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What dating at 80 can reveal about the delightfulness of life and being human.

3 stories about dating in the golden years give a surprising existential perspective.

When you think of yourself in your 80s, what do you imagine?

Living in a nursing home? Having been married for 40 years and settling into your final phase, content with the life you've already had? Maybe that will be how it goes. Maybe not.

What if it turns out that the wheel of circumstance keeps spinning and you still have a lot of spark left in you and find yourself single or widowed? For many, the love of life and connecting with new people keeps going in spite of the fact that they're aging.


Here are three stories about older people dating that could make you see aging in a new way.

1. Pearl and Charles, meeting for their first blind date

Pearl is 77, and Charles is 80. They met on one of the multitude of online dating sites for the senior set, Mature Dating, which documented the blind date as a video. (A couple of others are AARP's dating site and OurTime, for singles over 50.)

Pearl reminisces about her first date when she was younger, and she recalls holding hands and "going to the pictures." Charles admits he feels a little embarrassed to be 80 and going on a blind date. But look at what a great time they have!

Turning up the charm with some friendly yellow roses. Darling. GIFs via Mature Dating.

After that lovely greeting, they go to lunch and then walk around London, taking in the sights.

And they have a super-cute ending to their date, where they appear to have hit it off. They're asked if they think they'll see each other again. Pearl gamely goes out on a limb with an enthusiastic, affirmative answer, but Charles playfully pretends he's not sure. "Could be," he muses, before laughing and admitting that it's very likely.

Pearl seems to enjoy Charles' prankster side. Is it a match?

2. Bruce and Bernadetta Bateman, who met at their retirement community

You know how people can buy or rent condos, apartments, or houses in mini-villages that are exclusive to retirees? Bruce and Bernadetta lived in such a community, and when Bruce got a neighborly greeting from Bernadetta one day while gardening, he was interested immediately. He sent a note to console her when her pet passed away, and they've pretty much been together ever since.

They married in 2012 after a whirlwind courtship at the respective ages of 76 and 73 and didn't worry too much about whether they were rushing things:

“With all that background and experience [prior marriages and life lessons], we knew what we needed. We absolutely knew it was the right thing to do." — Bruce Bateman


Bruce and Bernadetta Bateman didn't waste any time on doubts. Image by Tim Shortt/Florida Today, used with permission.

3. And an unnamed, 76-year-old, lovestruck suitor interviewed on NPR

He didn't want to say his name because he was going to propose to the woman he loves a week after the interview. His wife passed away eight years ago after they'd been together over 40 years. After some time, he looked up a woman he'd been very interested in during high school but too shy to go for.

But there were some red flags about this marriage proposal: The relationship was more friendly and not romantic in nature, despite the pair having spent a full week together in her home multiple times; he had told her he loved her and not gotten the same answer back; and she had encouraged him to date other people.

And yet this man was willing to jump in with both feet and possibly feel like a fool just to find out if there was to be a future with her or not — at least until the interviewer, Ira Glass of "This American Life," introduced some doubt into his mind about the wisdom of this proposal.

The moral is: We're never too old for love.

In a way, it's kind of comforting to think that no matter our age, lived experiences, or accumulated wisdom, we silly humans can still be soft enough to take risks for love and feeling alive. Do you know someone like that to share this with?

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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