The rules have changed since we were kids. But the relationships haven’t. Some baby boomers get married for happily-ever-after … and some never find the right one. The thing is, online dating makes it easier to look again. Or, does it? Ask boomer writer Larry Lefkowitz about Dating in the Digital Age.In my late boomer years I find myself single, unattached, unmarried for the third time, and counting my youth. I have a lot of time to think about it, though it does not weigh on me constantly. I had two pretty good marriages. Good enough to keep me friends with my ex-wives and glad for it. But those marriages, like virtually every relationship I have ever had with a woman, resulted in my vacating the agreement.
There are lots of psychological reasons, I am sure. Most sound like hooey to me, but I am the common thread in all of the failures. I have gone to counseling about this and other things several times over the last few decades. It has always done me good. Each time I have come away feeling better about myself and things in general, yet I cannot keep my interest in a long-term relationship. I have been told that it is because I just haven’t met the right person yet. I have also been told by a friend that I am the most restless person he has ever met. The truth lies, of course, somewhere in between. Now, with remaining years frighteningly easy to count, it is harder than ever to find someone who fits. To aid in this search, I give you…online dating.
Online dating is the bag of potato chips that you cannot leave alone; a vortex of hope, fantasy, and deception; an enticing and intoxicating promise of blissful ever-after. The commercials claim wonderful numbers of successes and that inspires us lonely introverted souls to shop online. You will find splendid pictures of women so well-preserved at 59 that you feel self-conscious about your own looks. Strangely enough, if and when you get to meet them in person, you usually walk right past them because they look nothing like their 20-year old pictures. As if they would never have to show themselves.
Well, okay, I get the game. If you get to know someone by mail and telephone, their looks become less important. On the other hand, so many show up nuts that it is astonishing! Oh, the baggage we carry. I have mine tagged and stowed for the most part, but I’ve come to believe that I have looks and personality that attract women who are just this side of legally dysfunctional. I have had coffee with women who escaped from the home for the Criminally Heartbroken; on release from the Institute for Emotionally Damaged Submissives; escapees from the House of High Maintenance. The fact is, I am attracted to women who are just a little nuts, as I would never assert that my ducks are all in order, but carry-on luggage is as far as I go. Carloads of baggage I cannot handle.
So my search for companionship continues. I hope to meet someone in person and get to know her, but I fear that many coffee meetings with online people who are shopping are in my future. If nothing else, at least you meet new people. Good conversations occasionally occur. And who knows, maybe by sheer numbers, there might be a good fit.
In the meantime, I concern myself with wasting time. The reason a fit is so important to me is that I do not want anyone else wasting my time as I am perfectly capable of doing that myself, and I am used to my own demands. The idea of never finding someone is a possibility. However, I have been told that there is a lid for every pot and I have to believe that is true. After all, how much baggage can you put on a lid?