Portrait of a happy Asian couple matching in yellow.

A short backstory: This article was supposed to be a feature on Filipinas who are over 60 years old, , and dating. It did not pan out as planned, mainly because not many Filipinas with said credentials came forward, which was unexpected. Who would’ve thought dating over 60 would be so rare in this day and age? Is finding love after so unthinkable? Have Filipinas put a cap on their own happiness – and if so, what for?

Naturally, I asked my mother, who is 67 and happily married to my father but is surrounded by friends of all ages and life stages. “Maybe you’re asking the wrong audience,” was her first thought. I’ve been soliciting answers from colleagues, work friends, friends of work friends – people who may not necessarily be comfortable sharing the details of their relationships with me. My mom pointed out that they may also be younger (not “60 and dating”) and from a more conservative background. I asked her what she meant.

“Some prefer not to air these things out in public. It’s ‘unbecoming’ or ‘desperate.’ Maybe they don’t want people to think they can’t find a partner. There’s nothing wrong with that,” she said. “Meanwhile, I have friends who will happily narrate their life story within minutes of meeting you.” It was around this time that she remembered she actually has a friend who is 60 and dating.

We All Deserve Happiness

Malou is 63. I found out we were already friends on Facebook, so I messaged her. She filed for annulment after 17 years of marriage and has been single for seven years. She is currently happily seeing somebody after overcoming her apprehensions. “When you date at this age, you’re always doubtful of the other person’s intentions. Is he better? What is his attitude towards relationships?” She explained that the dynamic is not as carefree. “I was afraid to start dating again, but in the end, I just did what I wanted to do.”

Malou shared that some hesitate because of how Filipino culture is. When a single, 60-year-old Hollywood actress is rumored to have a new boyfriend, we root for her. But when it’s our titas, bosses, or neighbors, we about them and perhaps judge them a little, too. We say things like, “May asim pa,” which is a less flattering version of “She’s still got it” and not something we would ever say to a man.

Malou decided to go for it anyway because she believed she deserved to be happy. “This experience taught me that everything happens for a reason. We all deserve to be happy and loved, and find someone to love. I just decided to and not let my past or my age hold me back,” she said.

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Dating Over 60: Why We Should Talk About It More

Hearing an older woman (a friend of my mom’s at that) share that story was refreshing. It’s not the kind of thing we talk about and it’s not the kind of thing we expect from them. When do women stop becoming people in society’s eyes? We’re either the mom, the sister, the cool aunt, the single friend, or the senior citizen. Just somebody with a role to play in someone else’s life.

Somewhere along the way, women stop giggling over crushes and exchanging 411s (excuse the millennial language) about their dates. We are expected to outgrow girlhood and therefore all the harmless, fun things that come with it (all except for a smooth and ). We shift our attention to and raising a family. There is simply no time – or good reason – to talk about love.

But we must.

Dating in its purest form is the search for love and companionship. It’s a yearning that defies age. When we ask things like“How old is too old to date?” we deprive people of finding joy and attach shame to something that’s nothing but natural. Talking about it, even in the smallest of circles and with the maturity it deserves, normalizes it.

Risse, who is 48 and single, shared, “I am already starting to feel invisible. When you’re at this age, no one gets excited about your dating life anymore. No one wants to listen, so you don’t talk. Young people think it’s ‘gross,’ LOL. But there’s no need to hide that part of us, whatever age or phase we’re in.” 

Tammy, 59, added, “I didn’t think I was ‘qualified’ to answer, but honestly the experience is the same whether you’re 60, 50, or 40. Going after what we want can make us ashamed, even when it is encouraging and inspiring to others.”

Dating over 60 isn’t unthinkable or shameful, but it’s not as accepted as it ought to be. If you’re reading this and you feel seen, good, because we do see you. You are not invisible, and you do deserve love if you want it.

Dating over 60 isn’t unthinkable or shameful, but it’s not as accepted as it ought to be. If you’re reading this and you feel seen, good, because we do see you. You are not invisible, and you do deserve love if you want it.