Over 50: Will I Ever Get Married?


Dear Mary Beth,

I’m 58, and I signed up recently for Catholic Match. So far I’ve been very disappointed to see the prospects sent to me.  Someone needs to say this—we are not all meant to be married.  We are not all equally datable.  There is no fairness or equal opportunity in the dating world.

I am a tough sell since most women will not date men over 55.  I honestly don’t know why I bothered to join. I knew I was wasting time and money. I also think most computer dating sites should not take anyone over 50. There is just no real dating market for you that late in life.  

Here is the stat most folks don’t know—if you are still a single woman at 40, you have only a one percent chance of ever being married, if you are a  single man aged 40 you have only a 5 percent chance of ever being married—Census Bureau. God doesn’t owe us a marriage or lover. Sadly many of us will never have either.

—Timed Out


Dear Timed Out,

Well, in one sense, I have to agree with you. It is undoubtedly true that there is no fairness or equal opportunity in the dating world. Of course, it is also true that there is no fairness or equal opportunity in most of life. What God calls us to do is to take the hand we have been dealt, and to play it the best we can, in His grace and with His guidance.

It is also true that, statistically, older singles marry at much lower rates than younger singles. There are a lot of reasons for that. First, the older singles figure includes all of the people who for whatever reason don’t want or intend to marry. That’s a higher percentage as we get older.

It also gets more difficult to marry as we get older, because it gets more difficult for older singles to find each other. When you’re young and single, you can’t swing a jumbo sized margarita without it splashing on someone else who’s also young and single. But as we get older, it is harder to find each other. And, if we’re Catholic, it becomes even more difficult to find someone to marry, because so many “singles” our age are actually divorced, and thus not eligible to marry in the Church without an annulment.

That’s why I think sites like Catholic Match are such a gift to older singles. They take a population that is spread out and largely hidden, and they bring us together so that we can find each other. And we, more than younger singles, need that. Where else can we “search” a population to see not only who is single, but who is eligible to marry in the Church?

But this brings us to what I believe is one of the biggest barriers to marriage for older singles. We have lived, and most of us have suffered in one way or another. And that suffering, along with our joys, has shaped us. It is the “baggage” we bring to our relationships. Sometimes suffering makes us stronger, more compassionate, more ready to embrace the joy—and the sorrow—still to come. Other times it makes us angry, or suspicious, or pessimistic.

I abbreviated your letter, as I always do here—not adding or changing any of your words, but condensing it to fit within this format and removing identifying details. And, judging from the parts of your letter I didn’t include here, you have suffered more than most. I am sorry for that. I don’t know you, or how that has shaped you. I also don’t know how I would react if I had walked in your shoes. Odds are good that I would be struggling. And that I might write a letter to a Catholic dating site to vent a little bit.

But here’s what I do know: I know who wants to date men over 55. Women over 55 do. They are searching for men over 55 to date, paying money to be in this site to find men over 55 to date. But they don’t, for the most part, want to date bitter men over 55, or of any age. Just as men don’t want to date women who have become embittered by the suffering in their lives.

Not that I’m saying you’re bitter. I don’t even know you. Just pointing out the danger.

Most of us didn’t plan to still be single, or to be single again, at this point in our lives. But this is the hand we have been dealt. The late, great singer Rich Mullins wrote a song called “Where You Are,” about finding God even when we find our lives are very far from where we expected.

When where you are, ain’t where you wish you could be;

Well your life ain’t easy and the road is rough.

But where you are, is where He promised to be;

From the ends of the world to every point in need.

You can find the whole song here. I turn to this song—and other Rich Mullins songs—when I’m struggling. He “got” us better than most.

The point is that God is with you—in your suffering, in the way your life has turned out, in exactly where you stand on this very day.  He meets you right where you are, and offers to fashion what you have into something beautiful.  I agree that he doesn’t “owe” us marriage.  But He has assured us that “All things work for good for those who love Him, who are called according to His purposes” (Romans 8:28)All things.

I also get that this is easier said than believed, much less done. The last thing I want to do is to be dismissive of your, or anybody’s, profound suffering.

Suffering is an important topic that I will address in another post. So let’s talk about that next time.

In the mean time, know that you are in my prayers.



  1. Wendy-1384564 November 21, 2016 Reply

    praying instead of brain-washing all the time…!:-)
    only God knows what point is our life now

  2. Hugh M. June 23, 2015 Reply

    Each posting adds a new perspective. I am 77 feeling 26. Hard to believe? Try me!
    I love a lot of topics of interest. But most of all I want to learn what a lady wants and needs. That is my focus along with having a fun and interesting conversation.
    I have an interesting story to tell, but again it’s about sharing our stories. I know that takes time, and I have time on my hands. Speaking of hands, I love to hold hands. It’s one of the lonely parts of being a widower. Knowing my love is near is another ache that is ever present.
    My new life has started and I am moving to a new location close to more of my family but free to date and talk to a lady who will hold my hands and interest.
    God loves me, I know more about myself because of his help and intervention.
    I am patient, mostly funny about my faults, wanting to re-discover a romance for the balance of her and my lives. May God continue to watch over her and I and bless us going forward in His love.

  3. John-1101427 August 12, 2014 Reply

    I turned 50 in November, and I can relate to much of what has been said here. It is very difficult for men in their 50’s and older to get any attention from women, but I agree that one has to be pro-active. You can’t sit and wait for God to drop a spouse into your lap. If you don’t get any messages online, start sending them out…5, 10, 20 it doesn’t matter, just make an effort.

