I’m on Match.com with the hot over-50 crowd, no joke

betty ming liu Making art, Relationships 28 Comments

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So, I met a guy…and now I’ve got your attention! Well, it’s actually true. Match.com, to my shock, has become quite the meeting place for 50- and 60-somethings. Could it be that older is the new younger?

This is a super-dramatic improvement from July 2010, when 54-year-old me quit online dating in disgust. The whole process felt like such a second-rate meat market. I swore to never, EVER do it again.

But since my recent return, I’ve discovered that the scene has evolved. There seems to be an explosion in online dating among gray-haired folks, with 70-ish Martha Stewart as our poster girl. On May 9, she went on the “Today Show” to meet two candidates, both in their late 60s, who contacted her via her Match.com profile. Oh, Martha, you cougar, you!

I’m certain that there’s room for both of us in the growing world of single, aging baby boomers. The gray divorce trend — the new catch-phrase to describe couples who split up once their kids are grown or in college — must be making a difference. At least, for me, it feels like there’s more dating going on in my age group. More people, more personalities, more choices.

It’s sort of fascinating to be back on Match in an era when online dating has become such a socially acceptable venue in every conceivable age group. Honestly? For me, meeting a true match will require a genuinely sustainable, electric connection, which has been tough to find over the past decade. Still, it’s been helpful to practice dating, which wasn’t something I knew how to do when I was young…

So that’s where I am — exploring ways to just relax in the moment. It’s taken me more than half a century to reach this point. Better late than never, right?

Anyways, if you know of anyone who needs to get outta the house, maybe you can share this post. It might motivate them to subscribe to a little online dating and take a chance. Risk is good.  :)

Update Oct. 14, 2013: I’m still on Match.com and it’s been pretty interesting — to the point where I’ve made a decision. This is probably my last post about online dating, at least for a very long while. Going off-line will give me a chance to figure out stuff quietly. Privately. How novel of me, an attempt at a private life, haha!   

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Comments 28

  1. Doralee Halperin

    Hi Betty!

    Loved this post (even more than the one you wrote a little while back about running)! Here’s why:

    Almost six years ago I decided I wanted to meet someone after being single for many years. I too had tried on line dating before and HATED it. Because I wasn’t meeting anyone through my work (vet tech and pet sitter) or through friends, I decided to revisit Match.com. Made several promises to myself: 1) give it one month; 2) would not try to convince myself that someone was potentially a match despite evidence to the contrary; 3) because I look very good for my age (55 at that point), I would only choose someone who also looked very good for his age (Superficial? Perhaps but I decided to commit to what I really wanted); and, 4) would not carry on a lengthy email exchange and risk developing a false sense of intimacy.

    One of the first fellows to respond to my ad was adorable and his message was straight forward, well-written and showed he had paid attention to what I had written about my interests and what I was looking for. We exchanged a couple of emails and when he asked what we should do next, I said, “Let’s meet for coffee.” He turned out to be even cuter than his photo and a real gentleman. We are still together and are planning to marry in September. As I like to say, he’s not perfect but he’s perfect for me.

    I hope you find the one who’s perfect for YOU. Enjoy the adventure!

    Best regards,
    Doralee

    1. Post
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      betty ming liu

      Doralee, CONGRATULATIONS!! What a great story. And all your tips are excellent too. Also, really like your line: “As I like to say, he’s not perfect but he’s perfect for me.” That goes vice versa in terms of him with you. Thanks for sharing and best wishes for the September wedding. Such a romantic time of the year to get married. :)

  2. chapstickmom (Carol)

    As I write this the clock in the dining room is playing ‘if you wish upon a star’.

    I only wish I had as good a result on match.com as Doralee.

    I joined in 2011. I immediately met one of the biggest men in New York-6’5 inches tall. 280. I am 5 feet tall. He decided it was time I learned to ride a motorcycle. So there I was riding around Shippan Point in Stamford on the back of his motorcycle. I had a great time and though nothing came of it ,it was a liberating experience.

    After that met a man who wanted me take the train to NYC once a week to be his ‘buddy’. (I called Match over that one.)

    Then there was the guy who wanted to marry me as soon as my divorce was final. (guess he was running out of clean socks.)

    My personal favorite was the guy who was having infertility treatment with his wife while they were separated as he thought if she had another baby she would be happier with him.

    I also tried going back on in 2013. No point. Same guys with the same photos as in 2011.

    So here are a few points that you can take or leave but hopefully will make Betty’s followers smile.

    A Match.com exec was recently quoted as saying they took in $137,000 in fees for every marriage that happened. So that makes your chances ……

    One of my guy friends said ‘yes , do try Match. It will give you the practice and confidence to do real dating later.’

    Join for only one month and then go back and do it again 6 months later. Yes it is more expensive but you won’t look like a ‘left on the shelf’ as the British call it.

