Thinking of getting into the dating pool again

I think what might be fairer as a general assessment is that men traditionally don’t get as much support and experience in the formation of friendships, especially cross-gender friendships, as women do.

Traditional male stereotypes encourage men to aspire to “toughness”, emotional self-sufficiency, status competition with other men, and status derived from sexual success with conventionally attractive women. Especially for middle-aged and older men, that’s often accompanied by assumptions about housework and emotional support labor being women’s responsibilities.

None of that is really great practice for developing a fulfilling social circle and emotional support group for mutual enjoyment and benefit.

It also tends to result in some men becoming very emotionally dependent on their romantic partnership, when and if they form one, for all kinds of personal validation and support.

So, without being willing to infer that men are intrinsically bad at friendship or inferior to women in that regard, I’ll allow that there’s a lot about traditional social expectations of masculinity that puts some major obstacles in the way of men becoming good at friendship.

I wasn’t a “widower,” but an actual widower; urn on the mantle and everything. I certainly did find it to be a disqualifying factor: suspected to be a scammer (should I screenshot the death certificate, or do you need to rub your fingers on the actual embossed Hillsborough County Florida seal?); or, if believed, avoided for the assumed emotional baggage. It seems “boyfriend material” is not just a figure of speech: one ought to be able to go to Joanne Fabrics, buy it by the yard and run your perfect guy up free of stains or wrinkles.

I met my current SO at a widows & widowers Meetup.

One guy mentioned his dead wife, by name, three times in his bio. I felt sorry for him, but also left swiped.

As far as baggage, if you are dating in your 40s+, everyone has baggage. The trick is finding someone who only has carry on.

People need to reconsider their deal breakers. Suppose someone has bicycling as a hobby, and they “have their heart set on” being with someone else who also has bicycling as a hobby. My recommendation is to not do this. Especially at age 55 and divorced (I say this as someone age 56 and divorced.) But I would not pick ANY hobby as a deal breaker. Your prospective partner should be able to tolerate your important hobbies, yes. If the prospective partner actively hates your hobby, and the hatred isn’t reasonably grounded, well that goes to the maturity of the person as well as the different interests. So if you like going on bicycling vacations, and prospective partner doesn’t… well, you go on a bicycling vacation with your platonic friends, and different vacations with your partner. That’s an achievable goal.

I do not think there are millions of prospective, reachable partners for anyone in the position of the OP, 55 and divorced. There are a decent number of scattered people. Same goes for me. As we get older, more baggage, more history, we have to let more of it go if we want something new. Even with religion. No, I don’t recommend a devout person partner with an atheist. But there are gradations there.

Point being that OP is starting from zero. Every night, every weekend with zero prospects is a day wasted towards this goal. If OP or I or anyone is actually swimming in prospects, well we probably aren’t starting this type of topic. And I consider OP and myself in a normal, typical place in life in the world of 2021. Once you have enough prospects, you can start to be more picky. You need to get there first, if you ever do.

We’re coming from different places. You’re looking for reasons to include potential dates, I’m looking for ways to simplify my life. I’d much rather die alone than to spend my last few decades with someone who drives me insane. I am genuinely grateful to women who let me know that they will surely drive me mad. I love women who take photographs with a gigantic cross around their necks–I need look no further, literally not read a single word, to know they are not for me. Or Trumpers (who are often the same as cross wearers)–thank you, ladies! These are not hobbies–there’s no way to keep a religious nut or a Trumper out of my face for five minutes, so why would I want to get involved with one? I’ve gotten so I’ll rule out women whose usernames bespeaks a kind of self-love, women who call themselves “Brainybeauty,” for example, or “Sexymomma”–it’s MY call if they’re sexy, brainy or beautiful, right, not theirs? My job on dating sites is to rule out all probable problems–there are still hundreds of women, way too many for me to contact, after I’ve finished ruling out enough women to fill the Rose Bowl twice.

anyone care to critique my use of OKCupid?

I go in assuming their hundreds of questions (to compute a match score) are meaningful. That is, as long as I’m answering hundreds of intrusive questions, I must assume that the match score will screen out anyone grossly unsuitable. In my case, that’s Trumpers, religious people, pro-lifers, racists, and several other species who may all be the same people anyway. That is, anyone with a 90% or lower gets eliminated, no questions asked.

The 90%+ers get scrutinized for proximity (i.e. within 25 miles) and their photographs get scrutinized. If they pass the 90%/proximitity/lack of repulsiveness test, I’ll read the rest of the blather they post about themselves. On this pass, I eliminate all the illiterates.

