On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – January 15, 2021
by Tom Blake
Where to meet senior men in 2021
Annette, 60, contacted me. She wrote: “I moved to Dana Point (California) three months ago. I am independent, work from home, attend church, and like to walk and bike ride. I want to meet a husband.
“I am a youthful lady and usually date younger men. Do you have any recommendations on where to meet a decent man?”
My response: I know of no place where men 60+ hang out, hoping to meet single women close to their age. Places like that simply don’t exist—in Dana Point, San Clemente, New York City, or Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania (where one of our Champs lives).
Because I’ve answered that question or similar questions 500 times or more in the 26 years of writing about finding love after 50, normally I would give you my usual quick answer:
“Get off the couch and out of the house. Pursue the activities you enjoy. Meet new people. Be assertive.”
But times are drastically different in 2021. The pandemic has changed how we live and date. We are encouraged to stay home. We are told not to mingle with people. Restaurants and bars are closed. Social events are canceled. We wear masks. Where to meet single men, let alone decent single men, is not an easy question to answer during the pandemic.
Plus, Annette, with you working at home, it makes meeting people more challenging in that you aren’t out and about as much compared to if you were working away from home.
Where to meet senior men in 2021? This quickly brings us to Internet dating, which could become your primary tool during the pandemic. Why? It’s Covid-19 safe, as long as you stay home. The web allows people to cast their nets beyond where they live, dramatically increasing their chances of meeting a potential mate.
On face-to-face dates, you would likely be wearing a mask (or should be). You don’t know if a person has facial hair, bad teeth, a lip tattoo, or some other feature that might not appeal to you. Whereas, with Internet dating, you can see a person’s face without a mask when doing Zoom, face time, or Skype.
I recommend limiting your search to people living within 25 miles or so. Long-distance relationships are particularly challenging, especially with the pandemic in full force and seniors don’t want to be driving far these days (If at all).
There are multiple dating websites seniors can use. Free ones–such as Plenty of Fish (POF) and OkCupid (owned by Match.com)—to subscription-based, such as Ourtime, Match, Silversingles, and eharmony. The latter sites cost approximately $30 per month per site but the cost varies by site. It’s up to each person to decide if she uses just one site at a time, or two or more. Of course, the monthly cost will increase for each site in use.
Paid sites usually offer better service and results when compared to free sites, although I’ve heard from many singles who’ve met mates on POF.
On January 12, a program on GMA said Instagram is a good place to find single men. But the program didn’t specify it that applied to seniors. The key: post your presence in as many places as possible, while keeping an eye on the costs.
Cardinal rule: Never give or send money to a stranger.
Beware of the dangers in Internet dating. You have to be very careful and smart. There are scammers on every site. Internet dating scams are numerous and everywhere. Be careful with what you reveal about yourself.
Only meet strangers in a public place and tell a friend where and with whom you are meeting. Even have the friend observing from nearby to ensure you are safe.
Trust your instincts. If your gut says something is not right about a person you’re communicating with, take heed and stop that contact.
Annette, I think you should do as you are starting to do: try to meet as many people as possible around Dana Point–not just men. Women friends are important as well. When you are walking or biking, wear a ballcap with something catchy on the brim, these can be conversation starters.
And when you see a guy with a conversation starter on the brim of his hat, comment to him about it.
Champ Patrick Hynes says, “I now alternate between my Aussie Kangaroo cap and my University of Oregon Duck cap. I will report which one is the most successful.”
Also, have personal cards, similar to business cards, made. Carry them with you at all times. On the cards, Include a recent flattering picture of yourself, your first name, and your email address only. I suggest withholding your last name until you get to know the person to whom you handed a card. Do not include your telephone number or street address; you can divulge this information later when you feel confident about the man.
The reason for the cards? Make it easy for a man to contact you. No searching for a pen and piece of paper to write your email address down. Just hand him a card.
So, where to meet a decent man?
Anywhere and everywhere: In line at the post office, in the produce section or wine section of a store, waiting for your car to be washed, Costco, on and on. Be assertive (not aggressive). You might have to initiate a conversation with a man.
Some senior women won’t do that. But, it could be a missed opportunity.
Sign up for my free “On Life and Love after 50” eNewsletter, published each Friday with nuggets and stories about senior dating. I have approximately 2,000 subscribers from across the USA, Canada, and many foreign countries. About 15 percent of them are from Southern California. You can sign up on the website you are on right now to receive the eNewsletter.
Suggested places to make new friends: church, which you attend, is a good start. Visit Tutor and Spunky’s Deli, corner of PCH & Blue Lantern. I opened that deli in 1988, sold it in 2015. If you go there, introduce yourself to Debbie, Rosa, or Samantha, who is the new owner. Tell them I sent you in. They know a lot of people. The deli is doing take-out during the pandemic.
Don’t forget the old standard: Networking. Tell your friends, acquaintances, and family you’d like to meet a “nice, decent man.” They may know of a new widower who lives two blocks away who is lonely and would love a woman pal with whom to chat.
When the pandemic eases, I will resume the age-60 plus Meet and Greet evenings once a month at the deli. Sometimes 50-100 attend. A few couples have met at those gatherings.
Times will get better and when they do, you’ll already be on your way to making new friends and meeting that decent guy. Husband material? I can’t guarantee that.
So, where can you meet a man? Anywhere and everywhere. Work on it, one day at a time.
Harder now? Certainly. Impossible now? No, but more challenging than in normal times.