By Tom Blake
The answer: all the above.
Online dating has become a huge business. There are hundreds of sites. But does it work for seniors? Yes…and no.
Productive? Many senior couples have found online dating success.
Jeanne emailed, “I met my man on OurTime. He contacted me in September 2015. I didn’t meet him until March 2016. We met at Starbucks. He was a wonderful man and we got along famously. We waited six months before taking the friendship to a LAT (Living Apart Together) relationship.
Recently, we decided to live together and chose my place! I not only gained a man in my life but his dog and lizard, too. He’s even better than what I had described as my perfect mate!”
My partner Greta has a friend named Dominque. She met her Tom on Match.com. They turned a long-distance relationship into a marriage, when Tom moved from Sacramento to live with Dominque in her San Clemente home.
Quirky? It can be. Gina, (Greta’s niece), 53, sent a text last week showing a personal ad she saw on Tinder, an online dating site.
Gina wrote, “Tinder has a reputation for ‘casual’ relationships. What you see in the ads is all you get, one or a few pictures, a paragraph or nothing at all. You choose to meet based mostly on attraction to each other’s photo.
I thought you might find this guy’s ad interesting. It is an example of what not to say if you want to meet a nice woman.
‘Eugene, age 83, looking for sweet, smart, built, warm and tender, love to travel the world, if you want to have more fun than you’ve ever had, call Geno. Have to be pristine clean, love the warmth and the tenderness of a man, and if not, you’re not in my ballpark, only qualified people call me. P.S. hookers and prostitutes do not call.’
Tinder calls itself the world’s most popular dating site with 20 billion matches. People as young as 18 use it. The user reviews are filled with complaints about people being banned from the site without explanation. I do not recommend Tinder for seniors.
Dangerous? I read horror stories, including murders, of people who met on Tinder and other sites, some as recent as July and August of this year. Doing background checks is a must when meeting strangers.
Risky? You bet. The Oct. 21, 2017, issue of the Palm Beach Post (Florida) featured an article written by Debby Montgomery, a 52-year-old widow. She lost $1,080,762.43 to a Nigerian romance scammer without ever meeting the man in person.
He claimed to be an international broker of hardwood trees. When she called his company, they had never heard of him. Regardless, she kept sending money, even borrowing $100,000 from her parents to give him.
Debby fell in love with an image, which is insane; you can’t judge chemistry until you meet in person. Never send money to someone you’ve never met.
Profile Photo Tips
One of my eNewsletter readers, Dr. John Foster, shared tips for women, when posting photos to their online profile, based on his own experiences.
- Smile for your profile picture. Even if someone must tickle your feet to make you smile
- Avoid photos where you look maniacally happy, as if you’ve just had a massive dose of cocaine, aim for happy and serene.
- No sunglasses: the eyes are the window of the soul—be sure your eyes are visible.
- No digital “enhancements,” such as cartoon cat ears or whiskers.
- No pictures of you and your ex, with your ex cropped out.
- Include a face portrait, and one full-length.
- Consider the background—I saw one woman with a nice picture of her sitting at a restaurant, but the background was a full garbage can.
- No pictures of you boozing it up, unless you’re looking for a drinking buddy.
- If there’s an activity you like, such as golfing, or playing the piano, a picture of you participating is a great idea
Is internet dating for seniors? Iffy. It’s a mixed bag. Proceed with caution.
Tom Blake is a Dana Point resident and a former Dana Point businessman who has authored several books on middle-aged dating. See his websites www.findingloveafter50.com; www.vicsta.com and www.travelafter55.com. To receive Tom’s weekly online newsletter, sign up at www.findingloveafter50.com. Email: email@example.com.