Growing old Gracefully: a primer for men.

Neil Newton: Author of “The Railroad” on Amazon

It’s impossible to know when you’ve passed that invisible line, the line between still good looking enough to attract female attention to just old. Navigating this mysterious line in the sand is difficult. You feel pretty much the same but the world sees something different.


I have always been amused and amazed watching older men trying their luck with much younger women. It makes me uncomfortable, not because it emulates my own pathetic position as a 57 year old man, but because it is agonizing to watch someone (usually drunk), make a fool of himself. And, making it worse, is the awful discomfort of the young woman who is the target of the idiotic man.

I guess the thing that makes it especially painful is the awareness that some of us have that the bus has already started bearing down on you and you can’t stop it. And that started years before. Essentially we are primitive beings. If someone looks odd enough, like people who have physical deformities, we are often disturbed. It’s the same with the complex phenomenon of attraction. If you read the literature there are reams of descriptions about females reacting to strength, the ability to father children and a whole bunch of other characteristics that fit the biological imperatives of our species. On a more practical level, it’s hard to make a life with someone who is so much older than you that they won’t be there when you start to enter middle age.

Closeup of a happy young woman smiling isolated on white backgro

Closeup portrait of a happy young woman smiling isolated on white background

We all think about our level of attractiveness throughout our lives; it’s built into our DNA; it’s all part of those “primitive” characteristics I mentioned earlier. But I’ll suggest that your dignity and attractiveness are enhanced if you are older and you don’t act like a goofy teenager. And if you have someone in your life already, you should be happy for that fact. Even though you know it logically and tried to deny it your whole life, you can’t go back. I have to believe there’s a reason for that and that there is wisdom to be gained from accepting it.

So, dude, grow old gracefully. Anything else will just bring pain. There is something to be gained in old age, a wisdom and perspective that often makes life easier and more intriguing.



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