Am I Too Old to Have Success in Online Dating?

Am I Too Old to Have Success in Online Dating?
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Hi Evan,

I feel like I am “aging out” of online dating. I’ve noticed after my last birthday (I turned 54 in June) that the response I get on match.com has dropped to almost nothing. It’s as though moving from the early 50s to the mid 50s is some kind of death-knell for a dating life. I initiate contact with men in an age-range of about 3 years younger up to about 8 years older than myself. The potential matches that the site sends me are age appropriate for me, but when I look at the age-range that those men desire, (usually 35-50) I often move past them, knowing I can’t compete with women in their desired range, even though many of those men are as much as 5-8 years older than me! In other words, Match.com knowingly sends me matches that are probably not realistic for me to pursue. When I have emailed some of those guys, I never hear back. I’m guessing they check out my profile, see my age, and probably read no further. Even if I am within their desired range, I still don’t get much of a response. I assume the reason for this is they can get younger women to respond to them, so why would they go for me when they have a chance with the 45 year-old version of me? If their first wife was their age, like a college sweetheart or whatever, they probably feel entitled to a newer model, so to speak. Our culture encourages this. It’s frustrating, not to mention depressing and more than a little humiliating. It’s the built-in folly of online sites: you are only defined by your age, in bold type right next to your user name.

I am a youthful, fit and free-spirited woman and to be honest, I’m not ready for the retired 65-70+ year old guys. I don’t mean those men any disrespect, I just want to date a guy closer to my age so that I have a longer future with him, and I don’t feel that I should have to apologize for that. I have taken your and others’ advice about profile writing, and I have great photos, so I feel confident that the problem is not in how I present myself. I am disinclined to lie about my age. It always comes out eventually and I’d hate to have to explain myself then. I’m not ashamed of my age and hiding it seems phony. When I meet men in person in my daily life, I get a better response because they see the whole me, hear my voice, get a sense of what I’m like, all before they know how old I am, meaning I can be defined by other qualities. It’s difficult to meet large numbers of men that way, but I’m starting to feel like my chance of making a non age-biased connection with a guy is only out in the real world. And the real-world opportunities can be few and far between. Any insight?

Sara

Dear Sara,

Older men have more options than older women (online and in real life) because they can usually date somewhat younger.

I can’t disagree with anything you’ve observed about online dating and age. I can only disagree with your ultimate conclusion.

So here are the facts:

Older men have more options than older women (online and in real life) because they can usually date somewhat younger.

Older men have a huge blind spot when it comes to age. They refuse to even consider women their own age, even if she’s fit and attractive. Worse, they’re hypocritical about it, because they don’t understand why the vast majority of younger women won’t go for them.

And yet, the fastest growing segment for online dating is the 50+ market. More unhappy couples are getting divorced when the kids leave the house. More people work from home. More people spend 10 hours a day at the office. More people have computers and are aware of someone who found love online.

We also know that dating online does not mean that you’re not dating men you meet in real life. Which is why this is not an either/or choice. If you meet a guy through friends, at the market, at a concert, great. Having a profile on Match.com isn’t going to keep you from doing that.

Most people who say they’ve taken my advice have only taken a few pieces of my advice. Which is like saying you’re going on a diet by cutting out sugar, but continuing to eat large portions of fried foods.

Now that we’ve established that online dating is a smart and necessary long-term strategy for women over 50, the question becomes, “What can you do better?”

You think you’re doing everything you can possibly do. And you may be trying your best, but you’re not truly maximizing your potential.

In all likelihood, despite your efforts, I’m betting your profile can be better, your photos can be better, your responses to men could be better, your initial emails to men could be better, and your choices in men could be better.

Are you using Reverse Match? Are you using Daily Matches? Are you adding men to your favorites list? Are you putting in a half hour a day? Are you initiating contact with at least one man a day who states that he’s open to women your age?

I don’t know the answer, but most people who say they’ve taken my advice have only taken a few pieces of my advice.

Which is like saying you’re going on a diet by cutting out sugar, but continuing to eat large portions of fried foods.

My recommendation — if you haven’t done it already — is to go through every word in Finding the One Online. It’s 7 hours/180 pages of advice that takes you through the entire process of online dating chronologically. I’m betting you can find TWENTY things you can do differently to get different results.

But don’t kid yourself.

You can’t change men.
You can’t change online dating.
You don’t have to quit online dating to meet men in real life.

All you can do is change your mindset and approach to the dating process and let the chips fall where they may.

And since I’ve helped a LOT of women over 50, I have to believe that all you can do is keep on keeping on, instead of embracing the idea that NO women over the age of 50 find partners online.

It just ain’t true.

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Comments:

  1. 141
    James

    And for many of us men that are really up there in age which it just keeps getting worse as we keep getting older since many of us men that are still single are really not single by choice either.

  2. 143
    James

    Well looking for love today really sucks altogether,   especially when you’re so much older.   And being married at one time myself which unfortunately my ex wife turned out to be a real low life pathetic loser since she cheated on me which really was very devastating for me.   Looking for love again isn’t that easy at all like it use to be years ago,   when love came very easy in the old days with no problem at all.   Today you really have to be very blessed to find love since we live in a very completely different time since most of the women nowadays just don’t want a relationship anymore like they once did which really explains why so many of us older men are still single today.   There are many of us men that would really love to have a relationship all over again if we were really given that chance again.

     

  3. 144
    Lynx

    This is a little off-topic from the previous comments, but does anyone ever say they look their actual age?!!

    Again and again, I read both men and women writing how, “I look young for my age”.

    If we ALL look young, is there a chance we simpky look our age?

    1. 144.1
      Emily, the original

      Lynx

      This is a little off-topic from the previous comments, but does anyone ever say they look their actual age?!!

      Some posters on this site describe themselves as looking young for their age and having numerous sexual options who threaten to throw themselves off tall buildings if they won’t have sex with them.   🙂

  4. 145
    Lem

    Older men don’t have more options. That’s a myth from days when only men worked and women missed their windows.

    These days women are holding out for the bigger, better deal. They’re being marketed to by buzzfeed articles that tell them it’s fine to have babies at 50 because it’s the new 30. So there’s no rush to settle for just any man.

    The internet seems to think that older men want to bang 22-year-old grad school candidates with big boobs and an over-stamped passport. Almost no man wants that girl after 30 unless he has “new money” and he has no dating experience.

    Older men want stable women for feminine companionship. Not professional complainers endlessly searching for the world to validate them and their masculine accomplishments.

    Masculine and feminine give to each other. You people are letting media driven gender politics from a bunch of power-thirsty marketeers, politicians, and insecure adolescents define your identity for you. It’s poisoning your ability to accept ANY relationship at all.

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