Dear Wayne and Wanda,
I'm in the Baby Boom generation -- there are so many people 50 and over, into their 60s and 70s, looking for love. They are either divorced or widowed and it's becoming a large group. So where can we find love? Where do we go?
-- Baby Boomer
Large groups of single ladies looking for love? Baby boom goes the dynamite! Where do I sign up?
It warms my often-jaded, perpetually single 30-something heart to know that even older folks who have loved and lost are still willing to cannonball into the deep end of the dating pool with reckless abandon. Kind of reminds you of that movie "Cocoon," doesn't it?
Speaking of feeling rejuvenated, a great philosopher, Jay-Z, recently rapped that 40 is the new 30, which must make 60 and 70 the new 50 or something, which all translates into this being a perfect time for you and your frisky friends to return to the dating scene.
Another great philosopher, Wanda, once wrote that finding a great date is a piece of cake if you just relax and be yourself. I agree and will add that opportunities are everywhere. If you want to partner up with someone who is active, strike up some conversations after yoga classes or say hi to hikers on the trails. If you want to spend your golden years reading and relaxing, work your way around libraries, bookstores and coffee shops. If you want to get to know someone before going on a big date, spend some time on the Internet dating scene.
What's the Internet, you ask? Hmm ... ignore that last part.
Really, it doesn't matter how young or old you are. Dating is dating -- it's tough and amazing and disappointing and inspiring and everything in-between. There are no magic answers or easy routes. If you're serious about finding someone who works for you, figure out what you're looking for and then go get it. Don't sit on the sidelines and wait for it to come to you. Be upfront about what you're looking for and be true to yourself.
My advice to Baby Boomers doesn't differ much from my advice to anyone looking for love but having trouble finding it: You'll find it outside your comfort zone.
If you're not having any luck meeting someone, it's because what you've been doing isn't working. If you hang out with the same friends, work at the same job and do the same stuff all the time, the likelihood of meeting someone new isn't all that great -- worse yet if you prefer curling up with a book and a kitten to going out and being social.
You'll meet new people when you try new stuff. It's so simple it sounds patronizing, which I'm really not trying to be -- it is tougher than it sounds. You just have to bite the bullet and try as many new things as you can fit into your schedule.
It'll be uncomfortable at first, but like anything, it'll get easier with time and practice. Start by joining a new club or two. Go to networking events, take a class, accept invitations you would normally decline. You may not meet the person you'll fall in love with there, but maybe you'll meet the person who is going to introduce the two of you, so treat everyone you meet like an awesome new friend.
And don't listen to Wayne: Try online dating. It's not that scary, and even if you don't find love, it'll give you plenty of new experiences that will help you rehearse for when you do.
The side effect of stepping outside your comfort zone is growing as a person, which makes you more attractive as a potential partner. Bonus.
You have nothing to lose. Get out there!
• Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and been to therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Baby Boomer wonders where can older folks find love