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  • Great guy I met online is much heavier than his photo

    Oct 2015

    Help! I am 54 and need some non-judgemental advice about dating. I left my bullying husband and took my 19 month old daughter with me 16 years ago. I have not dated since, partly because of the trauma of the abuse in the marriage, and partly because of the time struggle in trying to raise and provide for my daughter alone. Fast forward to where I recently joined a dating website because I realized my life was passing by quickly and I am lonely and worthy of love. I sometimes feel unattractive but my friends tell me I am pretty. I found someone that stood out from the others for his intelligence, kindness, and humor. I also liked how he looked, not perfect but attractive enough (I don't hold attractiveness as my #1 requirement but it is a thing). I recieved messages from many more men than I expected, some of them very handsome but not a match for me in other ways. So...as of yet I have not met this man (he has put it off). It has been about a month and we email daily. I love his emails. He writes amazingly, and makes me laugh. He periodically states, when I send a picture, that I am ''too pretty for him''. I asked him to stop saying it because it makes me sad. I could see from the pictures that it was not true. Right now he is out of the country for two weeks on a vacation and we continue to email. Today he sent me a picture and he is considerably more overweight than his profile pictures. I feel a little deceived but cannot deny that I really like him and still want to meet. Unfortunately, I cannot say that I am physically attracted to ''the new him''. It has put somewhat of a damper on my feelings. I know that weight is something that is somewhat superficial and can be changed, though not easily I realize. And I can't start a relationship on the basis that he change. Am I just too much in a hurry to fall in love after such a long time to be mad at him? I don't think I would have pursued it had he posted an accurate picture but I am glad I did. Still I don't know if it will go anywhere. What do I do? Wh! at and how do I feel? Signed: Feeling Disappointed


    I recommend cutting off your correspondence with this gentleman: either do the slow fade, or tell him that your interest has taken you elsewhere.

    Here's the thing: though weight is ''superficial'' and ''changeable'', it's unlikely to be either in the context of a potential romantic relationship (perhaps different if you'd known the guy for 20 years, and then he put on some weight). The guy wasn't straightforward with you at the beginning - by sending an out of date photo - and the things he's saying - you're too pretty - are red flags that he doesn't have his own house in order.

    When I did online dating (early 2000s) as a 30-something, I quickly found that the guys who wanted to string the email communication on for weeks at a time were usually the ones who were hiding something - painful shyness, insecurity, instability in their own lives. One guy had only a few teeth in his mouth! Another was absolutely aimless in his life, and was looking for a partner to provide direction. A guy can spend all day crafting the perfect, funny, thoughtful email, but he might be a horrible conversationalist, or totally insecure, or way overweight. These are things you need to find out early, not after weeks of Cyrano de Bergerac type emails.

    Though it can be painful, many people suggest keeping the emailing to a minimum and meeting for coffee as soon as you know that you have some small amount of interest. That way you can start getting to know a real person, rather than an email facade. Pen pals need not apply


    I read a recent article in AARP magazine about dating over fifty.One red flag is if you have not met in over a month.Often there are scammers that will keep buttering you up and soon he will need to borrow money to come see you,because his credit cards got stolen or some stupid lie.I would be suspious of this guy.That should help your decision.I hope you find someone worthy. Ellen
    Lots of women and men of all ages look for love on the internet, due to time constraints; for example my twenty-five year old tenant found her current love on the internet.

    Some internet Romeos are married or partnered; others like to write, and write, and write; others are unsuitable by age, girth, smoking habits, or grammar. However, internet dating is a numbers game, and involves meeting dozens of men in person to see if there is a mutual spark. The only way to proceed is meet, meet, meet;

    Your new interest has lots of red flags- out of the country, too busy to meet, etc. It is like filling a vacancy of any sort; a tenancy, a job opening, a new sale. Cast your net wide, and then begin to interview - in person. See the Ellen Barkin film - Sea of Love for one method of scheduling meetings. Veteran of the Million Man March


    Most important piece of on-line dating advice - one email, one reply and an easy, public get together - Starbucks on a weekend morning. Do not email for weeks unless you are interested in an email based relationship. Face to face, within a week. Otherwise something is up. I'd say there are many red flags flying for the guy who is on vacation -- let him go and move on. Or schedule coffee. And then decide. Good luck
    It's totally ok to feel put off. He was not honest from the beginning and although he might have done it because he feels ashamed of his appearance, he broke your trust in him. You have not met him yet, so it is better to stop things now. You are not being superficial. You have the right to feel the way you are. anon
    My advice is to keep on looking! Do NOT be in such a hurry! You waited this long, and took your time doing an extremely valuable thing; being a good mother to your daughter. Good for you! Now you deserve some fun and love. Please wait for other men who are READY and willing to date you, and to pursue you. This guy is not. He has taken the easy way out of fulfilling his self esteem and flirting needs by being a good, witty writer and making you smile. However, he was dishonest about his profile. Men often do this on dating sites. It is SO common! Normally they post a picture that is ten years old. You should also be clear in your profile that you would like to see current pictures of men, not old ones.

    If he ever decides to seriously pursue a relationship, he will lose weight and get into shape, and then be honest about the way he looks. You haven't even met him yet and already there is a red flag. As far as being superficial; you are not. Obesity can lead to impotence, or some kind of sexual dysfunction. Also, what if you want to go hiking with him, or swimming or on a roller coaster? Good health is important when looking for a new mate. We women have to get into the best shape we can before we date; let the men put that energy out as well. You deserve better. Just be his friend.


