By Tom Blake NL
March 10, 2023
Senior Dating: Deal Makers/Deal Breakers
By Tom Blake – author and columnist
After sitting at home alone for five months after losing, Greta, my partner of 25 years, with the exception of having had a few casual coffee dates, two meals out, and attending some social events, I decided I needed to do more reaching out to meet other senior singles. I had grown weary of listening to Collin Raye’s March 1994 song “Little Rock,” which is one of the most powerful loneliness songs I’ve ever listened to. (see link at the end of today’s article).
I’ve heard from many seniors who say they’ve met a new partner using online dating sites. On one particularly lonely Monday night, I decided to join Match.com. Here’s what I’ve learned after one week.
There are a plethora of quality senior women on Match. From scanning their profiles, here are a few facts that I consider to be deal makers or deal breakers.
- A person’s listed age. It doesn’t mean the age listed is accurate. Someone who posted their profile a few years ago may have subsequently changed their birth date so that the posted age next to their picture is lower than their true age. However, I think most ages listed are accurate. At my age, 80+, lots of people will pass me by for a younger version.
- Photos. This is huge. Often, but not with everyone, the thumbnail photo on the home page was taken 5-10+ years earlier. So, be ware of outdated thumbnail photos.
- One needs to scroll through all the photos posted by that person (some people post 10 to 20 photos and more recent photos reveal how a person has aged). You must almost become a detective doing your sleuthing to determine what a person looks like currently. Boy-oh-boy, people can age quickly. I think of Rod Stewart’s song Maggie May, when he sings, “The morning sun when it’s in your face really shows your age.”
Also, some people don’t put captions under their photos that reveal when their photos were taken. They just leave the captions blank. Or they include a caption, for example, that says, “Summer of 2016.” Then you have to say to yourself, ok, add seven years to envision how the person looks in 2023.
Some people post pictures of flowers or of them in restaurants with a bunch of friends with a caption that might say, “Here I am with my women friends in a restaurant in Rome in 2010.” Or they post photos of themselves wearing hats so large their faces are so dark you can’t see what they look like. Many don’t show full-body pictures, so you have no idea of what their bodies look like.
Not to mention. They post pictures of themselves holding their dog or dogs. Or, pictures of the dog by itself. Senior daters aren’t looking to date a dog; they want to date a real-life human being.
- The next item I look for is political party affiliation. I like to see “Moderate” or “No party affiliation” listed. I don’t want to match up with a screaming conservative or a screaming liberal. I’ve seen profiles that state, “All politicians are corrupt.” Party affiliation might not be a deal breaker in a relationship but two people would need to judge that for themselves.
- An important consideration is how far away a person lives from where I live. Long-distance relationships are challenging. If a person lives more than a half hour away by car it will be difficult to see each other often enough. I don’t look at a profile if a person lives far in the Los Angeles area. If I ever get into another committed relationship, I’d hope to be with that person four to six nights a week.
One thing I discovered is by widening my search radius by 10-30 miles, I am getting posts from people in the Palm Springs area. That’s important to me as I will be spending a lot of time at my vacation home out there. It would be nice to meet a new friend who lives in the Coachella Valley instead of hanging out in an Agua Caliente Casino looking senior love or for luck.
- Many women have pets, particularly dogs, and then cats. Some have horses. I don’t have a problem with that. However, if every picture posted shows them with their animals, that can be a turnoff.
- Online dating for seniors isn’t a picnic or a candy store. It takes effort, time, energy, honesty, decency, patience, and creativity. One needs thick skin because rejection is part of the game.
- Senior online daters need to remember the adage: “All it takes is one.” And that’s what most senior singles are looking for.
As time goes on, I’ll try to keep you posted on my online dating adventure. Until then, here’s the link to that Collin Raye song. Get your hankies out.