Have you looked at the SV650 or the new Kawasaki Versys? The Honda 599 might also be suitable for a mature beginner. I personally like the look of the Honda more than the others but it is a bit expensive. This site has a nice shoot out
The Versys to me looks like a cheap Ducati Multistrada (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).
Or a clone of the Moto Guzzi Stelvio (with the 2008 Kaw KLR650 being a clone of the Moto Guzzi Quota).
These last few bikes are more dual sport bikes (the KLR650 and Quota for sure) but they are more 90% road 10 dirt
like the Suzuki V-Strom and the DL650 “wee-strom”.
Of course you’ll never look badass or cool or whatever on a dual sport. You don’t have the hat turned backwards riding in a tank top squid look or the pony tail and sunglasses and leathers look of a cruiser. Just the utilitarian go anywhere do anything look that certainly won’t impress the women.