Senior dating: Qualities wanted in a Mate

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – November 6, 2020

Thomas P Blake author and columnist

Senior dating: Qualities Wanted in a Potential Mate 

In 2003, I published a book titled “Finding Love After 50. How to Begin. Where to Go. What to Do.” One chapter was devoted exclusively to the importance for middle-age singles to make a written list of the qualities-wanted in a potential mate.

The purpose of the list was simple: to help singles avoid becoming involved with a person “not right” for them, which could waste time, energy, emotions, and even money–the topic Freddy Fender sang about in his 1974 song, “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights.”

In the book, I advised keeping the list simple, 10 items or less, in order of importance. Plus, I stressed that the list should simply be a flexible guide and not a rigid qualifying tool.

  Keep the Qualities-wanted list simple

There were no right or wrong lists—everybody is different—but I did suggest some examples of what qualities a middle-aged woman might want a man to have:


makes me his top priority

has a positive attitude and sense of humor

is carefree and relaxes. Has no drama

gives me “my space” and respects me

is attractive; I feel chemistry and warmth towards him

is financially comfortable

There were two cardinal rules to list-making. First, follow the Golden Rule. What a person wanted from a mate, he or she must also give in return. Love is a two-way street.

Second, I strongly warned to never pull the list out to look at while on a date. Can you imagine someone placing his or her list on the table and saying to a date, “You’re a little weak on item number six?”

Comparing the above 2003 book chapter to present-day senior dating

In recent discussions with single, senior men, the men have brought up qualities-wanted in potential mates. I wondered if the qualities they seek now are different when compared to 17-years-ago.

Champ Wayne mentioned that one quality on some lists this year wasn’t much of a factor 17-years-ago. He said this quality quickly eliminates about 50 percent of potential mates for both women and men. The quality? To which political party does the other person belong?

Wayne met a woman online who listed a plethora of things she likes to do—hiking, dancing, being active, going to concerts, etc. But, then she listed, rather emphatically, a potential mate had to be of the same political party as she—no exceptions.

So, Wayne thinks political-party preference might be the top item on many singles’ lists in this presidential-election year.

Champ Larry, a widower, in his 70s, talked about his list of qualities wanted. He asked if he was wrong by placing chemistry and physical attraction at the top of his list.  

That was interesting because 17-years-ago, people said to me that chemistry was about number five on their lists (I often wondered if they were being honest, embarrassed to admit they ranked physical attraction much higher).

I suggested to Larry that he wasn’t wrong, as long as he was honest about it with the single women he was meeting.

There were two unacceptable qualities that Wayne and Larry mentioned. Neither wants to remarry nor date women whose children or grandchildren were living with them.

Oh my, does that mean senior singles need two lists? One for qualities-wanted and one for unacceptable qualities?

The question becomes, will senior singles take the time to make two written lists? Probably not. Just making one list is even a stretch.

However, it’s sure important that they know what qualities they want and don’t want, whether they write them down or not.

The objective of making lists might be even more important now that we are 17-years older. We want to avoid wasted days and nights as our friend Freddy Fender sang about—because we’ve got less time to waste!

What’s on your list?  

Link to Freddy Fender’s song, Wasted Days and Wasted Nights:

Author: Tom Blake

Tom Blake is a newspaper columnist in south Orange County, California. He has published five books. His primary topic is finding love after 50 and beyond, sometimes far beyond, for people 80 and older as well. He also blogs about travel at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: