I don’t want to talk about a dozen red roses here, a box of chocolates there, a romantic dinner in some five-star restaurant, or cuddling in front of a fireplace. For people in committed relationships, they already know that’s the drill on V-Day.
But for many singles without a partner, Valentine’s Day can’t end soon enough. They have other things on their mind. As an example, last week, a very nice single woman sent this email:
She wrote, “I am new to your e-Newsletter and enjoying it. I’m 62, divorced twice and live in Orange County (California). You are my inspiration that there is that special someone out there for me!
“I also heard that you have a Facebook group that might be a good idea for me. I’m also wondering from your years of dealing with the subject if you have some very specific recommendations for dating sites. There are so many out there and I’d rather use a reliable and successful one rather than waste my time and money.”
My reply: “Our Facebook group is called Finding Love After 50. It’s a “closed” group; people must request to join. I keep it closed because there are many people lurking on the Internet and Facebook who have evil intentions, or ulterior motives that would not be beneficial to our group members.
“For example, they might want to promote a cause or a business that benefits only them, or establish contact with our members, only to eventually hurt, defraud, or cheat them. I cannot allow that to happen. I must keep the site safe.
(“Occasionally, a member will post too much drivel, so, I delete those posts. If over-posting continues, I will remove that member from the group–after a friendly warning, of course.)
“I prescreen everyone who requests to join the group. I check out each person’s Facebook page to see what they post, who their friends are, and try to get a feel for, ‘Yup, they’d fit in and contribute to our group.’ If they have no personal information that reveals who they are, I don’t let them in the door.
“You’d be amazed at what’s on people’s Facebook pages. Guns, violence, perversion, distasteful sexual content, extreme political views, and membership in hundreds of other groups, which indicates that the people have no actual interest in what our group stands for.
“You asked about recommendations for dating sites. Let me say this up front. What I said about Facebook misfits also applies to dating websites. Don’t get me wrong, online dating is a great tool for mature singles. It allows you to reach out across city limits, county and state borders and even into other countries. It dramatically increases your chances of meeting ‘that someone special,’ to which you refer.
“Still, you must be very careful and leery when dipping your toes into online dating. There are bad apples looking for vulnerable people age 50-plus and older. Trust your instincts. If something seems ‘not right,’ then it isn’t. Wednesday night, Greta and I saw a TV interview with a woman who got scammed out of her $30,000 of life savings (of which $20,000 was borrowed from neighbors), by a guy she had never met in person. Sounds foolish and very stupid, but it was also sad.
“If you do meet in person, do so in a public place, tell your friends with whom you are meeting, check the person out carefully beforehand, and consider doing a background check.
“Of course, never send or give money to a stranger.
“What sites are best? Match.com still ranks high, in my opinion, but not perfect. I met a neighbor this week who lives a few houses away. He and his woman friend met on Match.
“Our Time is for older people, and again not perfect. Those are two suggestions. I’m sure our Champs will mention other sites as well. Meeting that someone special can happen, however, on any dating site. This book, features the stories of 58 couples who met after age 50 (the title says 50 couples, but it’s indeed 58, which is another story). A few of our Champs are included in the book.
“A woman named Christine Baumgartner is an Orange County relationship coach who is a part of our group. She is a wonderful person and has helped many people in their search for love. She often posts to our Finding Love After 50 group site. Her email is Christine@theperfectcatch.com. Website: www.theperfectcatch.com.
“Christine is leading a panel discussion on Feb 26, 5:30-8:30 p.m., of a woman’s group called WomanSage. I will be on that panel. It will be held at the Center Club, in Costa Mesa, adjacent to the Segerstrom Theatre. That would be a good event for you to attend. For details, go to the website below. Details of the event are on the home page where you see the roses and bottle of champagne. You do not have to be a member of WomanSage to purchase a ticket (www.womansage.org)
“Stay in touch and we’ll help in your search for that special someone.”
I realize that not all of our Champs live close enough to Orange County to attend that evening but people in Southern California would enjoy it.
However, this woman’s situation is similar to millions of other singles across North America. The key to meeting new people, and possibly finding that special someone, is to get out and join new groups. Making women friends is a good way to begin.