On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – August 24, 2018
Is Senior Online Dating: Productive? Quirky? Dangerous? Risky?
The answer: all the above.
Online dating has become a huge business. There are hundreds of sites. But does it work for seniors? Yes…and no. There are plenty of senior online dating challenges.
Productive? Many senior couples have found online dating success. I’ll name two as an example.
Jeanne emailed, “I met my man on OurTime. He contacted me in September, 2015. I didn’t meet him until March, 2016. We met at Starbucks. He was a wonderful man and we got along famously. We waited six months before taking the friendship to a LAT (Living Apart Together) relationship.
Recently, we decided to live together and chose my place! I not only gained a man in my life, but his dog and lizard, too! He’s even better than what I had described as my perfect mate!”
My partner Greta has a friend named Dominque. She met her Tom on Match.com. They turned a long-distance relationship into a marriage, when Tom moved from Sacramento to live with Dominque in her San Clemente home.
Quirky? It can be. Champ Gina, (Greta’s niece), 53, sent a text last week showing a personal ad she saw on Tinder, an online dating site. Gina wrote, “Tinder has a reputation for ‘casual’ relationships (umm, like a friend-with-benefits arrangement). What you see in the ads is all you get, one or a few pictures, a paragraph or nothing at all. You choose to meet based mostly on attraction to each other’s photo by swiping right on the photo. Swipe left and there is no connection.”
Gina added, “I thought you might find this guy’s ad interesting. It is an example of what not to say if you want to meet a nice woman.”
The man wrote: looking for sweet, smart, built, warm and tender, love to travel the world, if you want to have more fun than with someone you’ve ever had call me. Have to be pristine clean, love the warmth and the tenderness of a man, and if not, you’re not in my ballpark, only qualified people call me. Ps hookers and prostitutes do not call”
Tinder calls itself the world’s most popular dating site with 20 billion matches. People as young as 18 use it. The user reviews are filled with complaints about people being banned from the site without explanation. I do not recommend Tinder for seniors; besides, there is a fee.
In doing research on Tinder, I found a list of free dating sites. I am not endorsing or recommending any of them. It’s just a list.
Dangerous? I read horror stories, including murders, of people who met on Tinder and other sites. Some as recent as July and August of this year. Doing background checks is a must when meeting strangers. Seniors are vulnerable online.
Risky? You bet. The October 21, 2017, issue of the Palm Beach Post (Florida) featured an article written by Debby Montgomery, a 52-year-old widow. She lost $1,080,762.43 to a Nigerian romance scammer without ever meeting the man in person.
He claimed to be an international broker of hard wood trees. When she called his company, they had never heard of him. Regardless, she kept sending money, even borrowing $100,000 from her parents to give him.
Debby fell in love with an image, which is insane; you can’t judge chemistry until you meet in person. Never trust or send money to someone you’ve never met. Don’t think you’re in love with someone you never met.
Profile picture tips for senior women
One of our Champs, Dr. John, shared his tips for women, when posting photos to their online profile, based on his own experiences.
1. Smile for your profile picture – even if you have to have someone tickle your feet to make you smile! It’s unfortunate how many women have sad and/or angry profile pictures
2. Avoid photos where you look maniacally happy, as if you’ve just had a massive dose of cocaine – aim for happy and serene – if the whites of your eyes above the irises (colored parts of the eyes) are visible, you tend to resemble a maniac
3. No sunglasses – the eyes are the window of the soul – be sure your eyes are visible
4. No digital ‘enhancements,’ such as cartoon cat ears or whiskers-they are for tweens
5. No pictures of you and your ex, with your ex cropped out
6. Include a face portrait, and one full-length
7. Consider the background – I saw one woman with a very nice picture of her sitting at a restaurant, but the background was a full garbage can. In general, outdoors, and especially outdoors at a flower garden or beach are the ideal backgrounds for a woman
8. No pictures of you boozing it up, unless you’re looking for a drinking buddy – and yes, wine is booze (as a doctor, I’ve long noticed that men don’t consider heavy beer drinking to constitute heavy drinking, and women are the same with wine)
9. If there’s an activity you really like, such as golfing, or playing the piano, a picture of you participating is a great idea
10. The hands-down, best profile picture I’ve ever seen was a woman at a beach, laughing, while trying to hold an obviously very happy and squirming little dog (yes, I’m an animal lover).
Dr. John added, “Also, eliminate negativity in your written profile – I read one woman’s profile which stated, ‘I don’t like to be negative but’ – and then she proceeded to be negative. Anger and negativity aren’t attractive, unless you are looking for an angry and negative partner, which some are.”
Is senior online dating for everyone? Internet dating for seniors? Maybe. Maybe not. If you partake, be oh so careful and leery. Trust your instincts. It’s a mixed bag.