    I agree one has to be somewhat happy and positive about your own life to attract anyone. Its the dog that isn’t hungry that gets fed. Have you heard that one? Dogs that appear in need…mangy, tired, dirty, worn out, usually get dismissed and sent on their way. Dogs that are clean, happy, friendly, enthusiastic will get a bone or a meal from a stranger. It is the same with people. Appear as though you don’t need something, and it comes to you without much effort. Have confidence, smile, appear happy and see what happens.

    I agree that men who have financial resources have a huge advantage in the dating field. This is fairly normal, as no woman wants to jeopardize comfort or security at a later age when she may not be able to recover. Although I am not rich, and that may play a part in why I am still single, I know there are women who will throw caution to the wind to find real love. Real love overcomes any obstacle. Even poverty.

    Strive for the relationship that makes you and someone else happy, even if it isn’t ideal. Little in life is ideal. Throw caution to the wind…there is no room for it anymore after you have spent your life single. Do what makes you happy…everyone is attracted to happiness…love will beat a path to your door. And don’t judge…judging will kill any chance of a relationship, so avoid this at all costs.

    Blessings and peace!

  4. Michael L. July 15, 2014 Reply

    Hi Sabrina: I’m the Donnie Downer you are so critical of. How many dates have you had in the past year?
    Are you trying to marry, or just date and see what happens? I’m not looking for marriage this late in life, and
    very few people over 55 are. I’m in here more to prove one thing–if you are in the 50 plus age market, if you are trying to marry or even date you will find it a very real challenge. Getting out more won’t help much since most people I see are with families or couples. Singles events don’t work either. I did clubs and bars for 20 years, and never met anyone who was available or interested. Getting out more is a great cliche that is meaningless and useless. My window has passed, and I had to do the online deal just to verify my
    original conclusions. Case closed.

  5. Margaret O. July 12, 2014 Reply

    I suggest asking a friend to read your ad or replies.

    A laundry list by either a man or a woman is off-putting.

    A story I read years ago applies. A man had cerebral palsy and wanted to meet and marry the “perfect” woman. Finally, he decided he would found a dating club for people with physical disabilities and he met Ms. Right.

    Two attributes people can change: be a more conversationally and activity-oriented fun person and don’t require “how” a person is in various ways.

    And go on YouTube and learn about popular culture. Who are the top singers who come to your community? What is free in the parks? Talk to people in public. Look pulled together in public.

    Find out early if a conversational partner is married or sharing a house with a partner. In the new movie TAMMY, the main character says, “Where is your wife tonight,” and he replies, “I’m not married.” Keep talking and keep asking and don’t be stuck with the anonymous ads as your only options.

  6. Sabrina M. July 12, 2014 Reply

    OK, so the writer is a dude and not a lady. Same advice applies. Donnie Downer isn’t datable either.

  7. Sabrina M. July 12, 2014 Reply

    I’m sorry but the writer sounds like she’s just feeling sorry for herself. Just look at the NY Time wedding announcements and you’ll see plenty of over 50s marrying. Maybe the woman ought to look at her attitude and see if that’s what’s getting in the way between her and marriage. Men don’t like Debbie Downer (neither do most women). Maybe you ought to get out more and not rely on dating websites. You can have a good life and never marry. Nothing wrong with being single. Plenty of marrieds out there who aren’t happy.

  8. Michael L. July 8, 2014 Reply

    Last night I checked my Match.com stats. I had over 300 women view my profile. I sent messages to seven women. Results: not one single person who viewed me or who I’d sent a message to replied to me.
    Again all these women are fifty plus. I hear so many women complain men never respond, and after viewing my stats….I hope it shows it’s simply standard practice out there. I see online dating as a social experiment to validate what I already know. Dating for singles over 50 is one huge daunting task. Unless you look great, have money, or celebrity status–most of us aren’t going to generate any offers. If I was younger the response rate might improve, but I doubt it. I did this really to prove what they say–if you’re 50 plus you’re invisible in the job hunting world and the social world also. It’s sad, but it’s the way things are.

  9. Michael L. July 8, 2014 Reply

    A few weeks ago I jointed Match.com. I thought my luck would change. I did find an impressive array of
    possible prospects. I sent emails to at least five, none ever replied. I did my best to send them a note which I thought at least rated a thank you. Again–no response. All of the women were 50-58. I noticed all of them were divorced, some had age, height, or income restrictions. Perhaps that is why none of them replied–I didn’t meet their specs. I’ve concluded after using Match.com and CM.com anyone over 55 will have a very tough go of it. Maybe looks or income might tip the balance in your favor, but I doubt it. I’m finding many women are just as selective or limit their dating options severely with all kinds of barriers I’ve previously noted.
    I also must say–your window for mate selection is highest between 18-30 or 35. If you try dating or searching for a mate after that, you will have an uphill battle. While Match.com had a very good selection of prospects, most of them lack the most basic courtesies all adults need to have. If you can’t be kind to strangers who noticed your profile, that says a lot about your humanity and character. It makes me question whether you’d even be anyone I’d even want to meet. I’m not surprised at what I’m finding.
    I detect a lot of frustration, anger, desperation in many profiles posted on a dating websites from older people. It’s real easy to say hang in there, or keep trying, etc. Face it folks–over fifty is not what the dating market is looking for. As they say to actors–if you want a friend, buy a dog. I won’t be renewing any more memberships to any dating websites. It’s not cost effective or even worth your time. Good luck to all those who keep going. I don’t have any more patience to hang in here.

