I sat with a girlfriend a few weeks ago who asked me for advice on internet dating. She was, after the death of her husband a few years ago, back in the “swing”. She had lots of questions for me: How to represent herself, what she should say, how to respond to someone via the internet, how to meet etc. The questions for senior dating are boundless. After being officially “single” for eighteen years, the answer to the question I am so commonly asked is “Yes” of course, I have listed myself on/off internet dating sites. And what an experience it has been! Yes, I could write a book, but frankly, I am too lazy. Instead, I will tell you in a three-part series what I told her.
Choosing a dating website is almost irrelevant. Most of them, including the spiritual, senior and religious sites are about the same. I write about this in my book, “Meet Me Under The Eiffel Tower”. I signed up on an allegedly more spiritual site to try to get rid of the crazies (those guys on other sites). Let’s call it “R Tranquility”. The intention was honorable. That is where I found Adolf from Germany who was named after the fuhrer! Holy, c— ! They were no more spiritual on that website than anywhere else. I went to a senior site and decided quickly that the older men were often looking for someone to see them through the pearly gates. Adios. I went to a Christian site and found men who praised Sweet Jesus every other sentence. I fled. So, in my opinion you can forget thinking one site is better than another site. The major, most popular national site, which I haven’t belonged to for many years, has loads of “players”. If you are not a “player” than that may be like nails scratching a chalk board. Ugh!
Still, you must realize that there are good, sincere, honest people on all the sites. I have met more than several couples who met on the internet and who, married happily, and are still together. It happens. So does….s—t! You just have to be discerning and recognize the flags. We’ll talk about flags in an upcoming article.
What I am really indicating here is there is no one magic site on which to register. They all have their insincere players. They play the sites like it was a slot machine – for fun – just to see if anyone interesting enough for them comes up. It can be most discouraging if you are sincere and serious. The rule here is that you cannot complain about insincerity if you are insincere yourself. It is like a virus and will spread around the senior dating circles and in the end kill us all.
If you think that men grow up with age, think again. It ain’t necessarily so. Men, after a long marriage ends for any reason, are caught often in a vortex of dating. They revert back to when they were twenty and expect that dating etiquette has never changed. They think they are studs. They usually are not the lovers they used to be, they want to be…they are legends only in their own mind. They believe they are “average” build when (forty pounds later) they haven’t been “average” for decades. They apparently don’t always look into the same mirror that you look into; they may have been handsome at 21 but at 65 the looks have faded. To be honest, so have women’s looks faded. Their libidos change, as well. This is life, folks. The point is we are suppose to be aware of all that. No, I am not the girl I used to be. My waist is larger, my skin isn’t as flawless as it used to be, my glasses are necessary. My memory is not what it was when I was thirty. So what? Still, I am better,more giving, mature person than I used to be, fully having lived a rich life. I am more interesting, funnier, more confident and know myself, my needs, my belief system better than I ever did decades earlier. I am willing to forgive your aging flaws if you are willing to forgive mine.
Be yourself. Don’t exaggerate, but don’t be so modest that you appear, well, …boring. I don’t want a boring man and I doubt most men want a boring woman. Tell your three biggest accomplishments, tell your goals for your future life, mention something you enjoy doing or would like to try, and be honest about your dating expectations. Are you looking for a friend, nothing more? Say so! Do you want marriage in the future? Say so! Do you want to date, not marry? Say so! It is the only way you can find someone who is compatible with you. Say whatever your heart tells you. Are you open to any number of dating options? Say so! Before you do this, however, you need really to look into your heart and decide to allow yourself to be vulnerable. If you place a barricade around your heart, you might as well decide not to bother. Very few are going to be willing to break down your protective walls.