By Tom Blake
A few days ago, Gloria emailed, “I’m 70. I lost my partner of 11 years on Jan. 12, 2023. I realize that you lost Greta in October. I know you have joined two online dating sites. I need your advice. Is it too early for me to start online dating? Please comment on your senior online dating experience.”
I replied to Gloria. “Two months ago, I was in my Dana Point home on a Saturday night, feeling empty, lost, and missing Greta terribly. Loneliness is awful. I thought, I cannot continue feeling like this. I need hope. I need a woman to talk to. And maybe even a hug. Yes, I’ve met a few nice women, but there has not been a relationship connection.
“So, I took a deep breath and joined match.com, and another site called Zoosk, which a friend had recommended to me. After seeing the first few profiles and faces of potential mates, I felt new hope in my life.
“Since then, I’ve learned a lot about senior online dating. I’ve learned through my own experience that there are scammers on all sites. The most important thing: What one views in a profile may not be what you see when you meet in person. Pictures are often outdated, perhaps taken years ago. People may not be as available as they claim they are.
“Women 20-years-younger have raved at my profile. I’d feel amazed. And then, at some point, their true motivation revealed itself. Some might have had their eyes on my modest assets, not on me.
“Have I had online dating success? Let’s just say I’m a work in progress—navigating a road I never envisioned I’d be on.
“So, Gloria, when is it time for you to try online dating? Probably when you decide like I did that you need to be more assertive in meeting potential mates. A senior must decide whether online dating is right for them, and the timing is strictly up to each person. There is no right or wrong answer.”
Also, this week, I received an email from Jane. She wrote, “I’ve been reading your articles and newsletters for a long time. I even came to one of your singles nights at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli in Dana Point many years ago.
“I have not done any online dating for 15 years. But I’m ready to put that toe in the water again.”
I asked Jane why.
“I’ve had many adversities in the last few years. So, now, I am trying to make a new life. I love the thought of a companion. But the difference is that now I feel worthy of a relationship. I feel I have a lot to give. However, it must be the right person. What that means is someone I’m attracted to. Someone I can laugh with and who is caring and kind.
“I don’t feel desperate. I have a very full life. If I find that certain someone, it will be the icing on the cake. So, here is to living life at its fullest and remaining grateful for my blessings. I’m going back online to meet new people. I’m ready.”
So, there you have it. When is the right time for senior singles to start dating again? Today, Gloria said she is contemplating dating online four months after losing her mate of 11 years. The other woman, Jane, hasn’t done any online dating for 15 years, but she’s beginning to try it. Who’s right? They both are. Senior singles must follow their hearts, but they need to do it wisely and trust their instincts.
Tom Blake is a retired Dana Point business owner and resident who has authored books on middle-aged dating. See his website at findingloveafter50.com. To comment: email@example.com.