    • John-1101427 August 12, 2014 Reply


      I sympathize with your plight, as it is my plight also. But when I read that you sent out 5 messages I have to shrug a little. Five, really? Try twenty five, forty five, sixty five. Five is nothing. You aren’t even scrapping the barrel, let alone making any progress. If you know its hard, and I believe you do know, then you have to make an effort that is hard…and up your hellos and messages exponentially.

      I took a personality test online to determine what kind of personality I have as a man, and what my chances of attracting women are. With my personality…introverted, usually quiet, intellectual, artistic…the personality test told me that 1 woman in one million would be interested! One in a million! How are those for odds? There aren’t even a million women within 300 miles of me! So what to do? Give up? Nope. You can’t give up, you may have to do things you otherwise wouldn’t, but I believe the answer is in the word Becoming. Once we become who God wants us to be, who we are meant to be, even if that is a total introvert who happens to have a genius for say, video gaming, then things start happening. Not because we have cracked any code, but because we are finally happy and content with who we are..aka Happy and Confident. If you can talk to a woman online, or on the street, and she can see your happy and see the confidence in your eyes…you are halfway there.

      Try doing what I’m doing…Become. It is the purpose of life. It is what caterpillars do. It is what everyone who ever did anything worthwhile has done. Think about it and do it. Become you…and while your doing it, send out 50 messages, not five.

      Peace Brother.

  10. Michael-369664 June 16, 2014 Reply

    I’m sure no one wants to hear this,but two of my younger brothers said something about marriage I won’t ever forget. Terry said, “Being married and having kids is highly overrated.” Kevin said, “you will miss some things by not being married, but you might not miss as much as you think.”

    I have four married siblings, only one married in a Catholic church. Sadly none of them practice their faith anymore. I’m very sorry to see they’ve left the faith as have many good friends. I hung in there, but it’s been a tough road. I knew even as a teenager I’d never be married. I was just never attractive to women. I did what I could to fix that, but nothing worked. I’ve moved on and my life got much easier when I quit trying to date let alone get married. I’ve seen many fine people get divorced, I think God spared me much pain and anguish by ensuring I never married. He knew it wasn’t right for me. Case closed.

  11. Irl-1042991 May 8, 2014 Reply

    Michael-369664, getting out of the race is giving up. If you want something badly enough, I have found you can usually get it eventually (though often with some unexpected less than pleasant consequences sooner or later.)

    As for me, I will never give up searching for a wife, and neither should you..

  12. Irl-1042991 May 8, 2014 Reply

    You think you are having trouble, Timed Out? I am 69, have been trying to date only women from 65 to 74, am a retired professional, well educated with two masters degrees and a doctorate, a devout Catholic, am considered to be gentle, polite, and personable, am financially secure and along with my military pension comes essentially free health care for my spouse. Yet, I cannot get beyond the second date.
    I hate the single life, yet am forced into it.

  13. Michael-369664 May 8, 2014 Reply

    The real problem of dating comes down to this: how do you find the right person for you at the right time of your life? Almost all the women I would have ever married, I met before age 25. I was not ready for marriage in those years. I put off looking until later. Mistake! After 35 the date prospect pool dropped off.
    This was in the time before online dating existed. It’s a great tool, but I find it works best for those under 40. I won’t be renewing my CM subscription. I enjoyed many features in here, but after reviewing dozens of profiles I didn’t find what I was seeking. CM.com also has more than a few negative posts out there.
    Google CM.com and reviews to see what others have said. I still feel if you’re over 50 plus, male or female, you’re a tough sell—you have to work ten times harder to get even minimal returns. At some point it’s no longer cost effective to stay in the race.

  14. Ann-1088252 May 4, 2014 Reply

    Everyone wants to find the ideal, if not perfect, match, yet they will not even REPLY to inquiries. Why? Some silly thing like the lady is a bit chubby or the guy does not have a college degree or whatever your pet peeves may be.

    Well hey! This is not about YOU. It’s about US. Especially for the older set with a history of ups and downs and maybe some fears.

    Instead of the scrutiny under a microscope of the other, take a look in the mirror. Are you bald? Are you in debt? Do you have a passel of grown kids you’re putting thru college? Do you not own a home? Are you unemployed? Are you depressed?

    Those things might be deal breakers for a 25 year old. But we oldies need to realize we aren’t so hot, otherwise we would be married. We have some flaws and attitude problems, or we would have been snatched up.

    So if the other person is not your dream spouse, BE OPEN TO THEIR GOOD QUALITIES. One is that they contacted you at all! Look for their nice attributes.

    I’d amend Match so no one can reply to a note until they answer the previous one. Even if it’s a polite no thanks. Get over this romantic fantasy of Mr or Ms Wonderful at 50 years of age! Happiness is staring us in the face… are we pushing it away with both hands?

    • Michael L. July 9, 2014 Reply

      Ann you’ve made many excellent points. I do my own research, on Match.com they tell you how many people viewed your profile, and record how many messages you’ve sent. In the four weeks I’ve been a member
      I’ve had almost 300 women view my profile. I’ve sent out messages to seven people. So far not one person has sent me a message! I’m not really too surprised. I am 58, don’t take a great photo, and retired due to cancer. I’m sure that scares away 99% of all my prospects. I’m also 5 ft. 7 in., and many women even short women want men 5 ft. 10 in. or taller. Ladies–most tall guys are already taken. Another huge barrier I’ve run into is the income requirements posted in many profiles. I’ve often see women wanting salary ranges 75,000 to 150,000. Only about 5% of the entire population makes a six figure income. If you screen by height, age, and income as many women do, you will be looking for a very long time. Most men with high incomes will shoot for women under 50. Why? Because they can buy more toys to play with! Unless I win the lottery, grow five inches taller, or take five years off my age, I’m probably going to be passed over 95% of the time. I’m not surprised. Eventually all the women in their fifties might wake up, and see time passes, and they will age out of the market eventually.

