If you’re an older woman who’s contemplating joining an online dating service be prepared for a lot of rejection, way too many boring dates, men who are unbelievably self-absorbed and ribbing from friends with asides like, ”Where are you hiding Mr. Right?”
Given the blows to my self-esteem delivered by online dating. why haven’t I sworn it off?
The short answer is that I’m an optimist and as a charter member of the match.com roller coaster, I’m destined to jump back into the fray. A little voice keeps insisting that somewhere in the cyberworld is a great guy who’s been searching for a smart, wacky, well-read woman just like me.
Right now I’m looking at a profile of a man with a cigar and a beret. He may not be every woman’s cup of tea, but he promises an eccentric manner, which I always fall for, besides he resembles my comic hero, Groucho Marx. As I scroll down I see a profile of a guy whose photos show him at remote hangouts in Asia. Maybe he’s the one to travel with?
With renewed hope I post a recent photo of myself with a great new haircut. I jazz up my profile emphasizing my love of good conversation, witty repartee and progressive politics. I get more responses this go-round, mostly from men who love to play golf or whose photos show them holding a recently caught trophy-sized fish. Way too many photos of guys in sunglasses, or selfies taken in their bathrooms in front of sad-looking shower curtains. Even a few Trumpies write insisting our political differences don’t have to get in the way!
In spite of this discouraging start I go on a few coffee dates with men who seem promising. I tell myself not every one can write a good profile. Maybe these guys are better in person. They’re usually not. We don’t share common ground.
The majority of the men I met ended their relationships last week. Their loneliness jumps out. I meet a few guys where the conversation sparks but they didn’t always want to see me again.
If I were just in the market for sex, I could be getting text messages around the clock.
I’m reminded of Jane Juska who in 1999 placed an ad in The New York Review of Books that read, “Before I turn 67, I’d like a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works.” This ad transformed Juska into a celebrity. She wrote a book about her sexual forays, which became a play starring Sharon Gless and resulted in interviews with stars like Oprah.
More recently Bobby Goldman, a 68-year-old widow, placed an ad in an online dating service for women and men looking for affairs. Goldman’s ad handle was “Curvy Widow.” Like Juska, Goldman turned her forays with married men into a one-woman play, also titled “Curvy Widow” and currently playing Off-Broadway.
As much as I’d like a physical relationship I don’t see myself as an aging sexpot. I want a full relationship. I want a man with whom I can draw up a plan for world peace over a bottle of wine and a great meal; a guy who will hide love notes around the house; a guy who will laugh so hard with me that we fall out of bed.
I want sex but in its time and place. As I wait for love to arrive or to pass me by I live my life, grateful for my first world privileges. In the wee hours of the night when I can’t sleep I flick on match.com. Maybe he’s up too, my mystery man? Maybe we should meet for coffee at the all-night diner or maybe I should turn off the light and go back to sleep? Tomorrow is a new day . . .