AdviceHey, Bonita!

Older Readers Need Love, Too

Hey Bonita,

I read Flagpole every week, including your column. It’s often interesting, but it seems like you only give advice to people who are of a certain age—like, under 30. Maybe they’re the only ones who send letters to you. But I wonder if older readers are sending questions but not getting replies.

I’m an older reader—over 60—and would like to see some questions from “us,” especially since it can be difficult to meet people in our age range in this college town. I’m female and would like to meet a man around my age who’s single, interesting, intelligent, liberal-minded and takes care of himself physically, mentally and emotionally. It would also be nice if he isn’t a sports freak and would rather go out to hear some live music, dance, attend art receptions/exhibits, maybe take a class or attend a lecture—hell, even just go out to eat and/or a movie!

So many people my age are already coupled and have their circle of friends—they’re not looking for new friends, necessarily. It can be hard to break into their already full lifestyles. I have many acquaintances, but not many people whom I could just call up to ask if they’d like to hang out.

I realize that you’re probably around the age of most of the people who send questions, and it might be hard to advise someone who’s had life experiences that you haven’t had yet, but it would be refreshing to see some acknowledgment of the older people who live in and love Athens. How about it? Advice for those older citizens who’d like to meet someone special, or even just platonic friends of either gender? 

Senior but Not Dead

Hi Senior,

First off, thanks for reading! I’m pretty open about the fact that I’m in my late 30s, but you’re right—most of my readers and writers are under 30, if I were to guess. But hey—they’re the ones sending the questions! For me, this column is like having a conversation with the city of Athens, and I wanna talk to all of you. Holla back, sexagenarians!

Dating gets more difficult the more we age, for sure. It’s like a meat market when you’re in your 20s, but once people start pairing up and making families, it’s almost as if spaces for single people over 30 literally start disappearing. When I think of where to cruise for a date in Athens, my first thought is either one of two locations: work or a bar. These are both horrible places to meet a partner, and I try to never recommend them anymore, no matter how logical and booty-full those two places can be. If you’re a retiree, then work cruising is out of the equation, and I don’t get the sense that you’re a barfly. 

If I were you, I’d start by rounding up some buddies and going to the events that you eventually want to turn into dates. Make yourself a fixture at Third Thursdays, see some live music, and start socializing with and speaking to your peers outside of your current circle. I guess I’m recommending making friends with people your age who live an active life, too, and meeting people at events that you already enjoy will assure a shared interest as a jumping-off point. They will most likely know other singles who are trying to date, or you just might meet a fellow all on your own. 

I think you would benefit from fewer acquaintances and more friends—the type who wanna hang out and spend time with you and do fun things together. A social life will come naturally from that, and then you’ll be in a better position to get a date. I’m on your side.

Thanks for seeking me out every week, and thank you all for constantly making me feel special. I wanna do a great job for you this year and every year, and below, you’ll find all my contact info. Let’s chat. Happy New Year, Athens!

Need advice? Email, use the anonymous form at, or find Bonita on Twitter: @flagpolebonita.