On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – October 18, 2019
Part One -Senior Online Dating – Plenty of Fish – The good and the ugly
by Columnist Tom Blake
The Good about Plenty of Fish
Champ Cheryl, “I just read the 10 responses to the Brooklyn widow who has given up on dating. I thought all the responses/suggestions were valuable, especially Ginny’s.
I’ve written you previously about the success that my partner, Matt, and I had with online dating and just wanted to comment briefly again. It continues to surprise me that so many seniors report being unsuccessful and/or intimidated, that is, afraid of online dating.
“It seemed the main thread running through the 10 comments was the idea that you have to ‘put yourself out there’ in order to be successful finding a partner, and that is certainly true of online dating.
“It’s also true that to be successful, one must be willing to be open and honest about oneself and what he or she wants in a relationship.
“I found when I approached online dating it was important for me to actively think/decide what qualities were important/crucial to me in looking for a partner.
“And during the process of exploring online dating, I also was able to ‘fine-tune’ what my essential needs were and what issues were not as important. That’s not to say that it’s ok to be really ‘picky’–that doesn’t work either.
“Is it important that his favorite color is red and mine is blue? Of course not. The structure of the online dating site is really important. Matt and I met on OK Cupid, where there were literally thousands of questions that could be answered, covering every imaginable subject with the ability to add comments to every answer.
“By the time Matt and I started communicating, he had answered over 400 questions and I had answered over 600, and both of us had added comments to nearly all our answers.
“We both were honest with our answers and willing to answer some questions that might be considered intimate or personal, especially about sex.
“With online dating one must be brave, open, and honest. If you are, online dating can work.
“Getting involved with local activities can work as well, I’m sure, but sometimes there are either limited opportunities (I was living in a rural area of Ohio; Matt was in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan—600 miles away) or maybe all the opportunities have been explored without success.
“Yes, there are scammers online, but one can be deceived by someone locally as well, and when you meet someone locally, you have no idea initially who he or she truly is, unless someone you know, knows them. There are risks meeting someone locally as well as with online dating.
“Again, I would encourage seniors to get involved with online dating but with a site that provides ample opportunities to get to know someone very well before meeting in person. And there is always the option of doing background checks, which I did a couple of times.
“Matt and I are a wonderful match and found love with each other, which neither of us would have found without online dating.
“I like the comment Champ Jim made last week: Sometimes you have to ‘make your own luck.’ Very true!”
Obviously, Cheryl and Matt put a great deal of effort into meeting each other online. And that’s what successful senior dating—online and otherwise–usually requires. A willingness to put forth an effort. It can take time, money, patience, and a bit of luck.
For some seniors, online dating may be the only option remaining to meet a potential mate. It can work. There are endless success stories, such as Cheryl’s and Matt’s.
However, there can be an ugly side to online dating. Here’s an example:
An Ugly POF story
A Champ wrote: “I’ve been on POF for over 10 years. Here is my POF encounter, 10 days duration, Oct 4-14, in a chopped, quickie, writing format:
“UBER driver, 70, who lives nearby, was from a town near where I’m from back East.
favorite saying, “anyhowzers”
talked 100 mph non-stop, wound too tight
invited him to a dance
went to his friend’s party
went to pool 2 times
did “Taco Tuesday”
Went to a Halloween party, he brought his own bourbon and drank it ALL! (hic)
expected me do drive then; I could not as I had forgotten my glasses
danced at a nearby bar to 70s oldies
he played grab-ass with me on the dance floor!
Went to city to see art galleries,
he only put 24 minutes on meter to walk around, had to rush back to meter to put more $ in (duh)
Drove past galleries, straight to another bar, another beer.
I don’t drink anything except sparkling water at a bar
He ordered one snack plate and split it with me! (cheap, cheap, cheap)
Told me off on way home
End of POF encounter.”
Comments from Tom
Online dating isn’t for all seniors. Plus, there are potential downsides, as described above, to senior online dating: fake profiles, fake sites, romance scammers lurking, trying to take advantage of vulnerable, lonely, people and their emotions. And, there are endless other issues.
Before you sign up for any site, read what the one-star and two-star reviewers write. Even reviews can be bogus. Use only established regular dating sites such as OK Cupid, Our Time, Match, Eharmony, to name just a few. People use these sites for seeking friendship, a pen pal, or a long-term relationship.
Avoid what are known as “Hook up” sites. “Hook up sites” are pretty much for sex only,
Other places to meet men
A suggestion from an animal lover: Get a dog. Besides the health benefits of exercise when walking your dog, you meet other neighborhood dog-lovers. Even better, get an unusual looking dog. That may bring other people over to talk to you. Take your dog to a dog park.
Champ Mark added, “About an hour after reading last week’s column, Donna and I had breakfast at the Strawberry Farms golf course in Irvine. Seated on the patio in front of the driving range, I couldn’t help but notice the ratio of men-to-women was about 25-1.”
Add golf driving ranges as places where more men than woman can be found.