STILL A VIRGIN AT AGE 52
DEAR MIDLIFE BACHELOR: At age 52, I'm still a virgin. Dating was always a disaster for me, and yes I am hetero. I just wonder if I'm in a hopeless mess now. Since I'm so far behind in matters of intimacy and love, should I continue to believe or try to find a lover, or is it too late?
I'm Catholic, and the church position is no premarital sex and no sex outside marriage. I was without a car and money until my early 30s. I had my first date at 35, and five others after that. None of them were fun, and none of them had any hope of a sexual encounter.
I think I’ve just become asexual. I've had my testosterone level checked, and it was still in the normal range for a man my age. I grew up in a large dysfunctional family. My parents never encouraged dating or marriage. Only three of my brothers married, and my two sisters and me have stayed single. My worst fear growing up was being trapped in another unhappy family situation and with no way out. I've handled hundreds of divorces as a paralegal, and as I age many of these people tell me to stay single. I found my dating pool of prospects very limited even as a teen, and it never got better with age. I think I probably put out a subliminal message to women that am not available or willing to engage, and most likely they avoid me for that reason. Not having money for so many years also made me very passive. I never really learned the art of dating, and in midlife you really find very dismal prospects no matter where you look. At my age, you simply have no choices left unless you buy sex, or hang out in strip clubs.
I did find over time, it was just easier to stop looking, hoping, and asking. All I got were rejections, insults, or wackos and losers. Quality women are very tough to get after age 30. Our society has evolved to a point where women don't really need men anymore to do or get anything they really want. Once this secret got out, men have become irrelevant and obsolete. Believe me many fine men younger than me are in the same place. American women just aren't easy to be with anymore. Marriage rates have dropped drastically since the 70s, so if you missed the train then, you're at the end of the line now. What do you think I should do? Michael, Age 52
MLB RESPONSE: Do you really want to date, get married, or have sex? The reason I ask that is your last paragraph or two seem to indicate that you don’t … that you have reconciled yourself to not needing anyone. And that sounds really lonely!
I don’t think it is too late for you to overcome your obstacles. But in order to overcome your challenges, you will need to fully commit yourself to change. There is a lot you need to do, and much of the Dating Advice section of this site applies directly to you. Briefly, you will need to open your mind, possibly lower your standards a bit, minimize your own baggage, make regular efforts to meet quality women, and constantly re-evaluate yourself and your progress. You really need to go through these sections of this site very carefully … maybe read them through a number of times:
Trust me – quality women are literally everywhere … but you have to open your eyes to see them. Yes – there are all types of women out there … some are good, some are bad, some are nasty (yes!). It sounds like you need to loosen up a bit, and gain some experience with all types. This is a tremendous personal growth opportunity for you, if nothing else. I also think you should aggressively pursue online dating – mostly because it is an easy way to meet a lot of women in a short period of time. [Have some good professional photos taken, and get a female friend to help you out with dressing for the photo and also with writing your profile.]
Another option which I hate to mention, but I’ll throw it out there anyway – one of my good friends could never get a date, and at age 42 or so he simply decided it was time for him to marry and have children … so he got himself a mail order bride from a third world country. I do not recommend this, but I suppose it could be a short-path solution if that is what you think you need. Regardless – please report back with what strategy you decide to pursue. We are here to help! Oh – and don’t forget about our Midlife Forum … there are both men and women there, and you can get a good mix of opinions