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I’m a 50-ish woman living in NYC and dating is kind of strange to me. I was married for about 15 years and have been single for a while. But I’ve decided I need to get back into the world. And so I have a question about online dating. I’ve met a few guys through online sites but they’ve always pursued me and so far I haven’t met anyone I really click with. I’ve tried to connect with a few guys who sounded interesting in their profiles, but none of them, not a single one, have gotten back to me. So I would like to know what I’m doing wrong. Do I have to “dumb-down” my messages? That seems like it would backfire on me. What do I say or do to attract people I think would be good for me? Thanks.
What Am I Doing Wrong?
LOVE ‘N LIFE’S “OH CAROL” ANSWERS:
Dear What Am I Doing Wrong:
Online dating! One of my favorite topics as well as an ongoing conversation with my girlfriends and many of my male friends too!
Relating to you, I, too, am a "50-ish woman" and was also married close to 15 years. Having done a lot of online dating (well not ACTUAL dating but a lot of online chatting) some consider me an expert on this topic. Such an expert that I can tell you that there aren't any right or wrong answers... lol.
Let me address some of what you wrote.
Sometimes the men that are the pursuers are stretching way out of their league. Some can't spell, can't conjugate a sentence, and have odd photos that make me scratch my head and wonder what the heck are they thinking? Then there are the ones that send "form" letters (the same message sent to everyone they find attractive) "You have a very beautiful smile and we seem to have a lot in common" and upon reading their profile, you discover that you have nothing in common, i.e. you may not be into fishing, hunting, or NASCAR. I often wonder why men start their list with "man" hobbies that tend to exclude women rather than things they like to do that would include a woman. Yes, I know there are women that like some of those things but I don't think I'm wrong to say that MOST of us are not into "tinkering on a car in the garage" or "riding our Harley with the boys" - HA!
As a former match-maker for a national dating service (before there was online dating) I can tell you that there are far more 50+ women than there are men out in the dating arena. Whether it is because women live longer than men, or women are more apt to put themselves "out there" to meet someone or any other reasons, we are in competition.
One of the reasons why the more desirable men are less likely to be the pursuer is due to the fact that they receive many more messages than women do (shhh don't tell them) so they don't have to pursue. They often get overwhelmed and sometimes (rudely) don't reply. Many of my male friends have quit online dating within weeks of joining because of this. Not only are they overwhelmed but they are also subject to foreign women scammers looking to take their money or "pros".
When you write to a man whose profile appeals to you, find something in their profile that would be good to use in your subject line. Keep your message short and attentive to his profile. Short for two reasons: Upon opening your message you don't want him to be hit with a novel and not read any further and you don't want to put so much time and energy into writing a message only to end up with no reply, not even so much as a 'no thank you.' It happens!
Do NOT "dumb-down" your profile. A piece of advice I received years ago from one of the online guys was "keep in mind who you want to attract when writing your profile." Not to sound cliche (or sexist), but if Meryl Streep films are your faves, or playing Mah Jong once a week thrills you, I think it best to advise leaving that out of your profile. That isn't meant to deceive, it's to attract. We all have parts of ourselves and our lives that may not appeal to or include a partner, so why would we need to put that out front?
When proof reading your own profile watch for what I call the "I, I, Me, Me, I". It is hard to write about oneself without say "I like" or "I am into..." but it IS okay to start a sentence with words like "Seeking" "Enjoy" "Turned on by" as in "Enjoy movies and theatre" or "Turned on by concerts in the park"..
The next piece of advice is one that is often the hardest to heed. Read the profiles thoroughly regardless of what he looks like… (unless you find him completely repulsive)! Two men that I've had highly evolved relationships with (post marriage) were men that I never would have given a second glance to. You could find a wonderful man with values and interests that match yours by taking the time to read their profile but you need to be open minded enough to NOT put too much importance on looks or height. At this age, you're not looking to have babies with him so if he has a generous nose or lacking the height or hair you used to find important, so what? Who wants a Matthew McConaughey anyway? I sure don't want a man that's so pretty he turns heads everywhere he goes, do you? "If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woMAN your wife" -- You get the drift!
Stay true to yourself. Seek common ground. If you are liberal don't pursue a conservative. If you are a vegetarian don't write to a self proclaimed "meat and potatoes" man. If religion is important to you, seek someone of a similar religious background. Hopefully we've learned from our past that you can't change someone. At this stage of life that rings more true than ever. Ask yourself if you can or cannot live with his hobbies, his laugh, his interests. Remember, we only get more pronounced and some would say quirkier as we get older! Will you be singing "Still the one?” Please write again and let me know how things are going.
Yours 4 love,
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