I’m somewhat surprised to find out that some Trumpers, religious nuts, etc make it into the 90%+ers category which seems a failure on OKC’s part. What am I not getting about OKC’s matching process? How do they match me 90%+ with a religious Trumper? I couldn’t be plainer how I feel about spending 5 minutes with such a creature.

It depends on the questions they answered and matched with as well. They may have, for example, skipped all questions with a political or moral bent. So you may have a high match with a trumper who hides that fact, but still likes your fandoms, TV shows, ice cream flavors, and the other questions of that nature.

That stuff seems incredibly important, to me.

You’re not going to get a match at 90%. That is fantasy. Any site advertising 90% matches is just goosing their numbers to keep you around. Because people like you will bolt if you don’t see that 90% number. They know all of this a lot better than you do.

People would never demand a 90% match in real life. In real life, maybe a person has a couple of tests and they make it to BF/GF status. Not some 90% threshold. Well, there’s no one different on these sites. Just regular people, at best.

So politics can be a deal breaker. That’s one. Of three, IMO. The Internet has made everyone narcissistic up the wazoo. That doesn’t mean there’s someone out there, like in some claptrap romcom, that’s just going to be the mirror to you, the protagonist. They’re all like you, rejecting you for some reason.

You kidding?

All 90% is, is a number. It just means “A lot in common,” and I need to set the cutoff somewhere. Even at 90%+, I have more (inappropriate) matches than I could possibly get in touch with, even minus the ugly ones, the distant ones, the ones brandishing crosses around their necks to ward off the vampires like me.

The thing I’ve found most helpful is not attaching to anyone I “meet” online–no speculating, no woolgathering, no imagining any sort of future before I’ve put a few actual dates in the past. ALL this online stuff is just introductory, and I assume everyone has mucho baggage that I will discover weeks into the actual relationship. Everything up to that point is just for fun.

Roger i think with okcupid the best bet is only answer the questions you really give a shit about (20 ish ?) . And with the duplicated questions (“are you a trumper ?”) answer the most coherent version.

I don’t understand this. Are you saying that no two people are truly 90% compatible, or are you saying that OKC games the scores?

The first is subjective and not a discussion I wish to enter, but from my experience, the women I’ve met who were 90%+ on OKC were, in large part, compatible with me. Fully? No, and some of that comes in how we answer questions. Had one woman who was more sporty and outdoorsy than I expected, but she didn’t answer any questions which dealt with those topics, so that’s on us. It happens.

Does OKC goose the scores? I wouldn’t have any idea, but I haven’t been suspicious so far. The women I’ve met are largely who they said they were.

And as far as baggage, lol, I’m dating ladies in their mid-fifties, and they are dating men in their mid-fifties: baggage comes with the territory.

I’ll add that many of the men who are able to form friendships with women are married, and likely to stay married.

Also, on OKC, you can review the questions answered by a person and the app will say something like:

Matches: 35
No match: 4
Unanswered: 54

If you click on the categories, you see the questions on which you did/didn’t match, and you can also answer the unanswered questions to see if that changes anything:

Matches: 41
No match: 52
Unanswered: 0

I am assuming that the 90% is somewhat bell curvish. Meaning the top 90% of the singles beyond age and gender.

So if you have three limiters, politics, religion, income… what’s left is already in the top 10% of everyone on the site, depending on demographics in your area.

I think it has to be bell curved. I doubt it’s based on answering 50 questions and having 45 of them match.

Funny question (but serious): has any else noticed how most women refrain from showing too much skin in their photos on OKC (wisely, because I’m sure that cleavage pix garner more than their share of rude responses) but when someone does, it’s always (in my experience) from a woman who identifies as “Christian”? I’m put off by the cleavage-pix to begin with, not because I’m easily offended but because they display poor judgment (as well as the boobage), so it’s just gravy that they identify as “Christian” which is another bugaboo for me. But I think it’s weird.

I’m not talking about a hint at the neckline, either. These are often pix that go right up to the limit of what makes for an allowable photo on most websites.

Those are the Marjorie Taylor Greene’s of the Tinderverse. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Actually, on a slow day, I will sometimes have fun with them. One of them with plunging neckline posted “I AM A TRUMP GIRL!! WHY CAN’T I FIND A MAN?” and I wrote her “Answered your own question, didn’t ya?”

No response so far.

You’re actually pleased with yourself for fucking with someone like that? Classless.

Well i think his restraint does him proud