    Try all the sites so you can follow the same guys. Everyone starts with Match.com for 6 months ;then goes to Plenty of Fish as it is free. Then they try the smaller ones – OKCupid (free. owned by Match.), Our Time (Match again.) Chemistry (Match again) and then you can try eHarmony (actually owned by someone different.)

    Hopefully by that time you will have met someone at work.

    And my final thought is a statement from my Doctor ‘Carol why would you possibly want to date again? Every guy out there some other woman threw out .’

    Well optimism is all that gets any of us through life. So try Match.com -try them all . It beats being home alone; gets you out in the community and gives you something to laugh about the next day.

    1. Post
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      betty ming liu

      Carol, Carol, thank you for posting this! You speak the truth, girl! There is totally a timing cycle involved. And thanks for posting info on all the other sites. I have a recently-divorced friend who says she believes there’s someone out there for each of us. Of course, her math makes no sense at all but it’s important to be open to love in any form, even if it arrives on my doorstep as a dog from the animal shelter. This is about vulnerability! On the flip side, there is my chiropractor, who has watched me struggle through the last years of my marriage and then the decade of dating. The thing she keeps telling me is, you just have to kiss a lot of frogs. I’m still reflecting on that one!

  3. Jenna Dailey

    Good for you Betty! I know I’m only 25, but I went to visit my best friend this past weekend. Her boyfriend was also visiting for the weekend and turns out they met online. She’s one awesome gal and has struggled to find an equally awesome guy who wasn’t afraid of a successful woman. He was great. And their story was really inspiring for me, because as I’ve started to watch my friends marry and have babies, I’ll be honest, I’ve started to wonder if I’ve missed my boat or something. But maybe there are great guys still out there. I hope you find someone who is as creative and talented as you are and who makes you feel at home! Keep us updated :)

    1. Post
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      betty ming liu

      Jenna, thank you and thanks for sharing your friends’ experience. I’ve heard stories like that from young folks I know. At first it surprised me that 20-somethings need to meet each other online; then again, you all live your lives on the Internet so, why not? Hang in there….I remember feeling just like you at 25. That’s probably why I got married at 26! There were great things about our marriage, wonderful growth moments — and of course, we have a daughter who made everything worthwhile. But if I had to be in my early 20s again, I wish someone had told me to go pursue my passions in other ways besides hoping to meet the “right” man. Jenna, there’s so much about yourself that is waiting to be explored! Giving that attention to yourself will make you glow and before you know it, something sparky will happen in your life, I’m sure of it. :)

  4. Post
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    betty ming liu

    Yeah, I’m doing my best not to over-think any of this. Just wanted to pull the curtain open to give a brief progress report because that’s the mission of my blog. Now I’m gonna close the curtain, live a little in a so-called private life, and see what happens, if anything. :)

  5. Toby

    Well Betty, all I can say was that if I was straight and single, I’d be sending you flowers via that Match account! Being neither, all I can do is wish you good luck. Also, I take issue with Carol’s doctor as quoted above. Yes, some men in our age group were “thrown out.” Others are having mid-life crises. But there are those whose wife may have passed away or left the relationship for reasons of her own that have nothing to do with the husband’s qualities as a person.I assume these would be in a minority but they do exist.
    I have no info on how on-line dating works for people in our age bracket but I do know it works really well for the 20-somethings. That’s how Billy met the wonderful Eric. And just last night Matty brought home a very nice indeed young man – very polite, intelligent and drop-dead cute – whom he had first met on-line. Hope springs eternal!

  6. Post
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    betty ming liu

    Aw, Toby, thanks. You know, my problem when I’m with straight men is that I am capable of being a perfectly fine friend. But the minute you mention the word “relationship,” I get really weird. I will admit that about myself. There is baggage here. :)

    As for Carol’s doctor’s comment, I sort of glanced over it and was relating more to all the other stuff she was talking about. Of course, not every man was thrown out. And maybe he was saying that to make her feel better. Whatever, I think the point for me is that the best thing that could happen is that we all learn something from our earlier relationships to free ourselves from serial relationships.

    And thanks for sharing about your sons. Another example of young folks finding love online. More inspiration for the rest of us. And thanks for your good wishes, Toby. :)

  7. Mimi

    Entertaining post Betty! I actually have several friends who met online, dated and married! so you never know…good luck, you hottie you!

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  9. Cassandra Aoki

    See, I told you after your job quitting announcement that someone special was going to come into your life and not to worry because you won’t be spending the rest of your life alone. He was just there in the shadows waiting for you to make a change in your life and be open to a relationship…Good luck and God bless.

    1. Post
      Author
      betty ming liu

      Cassandra, yes you did indeed say that — you are such a romantic. Bless you for your encouragement and thanks for the good wishes. As I told my daughter this morning, you can never tell how things will turn out. But I am sure that this one, for however long it lasts, will be worth exploring. And can’t ask for much more than that right now!

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