Dating Young, Really Young

blog post Julie dating younger

I’m on vacation dear readers and have a treat for you – a guest blog post by *Julie Weinberg.

I met him on a golf course and he was 21 years younger than me, only 14 years older than my oldest child. It raised a few eyebrows. We walked into it with eyes wide open, each knowing the other’s age. At first, I thought it was just a lark, a notch in my belt I could talk about for years to come; but it turned out we really liked each other. We enjoyed each other’s company, had so much fun together and laughed like crazy all the time.

This fling turned into a yearlong relationship, and my friends grilled me with questions. The most common was, “What do you talk about?” As it turns out, lots and lots. Eighty percent of what anyone talks about with a partner — regardless of age — is the day in, day out minutiae of life: What happened at work, a TV show you watched, a funny interaction you saw at Starbucks.

Yes, awkward moments occurred when (gasp!) he hadn’t even heard of The Breakfast Club and didn’t know a single Billy Joel song. I had never used Napster or played a game of Texas Hold’em (which I now love). And then there was the time he laughed until he cried when he saw I bought Age Defying toothpaste. A bit embarrassing, I will admit.

I concede the first time we stepped out together and held hands it felt awkward. I wondered if everyone was staring and judging the inappropriate age difference. However, we didn’t care what people thought. We felt comfortable with each other. I also suffer from a strong defiant streak that’s not tempered by other’s opinions.

Over the course of the year, there were only a couple of times that someone (a waitress or store clerk) hesitated, trying to peg the relationship, “Would you and your, uh, um, friend…blah blah blah.” No one ever called me his mother, which of course, would have been the pinnacle of embarrassment.

“But you can’t learn anything from him!” those who loved me admonished. Not true. I learned about hobbies he enjoyed (e.g. Texas Hold‘em) and places he’d been that are now on my bucket list. The Rap music he listened to was new to me, but maybe a guy my own age would be into Country or Jazz and I’d be newly exposed to that. There was plenty to learn.

Plus, he had a youthful attitude and outlook that was so contagious. Let’s face it, life is hard and makes one jaded, but it takes years and years for that to happen. Dating someone much younger reminded me how great things were when I was less cynical and more open to new things.

Ok, but since we’re being honest with one another here, I’ll fess up that some things he wanted to do bored me or required more energy or interest than I had — but doesn’t that happen with anyone? His problems and worries sometimes made me want to roll my eyes because I’d gotten through similar situations many times over the years and knew now that it wasn’t worth the angst.

And yes, how I looked now became a “thing.” I never before cared much about a new wrinkle or sagging skin; now I lamented how quickly I seemed to age compared to him. This worry just made me work out more and dress more carefully, which were both overall good consequences to my general well being.

The hardest part for me, as the older one, was that he wasn’t a real partner. He could and did come to me for advice on everything, yet when I started looking into retirement investing, his wide-eyed stare let me know that he knew nothing about this, didn’t wish to learn about it at this stage in his life, and “Please could I change the subject?”

Financially, he had great earning potential but that was down the road, while I was already comfortable. Kids were the biggest stickler, as I already had two almost in middle school. He loved them but wanted some of his own and that wasn’t going to happen with me.

So the “fling” ended. I celebrated one of those Big Momentous Birthdays and he had one coming up the following year. We agreed he needed to find someone more appropriate and start that family he wanted. It ended quite amicably and we are still in touch.

Overall, I would say dating a younger guy is really not much different from any romantic involvement. All relationships have good and bad parts, ups and downs. The bottom line is if you like the person, there’s mutual attraction, and you seem to enjoy each other’s company, why not?

*To learn more about Julie, visit her website julieweinbergbooks.com or purchase her book, I Wish There Were Baby Factories.  

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

Dating Sites & Apps: The New Old and the New New

blog new old andnew new

Some days it’s hard not to be discouraged by online dating. It helps when the old dating sites and apps offer new tweaks to their services – or new products are launched.