    I don't think this guy's weight is the problem here. The problem is that you have been emailing for a month and he hasn't tried to meet you. Your statements that he is putting it off and now is ''out of the country'' further confirm that something isn't right. When you connect with a man, whether online or in person, and he really likes you and he is serious about trying to date you, he is going to make that meeting happen as soon as possible. The warning signs point to the likelihood that he is in a relationship and is testing the waters or he is not at all who he has portrayed himself to be - he is starting to roll out information that he is not what he represented in his profile, which means he is dishonest. I am giving you some tough love here because I have been dating online and offline consistently for a good 30 years and I have seen it all. There are a lot of men out there, especially online, who are in relationships and they go online looking for attention, validation, a thrill, whatever. You have to be careful, you have to pay attention to red flags, I know it's exciting after all of this time but don't abandon all common sense. I think you should tell him that you want to meet this week or you are going to stop emailing him and if he continues to put you off then seriously stop emailing, period, cut it off and move on. If he does agree to meet, you may find that the chemistry is really strong and his extra weight doesn't bother you. You still need to be mindful of his lack of availability, that is a big red flag. But in any case online chemistry does not equal in person chemistry and you always have to meet to find out and if it's not right then move on. I'm not really a fan of online dating for these reasons. Get out and do things that you like to do and you will meet men who are also doing those things. If you see a man who you are attracted to make eye contact, smile, and hold the eye contact for at least 5 seconds, if he likes what he sees he will probably approach you. Sometimes it's that easy! Don't get catfished
    I am in my 60's and have done internet dating on and off for a long time. First advice: unless there are large distances between you, do not email forever without meeting the person. You don't want an email buddy, you want a relationship. Not saying he's a scammer, but this is how scammers get you hooked. They talk for ever and ever so you get emotionally hooked. Have you spoken on the phone? Do you know where he is geographically? do you know his last name? if you do, research on the internet to find if he's real. Your problem is not that he might be overweight, this could be way more serious than that. People use other people's photos, lie, etc. You need to be very very cautious with on-line dating. If he's not willing to talk on the phone and make definite plans to meet you, you need to be done with him immediately. On-line dater
    Nobody can tell you how you should feel, so I'll stick to the facts that you wrote.

    This man has put off meeting with you preferring to keep a correspondence going, and he has lied to you about his appearance. I find both to be red flags. Why lying is a red flag doesn't need explanation, I think. Preferring a correspondence to meeting in person it's sometimes linked to the easiness of creating a false sense of closeness and trust through words when, in reality, you don't know how this person behaves because you have not met him yet. In other terms, words are much less expensive than actions. I hope that you have not revealed too much of your personal information because, well, you don't know this guy.

    On the other hand, he could be a shy man very self-conscious about his weight, but I would still find his choice of lying about it questionable. If you decide to meet him, you could let him know that you didn't like that he misrepresented himself and that this type of behavior doesn't inspire trust. And since this is an advice post, I'll add that if you can't arrange a meeting with him shortly after he has come back from vacation, it's time to move to the next profile. Dated before


    Hi- I gather this is why he has not pushed for a 'face to face' meeting yet. I have done my share of on line dating and here is my advice. Meet him. See if you like him. I dated a guy once I met on line and he was wonderful although a bit heavier and than I expected and desired. It turned out not to be an issue with me at all. And actually he ended up naturally losing weight while dating me as I tended to be more active and calorie conscious.

    If you don't feel attracted to him after meeting a few times, then move on to the next man. But note that if someone keeps an on line presence but does not offer to meet in person, that is usually a sign of something not quite right. good luck. been there/ done that


    It's human nature to mate with only those you are attracted to. Don't feel bad and don't think you're being ''superficial''. Google 'matching hypothesis' That being said, you should still give him a chance and meet with him because some people take crappy pictures. Also, having that face to face meeting would determine if you are truly attractive to him or not. The weight might not be as a big of an issue if you find something attractive or endearing about him. Not a psychologist
    Just adding in a slightly different slant on what's already been said (which I agree with). Between emailing and meeting is...the telephone. I am very intuitive about what's a ''match,'' especially based on how someone expresses themselves on the phone (tone of voice, humor, rhythm, do we have anything to talk about?, etc.) Many would say that they, or a potential partner, especially an introvert, may not present well by phone. True enough, but it's something to consider if you want an additional layer of information before meeting. It's my rule that I talk on the phone before meeting, because I don't actually want to sit for an hour with someone that I'm not feeling a ''click'' with. And, to highlight previous advice, do not waste time investing in someone that you've not met (whether texting, emailing, day dreaming, talking about). Hold each meeting lightly and see what comes. Good luck!

    Online dating... again. Kind of scared.

    July 2014

    I have done online dating in the past, seven years ago. I'm kind of scared of beginning with the dating thing all over again. So, I have two questions: which sites do you recommend? I'm looking for a serious relationship with a mature and educated guy. I'm in my late 40s, by the way. My other question is: have you used anyone to help you write your profile? I did it before but I feel now like I need some help with that. Thanks. Anon


    I've been doing the on-line dating thing for about 5 months now (feels like an eternity!). The sites I like the best are OkCupid and Match. I've also explored, but didn't like, JDate, Plenty of Fish, Chemistry, Tinder, and eHarmony. OkCupid has the most people representing the widest range in terms of lifestyle - kinky to straight, educated to less educated, monogamous to non, wealthy professionals to starving artists, etc. Whoever's not on there is probably on Match and vice versa, so you likely cover almost everyone in your target between the two. I like OkCupid because it's kind of the thinking person's free dating site. You can write whatever the heck you want, it's super user friendly, and the survey questions (answer about 200-400, though there are 1000's - it goes quickly) can help prescreen folks or provide you with informed consent. For instance, you might find out how kinky someone is, or polyamorous, or into drugs, or religion, or guns, or scuba diving, or opera, or if they're transgendered. That includes some of the same people you see on Match where you would have no idea about these things. Match folks as a whole can be pretty square, but if you really poke around, there are some interesting gems to be found.

    JDate, Chemistry, and eHarmony draw a fairly conservative crowd in terms of lifestyle and taste. A friend who loves nerdy men found lots of people she liked on Chemistry, and now has a wonderfully nerdy boyfriend. I tried it for an afternoon and left. Plenty of Fish (free) has tons of people, but on average, a less professional crowd. Tinder is awful, in my opinion. You click on someone's face and within seconds they're texting you for a date. (Yikes!) Same people you'd find on OkCupid, only without any info about them.

    I wish I'd hired someone at the get-go to help write my profile. I think mine was pretty off-putting at first. But once I figured that out and did some digging around on the internet, I found various tips that helped me with a re-write, and I'm pretty satisfied with it now. I actually like to write, so once I had some pointers, I was able to write in my own voice, which I prefer if possible. One key is brevity, however, which as you can tell is not my strong point!

    Results so far - I've turned down about 80 people, not including spam. (I'm early 50's.) Met with 15 or so men. Thumbs up on two, whom I dated. One found someone he liked better after we met a bunch of times and had seemingly started getting into a groove. One never went very deep and that faded out. Then I met a third in real life (who kept a profile on Match it turned out) who, once we got close, also found someone he liked better. I liken it to dating in quicksand. This is why a friend of mine calls it OkStupid. (sigh) I'm getting burned out on it now and am trying to get out into the real world more to meet people in the flesh since I'm finding it so hard to know how to even pick people based on thumbnails and a few mediocre lines. But I think it's still a good idea to maintain a profile.

