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Online dating for baby boomers



(a 73-year-old widow of three years) con- fided that she’d been eyeing a good-look- ing gent at the city council meetings. after she relayed a story of chatting briefly with a ‘man my age’ at Good Will and bumping into him again ‘that very same day,’ i sug- gested that she may be ready to begin dat- ing.

“Oh gracious no,” she replied. “i’m too old, too busy. i’d have to get laser treat- ments for these age spots and lose some weight.” “and you’re scared,” i responded. “but

believe me, you’re ready.” i advised her to give herself permission

and to consider online dating. “first, adjust your attitude. Guys don’t choose us because of hair color or nose size. We won’t be contacted because we look like a movie star or his last girlfriend or even his ‘type.’ We will be picked because we seem like a friendly gal he might want to meet. someone who might fit into his life, want to meet him, and be impressed by what he has to offer. someone approachable who won’t reject him. someone safe and sane. Why wait? it is not going to magically get easier and tomorrow you will be one day older.” fear may be the main obstacle to begin-

ning any new project, but it needn’t stop you from participating. the title of susan Jeffer’s 1980’s bestseller says it all, feel the fear & do it anyway. ninety-nine percent of success is in showing up. boomers hesitate because the perceived

obstacles seem insurmountable. Opportunities are fewer. you haven't dated since high school? news flash: it's still awk- ward. not to worry. he feels even less pre- pared and more scared. abc’s Good morning america had a segment recently about a 52-year-old divor- cee who "faced her fear" and re-entered the dating scene via the Web after years of singlehood. Gma's family therapist, terry real, suggested that she take baby steps and enlist help. the woman’s teenage daughters helped her get online and write her profile. “if love was a river, would you sit on the land?” sings alan Jackson. feeling a void? Wishful, lonely, or bored sitting on the bank? if you’ve been noticing those fairy

tale internet dating site tv commercials, your subconscious may be telling you something. you, too, may be ready. Options for finding a new partner until

recently were limited to a chance encoun- ter at play, church, work, the mall or on a blind date. disheartened by the high failure rate of those avenues, savvy singles quickly embraced cyber-searching. Online match- making suits our frantic 21st century global lifestyle and has virtually replaced all previ- ous channels for those seeking a mate. seventy percent of united states singles

are cyber-search- ing for a mate. and baby boom- ers — those 78 million people born between 1946 and 1964, now ages 46 to 64, representing 30 percent of the u.s. population — are participating in droves. the fastest growing segment of online subscribers in the past four years were over 50. boomers participating in cyber- dating are often widowed or divorced after 25 to 30 years of marriage. the divorce rate — 50 percent for first marriages, 67 percent for second and 74 percent for third marriages — produces a continuous market for a first, second or third mates. boomers are staying active longer, enjoy-

ing unprecedented good health, energy and expectations for longevity. We’ve become Web savvy, using the internet as a resource for shopping, information, entertainment and finding dates. twenty-first century dating is different.

the internet allows us to shop for a mate 24-hours a day in our pJs, ordering dates delivered to our doorstep. We’ve experi- enced a paradigm shift, a fundamental change in how humans connect romanti- cally. the stigma is gone. We all know sev- eral couples who’ve found each other on the ‘net. finding a mate online has become mainstream. dating is dating is dating in any century. What has changed is the process leading up to the first date. the cyber-dating pro-

44 ♦ Southern Minnesota Magazine ♦ Venus 2010

cess is an inside out revealing. We learn all about him before actually meeting face-to- face. We connect emotionally before we connect physically. last century’s old-fash- ioned dating began on the outside. We were attracted to a person’s shell and slowly the internal self was revealed —simi- lar to peeling the layers of an onion. dating has always been part art, part sci-

ence. in this very human endeavor, it is dif- ficult not to become emotionally invested, but don’t take any of this personally. high, high hopes raise expectations. expectations are the achilles heel of relationships. think of this project as a fun way to meet people not normally in your life’s orbit. stay realistic. dating sites will not deliver

a relationship-ready perfect partner, despite their blatant tv promises. but this is a multibillion dollar business because people use it and people use it because it works. sites don’t differ dramatically, despite their claims to the contrary. it’s all about the algorithm. their pairing process will connect you to compatible people with similar interests and traits. the site you choose is a tool, a resource. you pay to use their extensive database to search for a companion who fits your needs. treat his profile like the one dimensional paper doll of our youth. these guys do not exist. facts do not equal reality. his profile is a snapshot in time, reflecting how he saw himself in the moment he penned it. it reflects how he felt that day — desperate, distant, distressed, daring, distracted or dashing. this is not a real person. this is his self-perceived persona. your task is to determine asap ‘is it real or is it memorex?’ no one has ever, and will never, be able

to predict chemistry. chemistry is a compli- cated conundrum. it’s up to you to show up for the first date and determine whether there is any spark. Whether you are attracted or repelled. Whether you hunger for more or feel like you’ve had enough. if both of you desire desert or a second helping, dating reverts to the old fashioned format.

For Boomers Only ~ Insider’s Secrets for Finding Your SoulMate in Cyberspace,” is avail- able on and ama- Linda MIller can be reached at Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52
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