By Karen Best Wright, B.S., M.A., CHES
Certified Health Educator
I recently read an article about a single woman in her 50's and her experiences with dating. I am in my 50's and single, so I could relate to some of what she was writing. However, I wondered how single woman or men who are raising grandchildren manage the dating scene, if they even do. My suspicion is that they are very limited in dating experiences. I have heard from a few frustrated single grandmothers who are raising grandchildren.
One grandmother in her 50's was discouraged because she had once upon a time had an active social life. That abruptly changed with gaining a child to raise. Another very educated grandmother expressed discouragement as well. She had hoped that as she aged she would be sharing her life with an adult companion. But that didn't seem to be in the cards for her anymore. She was in her 60's.
A big challenge to a grandparent in this situation is the need to keep the children's lives stable. Introducing new people into their lives that may come and go on a regular basis is not something most grandparents want to risk. It makes everything tricky.
Grandparents who want to date have it harder, than say when they were perhaps a single parent at 30. When a woman or man is in their thirties, people expect there might be children involved. When you are in your 50's, 60's, or even 70's, they don't. Most grandparents simply give up on the idea of finding their own companionship beyond their grandchildren. I think that is unfortunate. Because soon the grandchildren will be grown and they will be even older and alone. That may not bother some, but it does bother others.
However, I am single, in my 50's, and still am not having good luck in finding an appropriate companion, and I can't even blame it on raising grandchildren.
If anyone has any inspiring stories or even uninspiring stories to just vent, feel free. This is open to all grandparents who find themselves in this unexpected circumstance at this stage of their lives.
The Wellness Way