I had a go at golfers in my story – Men Do It Tougher in Golden Years – that has just been published in The Weekend Australian. “You have obviously never experienced the sheer joy of dropping a long iron shot on the green,” one man wrote to me. Too true.
My story was about the busyness gap hitting our older generations. You’ve heard the jokes about post-retirement marriages – for better or worse but not for lunch. Elderly men might still hope to have lunch with their wives but she’s got better things to do. Our senior women are busier than ever before, filling their lives with all the activities they never had time for earlier. Getting out and doing things with friends – and escaping from their boring, bored men.
I cheekily suggested many senior men seem to have nothing better to do than hit little white balls into holes. But at least they are there doing something. Far too many retired men spend most of their time at home, hoping their wives will entertain them.
Research suggests the busy women and bored men who populate our senior world are rubbing each other up the wrong way, leading to more late life divorces and isolated, lonely men on their own. My older female dating clients, who are often busy women with active lives and lively social networks are always complaining to me that the men they meet expect them to fill their social calendars. “How is it possible so many older men have such few friends?” they ask.
Unlike married men who are dragged into activities by their wives, for single men the problem of boredom and isolation looms even larger. Research shows single men were less likely than partnered men to be involved with arts or crafts, go to church or restaurants or clubs, be involved with voluntary activities, visit museums, art galleries, or botanical gardens, participate in physical activities or attend sporting events or education groups.
The article is receiving a lot of attention, including the flak I am now receiving from some very grumpy golfers.