Join me in some bone-building rainbow trout with garlicky yogurt and kale while I review the latest updates and inventions.

Match didn’t send me a heads up about their latest App improvement (not available on the computer version). I discovered this refinement accidentally when viewing a profile on my phone.

At the top of the screen, under my match’s picture, was an “activity meter” and message to “View MatchIQ.”

Match activity meter front page

When I clicked on it, I was presented with the percentage match of my target and the age of my competition. Sample: “You’re the same age as the girls he usually talks to.” I like having this information and it gives me incentive to proactively message someone.MATCH ACTIV meter you're same age

The next screen provides additional information on the matches your fellow responds to. See below.

Match activ meter interests of matches

I like this feature as well and I can imagine that if I really liked someone, I might update my profile to include additional interests (as long as they really are my interests).

The activity meter shows how active a match is:

Match how active is he

And how often he responds:

 

Match activ meter response level

The update also suggests ice-breakers (mostly lame: e.g., how do you feel about decaf coffee drinkers?) and tips and tricks to help you.

I’ll share an observation based on my viewing of one man’s activity meter. Mr. M is 60 years old and, according to his activity meter, talks to women in their early 60s. Yet, his profile says he is seeking women age 29 to 45. I don’t know if this means he’s happy to email “boomer age” women but will not consider meeting women in this age group. Perhaps I should write to him and see what happens. I share many of his interests and don’t need to revise my profile. Stay tuned for any worthwhile updates.

Tinder’s latest wrinkle is a feature called Tinder Social. Once you “unlock” Tinder Social, you’ll see Facebook friends who have also unlocked it and they will see you. You can then invite 1, 2, or 3 friends to go out. Your group will then appear as a choice when men are swiping in search of dates. One person from each “going out” group has to say yes to the other multi-person match. Then you can message each other and make plans.

When you unlock the feature, you will see groups even if you haven’t yet formed one yourself. I guess there’s no reason you couldn’t say “yes” to a group and then invite some other non-Tinder friends along.

To date, I have been presented with several groups of friends – some mixed sex and some mixed ages. This reminds me of group dates in high school. Perhaps Tinder management hopes Tinder Social will help to change public perception of the app as a hook-up vehicle. As the Tinder blog says, ”Often your best nights are when you’re hanging with friends, someone makes an unexpected connection with someone in another crew. Maybe you spark a romantic connection. Maybe you make new friends. Either way a good night out with your friends becomes something better.”

Coffeemeetsbagel has a new ladies choice way of operating. Women used to receive a “bagel” at noon (provided the CMB gods found you a bagel). You and your bagel then indicated whether you liked each other. If there was a mutual like, you were “connected” and could chat. With ladies choice, women are presented with bagels who already liked them. So, there’s no waiting and wondering. CMB wrote me about the new feature: “This is #LadiesChoice. You’ll only see a curated list of Bagels who already liked you. No more endless swiping. No more dating games. You have the final say on who gets to start a conversation with you.”   Highly doubtful this will be the end of dating games. On a positive note, CMB is morphing into a Bumble-like app where it’s up to women to initiate the conversation.

And now for something completely new: Lovenotes and Bernie A.I.

Lovenotes matches you with people who share similar music preferences and vocal characteristics. As a music lover, I like the idea of a music-themed dating app. I’m on Tastebuds but it’s not just for dating and hasn’t brought me much luck.

Love notes

I decided to sign up for Lovenotes since this blog encourages me to be an early adopter. Like many of the dating apps, Lovenotes draws your basic public information and photos from Facebook. I was asked to pick a song that best describes me and to select 5 other “favorite” songs. My next task was to record several voice notes with my phone. In addition to recording some random phrases, there is a free choice recording. I found the recording process easy technically but otherwise challenging. I felt like I sounded forced and stupid but it’s an awkward situation. Fortunately, you can delete and re-record ad infinitum.