  15. Michael-369664 April 26, 2014 Reply

    Most folks don’t learn one thing until it’s too late: you just can’t fight age. Joan Rivers said this as she labors on as a comic. Like her your dating bookings will taper off with age after 50 unless you’re lucky or still attractive. A few observations on profiles–many women have age, height, and income barriers. I don’t know if they’re aware that once you hit 50 plus, you really cut your pool of prospects by tossing those barriers in your way. Don’t do it. Cast a wider net!

  16. Stuart-67186 April 23, 2014 Reply

    Let me say first off that I am 50, single, and never married. I can certainly share some of the frustrations that timed out has felt. However, as I have grown older (and wiser), I have come to some conclusions that I would like to share here:

    1. Love has no age limit. There are people out there in their 50s, 60s, and even 70s who are still seeking romance and yes getting married.

    2. Broaden out the age range. I have found as I grow older that there are women in their 20s and 30s who find older men in my age group more attractive than those in their age group. And it’s not because of wealth as some would suggest. It’s because older men in their 40s and 50s possess that emotional stability and maturity that is lacking in men their own age, a quality that some of these younger women seek.

    3. Ignore the statistics. Your life is not governed by statistics and you don’t have to abide by them. Only you can define what you want, and ignore the negativity.

    4. Don’t be bitter.

    Speaking as a Catholic single, I think what is unfortunate is that our parishes and dioceses don’t do a particularly good job at reaching out to singles. There are some that have set up some good singles ministries but they seem to be few and far between. I really think that single Catholics like ourselves should demand that our bishops and pastors form more groups, ministries and activities for catholic singles OF ALL AGES in their respective dioceses and parishes.

  17. Karen-1023150 April 21, 2014 Reply

    Am new to all of this or at least. Just found the blog. I am 65 and recently divorced. Because I was not married in the church (sacramental marriage) I am free to marry, however I recently attended a Divorce Catholics 12 week program on healing that helped me understand the true relationship between a man and woman. #1 God centered and I believe that means God brings the two of us together. It is in God’s hands. Learning to be alone is indeed hard. My relationship with Jesus Christ is becoming more real. Of course I miss having someone to share life. A good movie, walk on the beach, dinner, travelling, etc. I am learning to build my own life and that is very hard. Being 65 going on 19 is not easy either, but it is good. I joined Catholic Match to see if there was someone I would like to meet or more precisely would like to meet me. I do not reach out because it feels very uncomfortable. Guess I am in the looking stage. Life is different at 65 vice 45. No games , real life.

  18. Michael-369664 April 11, 2014 Reply

    One thing I wish would disappear are all the dating gurus, their books, and shows like “The Bachelor”
    In this culture love seems to be a trophy people compete to win. It’s not about compromise or sacrifices involved in making a relationship work. My later parents met on a blind date in the 1950s, two years later they married. They were married 51 years. I don’t think that could happen today. My late father told me years ago–“marriage is great, but it’s lots of compromises.” People today won’t do that anymore.
    It’s so easy to get divorced today. Years ago people did all they could to keep a marriage going.
    I never thought marriage was a choice for me until I was in a solid career. That took longer than I expected.
    By the time that was going, I was in my mid-30s. Most of my peers were married by then. It was also before the internet and dating sites were around. I never was able to catch up, and the gap gets bigger as you get older. I see lots of women on this site who would make great prospects but they have not or will not get annulments. It’s another barrier I can’t do anything about. Ladies do your best to be truly available, or plan on being here for a long time waiting.

  19. Carol-1065182 April 9, 2014 Reply

    I am learning at the age of 47 that Timed Out’s frustrations may be true. But I am also learning how to redefine myself. I have always been what I consider to be a mostly faithful Catholic, and a lot of people outside of the faith don’t get it. Even to be here on this site, you have to remain true to yourself. There are all levels of what people believe about their faith. To be over the age of 50 and still trying to meet the “right” one may bring along with it the baggage accumulated in this life. But you have to try to look past it to the real person. Keep trying. The “right” person may just show up when you’re not expecting it.

  20. Ann-69118 April 9, 2014 Reply

    I don’t worry over what I can’t control. Did I wish to be married at one point…like many who came to this site yes but for some reason it seems God has other plans for many of us. I make the best of what I have and live life. If it’s meant to be it will be if not then you might as well enjoy the ride you have it’s the only one you’ll get. Prayers everyone.

  21. Dominic L. April 9, 2014 Reply

    I’m here because a friend of mine said this site can also be good for finding friends . . . . . Have to say over 50 is not such a big deal . . life is to short to put a time limit to age . . I’m 56 now and I felt it was wrong for me to marry when i was 37.

    marriage is also for having a family , not just about not being single . . I Believe in the words in the gospel that says , there is a time when two people who live together must live like they are single . . i also had to be tough to be single and alone all my life.

  22. Bea-1066255 April 9, 2014 Reply

    There is a pain on this! Since it is out of our control, we better leave it under God’s control. Whatever situation we are or have been God is always there. Let us believe and move on. We have no answer about why are we single at this age or why things happen to our life but God has the answer.

  23. Andree-339792 April 9, 2014 Reply

    I have paid for memberships on 2 occasions after one man sent me message(s) prior to me joining. By the time I joined, the person(s) who had sent the messages were no longer members themselves. Bad timing I guess. I have not had any successful communications on this site .