    It takes enthusiasm and a thick skin. People do find quality partners, so it's better to try than to not. And to try to keep it light and fun as much as possible, and seek out others in the same boat to commiserate with! Best of luck to you!

    Never Too Late to Date


    I'm in my late 40s and have been online dating for about 6 months. I'm not looking for a serious relationship right now (recently divorced and have young kids so I don't want to take that on). I've been meeting a lot of interesting men on OKCupid. I briefly tried Match.com and didn't like their user interface or the matches. OKCupid has more structure to their profile, and has hundreds of questions you can answer that help to give you a better idea if a guy will be a good match for you. There are definitely lots of mature, educated men there.

    I did have help with my profile, and I'm so happy I did. I used Julie, the Matchmaking Maven (http://www.matchmakingmaven.com/). I consistently get messages from men who tell me that my profile is 'refreshing'. I credit that largely to Julie's advice and editing. Even more important than the profile help was Julie's dating coaching. She helped me understand some of the typical behaviors of online dating (that can be maddening to a newbie) and she read some messages that I had sent that didn't get responses and gave me good suggestions on how to craft a great opening message. a dater


    I'm 48 and have been using OKCupid. I found that I am really not a 'match' person. I really like the questions that they have and that they provide a different way to get to know people. I felt like I got a lot of attention when I first joined and then again when I changed my location to Mountain View (I work there). I'm not sure for your post if it's nots working for you or if you don't like the people you're meeting but I thought I would share that. I did also stumble across a website called andthatswhyyouresingle which offers advice but you can also get the woman to review your profile or even write it for you. I hadn't realized that kind of service was available but it makes sense. I'll be interested to hear other responses--glad you posted!! Best of luck!

    Photographer for online dating photos

    July 2014

    I posted previously asking for recommendations on dating but I have another question: I'd like to get a few good photos done by a professional. Keeping in mind what the purpose is, does anyone have any recommendations? Thank you! T.


    I am a 60 y/o male also single too long and not eager to do the bar trolling so got into online dating on several sites. I have limited my contacts to only those that seem really likely to Match up well and that has netted a few possibles over 5 years time. I don't know if there is much alternative for us other than the usual venues for meeting folks and online provides huge exposure unmatched by any other means. As for the professional photo I can tell you I have been severely disappointed to spend time emailing prospective dates and then some phone time only to finally meet somebody that doesn't really resemble the high school prom photo they had Photoshopped to put online and they are 10-20 lbs. heavier and many years older than they pretended. I don't know what they were thinking--that the truth wouldn't come out someday? The best advise I got from a woman I met online was to never put your best photo up on your profile because it guarantees disappointment when you finally meet somebody. Just be real and put some O.K. photos up so prospective mates will be delighted to meet you and find you look even better than your photos. I am more impressed to see a photo of a woman doing yard-work in old jeans and a flannel shirt than the evening gown shots with big sunglasses and poodle in arms. Natural pictures of real life is attractive to me not studio photos. Besides, you said you are cute anyway right? No need for enhancement. I am interested in what somebody looks like when they wake up with no make up. Hope that helps. Mommasboy in Berkeley
    Hello, I don't know of a good photographer for dating profile photos but I recently learned that many photographers often don't do photo edits or touching up of the photos they take.

    So this is for once you get the photos taken. I recently used a new business in Oakland, website based, that specializes in editing website photos. They edited my twitter page and professional web listing headshot and made some great improvements like taking the shadows out from under my eyes, whitening my teeth and the whites of my eyes, taking out a few wrinkles, smoothing my skin out. I still look like me in the photo but just a little better version of me, they were subtle changes that make me feel better about the photos. Under $30 for each photo so it was pretty cheap. And I liked that it was free to try it, so I got to review what changes they made in a draft. I liked the edits they made so I ended up buying it and they then sent me the edited version. The name of the business is: http://www.fototouchup.com Hope that is helpful! Lisa L.


    Shoey Sindel is a great photographer! She does photos for online dating purpose as well. I love her work. Her studio is on Solano Ave. Call (510) 917-0659 or shoey@shoeysindel.com. Happy client

    Taking a tentative step towards dating - which site?

    Jan 2014

    I've been divorced for several years and am in my mid-40s. I have a limited income, no family and few friends in the area, and I am parenting a young child. I work from home. In spite of the fact that my first marriage was clearly far from successful, I would love to try again at that whole long-term relationship thing. My question - how ever will I meet someone? There are no single co-workers, or siblings offering childcare while I hang out at the local bar (not that I would want that, anyway), or friends organizing blind dates in my life. Maybe that is just the stuff of movies anyway! I've never tried on-line dating, but am realizing, given my circumstances, that it's probably the way to go. Are there pros and cons to the various sites? Are there reasons to try one site vrs another? How does one go about this? Seems like there are so many options, and there must be some sort of way to decide which site is the one you want to use, right?? Anyone out there have any stories they are willing to share? I could sure use some pointers. Thanks! trying to regain the life I want


