I agree with you completely. And to this I would note that those who viciously attack others for having a preference — no matter what sex, no matter what age — are of a type. I only offer my own experience here in the article but you’re perfectly right. While today’s women aren’t necessarily just invested in their looks- a very different generation indeed- there is no excuse whatsoever to vilify anyone else for having a preference. We all age. We all die. We all wither in one way or another. What’s available is to work hard at being the best we can be at any age, and in every way possible deny the obsession this society has with smooth skinned youth and beauty. We seem to have left character out of the conversation entirely. When all else is gone, Russell, what is there left but the quality of our character? This was a big part of my message. Attacking others for a preference is a low blow. Had I been able to find an athletic man closer to my own age I’d have been open to that- and indeed, just before my on-again, off-again BF of eleven years returned to my life, I did indeed have conversations with men within five years of my age. They behaved very badly and inappropriately. That simply secured my preference. As I wrote someone else, over my fifty years of dating life I’ve dated across color, culture, age, size, you name it. Ultimately I came to prefer a type. What I cannot countenance from men OR women is the ugliness that is born of deep unhappiness with one’s self. Do the damned work. Grow up. Not happy with your life? Then by god do something about it. Get busy. Get active, educate yourself. Be interesting. Make a difference. While online sites can be absolutely brutal because your age and photo provide the primary ways folks choose or pass on you, the simple truth is that when we work on ourselves, we tend to draw good people to us. You make excellent points and I agree with you. If I took into account every single aspect of this discussion the piece would have been another “War and Peace.” I will cover those issues later, because dating as we age is a hot topic. I’ve done plenty of it. Bottom line, Russell, is that nobody owes us anything. And those who feel slighted by people who are simply not attracted to them for whatever reason (Ok, so somebody prefers Asians to Hispanics, or a big woman to skinny, or athletic to chunky) and then try to rip them apart are going to stay single. Viciousness begets viciousness. Grace begets grace. I count myself extraordinarily lucky that after a very bumpy eleven years the love of my life decided that it was time to call it in, and he moved in. It’s been quite the journey. Not everybody gets here. But as he also found out, the world is full of angry, bitter, spiteful and self-absorbed women. Of ALL ages. We make our beds, and we end up lying in them. If we don’t like it, we can change it rather than take that bitterness out on others. Character counts. And when everything else has aged, greyed, withered and deteriorated it is all we have left. It’s one reason I think Jane Goodall is so beautiful in her eighties. Character. Competence. Achievement. Commitment. Passion. She absolutely glows with it. That is what makes her beautiful. Men are much the same way. But it starts from within. Thanks kindly for your comments.

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Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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