A Senior’s Provocative Dating Log

Source. Pexels. Dan Cristian Padure, Photographer

by Michael H *

Monday; first message, kind, funny and intelligent; she has a pet kangaroo as well as a crocodile named Max who’s been trained, and only sleeps on her bed during thunderstorms. Edithvale, Australia.

“Now obviously, this paragraph employs hyperbole and absurdity. I enlisted a kangaroo to foreshadow the lustiness of online dates, the hopping around. The crocodile represents the men so many women say they despise but are too often their immediate selections. I once spent months hiking the crocodile infested Zambezi River, and I’m convinced that crocodiles are the only true psychopathic beings, in fact they’re so lazy they’ll eat their own. I find few women are honest with themselves as to their appetites in men. Good men are rare, but it doesn’t matter, few women seem to be looking, but then again are good women any more common?”

Tuesday; expanded my search, even those with less than stellar opening lines. Glasses half full, no baggage, in love with life itself, …. fading fast, little black dresses, walks on the beach in high heels at midnight. (It’s obvious from what I’ve read here, that’s an awfully crowded beach.) Scrolling feverishly now; why do so many women want to be swept off their feet? I’ve seen many women swept off their feet. Typhoons, monsoon floods, avalanches, it never ended well for any of them.

“Nothing is more brain dulling than online dating if one is creative or curious. There’s one template the masses use, boring. The lines above are pulled from actual profiles and are more than common. One needs a strategy for online dating. The companies offer huge discounts for 6 and 12-month memberships, but every active user will see you within days. I changed profiles weekly, every time I went online, and never paid for more than a month. This is necessitated by the algorithms employed by dating sites. Very simply in your first couple of days you’re exposed to all members, as a new member, or fresh meat. Always open a new email address when going online, so you won’t be identified as an existing member, and when other users sell your email address you’ve given them in good faith to spammers, you can discard it. After two days or so, the numbers of members you’ll be exposed to will drop precipitously, and you’ll be offered the opportunity to purchase expensive boosts to restore your popularity. I always respond to every message, something few members do. There is one benefit to this, apart from basic respect and dignity, if you respond well, the algorithm will show you to more members, because many members generate little, if any mail. Photogeneity is the currency of online dating, so invest in good photographs, preferable seeking out the assistance of a talented friend or professional photographer.”

Wednesday: get rid of that snarky attitude Michael, we all want love, even you. Tears on my iPad. Just came across an interesting profile, she concludes with “I prefer handsome men, but I’ve been known to compromise”. Please, if you think I’m ugly, pass me by. More tears.

“There’s a maxim in economics known as the Pareto Principle which states that 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes, which in terms of dating could be simply reduced to a crudity that the 20% of best-looking daters generate 80% of the dating mail. Not being of the Tinder generation I’ll let that pass as an unchallenged truism. Assuming this principle applies to mature dating, the parameters have shifted. I’m 68 years of age and based on reliable peer reviewed research only 30% of the men my age are capable of unaided sexual intercourse, and only 55% of the remaining cohort benefit from aids such as PDE5 inhibitors (Cialis, Viagra) or other interventions. Couple this with the fact that there are only .91 males for every female my age, with the numbers on the precipice to tip heavily into favour of men my age, coupled with the permutation of sexually healthy men, to say nothing of otherwise physically impaired men, I’m in a rather favoured demographic. I’m a hiker and I know women far out number men in that activity and anecdotally It appears to me that women are generally fitter and healthier than men of this age. I’m an average looking man, fit and educated, so notwithstanding my plainness, I’m able to generate more interest in women than ever before in my life. My point, the paradigm has shifted in seniors’ dating. Health, humour, and aesthetic appeal now influence the Pareto 20%, it’s no longer just looks. Lest I deter anyone, great people who are able to exhibit humour, integrity, intellect, and sex appeal will always be sought after and are as rare as they’ve ever been. Sadly, many still value money and security over all else, men on the hunt look for widows whose finances are intact and both men and women, less than admirably motivated, search for evidence of vulnerability in profiles.”

Thursday; showed profile to close friend. You need sexier photos, grow a beard to compensate for your hairless chest, go to the grocery store and buy a big fish and pretend you caught it after a dozen beers. Explain that your very tiny Covid muffin top has nothing to do with lost access to weight training, your mother made you wear size 6X pants until you were 12.

“The people you meet on dating sites, are the same people you’re going to pass on the street, sit across from on a bus or stand behind in the grocery store. If you’ve noticed legions of super-hot 68-year-olds, your vision is better than mine. Online profiles are notoriously unreliable. People lie, frequently shamelessly. Those photos you’re drooling over might be 20 years old, or of someone altogether different. Dating sites are known to post fake profiles and use bots. Some daters pay private services to write their profiles. Everyone has seen the Netflix documentaries on dating scams. Keep your wits in your head, your heart in your chest, your money in your wallet and your underwear where it belongs, then I think your only real risk is meeting a disordered personality. I absolutely deplore cliche, but it’s true, if it seems too good to be true it likely is. As a senior dater you know the truth about yourself, and if your date fails to recognize you, move on. I urge all daters to Google the term love-bombing, an actual psychological term which describes the process by which narcissists snare their prey.”

Friday; new member. I met her 10 years ago on a hike. She told me then she was 61, her profile says she’s still 61. That’s the kind of magic I need.

