By Tom Blake
A senior single woman suggested recently that I add playing cupid to my job description.
Cheryl emailed,“Because you know a lot of single men and women, you would be a great person to introduce them. For me, it may not work, because I live in L.A. County near LAX, about an hour’s drive from South Orange County. As you have previously mentioned, senior singles are not interested in driving long distances—especially at night.
“I’m not saying you should become a full-blown matchmaker—that would take a lot of work and responsibility. But there are other ways you could become a ‘go-between.’
“How about allowing your readers to sign up on an ‘eligible-list’ page on your Finding Love After 50 website, and perhaps have them include the general area where they live, their status (divorced, widowed, for example), and a photo?”
An “eligible-list” with a mini-profile of each person? Cheryl is suggesting I become a matchmaker.
Cheryl added, “I’m sure there’s a great guy in my area who is looking for me!”
In 27 years of column writing, I’ve encountered hundreds of seniors who’ve found love, and thousands who haven’t. And I’ve tried to introduce some of them, including widowers, widows, never-married and divorced people, particularly when they live within 10 miles of each other.
Some have become couples, but in most cases, no match was made. Often, I hear the words, “We just weren’t right for each other.”
Some people who had asked me to find them a mate were annoyed that I wasted their time, even though they were the ones who approached me in the first place. Older singles, who are set in their ways, can be very picky and hard to please. It’s often a no-win situation.
For example, a woman who asked me to introduce her, says, “You didn’t tell me that he drinks bourbon, gambles on football, talks too much and snores.”
Me: “Sorry, I didn’t know that.”
Another reason I won’t match-make is there are more single women seeking love at age 65 compared to men of the same age; the ratio is about 4-to-1, women to men. At age 75, that ratio increases to approximately 5-to-1.
A similar ratio would exist on an “eligible-list” website page. And then I’d hear the all-too-familiar cry: “Where are the men?”
Would including an “eligible” page on my website, as Cheryl suggests, yield successful matchups? Perhaps a few. However, the time, effort and cost to create and update a list would be prohibitive.
Nearly every day during the pandemic, an email arrives in my inbox promoting new dating and/or matchmaking sites. One matchmaker included these words:
“Local matchmaker has more older women and needs more men to match with female clients.”
The same site said its workers “do their best to find that person and introduce you.”
“Do their best”? Wow, matchmakers who often charge between $700 and $25,000 are only as good as the clients they have in their dating pool.
Will I add a “fixer-upper” list to my website? No thanks.
But, when the pandemic is under control, my partner Greta and I will resume the monthly senior singles meet-and-greet gatherings at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli in Dana Point. Many people met their mates there.
So, Cheryl, I’ll remain a columnist and leave the matchmaking to the dating sites and matchmakers. They are the pros and the only thing they lack: single men.
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.