How boomers can handle online dating

Online dating. It might not be something you would choose. But it’s something that sometimes works … if … you do it right. Which is what author and BoomerCafé contributor Linda Myers of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula is willing to teach to willing boomers.

I became a widow after 36 years of marriage. Five years later, I joined a dating website specifically for the 55+ crowd. Here is what I found.

Writer Linda Myers

Writer Linda Myers

Keep in mind, this ‘research’ is projectable to nowhere and nobody but me.

  • Four decades without a date makes you feel your skills are rusty. Don’t worry. It all comes back to you. You’ll do fine.
  • Remember, this is for your own good. So go with the flow. You’ll soon discover that whatever site you select, you’ll be asked some asinine questions. Don’t fight it or you’ll never get out of the chute.
  • Put together your profile to reflect who you are now. Do you still want to zip line across the Grand Canyon or have you given up on extreme sport? Be as honest with what you say as you are with your photos. Which is another crucial piece of advice.
  • Question your goal. Presumably, you’re no longer seeking good genes for your baby. If you want a companion versus a hubby, do you really give a shit how tall he is? This isn’t high school anymore.
  • Myers_funhousePeople on the 50+ sites are looking for final relationships. We’ve been through marriages, divorces, deaths. We’re not likely to change much. Let me say that again: WE’RE NOT LIKELY TO CHANGE MUCH. Don’t make the rookie mistake of thinking you can change us. You can’t. If you can’t handle an atheist, a libertarian, a hunter, a tree hugger, or anything else you abhor, believe me: he or she can’t change and neither can you. Pass it by.
  • That said, remember that your mother isn’t watching anymore. It’s never too late to be curious. Live a little.
  • I live in the northwest corner of the contiguous states. I have learned how regionality skews what people are looking for in a relationship. One gent wanted to know if I could skin an elk. Sexy dress for a female out here seems to be hip waders. I imagine this is not true for those of you living in, oh, say, Chicago. Keep this in mind if you decide to look in other corners of the country.
  • Young people have their list of “watch out fors.” So do we. Some men are looking for a nurse with a purse to take care of them when their health slips. Men have told me they are frequently approached by women seeking Sugar Daddies. I’m not saying that either is necessarily bad, just be aware of it and know the truth of what you’re signing on for.

Bottom line: the experience has been fun. I’ve only had a couple of fumbles which would have happened whether the date was arranged online or face-to-face. If you decide to try it, don’t be a chucklehead. Don’t send somebody money to buy a ticket to come see you. Don’t meet in a graveyard at midnight.

If you use your head as well as your heart, you just might have a great time.

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2 Comments on "How boomers can handle online dating"

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Lorie Eber
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Hi Linda,
Good for you for trying it. I also had that experience some time ago and decided I had to take it as an adventure and take breaks. There were a lot of mismatches out there and it could get depressing. I also limited the first “date” to coffee, because it was often evident almost immediately that this guy was not “my guy.”

Mary Jo
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Hi, Linda: Thanks for the good advice. I’m curious to know which website(s) you found worked best for you.

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