This woman justified her representation by telling me that her niece told her she looked 11 years younger than her age. In my opinion this was not true, she was an attractive 71-year-old, but she certainly didn’t look 60 or 61. This sadly is not uncommon, people age more slowly in their imaginations. Once we’ve adjusted to this misstatement, we’re naturally waiting for the next lie.”

Saturday; Took my 1-year-old grandson to our favourite park. Hanging upside down, he tells me he’s never met a woman who can resist his wet kisses and mindless babble. He does better with women than I do. He suggests I wear low riding pants as no woman can resist pulling them up.

“There’s one habit of senior daters which I find mildly annoying, posting photos with grandchildren. I really don’t believe young children should be used as props, and such poses are proof of nothing about your character. I’d never consider using one of my grandsons to unwittingly assist me in finding a date. “

Sunday: my first meet, she thinks I might be the one. Two appetizers, rack of lamb, and two deserts later, she decides I’m not the one, but I wonder if the 5 glasses of wine she had, the name of which I can’t pronounce, might have unduly influenced her judgement.

“This is an issue that many men complain about vociferously on my hikes and social interaction websites such as Quora. Any man who’s serious about finding true love wants the first meet to be as special and flattering as possible. Dinner at a nice restaurant as opposed to a coffee and muffin at a coffee shop, certainly establishes an ambiance more suggestive of romance. I’ve always started first meets with dinner, supplying food exhibits an interest in nurturing, and I never ceased to be amazed at how few women exhibit any sensitivity. I ensured my daughters understood restaurant etiquette when being treated to dinner. Always order off the bottom half of the menu, never have more than one alcoholic drink, but only if your host has ordered one. Most often when I examine my restaurant bills, most frequently my new acquaintance has run up more than 70% of the bill. I can fortunately afford fine dining, but the women I’ve just described will never see me twice. I will only pay for the first three dates, and if an invitation is not forthcoming from the woman within a day of the last meeting, I’m out. Many mature women are financially stressed, I understand that, but anyone can go on YouTube and learn how to prepare a nice, but modest home cooked meal for her date. Then there are the sharks, invariably exceptionally good looking, who order a bottle of wine no one’s heard of. When the bill arrives, with a $650 total, your date watches you intently to see if you flinch, to assess your financial strength. Many profiles indicate financial security is essential. I bypass all profiles with any reference to wealth or money, it just makes the whole interaction so transactional and predictable. The common question I most dread on a first meet, “So, do you rent or own?”

Wednesday: my second meet, she’s lovely, this time I chose an abstaining vegan. After this date, I can afford subway fare home. She writes me that night, telling me what a wonderful time she had, and I’m currently sitting in the number 2 spot, of the 5 men she’s dating. Who knew abstaining vegans were so popular?

“This relates to the dating site algorithm again. The wizards behind the curtain want you to find lots of sex online, and lots of wine and great food, if you’re a woman, never forget that you’re important to the wizards and they don’t want to lose you. If you’re spending less time online, you might have met someone, and the worst thing that can happen to the dating site is that you begin to develop affection for one for your dates. Wizards are fired if you find love and live happily ever after. No, modern seniors’ dating is about a constant supply; food, wine, and sex, but not with one person. Your fees are critical, without you the whole machine behind the curtain breaks down. Churches need sinners as dating sites reinforce loneliness. As you pull away, your profile views will begin to increase dramatically as you’re being pedaled to more candidates, many of them better looking. How can a woman leave the site with Mervyn, when a Fabio look alike is lighting up her phone? Sites will also tell you it’s important to date many people to ensure the best possible matches. Believe me, if you listen to the sites, you’ll not be loving Mervyn or Fabio in a year, but you might be kicking yourself for passing Mervyn by. With so much selection, you must leave the game when you’ve met your expectations. This is an error I believe most daters make, and that fine person we passed by is often not easy to replace. Assess your actual needs and realistic desires prior to engaging on this adventure, and it starts with realizing no 70-year-old is going to be as hot as their 20-year-old grandchildren.”

I’m confident there are wonderful women in Datingland, it just seems like a big blur most days. Your kind, warm, perceptive, fit, funny and politically liberal. You’re no helpless little girl. If you enjoy learning, hiking and interesting travel, we ought to invest an hour or two in one another.

“The last issue I’d like to address is ghosting, just ceasing communication with an online correspondent or someone you’ve met a few times. Even more prevalent online is refusing to acknowledge a kind and appropriate opening message from a fellow dater, who you feel no connection to. You may feel this represents some type of dating efficiency, but to me it displays your lack of love worthiness. Ironically, the more you respond to messages, even if it is a polite no, the more the algorithms will reward you. Dating sites want all their members to feel some sort of engagement, so good repliers are shown to more people, because they tend to make the process appear to be more humane.”

“I wish all well-meaning people reading this, all the best in this exciting and worthwhile adventure. Lol, last year I had my heart broken by a wonderful 72-year-old woman, the pain was no less than my first heartbreak at 19. I’ve acquires several friends through online dating and I’m quite optimistic I’ll find the love of my life through this challenging process. A friend I met online, recently shared her dating advice with me, “Let your love outweigh your fear.”

*Retired lawyer, lives in Toronto, Canada, world traveler.