    I just turned 53. I never thought I would get to this age and never been married. I have sent messages to men on here that seemed interesting and didn’t get responses.

    WHY are the men on here if they’re not at least willing to have a conversation with someone???

    It’s hard to get motivated to pay to communicate on this site when all I have done is run into brick walls.

  24. Robert-942717 April 8, 2014 Reply

    In Christ Jesus, I think by looking at some profiles on CM in general, that those who have these lists of what we/they want from a match are limiting ourselves, possibly not leaving us open to the Lord working in our lives. I was married to a woman 7 years junior to me. She died 4 years ago at 55. My mother was 10 years older than my father and I believe that my grandfather was close to 30 years older than my grandmother. I don’t know if they ever fretted about being married or not. There may be a maturity issue in our age. God Bless to all!

    • Nancy-1147883 November 15, 2014 Reply

      Hi Robert, Just saw your comments now. . . love them all! You sound like an awesome Catholic man. Thank you for sharing on this page. I wish you all the best in your search on Catholic Match. God bless.

  25. Robert-514120 April 8, 2014 Reply

    I’m 53, and never married, no kids, and now I live alone, and own the house I grew up in. I won’t get into the excuses I could use for my status, except to say that it just never happened fr me. My priorities have changed, as I got older. Between 20 and 40ish, I wanted to get married and have kids. Now that I’m 53, the kids part is out the window (unless I want to date a trophy wife – NOT!) I try to stay within 5 years either side of my age, and am on the verge of just limiting myself to just in one’s 50’s. Since I don’t date many women, I don’t know if I want t get married. I think you have to “get there” before you can decide t get married or not.

  26. Patrick-341178 April 8, 2014 Reply


    Unfortunately too many women are dead set against dating men more that 5+ years.. Even with the 40+ crowd… If both men and women could stop making age as much of factor, more of the 50+ crowd would have more dating opportunities

    • Jheff-890967 April 9, 2014 Reply

      I agree with you Patrick.
      Age shouldnt really be an issue in dating. I only wanted to date someone who was not over 50 but when I got to know my previous bf who was 55 at that time, i didnt know that i would fall in love with him and that changed my perspective. its just sad that it had to end but that experience made me more open to any age bracket.

  27. Pamela-808427 April 8, 2014 Reply

    I am 71 now. When I was in my 20’s, 30’s and 40’s I fretted about be “not finding someone to marry”. Finally I realized that until I was happy with myself, by myself–waiting for someone else to come along to make me happy– I was wasting my life wishing for things to change…and made some questionable relationship choices in the process. While those choices shaped who I am today and I don’t regret them, I find that it is very important to be your own person and contribute your own talents to your circle of influence – whatever that may be!

    If you find someone to share that with along the way, then that is God’s plan and embrace it! But until that happens, be happy with what God has given you NOW and give it back to Him however He asks for it. Being single is actually a great blessing and opportunity that married folks never get to experience–it has great freedom and endless choices open to you!

    • M.B. B. April 11, 2014 Reply

      You are a beautiful soul, Pamela. Thank you for sharing this!

  28. Jheff-890967 April 8, 2014 Reply

    For guys here who are over 50..please dont lose hope and feel defeated. Because most girls who are younger than you feel the same way too.
    Take myself as an example..Im turning 42 this year and I had a relationship with a guy who is turning 56. we had an amazing love story but unfortunately it had to end because of some “personal issues” that he had (he said he was stressed at work). ??? So he dumped me. My point is, there are a lot of younger women out there (just like me) who would be very willing and interested in men over 50 but sometimes it is the older guys who dont seem to know what they want even at this late stage of their lives. I didnt say you need to settle..just be more open to endless possibilities.
    I think its just a matter of putting yourself out there more and taking that leap of faith. Stay positive.

  29. Joe-786218 April 8, 2014 Reply

    Life was never meant to be fair. Ever. Christ never promised that the truth would be nice, He only promised that it would set you free.

    When one gets that necessary lesson out of the way, one can be free to be more accepting of the truth of who they are, what they want, what they’re attracted to and what they’re willing to do or not do in life as well as in courtship.

    But judging from society at large, many, including Catholics, never get that lesson. Or else they rail against it. Rather than accepting responsibility for working on the only thing that’s fully under their control: themselves.

    If there’s a lesson for the younger generation to be had from reading this column, it is not to take marriage for granted, to assume that one can wait until some older age and then marriage will be there for the taking. For many of us, that hasn’t exactly worked out, has it? I know those are hard words for us older folks, but some of us are not just here for ourselves, we may be serving God’s purpose to be an example to others. Maybe just not the example we had in mind.

  30. Marge-938695 April 8, 2014 Reply

    I liked Gail’s response, above.
    To gentleman who wrote the original note, I can only say, “I’ll bet you didn’t contact ME.”

  31. Robert-942717 April 7, 2014 Reply

    The meaning of life is to love as God Loves. Natural Family Planning,(NFP) teaches true Catholic Marriage that we are to get each other to Heaven, with as many other souls as we can. to love each other as God Loves and that the wife and husband are to be bi- subjective to each other. Plus lots more, look it up in,
    JPII’s Theology of the Body. God Bless you all!

  32. Patrick-341178 April 7, 2014 Reply

    I am 35, but I always like to give my 2 cents on any article that I find interesting. Being 35 and single is an interesting age, because atleast in theory, I can for the first time in my life date someone either 15 years older or younger. I admit that I am bit biased towards the younger side, but I always try to open myself up to the possibility of dating someone my age or older. I have exchanged message with women in their 50’s and recently went out on date with someone from this site who is 43. (We decided to just be friends but it was still worth it.).