You also write a very short bio and set the usual age and distance filters. Once all this is done, Lovenotes provides a “science-y” algorithm based on musical preferences and vocal characteristics. When you get your matches, it’s up to you to say yes or no. If someone likes you back, then there’s a “connection” and you can start talking.

I’ve been on Lovenotes 24 hours and received one match who is 32 years old. That’s likely a function of the app being new with few members in my age category.

Lovenotes, like Bernie A.I. (see next), is proud of its science base and for the edification of its users, the website offers links to 19 studies on various aspects of voice, music, and attraction.

Bernie A.I. for artificial intelligence is still in a public beta testing mode. Billed by its developers as “your personal matchmaking assistant,” Bernie learns your type and does the work for you. It finds your matches on dating sites and apps you belong to, swipes for you, and even messages your matches with customizable introductions that you write. Once you sign up through Facebook, you make 60 yes/no choices to photos to teach Bernie who you find attractive. There’s also an anti-spam feature, per the Bernie A.I. website, that detects spammers and automatically reports them.

I didn’t sign up for Bernie A.I. yet. I have to think about whether I want big brother Bernie sending introductions for me (even if they’re based on what I write). I know some dating coaches do this but where does the farming out end? I’m certainly not going to farm out the cuddling.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

Fizzling, Catfishing, and Lessons from a Millennial

blog post mother daughter 1

Fizzling

I was feeling too cocky – thinking I had defied the odds by getting responses to my proactive dating messages. I thought I was finally getting somewhere. But getting a response to your virtual pick-up line is only the first of many hurdles in this online dating sports event.

Let’s review my recent experiences while enjoying some Independence Day appropriate herby picnic potato salad.

One recent afternoon, I dropped my line into the Plenty of Fish pond when I noticed an attractive man had viewed me. His profile appealed and he said he was looking for a relationship. I pondered my opening line to him. I noticed that he had a garden so I decided to incorporate that into my message. “Do you grow basil in your garden?” I asked, “I need a supplier for my pesto.”

A short time later, Gary wrote back. “Basil is awesome,” he replied. “We could discuss this over a drink.”

Pay dirt, I thought.

“That’s possible,” I replied.

“Will you be in DC on Tuesday?” he asked.

“I will be in DC,” I responded, “attending a writing workshop in upper N.W. It ends at 6:15.”

“Is it near 12th & H Streets?” Gary asked.

This question immediately put me on guard. I recently had lunch with a man who drove from West Virginia for our first meeting and Gary appeared to be balking at a distance of under 5 miles.

“No,” I wrote, “I’ll be around upper Connecticut Avenue.” I then suggested a couple of venues in the vicinity of my class and asked if either one of these worked for him.

But Gary never replied. I’m not sure if this counts as ghosting since we had only exchanged a few messages. I’ll refer to it as fizzling. And it’s certainly rude.

Imagine having an in-person conversation with a guy and he walks away mid sentence. It feels almost as bad when this happens online.

Could Gary’s “fizzling” be related to the fact that I am 10 years older than him?

The problem with fizzling or ghosting is that you never know what happened or even if the runaway person’s reaction has anything to do with you.

Catfishing

It was time to move on to other possible targets of my affection. Next, I sent a message to Robert on Tastebuds, a mixed-use (dating, friends, concert buddies) site. We liked some of the same music and he was attractive, tall, and single. His profile contained little information so it was my job to ferret it out. Oh, and he was Bahamian, a “fact,” if true, that would play a key role in the end of our non-relationship.

I emailed Robert and asked about his favorite local music venues. We then corresponded about our jobs (in my case, retirement), marital status, and our children. I learned Robert was single and had a married son who had recently moved out of his house/apartment.

Here’s his verbatim message:

I have a son but his Married and he just moved out of the house that makes me very lonely .. Please can I have you mobile number ? I will be honored

Yes, I know Robert’s English and grammar are questionable but I decided to play along in hopes that (1) he was intelligent but that English was his second language and (2) the keyboard was not his friend.

