It’s somewhat inevitable that a person my age will be confronted with the online dating world. The over-60 demographics experience more divorces than any other age group. Statistics show that this is related to reaching the long-awaited retirement, which seemed really odd to me when I first researched this phenomenon.
Evidently women adapt easily to retirement by surrounding themselves with their social groups, and taking up new interests now that there is both time and money. Men have a harder time adjusting as their career fades in the rear view mirror. This along with their purpose in life is now somewhat diminished and their future is unknown. They play golf and struggle to figure out how to fill the empty days, with the couple finding themselves growing apart. The highly anticipated retirement goal that everyone looks forward to, slowly eats away at their relationship which had been built around accumulated assets, the now grown kids and the careers that are now a thing of the past.
This new post-divorce world is overwhelming for many women whose husbands took care of the finances, home maintenance, and the typical list of husband honey-do’s. The husbands find themselves at a loss about what to do during the day, how to pour a bowl of cereal, cook something for dinner or what temperature they should wash their undies in. As the chapter rich in memories ends, a new one begins with challenges both daunting and exciting.
i started thinking about how to find someone to be with and surrounded myself with my neighbors for lunches, dinners and the occasional happy hours with live music. Then came the summer music concerts and I started dancing by myself next to other couples and singles. A flash of excited eyes or an unexpected smile from a handsome guy made my heart beat faster and the feelings I was experiencing were something scary, foreign and exciting.
I stuck my toe in the water and joined E-Harmony….and only a few matches came in each day and no smiles, winks or likes. Plus the gentlemen were 85 and from Duluth, or Tallahassee or someplace too far away to go out for a latte. So I waded up to my knees and joined Match. Here came 4,000 men all at once, their eager smiles flashing up at me, saying “date me please, I have been waiting for you all my life.”
I eagerly awaited my first message and waited and waited. Where were all these guys? Didn’t they think my smile was cute? Or was it my profile about my grandkids and my boring life? The water kept getting deeper and I kept revising the all important profile, the tool that sells you to the dating world. Pictures were changed weekly and all of a sudden I had gone from being someone’s grandma to an exciting mature woman with a captivating smile and bright eyes. The likes and winks started rolling in. I had entered the pool of available women venturing into the world of OLD, online dating.
The first date came and went in a flash. The guy wanted me to drive to his area of town which I agreed to. I would have driven to Timbuktu if he had asked. After a 40 minute drive, I found out that the reason he didn’t want to meet halfway, was that he owned two Porsche’s and didn’t want to have hail damage…or get wet in the rain….or get too much sun which could damage the paint….or have a bug smashed on his windshield. Guess there would be no roadtrips in his sexy Boxter convertible. An hour later, I was deflated and driving back home.
Then a couple of days later, I got a message from a handsome guy only a few years older. He spoke of adventurous travel, exciting restaurants, drinking expensive wine and my imagination drifting to far away places with the debonair man. We started planning a romantic place to meet. I suggested a cozy coffee house. He suggested Dunkin’ Donuts…WTF??? We compromised on Starbucks. How sexy. I arrived first, ordered my iced tea and waited for the mystery man. Ten minutes later an older guy with a leathered face sauntered up and started to sit down. I told him I was waiting for someone and he said he was Joe. Holy cow! His face looked like a weathered saddle that had been left out of the barn for years. His picture must have been from the 90’s and it was a struggle not to stare.
I asked him if he was getting a coffee and his exact words were, “Why would I spend $3 on a cup of God damn coffee when I can make one at home for 12 cents?” The visions of far away destinations left my brain so quick that I had to grab the chair. The rest of the conversation was a fog and filled with how wonderful he was and how much money he had. Yeah, I get it. I would have millions if I had only made my iced tea at home instead of having a glass out with my future dates.
I had read that to be successful with online dating, you should have zero expectations. I learned that very quickly after these first two dates. As my sales techniques improved with better writing and sexier selfies, the interests started to grow. Eventually I found a notebook, listed the days, dates and locations with notes about the future date. It has become a full-time job, keeping track of two Bib’s, two Scotts, various Tom, Dick and Harry’s and various others. The hard and fast rules are don’t tell anyone your last name, you email address, your address, and so on. To solve this problem I make notes- Scott 1-golf pro, Scott 2-lawyer, Bob1–builder, Bob 2-banker. Then I made notes of their interests so I wouldn’t mix them up. I didn’t work this hard as a financial consultant! Going to lunch in one outfit, and changing into another one for dinner was exhausting. I now had to keep track of what I wore with each guy. Good thing I am organized
Being the persistent person that I am, I waded up to my neck and joined a third dating site called Plenty of Fish. The newest sexy selfie and the new website opened up all the doors and one day I texted half the day while laying at the pool. I didn’t say that my new job was not pleasurable, it’s just more work than laying on the sofa watching Longmire.
The journey continues every day but I haven’t reached my destination yet so I will continue this quest with all of you. There’s already enough adventures to fill a book after two months of OLD.