    What I have noticed is unfortunately that people get caught up too much on someone’s age. Many men my age and little bit older exclusively concentrate in younger women in hope of still having several biological children. But, then in turn, many younger women seem creeped out at dating someone who is more than 5 years older. And for some reason, many dating “experts” seem to think you can only date someone around your age.

    Now as far as the 50+ crowd in concerned, it is certainly true it is tougher than what i face. However, I can certainly sympathize as I know it is already tougher for me than it was 5 years ago. I suppose the best thing to do is to open yourself to dating someone of various age groups. Contact as many people as you can and see what happens. Dont automatically reject someone because you think they may be too old or young. Open yourself to dating widowers, annulled divorcees and those with children. And pray for guidance.

    If you ever get to a point where you dont want to date anymore, that is ok too. At some point, just embracing the advantages of single life may not be such a bad thing. Just think of everything you have been able to do in life that those married with kids never had had the time….

  33. Miles-814 April 7, 2014 Reply

    This is a very good discussion – one that we must all heed carefully. Personally, I have a ticket to *move* out of the U.S.. Our culture has been drastically weakened. Most of us are lost in this area, and don’t even know it. Many claim to want to be married, but are so poorly prepared that they actually couldn’t have a successful marriage. My member number holds me accountable. Someone said something about getting to know the people that contact you. I would agree. Someone said that there was no golden era of Catholicism in the past…well, statistics show that there was one. And, to the person who is against statistics I would say, it is fair that you are wary of them. So, go run your own statistics. Take your own polls. A few years back, a friend of mine and I systematically asked people a variety of questions about virginity and sex in a hot spot of promiscuous Miami (#4 most promiscuous city in the US). The results were astounding. For one, 97% of the people who answered our questions said having people remain virgins until marriage would play a major role in keeping a marriage together for life. I do think that Catholic Match could play a much more pivotal role in the formation of its members. We all need it. These articles help tremendously. We need more of this here.

  34. Siani-926756 April 7, 2014 Reply

    I dated man of 56 years old when I was 37. Almost got married but we did not share same family value. He is non-Catholic. It’s not about age, but more on the emotional connection. I always know that I want to have family. But here I am, getting 42, not married yet. As the article said, my chance to get married is getting smaller. But, I am not lost hope. That’s why I join Catholic Match, keep my faith that I will meet my life partner here, a Catholic man who love family.

  35. John-1046049 April 7, 2014 Reply

    4 points that it’s taken me way to long to learn 🙂

    1. It’s very important to stay positive. All miracles are precipitated by faith. We can, if we think we can, and we can’t, if we think we can’t. In Jesus there is always faith and hope and in the devil fear and despair.

    2. I’ve met the enemy and it’s me. Look gently inward and ask the Holy Spirit to take away whatever fear or brokenness there is that might be keeping you from being open to love. I have and it’s hard, but necessary.

    3. Be open and be realistic in terms of who might be a good match. Of course, we are all entitled to some kind of spark, but pray and think about what’s really important.

    4. And if you are lucky enough to still be in your 20’s or 30’s get out there and order a jumbo sized margarita and splash away…you made me smile with that analogy Mary Beth!

    • Nancy-1147883 November 15, 2014 Reply

      Just read this posting now. Very impressive, and spot on. Great insight. Your #2 point really spoke to me in a very timely way. Thank you for your candor and insight. . . Very inspiring.

  36. Jacqueline-198 April 7, 2014 Reply

    Too bad I can’t really say here what I think of statistics! It woldn’t be published! I’m 51, never married, never thought I’d never be married by this age but you know what, it’s not the end of the world I believe in GOD’S PLAN FOR ME!! Period! HIS desires for me is what matters for me, yeah, I’d like tI want it to be married, but when God’s time is right for me….God put that desire on our hearts to begin with, so we need and must WAIT on HIM, TRUST in HIM, and THANK HIM!! Meanwhile….make the most of our singlehood, that is a gift unto itself as well!! So meanwhile, I keep trusting God and enjoying my time on here, I’ve met wonderful people, had a relationship, and have travelled with other members. There is a list in the forums of members that are either engaged or to be married, and I personally know of two couples in their 50’s who have married and it was a first for both!

  37. Susan-1050546 April 6, 2014 Reply

    I have been praying for God’s plan to be revealed to me. I am a hopeful romantic and I will keep sending my messages and pray that I can share my hopes, dreams, grandkids, and special moments with the love of my life on earth. It seems to me that time is racing by….now that I am past 55 I only have 3 decades to share. It will be wonderful when and if I am blessed to be joined in Holy Matrimony.

    I feel positive and thankful for this inspirational article. Praise God!

  38. Lori-1020607 April 6, 2014 Reply

    Gail, that goes for any age group. Men and women should think outside the box they created with all the does and doesn’t they want in a match. They have no idea what wonderful people they might meet and how they may change their life. I have said it many times on here, stop looking for perfection. Inspirational article.

