Experience with online dating? (and any other advice)

I’m giving serious consideration to entering the dating pool, after 28 years of marriage.

Any advice? Do eharmony, match.com, whatever, work? Or should I just walk around work, gym, etc without a wedding ring and hope a fish jumps into my boat, so to speak?

OKCupid worked great for me and my girlfriend. I recommend it highly.

craigslist. Just go for it. Don’t be a wuss.

Are you male or female? My experience (as a guy) is that you will need to send out a very large number of emails to get a small number of responses. From talking to women, their experience was the opposite - they get deluged with lots of emails and have to filter out a lot of garbage to find the few worth responding to. So don’t get discouraged!

Be very honest about the sort of person you are and what kind of person you are looking to meet, as well as what kind of a relationship you are looking for (friends, dates, want to get married soon, etc).

Have some recent photos of yourself. A lot of people have had the experience of meeting someone only to find that the photo was ten years old and a lot has changed in that decade.

I found online dating to be kind of “meh”. Some dates, some no-shows, at least one blatant gold-digger, nothing really came out of it.

OTOH one of my best friends met his future wife when she took a chance and emailed him out of the blue (they lived 400 miles apart at the time).

“Online dating” is a joke. You can spend all your time on there messaging people, sending them woos, maybe going on one date with each person, etc etc etc and you are not going to have anything develop into a romance. (Unless you’re one of the lucky few.) Which is not to say it’s without its uses; I’ve become good friends with people I first got in touch with via OkCupid, Craigslist, and MySpace personals. Sites that have a “looking for friends” option offer this sort of perk.

As far as looking for love, my advice is to stick with venues where people meet each other in person. Go to gatherings based on some of your interests, ask friends if they know of anyone they can set you up with, for that matter there are even events designed to introduce singles to each other. Hell, singles dinners worked for me so they can work for anyone. :slight_smile:

I’ve given it a go twice, both times for three months. It is definitely not my favorite way to meet and date men. From my experience, men treat it as a candy store and continually go on first dates.

I have one friend who met someone on match and they’ve been dating about two years, though, and my cousin met his wife on match.com–they recently had a baby. So it’s not all bad. I think part of my problem with it is that I really don’t like dating. After dating about 10 to 12 men each time I tried it, I became disillusioned and found that I preferred staying home to meeting another man for another drink or cup of coffee and a round of questions, so after a while I began ignoring emails.

I’ve done e-harmony, too, but had almost no success with that. I was on it for three months and had about four matches the entire time and met only one. He and I were very much alike, but he had . . . issues.

I’ve had good luck with dating sites. I’ve used Soulgeek and OKCupid and was going to try PlentyofFish. On the other hand, a friend of mine (male) is having the darndest time finding someone (admittedly he’s having to be pickier for religious reasons).

I think a lot of it depends on what kind of relationship you’re looking for.

It’s the same as dating from anywhere else: Plenty of crazies, plenty of people to actually date, few of which will lead to anything serious.

It’s just more efficient at letting you contact potential people to date.

If you’re a male, you do have it harder than females. Girls definitely get a ton of mail from overeager losers and from general pervs, so you have to strike a good balance of showing genuine interest (as opposed to sending mass messages to any and all women) and not coming off as wanting to jump in bed right away.

if you’re a female, well you get the fun task of sifting through overeager losers and general pervs, in addition to the guys that you plain and simply do not match up with.

I’m a guy, btw.

I wonder if the dynamic is different in my demographic. I’m looking for someone in the age 45-55 range; and I wonder if there are more First Wives Club type of women there, that alters the mix as compared to the 20, 30 year olds.

In August of 2010 I am marrying a man I met on Craigslist so I highly recommend it as a good place to meet people. You do have to put some effort into online dating but it can work out fabulously.

If you’re looking to date women your age, you may be in luck – a lot of men “our” age (I’m 54) are doing the midlife crisis thing and looking to date someone significantly younger.

I think it’s a great idea for you, although not necessarily because I think you’ll meet your next wife that way. Coming out of a 28 year marriage, I’d imagine it would be good for you just to go on some dates and get used to that “getting to know you” stage of meeting and talking to people again. The nice thing about online dating is that it gets you out on dates without having to walk up to women on the street or in the supermarket and ask them out.

Don’t have any expectations of anything long term, just go on some dates.

No advice, but my hat’s off to you, seriously. I’m 53 and been married for 16 years; the thought of hitting the dating scene again would just make me want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head. I’m not even sure how I’d go about it, but online dating would definitely be my top option.

I met my late husband through online dating in 1996, so I know it can work (I think the site was Friend Finder, though I don’t know for certain and they might not exist any longer).

At that point, the sex ratio of internet users was WAY skewed. I sent out about 5 emails. I received well over 1000. It was CRAZY.

Anyway, I don’t think things are so nutty any longer. I think it’s a good, gradual way to meet folks and get your feet wet again with no real risk.

I have no objections to dating someone younger, but I have no illusions that the attraction would be mutual. I doubt there are that many 30-year-olds who are saying “dang, where are all the pudgy middle aged guys?”

A couple pieces of advice:
First, thicken your skin. It takes a bit of getting used to the downright rudeness of some people. That is, until you remember that you can be in a ‘relationship’ that is weeks old and you get dumped. Then you realize that all that either of you had invested is some time and some electrons. Don’t allow yourself to get hurt because people are as shallow, rude and self centered as they are on an anonymous message board, like this one.
Secondly, if you were married for 28 years, you’re probably all growed up. Supposedly, the same is true for your dating pool. When you’re dating in your 20’s, you are dating the other person’s potential when you’re dating in your 40-50’s you’re dating someone who has largely answered the big questions of life. Such as: how well do they take care of themselves physically? Do they have an addictive personality? Are they a slob/neat freak? How do they handle their finances/job? etc. This leads to a dating culture that is more fast paced and pass/fail rather than feeling someone out over months. Don’t let yourself get overly invested too soon. If someone seems like a freak, hit the clear button and move on. Do the same if you get dumped.

I found that for the most part, the expectations of the guys I did meet, and there weren’t many, were incredibly high (as in, double standards). I don’t have much of an ego, so rejections didn’t bother me, but more often than not, their profiles made them sound a lot different than they turned out to be.

I did try craigslist but was not only disappointed but annoyed because I was deluged with spam (or bots, or whatever) instructing me to go to their website.

But if this relationship eventually ends, It is highly unlikely that I will try any dating sites. The last time I belonged to eharmony, in three months I got a few matches, but no communications. I will either meet someone IRL or I will stay single.

I am 50, by the way.

So…how you doin’?

I met my girlfriend of 5 years this way. I moved into an area where there was a noticeable scarcity of 20-30 year olds and it seemed like a good way to cast a wide net.

Online dating can be a great tool if you use it properly. Its simply a more efficient way of locating people that you MIGHT want to date. There is no way of knowing if you do want to date them until you meet them in person.

My advice: Only talk online/over the phone long enough to reassure each other that one of you is probably not an axe wielding psychotic or has a personality trait that is an instant deal breaker. Anything more is a waste of time because there is no point in getting your hopes up over someone that you haven’t met in person. They may not look like their picture. They may think you are not as attractive in person. There may be a simple lack of chemistry.

All of the negative stories that I have heard involve lonely people sending e-mails for months, falling in love with people they haven’t met, and then being disappointed.

Also, my father (68 years old) met someone this way and they were involved for ~ 3 years. Following their breakup, she (in her 60s) met someone online again and they have been living together for years.