    I would encourage you to check out Meetup groups...there are many groups for single parents...these are not ''dating'' groups per se, however, members do end up dating and, in the group wherein I have been most active, many long-term relationships and even a few marriages have resulted! The group I belong to is Bay Area Single Parents...they have events throughout the Bay Area but are most active in the South Bay...I know there are other active groups in the East Bay as well. Dating Single Mamma
    I know 4 couples who have all gotten married within the last 5 years, and are very happy together. Two of them just had babies. Match.com was the website from which they all met. I don't have any personal experience with it, since my husband and I have been married before online dating came about, but it just seems like that's what everyone does these days! Good luck, and have fun! Anon
    My oldest is 30 and all of his friends and cousins the same age use match.com (or similar sites). These kids are now in the workforce, most of their friends are paired up, and they really do not have many opportunities to meet other young people. I think it is a great way to find someone who is more likely to be compatible than relying on happenstance. My son has a wonderful GF right now that he found on match.com and my nephew's fiance recently told me she was so grateful to match.com because she never would have found my nephew otherwise. Give it a try! local mom
    I was in your situation several years ago. I joined Match Com, and met my wonderful boyfriend after a dozen dates. You can very easily find advice about online dating, online. However, if you pay attention to your gut and avoid obviously negative or sex-crazed guys, this is the best approach. Good Luck ! Happy Match Com Graduate
    I am a woman in my 50's. I divorced over 10 years ago and was successful with on-line dating. I tried many sites including ones that were free and ones that you paid for. I had the most luck with people I ended up dating long term on the free sites: Hot or Not (Believe it or not. I put my photo up as a joke in competition with a friend.) and Plenty of Fish. Not successful at all on eHarmony. I screened carefully. 1st meeting was after quite a bit of emailing and we met midday at a Starbuck's. Both of the long term relationships developed from my reaching out to a person whose picture and write-up I liked. I found my ''type'' had changed since younger dating days. Having a good job was a key quality and being kind. Watch out for freeloaders or people that want too much too quickly. Best of luck to you. on line dating worked!
    I've also single-parented while running a home business and it can be very isolating. I think online dating seems like a good match for you and others will probably give you their experiences. But I wanted to reach out and encourage you to nurture all of your social self and try to make more friends in the area, either at your child's school, or via your work connections. It can take some effort, but it's worth it. Meet people around lunch time. I've had a lot of fun having lunch or coffee with clients or colleagues I generally only speak to by phone or email.

    I used to be very socially isolated and through effort and interest now have a really happy, fulfilling social life that includes people with and without children, from various parts of my professional or parenting life.

    I have also been in long-term relationships with bad partners where my general social isolation kept me from getting perspective or feeling like I had options to get out. I hate seeing others in that situation, so here I am, encouraging you to make friends! sorry about the unsolicited advice


    I met some really wonderful men online and actually married one of them (still happily married 11 years later). I can't really advise on which dating site to use since I'm over a decade out of it, (match, okcupid, eHarmony?) But I did always meet the guy at a very public place for at least the first date, and these days you can Google someone to make sure he isn't lying to you about some basic things--so many people are on LinkedIn. There are married men on there pretending to be single, so be careful of that (Sadly, I know one of those men). I also have a friend who recently started online dating, she has a very limited budget, and she never knows if the guy, who books an expensive restaurant for dinner, is going to pay or not. So if that's a concern, just meet for coffee or a drink. Also, it's a drag eating a full dinner with someone you just met and instantly know he's not someone you want to spend ANY time with. I'm sure you know all this. Mostly I just wanted to say congratulations for entering the fun world of online dating. You'll have a great time and meet interesting people you otherwise wouldn't have met. Good luck! Ava
    I'm a divorced mom of two and I couldn't stomach the dating sites (or bars, etc). I joined MeetUp.com, where they have lots of single parent groups, just to make friends with others in my situation. I was open to the possibility of meeting someone to date but I didn't treat it as my main objective. Well, I ended up meeting a wonderful divorced dad and the rest is history. I also made friends with some awesome single mamas. It was a win/win. You should give it a try! Meetup worked for me
    I am glad you are gathering info before diving in. I was divorced at 35, first generation immigrant, with no family or friends to set me up. When I got tired of being alone, decided to try the ''traditional'' venues to ''meet nice men'' (thanks Mom!). Church, social gatherings, classes/meet-up.com... Most guys I met were married, some desperate to have an affair. Others in my age range 35-40 were looking for hot 25 year old girls - no intention of hanging out with an ''older'' woman. Some ready to marry a woman with no priors (no kid, no ex-husband, no foreign accent).

    Three years ago I decided to try online dating. Sum of lessons learned, some involved shedding some tears:

    1. Choose only one site, preferably one with no hidden costs. Why pay when there are plenty of free sites? I never met a guy who was relationship material at no-pay sites. I am sure there are plenty of good people out there, but... I do not smoke or use drugs, have no time to hang out for hours at bars, and I do not make out in cars with guys I just met. Enough said.

    2. Paid sites (match.com, eharmony, faith-based sites etc) have built-in displays/categories that provide some good parameters (free trial periods, too). Decide what to share about yourself- no need for full disclosure, but do talk about the important stuff with integrity (as you would expect from your date, right?): lifestyle, favorite outings etc. Stuff that I choose not to share online, but used for decision-making: how far I want to drive for a date, amount of $$$ spent on wardrobe, hair, coffee vs. dinner (most guys will not pay for your food) etc.

    3. When you meet someone you really like, decide how fast you are letting him ''in''. Do not introduce him to your child until you are absolutely sure - if one can ever be??? I fell in love ONCE during those six years, and I got really hurt. After months of dating, cooking together, weekends spent at each other's houses, celebrating Christmas together, attending family events- he dumped me via a text. Apparently he 'freaked' out. Good things did come out of it: I ended up doing (more) therapy, learned to better take care of myself and continued to focus on my daughter's well being. She comes first.

    Take care of yourself. I cannot tell you how crucial this is. Eat as well as you can. Feed your heart and soul. Have fun THAT DOES NOT INVOLVE DATING. Have girlfriend time to share about the crazy, scary, wild experience of dating in the digital era. Treat this new adventure gently AND lightly- and see where it takes you.

    I did find my guy, online, just when I was ready to give up. We celebrated our first anniversary two weeks ago.

    Hope this helps. Happy to share more over coffee if interested. Sending you ''date-well'' wishes. anon


    Hey there -- I'm in my 40's too, divorced, with a kid in school. I only have every other weekend without him, and I also have no family here. And I also work at home. So I'm in basically the same position. I've been out in the dating world for a few years now. Although I don't really like it, online dating is the way to go now. Even young people who don't have the same responsibilities and can go out whenever use online dating. So don't be afraid of any stigma about that. It's how it is now.

    That said, the sites I have tried are OKcupid, Plenty of Fish, Match.com, and eHarmony. The first two are free. I like OKcupid the best because you can usually get more info about someone there, and it's free. My suggestion is to try one or two out, maybe the free ones, and get a feel for it. After awhile it seems like you've seen everyone, so it can be good to hop around sites. I haven't had much luck anywhere, though I did have a promising coffee date recently with a second date planned. Whatever site you use, you probably know the rules: ALWAYS meet in a public place until you feel comfortable with the person. I mostly do coffee dates during the work week while my son is at school. Make it short with an escape plan. Try not to spend too much time e-mailing with someone before you meet them. That inevitably just sets you up for disappointment. Meet as soon as you can to see if there is chemistry, then take it from there. Take it all with a grain of salt, don't take it personally when men don't reply (most don't), and be patient. And safe. I made a really good male friend through OKcupid too, even though we didn't end up dating.