  39. Michael-369664 April 6, 2014 Reply

    I agree with what Timed ‘out said. I have not had even one woman send me a message on this site.
    I think too many women are still waiting to be asked. I think if you’re over 40 or 50, you simply can’t wait to be invited to the party. If you see a profile you like, send them a message. I’m sure they’d be grateful.
    The dating pool shrinks greatly after 50, and you can’t demand much attention from either sex.I
    It’s either inertia or apathy on both sides which keeps lots of folks from making the first move. When I was younger I learned early I had nothing women wanted. With age it didn’t change. Years ago a woman told at a party “you’re a nice guy, but you’re just not what women are looking for today.” Time has only validated her observation. I find it sad men on death row or in prison often have lots of female attention from the outside, but being a decent, normal guy gets you nowhere. The 70s did a huge amount of damage to dating rituals in this culture. I think we’re still suffering from it today. Read these books for more insight into our culture–Marry Him by Lori Gottlieb and Save the Males by Kathleen Parker. Steve Harvey said it best–“too many women look only at what a man has and not who he is–the result is they never find anyone suitable.” After 50 lots of folks simply stop looking. It’s too discouraging to keep going. You must do a background check on anyone you plan to date or marry now. It’s too risky not to get full disclosure before things get too serious. I only wish people would not judge or dismiss 50 plus singles as losers or misfits. I no longer get invited to any social functions by married friends. They don’t want us around. Churches don’t do much outreach to 50 plus singles either. Why should they? They won’t have kids and they can’t offer much outside of mass attendance.

    • Ruthann-579700 April 16, 2015 Reply


      I am a 62 year old widow with two daughters in their late teens with an advanced degree….I guess I’d prefer to think that Mr. Right could see beyond all the strikes against me…. I have sent out a number of unsolicited emotograms and (hopefully) friendly messages to men whose profile strikes a chord with me, to no avail. I’m wondering if the men could comment on how they react when they get an unsolicited shout out from a single woman. I’m beginning to wonder if there is some online interpersonal skill set that I have not yet gotten right. A number of people have commented that posting in the chat rooms is a better way to strike up a friendship. I just feel very time challenged and also have a problem being “chatty”.

  40. Marie-575233 April 6, 2014 Reply

    I enjoyed your article Mary Beth and applaud your insight. We are more than statistics. In faith God make anything possible. We need to do our inner work.

  41. Joan-529855 April 6, 2014 Reply

    So accurately stated by James, “The number of people in their 50s who are single, childless, without close family, and without close Catholic friends is large already, growing quickly, and probably set to skyrocket as today’s thirty and forty-something Catholic singles get older.” Unfortunately the women’s lib movement of the 70’s is providing for a large number of never married men and women in their 50’s. Women were told they could “have it all” if they would just go for it (fulfilling career, happy marriage, children, ect.). Truth be told, you can’t have it all. God never intended for us to have it all, or we wouldn’t be motivated to seek His eternal kingdom. It was all a lie. This lie affected even married women who knew they couldn’t have it all but their husbands were expecting them to be super woman, and when they didn’t perform as such their husbands divorced them in search of super woman.
    And David’s comment, “I would not be surprised to find out that men with a higher income have a much greater chance of getting married at that age” probably has a great deal of truth to it, however these same men are more likely to divorce because “they can afford it”. So once again, the singles numbers become a complicated story. I do like your suggestion, to to be proactive and work on improving what is in your control (like going to medical school in your late twenties), however realistically when a man is in his late 50’s, going to medical school is probably not going to increase his attraction to the opposite sex. And as most highly educated women on CM have found out, an advanced degree actually puts them at a disadvantage for finding a future spouse. The only thing that seems to put women at an advantage is a “hot body” whether it be obtained artificially (plastic surgery) or naturally (rigorous diet/exercise) or both.

    • Luz-1055440 April 6, 2014 Reply

      A sad but true observation.,,
      If getting through the knife to get hot is the only thing that will attract a man, then I will not do it. I am at peace with myself, knowing that if I do it, I will get the wrong kind of person, who will look for someone hotter as I get older…
      I am blessed and happy and I will share my happiness with someone if God wants, not if someone wants a hot body partner.

    • David-629572 April 6, 2014 Reply

      Joan, your point is well taken, and unless someone had the uncontrollable urge to become a physician, I would absolutely advise them against going to medical school in their 50’s! However, I still stand by my broader point which is that I don’t buy the defeatist attitude and the idea that your as a single person you are absolutely doomed to lifelong solitude by forces beyond your control. I can’t speak to women’s experiences in these matters, since I do believe women and men are playing fundamentally different “games” when it comes to these things, but there are a million and one things a man can do not to be in that lonesome 5 percent over 40. Don’t have a yacht and a seven figure salary? At least you can work at pursuing a career (or avocation) you are passionate about, which I understand is one of the things women find sexiest. Don’t look like Brad Pitt or Denzel Washington? At least you can put some thought and effort into how you dress and present yourself so you don’t look like a total schlub. What I am saying is that I don’t buy the defeatism and negativity, which all too often can disguise itself as saying I am “trusting in God’s will”, which can be code for sitting on one’s heels and not being proactive.

      • Debbie-1065953 April 7, 2014 Reply

        I totally agree with you David. “Think you can, or think you can’t” and either way you’re right. Life is what you make it! I think you have to be happy with yourself, and open to others. And if you are blessed to find someone to have by your side and compliment your life as you compliment theirs, then life can be even sweeter. And if not, then remember to count all the blessings that you do have.

        I work in Human Services, so I often see people come in complaining about things going wrong in their lives. But only THEY can change things. People don’t realize the power they have in their own lives. It’s hard to keep positive at times and to keep going, but just look at what obstacles some people have overcome. Just look at Helen Keller. Find peace in the Serenity prayer…

        God grant me the serenity
        to accept the things I cannot change;
        courage to change the things I can;
        and wisdom to know the difference.

        And if someone still struggles to make positive changes in their lives…they may want to consider some counseling to help them along. We’ve all heard that “God helps those who help themselves”, right?

