Online dating for the over 50s: from first email to first date

Rosanna Dickinson gets back out there and tries an age specific dating site: Datingover50’s.

Hitting the online dating scene with more confidence than I did a few years ago, I upload my profile.  Surely on an age specific site the competition won’t be so great?  So this time round I try to be enthusiastic and add more detail about what I’m looking for – I so don’t want to be a potential carer or  necessarily even get married again.

I had forgotten how time consuming online dating is, but as the adage goes, the more you put in the more you get out of it. You need to put in at least half an hour a day, continually adding men to your favourites list.

I search the site for a few weeks to see if anyone fits the bill.  There’s clearly no point going on this site if you want a toyboy or a 20-year-old nymphette and there are a lot of bad photos.   Some people don’t even have photos.

I receive lots of emails saying that I have a nice smile and am I up for a chat. Of course there are the few like this  ‘Hi I’m Mario 40 years old and I love sex’, but mostly people want to connect and to find the common ground.

In total, I receive 35 email messages, 32 winks and 11 favourites.  I don’t reply to all of them. However, there are a few men who message me twice in an attempt to get a response.

Eventually I find Mike. He’s quite good looking with grey hair and blue eyes. He is interested in the usual:  films, theatre, books, restaurants and wine.  Most say they’re interested in some or all of the following:  Pop Music, Classical Music, Jazz Music, Rock Music, Movies, Theatre, Animals, Gardening, The Arts, The Outdoors, DIY/Crafts, Restaurants, Pubs/Clubs, Reading, TV/Radio, Cooking, Travelling, Keep Fit and Green Issues.

We chat online and when I complain about most of the men on the site he tells me that one lady has been incredibly enthusiastic, sending him photos of her home in the South Down (she also has a place in Kensington).  One woman had told him earlier that morning that she wasn’t willing to compromise on her life style. Basically he wasn’t rich enough for her.

Mike and I finally go on a date and I find him polite, gentlemanly and generous. We’ve been watching the same box sets, which takes up most of the conversation and he even pays for dinner. He’s been divorced for twelve years and has had a few romances that have started through Datingover50s.  I have decided I must try something different but despite all my efforts, he is not my type and I just don’t find him sexy.  Will I start to see him differently if I get to know him better?  I mustn’t make assumptions on a first date so decide to try again.

I have to believe that all you can do is keep on keeping on.  Otherwise, you’re left confronting the dismal notion that NO woman over 50 ever finds a partner online.

The internet actually helps those who find offline dating adventures too nightmarish. At least online dating allows you to write about yourself, put up your photo, read others’ profiles, scan through their photos, make the first tentative steps to greet someone, exchange ‘hellos’ via email, perhaps talk on the phone first. A lot can take place between two people before you even think of arranging a meeting.  At least you’re not going into the situation as blindly as on a blind date – and I’ve had quite enough of those for one lifetime.

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