Dating After 50 on the Main Line

Older doesn't always mean wiser when it comes to dating. Local experts weigh in on relationship considerations for middle-aged singles.

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See also Pepper Schwartz's "Online Dating 101" advice.

Illustration by Stephano Morri

Blond, blue-eyed and BOTOXed, Linda T. sits at the bar of White Dog Cafe in Wayne. It’s 6:45 p.m. on a Friday, and the place is packed. Sipping a martini and checking her iPhone, Linda darts quick glances around the room. “Just so you know,” she says, “I’m not the kind of woman who goes to a bar by herself and tries to meet men.”

Except, that’s exactly what she’s doing. Linda explains it this way: “I’m having dinner with friends at Susanna Foo, and I came here first to have a drink. But I do have other plans.”

Those plans are with two married couples. Divorced for three years, Linda has grown accustomed to being the third—or fifth—wheel. She does this “sit at the bar before meeting other people” thing as a way to get herself, however tentatively, into the dating world. “Men want to date younger women,” says Linda, who’s 54. “And there aren’t that many men my age who are single. So really, it’s a numbers game.”

Here are those numbers: In 2010, there were 3,796 marriages and 1,672 divorces in Montgomery County, which has the third highest split-up rate in the state, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. By comparison, Delaware County had 2,369 marriages and 201 divorces, and Chester County 2,338 and 1,083. Interestingly, Montgomery County is also the state’s third highest in another statistic: people over the age of 50 getting married.

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