  42. Shella-604470 April 6, 2014 Reply

    Mary Beth: I’ve had my share of boyfriends and 2 guys asked me to marry, but the first one, was his family problem, and the 2nd one was a non catholic, with a child and I was accepting her, into my life, but he took her over me, in some respect to a lady in his future life, and when I wasn’t there he had another lady, so l left. and then yrs later I thought I meet mr right, and I had to bow to his demands and it ended in bad feelings and again he meet another 2 ladies in the process and they came to me, and asked questions on him. I decided to join Catholic match as I’m older and there are guys that are looking for a same maybe type of age lady to share thoughts and what there looking for. Sorry to say , there partner goes to Heaven and there lost, so if you are in that situation look harder. You;ll find that “Special One” again.So far I haven’t been successful but he’s out there.. (I liked Timed Out) searching just like the ladies are. Were out there too..

  43. David-629572 April 6, 2014 Reply

    The statistic quoted above about one percent and five percent over 40 is interesting, but I suspect that if you looked at the data with a finer toothed comb you would see a more complicated story. For instance, and not to sound superficial (just realistic), I would not be surprised to find out that men with a higher income have a much greater chance of getting married at that age. Probably likewise for those who have a wider social network and a more active social life. All of those factors are things within each of our control, to one degree or another. So, while it is easy to fall into a defeatist attitude about these things, I would suggest a better and healthier way of viewing things is to be proactive and work on improving what is in your control, which might be more than you think. That strikes me as a better solution than bemoaning the passage of some Cathoic golden age that never really existed the way many people on this site seem to imagine.

  44. Gail-1067763 April 6, 2014 Reply

    James & Mary Beth,
    I am 63 and became a widow at age 60. I have been on Catholic Match for a little over a month and while I was very optimistic when joining, I’m becoming very discouraged. Maybe I can ask you James, & Timed out, are you even looking at women in your own age group? Do you answer messages from these women or just ignore them? I’ve sent out over 40 messages to guys 5 years older or younger than me that have never been answered and perhaps not even read as I have no way of knowing. Even if they are not interested, it would be nice to know. Because I came from a happy marriage, I know how much having a Catholic partner and soul mate can add to your life so I continue to look and feel if God wanted me to live a single life, he wouldn’t have filled me with theses feelings and emotions of wanting a better, married life that I’m experiencing.
    So guys, communicate with the single ladies out there and at least get to know the lady before you close the door.
    Thanks, Gail

    • Luz-1055440 April 6, 2014 Reply

      Wise question. I am POSITIVE ladies in their 50s, even good 8 or 9 years younger than the gentleman who is 58 would be interested in dating him. It is a whole different thing when gentlemen in their 60s or nearly in their sixties want a woman with whom there is a possibility to have their own children.

    • Ethel-1067760 April 7, 2014 Reply

      Well said , Gail !

    • Monica-1078830 April 7, 2014 Reply

      Spot on Gail! It will appear that lots of gentleman 50 and older are more into trying to find younger women , that alone will put us further away from our chances to meet someone on this or any other site. As you mention lots of them don’t even have the courtesy to respond back or at least take the time to get to know the person…. While I’m a positive happy woman and have faith but it seems that will not help me in finding someone any time soon. Meantime It is better for me to focus in improving myself and not think to much about this dating thing….after all is something beyond my control!

      • Gail-1067763 April 8, 2014 Reply

        Good advice, Monica! I just have to share that today I read a guy’s profile on here who lives close to me and is 60 years old ( I am 63). As to the match he is looking for, “prefers women in their late 30’s, early 40’s” and goes on to state that he gets along better with them. You could be right, Luz about wanting to be a Dad but I think there’s more to it.
        So Monica, i will take your advise and feel better knowing that there are people out there that are kindred spirits and also going through the same journey.
        God bless,

  45. James-141787 April 6, 2014 Reply

    Look, Mary Beth, I think you need to recognize that dramatically lower marriage rates for Catholics of all ages are not just the luck of the draw or God’s unseen plan for a few individuals but a pervasive social problem across the board.

    Never-married single Catholics in their 50s today are the leading edge of a lost generation–or two–who never planned to be single, do not want to be single, and thought they were doing all the right things to get married some day. The number of people in their 50s who are single, childless, without close family, and without close Catholic friends is large already, growing quickly, and probably set to skyrocket as today’s thirty and forty-something Catholic singles get older.

    It’s true that God doesn’t owe us the married existence that we want, and maybe it is not right for some up. But the tone of your writing is consistently dismissive and belittling to the suffering of those who have been waiting a long, long time. I think you need to review your columns and change your tone in the future.

    It is really irritating to see columns like “Still single and defiant at age 50.” How about “still single and managing just fine”? Sure, there is lots of room for good things in the single life. No life is exactly comparable to any others. But for many of us who feel that our singleness is a missed vocation, there is always going to be something missing. And it is painful. Singleness is a cross to embrace, if we must, but not a cross to boast of. “Single and defiant” sounds like boasting.

    • Luz-1055440 April 6, 2014 Reply

      I think the gentleman who wrote this does not know that Mary Beth is over 50 and single. she know the pain. I don’t think she is dismissing it, but trying to convey the fact that if we surrender and give our pain to God, He offered to comfort us and fill our lives. For believers, this is true not only for the single after 70, but for the married who lost their child when they were in their 30s, for the child who lost his mom…
      I don’t think Mary Beth post is defiant or disrespectful… She is trying to offer hope. As believer we may dismiss it and stop believing but in all honesty, there is no hope for those who don’t believe in anything…

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