Is it never too late to find love? Alex Hopkins talks to older gay men about their experiences of dating and finding love. 


I have once more survived the vilest day of the year: Valentine’s Day. You can keep your overpriced chocolates, tawdry cards and every other piece of commercial baloney associated with this sickly sweet hetero tradition. Instead, I chose to settle down with a huge glass of Port, kicked off my carpet slippers, and chilled in front of the TV.

Try as us singles do to ignore the date; it’s impossible to escape from the endless hype which seems to taunt you for not being coupled up. If you’re in a particularly bad frame of mind (which I most certainly was this year), it’s all too easy to let your thinking spiral into overwhelming negativity, as you convince yourself that things will always be this way; that you’ll never find “the one.” The most horrific thought of all - you’ve just left it too late to be in a fulfilling relationship, meaning that you’re condemned to be a bachelor of the parish until the day you die.

Is there a cut-off point, whereby if you’re still single you will remain so? Only if you fall into a negative mindset, said a trusted friend, who met his husband at 38 and has friends who met their long-term partners when they were in their forties. Attitude is everything, but it became apparent from the men I spoke to that things don’t get easier in the dating arena as you mature.

Paul Brown, now 62, has had many relationships but has now been single for a number of years. He believes that ageism is a major problem among gay men. “As an individual, you have to rise beyond that and seriously carry the belief that there is someone out there for everyone,” he says.

“I still refuse to believe that that side of my life is over. Everyone has arrived in my life when I haven't expected it or been actively looking or thinking in those terms. It can still happen. But you should also remember that if you are single, you are not in someway any a lesser person than the rest.”

Paul Brown’s point about the often stifling societal pressure that one can feel to be in a relationship is crucial - and certainly something that I struggle with. Paul Hallam, a year older than Paul Brown at 63, also touches upon this: “I don't see any reason why someone should particularly aspire to or desire to be half of a 'couple,' though all the best for those who enjoy being in such relationships. 

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“I have been in what could be called ‘relationships’ that lasted a few years each. Though once we were not in the 'couple’ relationship, the relationships with ‘ex-partners’ developed in other ways. And other extraordinary non-couple ties, which I wouldn't only call friendships, have lasted and continue to emerge. Being ‘single’ is still so often seen as being an undesirable or sad condition perhaps ... it ain't necessarily so.”

With age comes independence and an appreciation of what you want and need in your life. We may well have tolerated unacceptable behavior from a partner when we were in our twenties, but are less likely to do so as we become older and grow to understand ourselves and respect the lives we’ve created. Collin Kelley, a poet, aged 46, believes this is vital.

“I’m hopeful that someone will come along,” he says, “but the older I become, the less I'm willing to compromise. I also refuse to ‘settle’ on someone for the sake of not being alone. If I can't meet someone and feel the thunderbolt of love, then I'll just carry on being single.”

But beautiful, exciting things can still happen as long as you remain open to new people and experiences. “I never expected to meet a new and much younger partner at 54,” Jonathan Loudan tells me. “It was intense and surprising to fall in love and have all those giddy feelings in your mid-fifties. Now it's over I both wonder whether the situation might be repeated, and feel 'well, even if I never have another, the last one was a good one.'


What are your experiences? Is it never too late to find love no matter what age? Leave a comment below. 

 


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I'm 20 years old and I've appected the fact that I'm gay when I was 18. I never had sex with man before but I've always had this... Spark, when I see a cute guy. While with females, it was pretty boring and quite bothersome. I know for a fact I'm looking for just one person I can spend the rest of my life with. My probelm is: How do you know when you've found that person? Is it just a feeling you get or something else? To me, it seems as if all the people I needes to meet in my life just comes right into it. But what if I have to find him on my own this time? What of things have changed? I suppose all I can do is keep pressing forward and hope God can bring him to me. I hope he's searching for me, the same way I've been searching for him since I was a child... That's all I ever wanted was for one person. That's actually the main dream that's been keeping me alive for so long. *Sigh* Faith, Hope, and Unconditional Love.

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Good Article, I'm 25 after 2 years of 3 destructive relationships in some way it was all the naughty stuff that you can guess from the twenties, 3somes and stuff but When You realize what you Want in life more than sex, it gets difficult to find the right one, the one that dont use you as a sex toy or just to fill his wasted hours, and well I know he is out there alone as I am here alone

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all one needs love, but the first to do so that someone could find you is love yourself its nice find love, but its no so nice being obsessed remember that we need love because always we have listen we need it

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Anyone here so is looking for a conversation and looking for a relationship can say hello to me for a chat, thank u. Am proud of who I am.

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I'm 25 years old,looking for a lover,any age is fine no matter u r too older than me is fine,what I want is love...

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I thought,when I left a post on Gaydar 8 years ago,I was looking for sex,Here I am with with my lover friend and husband feeling smug/not really,happy is the word I'm struggling to avoid using.There is no formula in my opinion.If I've done anything it's challenge myself every time I feel afraid.I do get hurt but so far I survive and we keep growing laughing talking and learning.Im soon to be 71

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i found love at the age 22 , and exactly today is our 7 years together. some gay love comes in open relationship, in which you can get naughty or 3some , but not us. most of gay , at least in my country , are looking for good package. only when they r dump, they thought of looking for he good heart and gentleman quality. but yet , i also kinda notice , that people attach to others, because the " ownership" or "belongings" for some, is just like trophy. they are proud to get others, but forget to love that person after winning his heart. besides, you just have to always remember, we are human , that was born to do mistakes, multiple times, so please, forgive and love the people in your life,as what he is.

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I'm 70 and just out to myself and the world.. finding someone to be with is difficult but not impossible. ... I may be old but I still have lots to give .....

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Nice article, agree that if you're open to new people and experiences, it's never too late!

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