    My other suggestion, especially since you mentioned you don't have many friends, is to join some meetup groups. I am in a group for single parents, and I've met many nice people there. Some people hook up within the group (no luck for me there yet either), but that isn't my main goal there. The group does things with and without the kids, so it's a nice mix. Good for the kids to meet other kids too, and the parents can hang out and be social. I don't live in the Bay Area anymore so I don't know what meetup groups are there, but check it out. It's a great way to meet people with similar interests. I'd say that at least 95% of my friends here are from meetup groups.

    So go out and have fun, be safe, and regain your life. You'll be happier just meeting new people. I'm much more social now than when I was married! Single mom


    Which online site for a 50-something woman?

    Oct 2013

    Okay, you have convinced me to try online dating as a 50+ divorced woman...now, which one do people recommend...or do you do all of them? Are they expensive? Does everyone lie about age? Thanks for the nudge into this new and scary world. Tired of Being Alone


    I'm a 64 year old woman who's done quite a bit of online dating, and most recently I'm enjoying using okcupid.com, which is free. I like the way their profile is structured and feel that I can get a good sense of people before I decide whether or not to contact them. Haven't found my true love yet, but I've had nice dates and a couple of briefish relationships. C.
    Try OK Cupid. It's free and there are LOTS of people using the site so you get a pretty big dating pool to wade through. No, everyone doesn't lie about their age, but men seem to lie about their height on a regular basis, like adjust down 1 - 2 inches. I've met lots of really nice men for wine or coffee, the only thing I have found really odd, is that all the men expect the women to make the intitial approach, even so far as saying so in their profiles. Weird. Anyway, it's fun, easy and free. been there, doing that
    Do Match and OKCupid at the same time. They are free. Absolutely do not lie about your age. Tell the truth in words and photos (photo should be within the last six months). You want someone who wants YOU, not someone who looks or sounds younger than you. Good Luck and have fun!! Met my Husband on Match at 50
    I have lots of experience in this arena. If you were my friend (maybe you are?) I would guide you through the process because you do indeed need to be cautious and go into it with eyes wide open!

    The best site out there for those looking for a real relationship is Chemistry.com. The reason is that everyone who signs up has to complete a very long series of questions. It takes time, thought and effort. I think that weeds out a lot of men who just want to troll the internet or meet for casual sex. Also-the photos are not seen at first-you are matched up by personality traits. You do see the photo as time goes on but not right away which I liked.

    Regarding lying about one's age. Well-some people probably do. I would never pay attention to men who were 60 but would put their age preference as 30-45. Lame! You can weed out a lot of people just by paying good attention to their profiles (if someone spelled more than one word wrong or had bad grammar or put that their ex wife has full custody of their kids I would move on quickly...)

    Avoid sites like ''Ok Cupid'' or ''craigs list personals'' as the free sites tend to attract weirdos and those that just want sex.

    When you finally meet-do so in the day at a coffee shop or well populated area. If you have a good friend, I would have him or her help you weed through the profiles and give a good gut check until you have the hang of it.

    Good luck-it is REALLY fun (but also a bit exhausting!) former on line dater


    I went on Match when I was 49 (several years ago), and met my boyfriend within three months. You should get a good picture (head shot) of yourself. Don't bother with glamor shots unless you actually always wear makeup and fancy jewelry. Don't lie about your age or weight, but be aware that almost all men on Match add 2 inches to their height. (Including guys who are otherwise honest and self-confident- it's just the case). Please be very honest about whether you want to be a step-parent or remarry at all, and expect guys older than your oldest stated age limit to contact you.

    You will probably meet a number of men before you find someone you really take to. However, I believe that Match works- at least, it has for me. Good Luck !


    I would go for Match rather than It's Just Lunch. The latter service accepted my ex-husband's application- in an in-person interview- while he was still married to and living with me and our children. It cost $1500+ yet obviously provides no guarantee that the people you meet are actually single people. The online services don't promise you anything but don't cost very much either. Yes, this really happened.

    Online dating for my 44-year-old sister?

    Sept 2013

    I have a sister who I think is is great catch. She's an emergency physician, super-fit (loves cycling & trail running), really smart, and amicably divorced. All of the men in her social circles are married and she doesn't want to try online dating because she feels most of the guys around her age (she is 44) are only interested in younger women. Does anyone have a recommendation for her? My sister's matchmaker


    When I first started online dating, I also observed that a lot of the guys were looking for younger women. I threw my hands up, and wrote to one of those guys. He is now my husband. (On our first date he pondered ''I wonder why you never came up in my searches.'' I quickly reminded him that according to his criteria I am an old lady.) Remind her that like everything else, its an odds game. Can't hurt to be ''out there.'' - Happy old lady to a younger man
    5 years ago, I went on-line in my early 40s, and I found the love of my life. It's definitely possible for your sister to have success, too. I spent quite a few years dreading the world of on-line dating, and I finally decided that I would approach the project with curiosity and a good attitude. I had friends help write my profile, and I gave myself regular pep talks, so I wouldn't get discouraged. I ended up having fun, and I learned a lot about myself. That said, your sister might not be ready. You probably can't convince her that it's a good idea. She has to believe it herself. Match.com graduate
    I met my boyfriend (of three years) through Match, after only three months online. Match contains the entire range of people- it is the Macy's of online dating. If you are looking for trouble, you can find it, but you can also find stable, smart, professional men. Your sister should post online, following common sense and basic advice such as avoiding sexy pictures, guys who lie about their age, those who only want a much younger woman, and those who discuss sex or want a 'casual relationship'. A lot of very eligible men would be interested in a woman who has the good health, intelligence and strength of character to be an emergency room physician. They didn't pay me to say this.
    12 years ago, in my mid-40's, I started online dating. (It was, back then, a bit shocking to most people, while now -- for good reasons -- it is pretty standard.) The good reasons? It's fun, safe, easy and rewarding. I am a nurse practitioner raising two kids. I wanted to date but not have a partner. (Admittedly, I eventually ended up with a partner.) I was very selective about the men I chose to contact or continue emailing with. I was even much more selective about with whom I met (only after lots of emailing back and forth). And so the few men I met -- I liked them all. Three never went past two dates because they weren't interesting enough to me. Three others I dated consecutively for about two years. I never let them become serious. (Though that was MY goal, not necessarily someone else's.) I had SUCH FUN! And it was so much less random and rare than meeting strangers or friends of friends. I never had one regret about online dating. I highly recommend online dating.

