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Tom Blake

By Tom Blake

During the pandemic, most single seniors did not interact face-to-face with people. Many of them decided to give online dating a try, and often were frustrated with that experience.

Some seniors don’t use the internet to date. Connie of Laguna Niguel emailed me about the difficulty she’s had trying to meet men. She wrote, “I have never been on an online dating site. I prefer the old-fashioned way (of meeting men).”

What Connie means is networking through friends and/or going to public places and events where she might by chance meet a guy.

I’ve often been asked by seniors, “Which online dating site is right for me?”

Take Ellen, for example. She recently wrote: “I am a widow, 66, and recently retired. So, I’m starting a new chapter in my life. When I think of the future and see myself alone for the rest of my life, that makes me feel sad. However, when I look at my life today, I am happy—busy with kids, grandkids, hobbies, and church. 

“I tried online dating for a few years. Tried them all: eHarmony, Plenty of Fish, Catholic Match, Senior Dating, and OurTime. I met some nice people, but nothing clicked.

“More times than not, when I emailed someone, I never got a response. After a while, it just wasn’t worth the work anymore, and internet dating is a lot of work. I keep my options open, but I figure at this stage, I am well done with online looking. But I am certainly open if I meet someone in person.” 

I’m not an internet dating expert. After all, I’ve been with Greta for 24 years and have never been on a dating site. So, how do I advise women like Ellen to find the right site?

I turn to Christine Baumgartner, an Orange County expert on dating and a relationship coach, whom I’ve known for more than 20 years. Baumgartner calls her business “The Perfect Catch.”

Recently, Baumgartner posted comments on Facebook under the title, “Which internet dating site is ‘the best’ one?” I felt what Baumgartner wrote was so informative for single senior daters that I chose to share some of her highlights in this week’s column.

When Baumgartner is asked by a client which dating site is the best one, her reply is, “You may be surprised at my answer, but they’re generally all the same.”

But she points out that certain sites have a particular focus, such as religious beliefs or sites that cater to a variety of age groups, including sites for seniors.

Baumgartner said, “In reality, the outcome of a person’s online dating experience often has more to do with some of the following …

“Your attitude toward yourself, the opposite sex, and dating in general. Many people tend to struggle if they have negative opinions about the opposite sex (due to past dating experiences).”

When it comes to profile content and photos, she says that many of us are tempted to lie about our age or touch up our pictures. She stresses that singles should be honest with what they post.

“Persistence. Some people give up quickly when dating doesn’t turn out to be what they were looking for,” she said. Baumgartner recommends people adopt a stick-with-it attitude.

Baumgartner concluded, “I have clients who have met their significant others on dating sites after we worked on these things together. I’ve found that it’s usually not the site causing a person to not find the right date … it’s the person not using the site to that person’s best advantage.”

If I were single and trying to figure out how best to meet someone, I’d contact Baumgartner. She’s a widow and has walked the walk—not to mention that she is one of the nicest human beings one will ever meet. No wonder she does so well helping senior singles improve their dating success.

Baumgartner’s email is christine@theperfectcatch.com, and her website is theperfectcatch.com. Contact her, you might be pleased that you did.

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: tompblake@gmail.com.

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