freudenheim, author of Looking Forward: An Optimists Guide to Retirement, a non-financial guide for baby boomers. There are 146 unmarried women for every 100 unmarried men among 45-to 64-year-olds, and 315 unmarried women for every 100 unmarried men for people 65 and over. She adds, “So if you are 50, and looking for a love interest, get cracking sooner rather than later.”

Over the Hill but Still Sexy?

Boomer women will turn age 50 at about the rate of 5,000 per day for the next decade. What’s to become of an entire generation of gals headed “over the hill” not just on Valentine’s Day but the other 364 days of the year as well?

Well, they’re redefining that hill, according to Freudenheim. “They’re razing it, because “old” isn’t old anymore.”

The boomer generation is rewriting expectations of behavior for women old enough to be grandmas “For starters, after age 50 you can still be romantic, look sexy, and enjoy an intimate life,” she says.

In Looking Forward: An Optimists Guide to Retirement, Freudenheim cites various studies including a Harris poll conducted in 2000, which found that the majority of adults of all ages agree that, a 75-year-old man and woman can be considered “sexy.” Other studies cited show that women over 65 can and do have active, satisfying sex lives.

“Some 60 year old women are as vital as 40 year olds,” says Freudenheim. “They’ve started businesses, run marathons, raised a family, or traveled the world. For heaven’s sake, why not date a younger man, or muster the courage just to ask a man for a date?”

7 Valentine’s Survival Tips for Single Women Over 50

Between now and February 14th:

  • Take the initiative but play it cool. If there’s someone you’re interested in, call them up and invite them out. If making a Valentine’s Day seems silly or suggestive, you might plan for the 13th or 15th; when you’ll avoid the crowds, and commercialism, too.
  • Get physical. Go to the gym, a dance class, yoga or some social setting for exercise a few times a week between now and Feb. 14th. You’ll feel more beautiful and energetic by Valentine’s Day, whether or not you have a romantic involvement.
  • Do it yourself: Last Christmas season, retailers reported a surge of people buying presents for themselves. Go ahead, get yourself that box of chocolates. (Just make it low-fat, sugar-free, no cholesterol and healthy…)
  • Keep that attitude UP: It’s corny, but beauty starts from within. If you’re not a natural optimist, look for ways to stay upbeat. For instance: Try keeping a daily diary of the small things you’re grateful for in life.

Longer term:

  • Stay sociable, stay in the game. Get out and about. Check out legitimate internet dating sites. Volunteer in a new setting. Look up old friends. Follow your interests. If none of the aforementioned result in meeting eligible types from the opposite sex: think about taking up fly-fishing.
  • Even if you’re still working, don’t overlook single men who are fully or partly retired. These days, if someone is retired, the chances are that they’re not sitting in a rocker on the porch, but out traveling, volunteering, and enjoying life. You might find a lively companion who actually has time for a relationship.
  • Nothing lasts forever, so appreciate what you’ve got. If you do have a love interest in your life, Valentine’s day is just a good reminder spend a little time to really appreciate him. Nothing lasts forever.
  • Many baby boomers will live into their late 70’s, a few will make it to 100. You might be one of them. Which means, of course, there are many more Valentine’s Days ahead. And you never know who’s around the next corner…

Happy Valentine’s Day!