    Really frustrated with the online dating scene

    Sept 2009

    I am getting really frustrated with the online dating scene. I am 39 with a 3 year old son. The only reason I would like to hurry up and meet someone is that I would love to have another child (with a partner; it wouldn't be fair to my existing son to do it on my own - it really is a 2 person job, especially with 2 kids and I am not wealthy enough to hire help). I recently took an over the counter FSH which indicates that I can still get pregnant naturally, with my own eggs. If I didn't want another kid, I would just give up on dating for now and focus solely on raising my child and wait until I meet someone through normal channels b/c online dating just seems to lead nowhere. I imagine that once my son starts elementary school, I might meet a teacher or coach or other divorced parent with whom to have a fulfilling partnership. However, by then I'll be 45 and for me, that's too late.

    I am a typical liberal, professional BPN parent. Though I am almost 40, I look pretty young and am very fit. I am getting contacted primarily by either really old guys or really young guys (like 29). While its flattering that such young guys find me attractive, they are not ready to get married and have a kid. They just want to get laid. I am not against a guy in his early 50's, as long as he wants kids. Also, I need a guy I can stomach the thought of having sex with. I do not mind baldness or grey hair, but I want someone who is not overweight, has a discernible jaw line, and does not look like an aging rock star or a serial killer - is that too much to ask? Where are the guys who look like the married dads at my son's preschool but are not married? I want an available man, preferably in his 40s, who looks reasonably normal. If half the population gets divorced, where are all the single dads in my cohort? There are no single dads at my school (Model School, in Berkeley). Any advice about where I could find suitable men would be most appreciated. I know a lot of people lie about their age online, but I'm not comfortable doing that. L.


    I did some of the on-line dating thing just after my divorce, and my impression, if you'll allow me to use a trivial comparison, was that it was something like shopping at Ross (or Half-Price Books, or any other place where they have racks and racks of stuff that other people did not actually want to buy but might suit you in a pinch). Occasionally you might make a find. Usually you get lots of stuff you don't really need. And it is NOT the place where you can go in with a list of qualities that you must have (''blue print in size eight in a mid-length style with a belt'') and actually find it. No. In your description of what you want in a man, you are looking for something very specific, and you want something rather rare -- a guy in your age category (or a little older, 'cause let's be realistic) who wants (more) kids. Such guys do not, let us say, grow on trees, and they don't show up on internet dating sites much, as you have found. The thing is, you don't seem to really want the guy. You seem to want (ahem) his procreative matter. And his willingness to go along with your ''hurry up let's have us a kid'' plan.

    I think you have the cart before the horse here -- first find a guy who is great and adores you (mine happens to have a bit of a paunch but a heart the size of that state in the southwest many of us don't like and a really deep mind and a sweet, sweet nature) AND who adores your first kid, and then maybe think of whether you might be able to have another. The guy should come first, otherwise I predict an unhappy end to this plan.

    and good luck! You can meet the right guy -- and maybe he'll surprise you! happy with my paunchy new partner


    seekingarrangement.com Laura
    You sound pretty cut-and-dried about what you have in mind. You can make an arrangement. There are always foreign citizens looking to marry an American for citizenship. But I doubt there's a contract you could enforce for good fatherhood.

    I've been married 21 years. Marriage can be joyful and difficult. Marrying someone in a hurry so you can get pregnant and have help raising a kid--I don't think the odds are good that you'll find someone who meets your laundry list of criteria, since everyone else is looking for the same thing. Except that you're not even looking for love--based on your description, you don't want to be married, you just want child-rearing help and are willing to pay with sex. Generally the guys who would ''get'' this arrangement will not stick around more than a year or two. Then you're looking at lawyers, court costs, custody arguments. and trying to get support payments. Do you know the statistics on child support? Between dead-beat dads and dead-broke dads, you may find you're not getting what you were bargaining for.

    I don't mean to be discouraging--you have a dream of another child, that is lovely. But I think your current plan will create more problems that it will solve. Perhaps you need to find a prospective single father, looking to adopt, who could co-adopt with you. I have heard of adoption arrangements where two couples adopted a child. -I Hear Warning Bells!


    Not only do you want something well beyond what most people do (speed dating with the intention of marriage and producing a child before the eggs expire), you're incredibly picky. I understand the picky part. I am too, but I make peace with being alone and I might not even get to have one kid. You're asking for way too much. I know the biological ticking is tough to grapple with, but I really really think it's crazy to expect a sane, good man to want to meet someone, marry quickly and pop out a child. That's just not how it works. You would hopefully figure this out on your own anyway, after your ridiculous demands are unmet and you lose your fertility. I am sorry to be so blunt. It's not that I wish to hurt you, but you're frustrated because you're living in a delusion. I want to show you reality.

    I think you need to take an honest assessment of yourself and life. How will you cope if you don't have another child? If a 2nd child is the be-all, end-all, how many variables can you be flexible on? Life is not a fairy tale. Many men are slightly froggish, and not at all dashing or charming.

    Since you're rather superficial, I'll hit you with some truth there, too: to create a long-lasting relationship, the woman has to be better looking than the man. So don't expect to get someone ''on your level''. That was the thing you aimed for in your youthful dalliances, but none of those last, obviously. Now is the time to look for a true partner and leave those childish things behind. And, lucky you that you didn't age, but that's just not what the rest of us experience. Take it down a few notches and be more accepting. Aim for someone who has a good heart, actively wants to be a father, and then learn to love the man for the whole package of who he is, and not be hung up on looks.


    You aren't interested in a relationship. You are interested in another child. You couldn't have been more clear in your post, and I imagine that you signal your intentions pretty clearly to your perspective dates as well.

    Imagine that you go out for a first date with a 39 year old woman who sends out the following signal: ''I am not interested in you. I am really only interested in having another child before it is too late.'' Would you go out on another date with that person?

