What I learned from three years of online dating

March 2, 2012 at 10:00 am in Love & Sex by VN Featured Comment

Today’s Featured Comment

From drpjl

I worked HARD at online dating for 3 years: JDate, Match, Salon, Boston, Nerve, The Right Stuff (Ivy League only), eHarmony (made me take a bunch of tests, then sent me 6 dates the first week none of whom had any of the qualities in which I was interested so I quit ASAP). Anyway, here I am, married almost two years to a terrific man I met on Match five years ago. He’s very successful, brilliant, funny, adorable, generous, kind, but far from perfect  – but we’re happy!

My suggestions:

1. I shaved 5-10 years off my age (depending on how I was feeling that month) because I do look considerably younger (62 now).
However, in the BODY OF MY PROFILE I said that I did exactly that to meet different search criteria, that I look and feel younger, and that I hoped it would be understood in the manner in which it was intended. So I lied, but fessed up right there and then, in print. My husband, on our first date, made some statement about our being the same age (wrong – he’s 7 years younger) and I teased him, reminded him of what I said and it turned out he never read my profile! Just liked my picture and our subsequent email and phone conversations! Anyway, it wasn’t a deal breaker

2. When I say I worked HARD, I mean that I spent a lot of time searching for, as well as responding to, men on the various sites.
After a while I narrowed it down to just Match which has the greatest numbers and let’s face it, this online dating thing (or dating in general) is a numbers game, especially after 50.

3. Generally, after a bit of email and the all-important telephone call (to his number), I would set up a BRIEF date for coffee or a drink so that I wasn’t wasting either of our time. If there was chemistry and further interest, the coffee or drink turned into a meal or a walk or something more. But if not, I summoned all my strength to say early on something like you are a lovely man and I wish you the very best in finding the right woman. I don’t feel we’re a match for reasons similar to why some people like chocolate ice cream and others like vanilla, just a matter of taste. So let’s cut this short and use our time wisely. On occasion I would receive a “huffy” reaction but basically it was worth it. I got my feelings “hurt” (as much as feelings can be hurt after such a brief encounter) more than a few times, too.

4. Open up slowly, together.
I went offline three times to see if/how a particular relationship might work. That lasted 2-3 months each time before it became clear. Generally, opening up is a two-way dance, and should be in matched step – open up slowly, as he opens up, neither going too fast nor lagging behind.

Best of luck to all! There are great guys out there!

[This comment was originally posted as part of this conversation. ~ Eds.]

Online dating – what’s your advice?

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