Jeff Duff is a 65-year old widower seeking his youth and romance through internet dating. As the old pop song said: Love don't come easy...!
Internet Dating for Seniors
A Little Background
I am a 65-year old man living in rural Wisconsin. There are three pick-up spots for mature men seeking women in rural America: bars, churches and grocery stores. I am a teetotaler, so hanging out in bars feels awkward. I am more of a Deist than a Christian, so hanging out in churches feels awkward. Finally, I know how to cook, so approaching women for ‘cooking advice’ in grocery stores feels awkward. There has to be another way for single men to meet single women, right? Well, there is another option: internet dating services.
After looking around at many dating sites with handsome young men and beautiful young women – at least in the photographs on their home pages – I chose to join an internet dating site for senior citizens called, “Silver Singles”, whose home base is in Germany but it publishes here in English. Perfect for a 65-year old American widower with a hole in his heart, right? You first fill out a profile, detail your sexual/gender interest, your age, your employment status, age range you are seeking, if smoking is acceptable or not, how many mile you are willing to travel, etc., plus provide one or more photographs of yourself. Then pay your fee and let the match-making begin! Silver Singles sends it’s members links of photographs and profiles of people of the opposite sex (or same sex for those with LGBTQ interests) and you will generally receive between one and 12 new “matches” every day.
So, how does this Teutonic love machine work in everyday practice?
My Internet Dating Site Photo?
The Excitement of Internet Romance
I’ve received 728 women matches in the two-and-a-half months since I joined the SilverSingles dating service. I think I left my preferences pretty generous and probably the only ‘firm’ lines I drew was that my match preference should be a woman, aged 59 to 69, lives within 100 miles of my home in southwest Wisconsin and should be a non-smoker. SS has done a fairly good job of following my directions, but I have received two men’s profiles (?), some profiles from women as young as 37 and from as old as 74, and from about 70 smokers. I have also received a few women’s profiles from as far away as Michigan, northern Minnesota and Kentucky – definitely outside my 100 mile limit, even as the crow flies! Only about 30 matches seemed to be ‘scammers’, one being a youthful, beautiful “65-year old” blond from Kentucky who could not have been a day over 20 in real life (I deleted her, wishing to avoid any problems with the police).
No woman has had profile pictures that are lurid or overtly sexy (thank goodness). None of these matches has been overtly sexual in their written profiles, with the ‘wildest’ woman writing that she looks forward to “nights in white satin” and a few other women offering gentle hints about their desire for eventual physical intimacy (but only after a long period of dating and friendship, of course). Most – but not all – have mentioned that they have children and/or grandchildren. Most – but not all – declare their never-ending love for their children and grandchildren and their desire to spend a whole lot of time with them. All 728 of these women are in agreement that they are seeking men who are kind, respectful, honest and have a good sense of humor (so nasty, dishonest, child-hating or humorless men won’t get far with these ladies). More than a dozen women have demanded that their preferred men should know how to take care of themselves and how to dress properly (slobs not wanted). Another handful of women say that regular bathing habits and the use of soap are highly desirable traits in men (once again, slobs not wanted). Only three women have demanded that their desirable men should be rich or “financially successful” (but not one woman has expressed her interest in dating poor or homeless men). No woman among the 728 matches has demanded that her preferred male should have an advanced university degree, or indeed, any college degree at all (my six years of college was a total waste).
Surprisingly (at least to this male), not one of these 728 women mentions how handsome their preferred man should be. At least 95% of women have expressed an avid interest in “travel”, some to the complete exclusion of any other interest! In fact, I would say that the perfect retired life for most of these women would be to endlessly occupy their future decades in visiting with their children, grandchildren and other family, PLUS engaging in frequent world travel. I have sent ‘Smiles’ (a smiling emoji) - and nothing else - to over 480 of these match suggestions and I have only received 17 ‘smiles’ in return (in fact, one woman who ‘Smiled’ back also thanked me for my initial ‘Smile’ to her … then told me that she was NOT AT ALL interested in me).
Depressingly similar to my high school dating experiences back in the 1970s, I have received just two unsolicited initial ‘Smiles’ from my 728 female matches. The forty-two women from whom I have received written replies (to short initial messages I sent them) have all admitted that they don’t approach interesting male matches first. They simply wait for the men to first contact them (reminds me of my Michigan high school). A half-dozen of the 728 women posted just one confusing photograph of themselves within a group of smiling women (I couldn’t tell which woman was my Silver Singles match). About twenty women have posted pictures of themselves wearing leather outfits, seated on large motorcycles and looking wind-blown and sweaty from a long day of riding (perhaps not their best ‘look’). Three sent pictures of themselves posed next to men identified as their former husbands (enough said). When not socializing with their children and grandchildren ... or traveling to destinations both domestic and overseas ... almost 80% of these 728 women seem to enjoy walking and/or walking their dogs (no woman mentions how they enjoy walking their cats). Another surprising fact is how barely three dozen of the 728 women admit that they watch TV, listen to the radio, read magazines or newspapers, follow current events or even surf the internet (this will be depressing news for buyers of media advertising). Finally, nearly sixty women have asserted that they enjoy playing a competitive racket sport called ‘Pickle Ball’ (which sounds very messy to me).
Biden vs. Trump among Senior Women
A special subject mentioned by the women matches is the 2020 Presidential Election. Without being asked, nearly four dozen of these 728 women matches volunteered how they voted for Joe Biden and/or how much they hated Donald Trump. In fact, these 45+ women make it clear that any male who voted for Trump in 2020 should just hide his head in shame (and stay away from them FOREVER). Conversely, only two of the 728 women (meekly) admitted to having voted for Trump.
To Summarize my Experiences with Internet Dating among Seniors Citizens - So Far!
Most of the 728 women matches from the Silver Singles internet dating website appear to be friendly and intelligent, most are reasonably attractive and the large majority are certainly women that I would enjoy sharing a lunch or dinner with. But among all of these tempting women, who can I share a life with?