    You said it yourself in your post: you aren't wealthy enough to have 2 children of your own and you can't afford to hire help. So you are basically looking for someone to sign up to help you out for free because you aren't really offering love, affection, or even interest in that person. I hate to say it, but the only place you are going to find what you are looking for is the sperm bank. Good luck with that. anon


    I met my husband doing online dating, and my only tip is this; be proactive and look at the men's postings to see who YOU want to meet, instead of waiting for men to write to you. It's true that a LOT of the men are looking for a hook-up, but you will be able to tell quickly by reading their profiles what they are up to. And if you do the approaching, you have a bit more control. Don't give up hope; there are a lot of fish in the sea! Been there!
    You are pretty frank about what you are looking for in a man: working sperm, parenting/financial assistance, and decent looks. Nothing about personality, interests, compatibility, etc. I guess your best bet is to post an ad that very candidly states that you are looking for someone whose number one priority is (like yours) finding someone with whom to have a child. At least that would narrow the pool to the correct candidates.
    I did a lot of online dating before meeting my husband four years ago. At the time, I was 42, young-looking, fit, etc., as you are. Finding someone who wanted to have a child was part of my criteria, as well. My husband wanted another child, too. He was also in his early-50s, without a strong jawline, and was overweight. I fell in love with him because he was the smartest, funniest, kindest, most loving and interesting man I'd ever met. Our daughter is now sixteen months old.

    My husband was not the person I thought I was looking for, but boy am I grateful that I looked outside of the box. I'm suggesting that perhaps you do, too. anon


    I just saw the first responses to your post, and can't help throwing in my 2 cents given how negative it all sounded. I met my husband through an online dating service, and I think in general it's like any other way of meeting people. I was 40 when I started, and just out of a bad relationship which I had hung on to for too long in part because I thought it was my last chance to have kids, being that I was 39 and 40 when we were together. I'd tried online dating before and met some losers, so decided to try a service that does some screening and matches based on that. In addition, I started seeing a therapist to try to understand some of my bad choices in the past and hopefully change that pattern. I also felt I had to give up the idea of having kids because of my age (although I thought adopting later might be an option), so I focused on meeting someone I could be happy with, including being open to maybe adopting a child at some point. Long story short, after dating a couple more guys who pretty much fell into my old pattern, I met my husband. He's a great guy, good-looking, my age, also divorced and had a child from his prior marriage. (For what it's worth, most of the guys I met were my age, attractive and basically regular guys I could be friends with, whether or not there was any chemistry there). We took our time getting to know each other, and after we'd decided things were serious, it turns out I got pregnant accidentally (really). We're now married with a toddler at home, and it's the best relationship I've ever been in. I think it's hard to have a healthy relationship if you're focused on a deadline no matter how you meet the person, but I do think you can meet the right person online (or anywhere else) if you take the time to really look at what will make a good relationship for you. And who knows, you might also end up having kids. --It's Not So Bad
    I do know a few couples who met & married via online dating. So if you're considering it, be sensible, don't go out and meet everybody, but go w/ your gut.
    First, don't be discouraged by all the ''negative'' advice you got. Stick to your criterion. We all have high expectations of our potential life mates. And then we adjust when we're really in love with the right guy. However, it's also true that it will take a while for you to possibly find the right person before moving on to the next step of having kids. And I hate to say it, but a lot of single guys may eliminate single moms with kid(s) because they don't want the baggage!

    Secondly, unless you work/live/work out in an environment where you can meet quality people, where else to turn to to find someone? Use the technology available to you but be very cautious! A few of my girlfriends, all professional, well educated women, have found their men on line. Good luck! Don't give up! anon


    Dating online? My experience goes back to 1992, when the East Bay Express classifieds were the equivalent. Two years earlier, my wife of 10 years had left me for a woman. I had a good long cry. Here I was with a broken heart, complete loss of self, and a battered dream of having a family. It'd been over a decade since I'd been on a date. How do I meet someone? How do I find someone to date at age 42?

    I put a short ad in the East Bay Express classifieds. I was direct and honest: I offered (and wanted) commitment, family, clean living, and intellectual interests. I wasn't looking to get laid nor was I yearning for walks on the beach or candle-lit dinners. Appearance & fashion didn't mean much, but I did want clever wit and a slightly bohemian lifestyle.

    Probably thirty women replied. Many letters were heart-wrenching (and, oh, how I identified with them). Several were from distant friends, one of whom figured out who I was from my ad. A few were form-letters from prostitutes.

    It was surprisingly difficult to pick out the first person to meet. And while that date wasn't a disaster, it was clear that neither of us seemed interested in each other. After that, I more closely read each letter, and better defined what was important to me.

    Well, on my third date, I met the woman who'd become my wife. She was 39, I was 43. We waited a month before we slept together ... and she moved in with me a few months later. Our first baby was born soon afterwards; our second baby came along a year after that.

    Both kids are now teenagers and doing well - college bound, no drugs, and fairly free of angst. I'm utterly in love with my wife and (knock on wood) she with me. We're both active in the east bay parenting community and occasionally smile about how we met.

    So this note isn't much about today's world of online dating; but 16 years ago, an ad in the East Bay Express seemed like a weird way to meet a future spouse.

    Best of luck to you! Former bachelor, now in my 50's


    Online site for serious relationship?

    May 2008

    Hello all. I am a working single 39-year-old mom of one boy. I have been divorced for about four years. I don't have much time for dating so I have tried to be as efficient as possible at it. I live in an area where it's really hard to find single, eligible men so I have resorted to online dating in the past. I have tried both yahoo and match.com but in general I have seen that most guys go about the process as if they were doing online shopping. They have no problem telling you that they are seeing lots of women at the same time to see who's the best fit. In my opinion that's not very respectful or even effective. I prefer to meet one guy at a time and see how it goes and I would like the same attitude from them. So, basically, my question is: do you know of any online dating sites that would give me the chance to meet serious, non-serial daters? I would love to meet a serious, interesting, decent, financially independent and attractive man for a relationship. Any non-judgemental recommendations will be appreciated. Longing for a supportive relationship


    Hi there. It is daunting to start dating again. I have two bits of advice for you. The first is this: tell people you are ready to meet someone. Tell your friends and your friends' husbands and ask if they know of any nice, single men. You might get set up on some nice dates, and at least they come recommended. Secondly; I recommend Chemistry.com for on line dating. I believe it is related to match.com but is much more in depth with the questions and ''profiles.'' One of my good friends met her boyfriend through this site and actually met several nice men through the site as well. She recommended I try it and I met a great guy! There are good people out there. Be choosey. Be positive....good luck! anon

    Do you have experience with EHarmony?

    Feb 2008

    I'm an African American woman--open to dating any race--and thinking of trying the eHarmony website. Does anyone have any experience with this company? I know they are decidedly Christian and I'm fine with that, but I'm just wondering if anyone real, i.e. not just the success stories on their website can toot the horn for them. Thanks. Lynn


    I don't know of anyone who has actually used EHarmony but I did read an article recently where the founder stated that he did not believe that interracial relationships work in general. I am not sure if this affects who they match you up with or not. EHarmony doubter
    i only have indirect experience w/eHarmony. My brother met his wife through them. Neither is Christian nor particularly religious at all. He had been married once before (disaster!)and every girlfriend he had previously seemed such a horrible match. He could not be trusted to find his own mate! I cannot believe how perfectly my brother and his new wife seem to balance each other. I was shocked at the lengths they went to through eHarmony (expense, questionnaire process, etc) but I cannot deny that they seem made for each other and certainly made me believe there is something to all the hype. Anon
    Well, my little sister's getting married this summer and she met the man on eHarmony. She has dated him for 18 months and is amazed at how well they get along. She credits the eHarmony system with finding such a good match for her. I don't think she would have met him otherwise. They are both divorced with kids. She's in Austin TX so here in the Bay Area YMMV, but I generally think internet dating is great. (The internet is where I met my awesome husband way back in 1998, the early days of match.com.)

    Watching friends use match.com lately has shown me that there are a lot more ''serial daters'' on there now - which is fine, if you're not looking for a long-term relationship. I was skeptical about my sis using eHarmony at first because I thought there would be NO men on there (the whole idea seems very female to me) but she met a good one! I think the advantage is that eHarmony is a little more LTR oriented. The guy really has to do some work to get his profile going, so he's probably not there just to get laid. Hope this helps! rb


    My sister in Texas has been using eHarmony for about a year. She chose it because she is active in her church and was looking for someone who is also religious. She has gone on several dates since joining but she told me that she doesn't feel that the guys were very compatible with her, which was irksome considering that she filled out "29 pages of information" about herself. She also said that she had a problem with receiving referrals for guys who live much too far away. She had specified a 60-mile radius (she lives near Austin) but has been hearing from people who live in New York and Chicago. She said she complained about this and was told it is just a bug in the software. Big Sis
    My former coworker went on Eharmony and is now getting married to a guy she met there. At the time she was 45, never married, no kids and had been single for YEARS. I don't know how long it took to meet him -- how many losers or just OK guys she went through first! -- but it ended up a very happy story. I tease her that they should be on one of the commercials.

    One thing that is wierd is that she is a rabid Democrat and he is a rabid Republican. They do an extensive questionnaire before matching people, so not quite sure how that match made it through the filtering system! And I'm not sure how they reconcile those beliefs, especially in an election season. But they have been together for two years now and I'm going to the wedding in August. Happy for her


    Best Online Dating Service?

    Nov 2004

    I'm looking for a recommendation on the best way to meet a man between 50 and 60. I'm 54 with a 9 year old daughter who I have half time. I've tried Match.com without success. Are there places singles of this age group hang out? Anyone out there have a nice single male friend they'd like to fix me up with? Desparately seeking a mate


    Sorry Match didn't work out for you, I met my husband through Match! If you enjoy hiking, you might try Sierra Singles. Most of the men in the group are in the 50 plus range. Try several events before giving up. Good luck! Anon
    I met my partner through matchmaker.com. I also tried match and liked matchmaker better. We've been happily together for more than 4 years. Ann

    Thinking of signing up for Table for Six

    Dec. 2003

    I am thinking of signing up for Table for Six. Does anyone have any experience with this that they can share? Thank you!


    I joined Table For Six in another city. I was actually writing about my experience for a newspaper article but I was single at the time and open to meeting someone.

    Generally I found it a pleasant experience. I tended to have a lot more in common with the other two women in my group than the three prospective dates. Mostly I enjoyed myself, had good conversations and did not feel vulnerable or threatened (it helps that everyone is in the same vulnerable situation).

    However, I think if I had been more serious about finding a dating partner I would have been disappointed. At the time I was 31, and most of the guys were over 40 -- many of them divorced with teen kids. I felt I had little in common with them. One of the organizers confided in me that there were too many women on their books who were over 40, and too few men willing to date this age group. I think this is a universal problem in the world of lonely hearts. anon


    I tried Table for Six four years ago. I thought it was a great idea at the time, but due to the illness of a family member and changing jobs, I wasn't able to go to as many dinners as I wish I could have. The dinners that I did go to were kind of a mixed experience for me. I'm on the shy side, so making conversation with five people I didn't know was difficult for me, but I wanted to make an effort. Most of the restaurants were nice, and most of the people were nice and/or interesting. When I joined I was given the impression that some effort went in to matching people, but at some dinners, I wondered how I ended up with the group that I did. Also, with one exception, I was always the only single parent in the group. I ended up dating the one man who also was a single parent for a couple of months.

    Table for Six seemed expensive at the time, but I wasn't meeting anyone at work, or in the grocery store, etc., so I did the math and realized that if I went to one dinner a week, I could meet 156 men in a year. Of course I didn't end up going to one dinner a week.

    I don't know how much they charge now, but you should be sure that you have the time and inclination to go to a reasonable number of dinners in order to make the cost worthwhile. It's likely that there is a significantly larger pool of people than when I was a member, so the odds may be better for you than they were for me. anonymous


    I used Tables for Six for about 3 months and am now in a long term relationship (but didn't meet him there). A plus is that they will freeze your membership for however long, while you are in a relationship. I liked their Adventures the best and met the people most like me there...whitewater rafting, whalewatching, hiking, etc. Another positive was that you knew everyone there was single and looking, whereas, just going on a Sierra Club trip or some such, you wouldn't know that. I met a couple nice guys and went out with one once. I found the women were generally much more ''successful'' especially socially and enjoyed talking with them more than the guys. The dinners seemed expensive and I heard from a guy who had done a bunch of the ''match up'' type dinners that the women were no where near what he had requested. Good Luck! I was introduced to my guy by a mutual friend who had known both of us for years. Had she done it a few months earlier, I could have saved $3000! anon
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