Why Are the Boomers Ageist?


ageism in boomers



Many people over 55 and using an online site to meet someone continue to post photos of themselves when they were 5-15 years younger and then wonder why people get upset when they show up for that cup of coffee or a martini to find, perhaps a still handsome or beautiful person smiling at them, but not the younger face they were struck by on that dating site.

People I coach want to justify that it isn’t really lying, arguing that it is necessary if they are going  to ever meet someone. “Nobody wants to date a man who is 70.” “I don’t want to be pushing a wheelchair in a year.” “If I put my true age in that profile, nobody contacts me.”   What’s really sad about these statements is that many times, they are true. So what ‘s the deal?

I think the reasons are complex, convoluted, and unconscious much of the time. But it’s time to begin exploring ageism among those of us who have heretofore blamed younger generations for it. Until we can understand our own ageist beliefs and perhaps pull our long and more wrinkled necks out of the sand, we are much less likely to find love.

Boomers are great! We are courageous innovators, fiercely independent, passionate thinkers and doers who, by the way, are never going to die. Not only are we never leaving this world until we make it perfect, our youthful spirit is determined not ever to sit down in a rocking chair. That’s why we refuse to see ourselves as ageing in any way shape or form. Those fortunate (or sometimes not) enough to have a good plastics guy can stay in denial longer, but beneath that smooth skin, life goes on.

So, is it any wonder that when we look in the mirror in the morning, we simply cannot see the wrinkles or realize that walking and hiking takes more energy, or that we hate to admit traveling gets more difficult as time passes?

Maybe we all have to post photos of ourselves as younger than we are to get past our own generation’s denial. Perhaps it’s just a little white lie that we make up for when, in our profile wayyyyyy down at the bottom, we say “By the way, I’m not really ______.” The harsh reality is that as we get older, the rules change about getting into relationships. One person, or maybe both, are statistically likely to get sick and die in fewer years than before. “For better or worse” becomes reality. So, with eyes wide open (as open as we can get them now), treasure the years you have and if you want to spend them with another person, show up as yourself and allow others to do the same. If when you look at that photo and know it doesn’t match their age, smile and remember the person who shows up in the coffee shop is the same man or woman in the picture, perhaps with a few more years of wisdom and life experience that might be just what you want in a perfect partner.

Trust me…there’s great love to be had and to be MADE after 55!

If you’re tired of watching sunsets alone and ready to do whatever it takes to find someone to share this next amazing chapter of your life, I can tell you how.

Email me at donna@donnasbigredchair.love to schedule a  time to talk about my 90-Day’s to Love 

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer, Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”

Donna’s Big Red Chair

510-817-4242   donna@donnasbigredchair.love 



  1. Bill Carrothers on January 29, 2016 at 4:32 am

    The reason that I gave up on online dating was that the women I met in person who did not know that I actually had made over seventy trips around the sun were far younger, more fit, and active than the ones that were willing to meet me from online contacts. Once I put my real age in my profile, I was a dead duck.

    • admin on January 29, 2016 at 7:02 am

      Thanks for your response,Bill. Maybe you can share your secret about how to meet women in person! It’s the ideal way to get to know someone without the filter of age getting in the way. We just can’t seem to get past the photos.

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