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Dating at 70?

(85 Posts)
LindyLou2020 Tue 27-Feb-24 11:20:04

I'm not a grandma, but some of my friends are, and I hope it's ok for me to post on Gransnet because of our age demographic.
One friend, aged 70, wants to divorce her husband. She tells us she knew she didn't love him enough when they got married in the 70's, but "settled" for him, didn't think she was "good enough" to attract the desirable, "successful" guys, and didn't want to be "left on the shelf". She was only in her early 20's!
She has stayed with him so long as she hoped they could make it work and have some common goals, but also because she didn't want to break up the family and upset their 2 children. The kids are now in their 30's, and my friend feels they won't be happy, but neither will they be devastated. My friend's husband is a really decent guy, but now he gives her the "ick", and she wants out while she has the ability to.
Her questions to me are not about whether she's doing the right thing, but whether 70 is too old to find love again?
She is socially quite active, and also very attractive and intelligent. She could take up interests/hobbies whereby she may meet men, but she's also wanting to do online dating.
I must admit that if I were in her position I wouldn't have a clue how to start dating again!
So my questions to you lovely Gransnetters are........are there any decent single males aged around 70 out there? If so, where do you find them? And have any of you, or know of anyone who has, tried online dating aged 70 or thereabouts? Thanks for reading x

keepingquiet Tue 27-Feb-24 11:53:38

I did a spell of on-line dating when it was quite new and I was in my 40s/50s
Without boring you I am now on my own and happy to be so. On-line dating can be a minefield unless you are very sharp and can spot the red flags. There are people out there who will prey on vulnerable women at any age.
I'm not saying don't do it, but you have to do it with eyes open to the possibility you could have some short-term fun but long-term love? It remains rare, though there may be posts following this to contradict me!

dogsmother Tue 27-Feb-24 12:31:55

Wise, wise words. Try being single first. That would be my advice for the simple reason it’s been so long for me that I wouldn’t have a clue and want to find my feet again. Age to me would not be a thing that’s just numbers particularly if healthy.

Scribbles Tue 27-Feb-24 12:34:03

I know two couples in their 60s who met and married during the past couple of years through online dating. All are very happy but, as one of the women said, you have to kiss an awful lot of frogs before you find your prince!

A year or so after my husband died, I looked at a couple of dating sites. I was 70 at the time and my abiding impression was that most of the 70-something men were looking for women in their 50s and 60s while the 70+ women were sought after by men in their 80s. Presumably, these men are trying to future-proof by finding a younger woman to care for them in their old age!

I decided that online dating was too much like a meat market and not for me. I did, subsequently, meet the second love of my life but we were introduced by a mutual friend and the acquaintance evolved naturally. I would suggest the OP's friend should follow up on the idea of getting out and about and meeting people through interests and activities. You never know what's around the next corner!

NotSpaghetti Tue 27-Feb-24 12:39:04

I know (through my mother-in-law) a couple who met that way in their 70s.

They are both "young" and vibrant still though now in their 80s I would think - given the time they have been together (guessing 7 or 8 years)...
She gave up on the cheap/free sites which she said only yielded material for a novel (!) and paid (according to her) quite a hefty membership fee so she could rule out insolvent alcoholics and men who wanted "extra" with no commitment. Her husband was her first "match".

They are a terrific couple. It worked for them.

Damdee Tue 27-Feb-24 12:44:40

Before your friend starts to file for divorce, has she considered the financial impact as well as all the emotional ones?

eazybee Tue 27-Feb-24 12:49:54

I think your friend would be very foolish.
A friend did something similar when she was sixty, ditched her husband because she decided they had nothing in common any more, having married at twenty-one as she didn't want to be left on the shelf. He was devastated.
She confidently expected to find a new partner and trawled the dating sites vigorously and underwent some unpleasant experiences before she accepted that it wasn't like dumping a boyfriend on a Friday night and having a new one by Monday, when you were eighteen. That was fifteen years ago.

Purplepixie Tue 27-Feb-24 12:53:18

I spent 5 years on my own with my youngest son when I was 50 and it was the best time of my life. My husband now was through a dating agency and he is lovely but I wish I had stayed single a lot longer. Tell her not to rush into anything. Also I do hope she is able to maintain her lifestyle with her finances. Isn’t it a pity though that she has waited until now when she could have got away years ago and had the life that made her happy. Why settle for less when we only live once.

Theexwife Tue 27-Feb-24 13:02:23

My friends mother widow, met a man on a cruise whilst celebrating her 70th birthday, they married when she was 72 and have been married for 15 years now.

keepcalmandcavachon Tue 27-Feb-24 14:17:33

LindyLou2020, if your friend is very unhappy then it does indeed make sense to divorce and make the best of life. However, if that hinges on finding a 'better catch' then I'd recommend her to think things through a bit more.

Georgesgran Tue 27-Feb-24 14:33:08

I laughed at an expression last week (at the chiropodist) when a lady said she had no intention of dating now, as she didn’t want to be a nurse or a purse at her age!

pascal30 Tue 27-Feb-24 14:52:55

I think she would be quite foolish to try online dating before she has properly decided to leave her marriage. IMO she should either leave, get a divorce and learn to live alone for a while then try a dating agency.. or she should stay with her husband and join lots of groups and if she happens to meet someone through common interests then she may wish to leave the marriage. Whichever way she chooses she must talk to her husband and explain how she feels. He has to be considered..

Katie59 Tue 27-Feb-24 16:09:33

The OP seems to have a very romantic view of divorce and dating, the divorce part is going to be very stressful, then you may or may find a new love.
Have you thought through the financial side of the divorce, it will likely take a year to finalize, men that are looking for a new relationship at 70 are not easy to find, so count on being single at the start.

LindyLou2020 Tue 27-Feb-24 16:32:47

Thank you all for taking the time to write these thoughtful replies. Just to make it clear, I really am "asking for a friend" - I know people say that when they are really asking for themselves, but I wouldn't waste my and your time with such subterfuge. I'm as certain as I can be that my friend doesn't know I'm on Gransnet, and therefore won't know I've posted, (I sincerely hope not anyway), so I will try to find a way to gently bring these concerns into any further conversations we may have. She does seem determined to go ahead 'though. I was particularly hoping for some feedback from people who had experience of this scenario in any shape or form, so thank you so much to those of you who shared your views and opinions with me.

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 27-Feb-24 16:33:55

Yes, she may or may not find someone else but until (if ever) she finds a man who is solvent she will have half as much money as she does now and may live a miserable, impoverished life. I imagine any ‘desirable, successful’ single men around of 70+ are likely to be looking for a younger model. Imo she’s missed the boat and there’s a lot to be said for ‘a really decent guy’. I hope she isn’t hoping to find a younger man.

sodapop Tue 27-Feb-24 16:47:40

I agree with dog'smother your friend should spend some time alone if she does leave her husband. Time needed to regroup and consider what she wants from the future. The grass is not always greener etc.

BlueBelle Tue 27-Feb-24 17:10:30

Well she’s ‘put up’ with this poor chap for 50+ years and now wants to ditch him and find someone new Why didn’t she do it 45 years ago
Poor bloke ( you call him a decent bloke) what a nonsense Sorry but no feelings for her at all you can’t stay with someone a lifetime then say well I never really loved him I want to find someone else
Selfish and nasty if he’d been a bad husband or she’d done it after 5 years I’d applaud her but she’s used him for 50 odd years then wants to kick him to the kerb for nothing he’s done wrong

NotSpaghetti Tue 27-Feb-24 17:17:55

there’s a lot to be said for ‘a really decent guy’.

Yes, so true *GSM(

V3ra Tue 27-Feb-24 17:50:52

Are they stuck in a routine/rut and she's just fed up and bored with her life in general?
Are there friends or people who she envies, and if so what does she envy about their lifestyle?
Could she try and introduce some of their ideas, hobbies, activities to her own marriage?

Does her husband maybe feel the same way about her?
I think they'd owe it to themselves to have some counselling, preferably together, before either of them do anything drastic.

flappergirl Tue 27-Feb-24 20:08:15

I'm afraid your friend will find that men are usually looking for women younger than them. Any solvent, half decent bloke with his own home and teeth will be looking for someone no older than 60 at the most.

This is partly because men notoriously seek, and feel they deserve, younger models but also to future proof their care in old age.

At 70 she'll probably be looking at an 80 year old at least with all the health issues and entrenched behaviour that entails.

Your friend has been married so long she's forgotten she is no longer that 20 year old in the 70's. I wish her luck.

Katie59 Wed 28-Feb-24 13:55:35

As I mentioned in my previous post the financial side of a separation will be very stressful as will the emotional aspect. Finding a man that matches your friends personality at 70 is not going to be straightforward.

I left my husband at 60 it was a very hard 12 months arguing the settlement then waiting for the final agreement. I was lucky I did find the right man quickly, even though I wasn’t even looking for a relationship, we did know each other socially so there were no honesty issues. 4yrs on were both very happy

LindyLou2020 Wed 28-Feb-24 15:28:09

Thanks to everyone who has replied so far!

MissAdventure Wed 28-Feb-24 15:48:14

Men of 70 will probably be looking for women age 30.
Bless their optimism!

Katie59 Wed 28-Feb-24 16:13:20


Men of 70 will probably be looking for women age 30.
Bless their optimism!

Definitely not, maybe 10 yrs younger what matters is common interests, similar lifestyle and personality. There are exceptions of course some want “arm candy”, most are looking for a companion that is easy to live with.

Callistemon21 Wed 28-Feb-24 16:44:58

Better the devil you know

(Isn't that a book?)