Give me some slack. I’m in a dating dry spell and willing to entertain false hope.

Still I was suspicious of a declaration of loneliness and his career also had me wondering:

Am into art works importations and sales and I also do artworks interior decorations for homes and offices

I decided to give Robert my Google voice number so we could text. When he sent his number, I searched it and found it to be a Voice over Internet Protocol Washington state number. Strike 3 – almost out.

Once we started texting, it didn’t take long for my suspicions to be confirmed. Ultimately, he did not want to speak on the phone due to his thick accent.  Classic catfishing behavior.

The only thing I’ll share from my second catfishing encounter of the week was a tip I learned to help you search photos of matches on Google image search. If you crop the image closely to cut most of the background, Google is more likely to find the photo’s match. This helped me identify a Coffee Meets Bagel match from Virginia who in realty (no pun intended) was a realtor in Texas. The real guy is single and cute so maybe I should message him via Facebook and tell him someone stole his photo for nefarious dating purposes.

Lessons from a Millennial

I was sharing my frustrating non-dating week with my daughter. A tall, natural beauty in her late 20s, my “baby” hasn’t gone more than few months without a boyfriend since age 15. And this is without Facebook, which she refuses to join.

“I’d never do online dating,” she declared.

Daughter has met men in Starbucks, at various jobs, volunteer experiences, and through friends.

She instinctively knows how to send the right signals to a man she’s interested in.

“I just position myself,” she explained.

“Would you go up to a stranger and start talking?” I ask.

“Yes,” she said. “Men are afraid of rejection too. If I see an attractive man at a bar, I sit next to him. I might wait for him to talk to me. Depends on how I feel. Or I might start talking.”

She’s a natural. I have watched her masterfully look at an attractive man, look away, and return her gaze in the classic flirt maneuver.

It’s surreal when you’re in your 60s to get dating advice from your daughter. But it’s also fun and usually helpful. My plan is to channel my millennial daughter’s attitude and energy the next time I’m in a situation where I might meet men in real life.

If you enjoyed this post or any past ones, subscribe to get regular e-mail delivery. Follow me on social media too: Twitter, Facebook.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

A Woman’s Inner Monologue During a First Date

blog interior monologue

Having become thoroughly seasoned (battered and fried) in the art of the first date, I’d like to share with you a typical inner monologue that I – or you – might experience before and during an initial meeting.

This is a composite interior “speech” culled from my now unfortunately vast experience with first dates.

I have broken the monologue down into four parts (before the date, the greeting, the middle, and the end).

The Prep or Seasoning Prior to the Date (see a past blog entry for bonus reading on this process)

“I should wear red to meet Mr. C since men like red.

“Thank God I have been working out. Hopefully my jiggles are less wiggly.

“I wonder if the waiters will recognize me at the bar. They must be wondering why I am always with someone new. I need a new venue.

“I really thought Mr. C was going to revoke me. At least he appears legitimate.

“Why am I nervous? I guess that’s normal. I wonder if he’s nervous.

The Batter (The Early Minutes)

“There he is sitting in the waiting area. He looks like one of the pictures in his profile – but not the one I like the best.

“He’s standing up now to greet me. He is definitely not 6’2”. I wore heels because I thought I could. Oh well, we’re about the same height.

“Just a hi greeting – no handshake (thankfully). Hugs can be nice. I remember a few who kissed me at first greeting.

 

Fried (The Middle)

“I seem to be asking all the questions, bringing up conversation topics. Maybe I’ll mention that. Oh, he realized that. Bonus points.

“He seems nice but I’m not feeling an attraction. Perhaps it will come if we talk some more.

“I don’t think he exercises much – seems to be more into spectator sports.

“I find the timbre of his voice somewhat unpleasant. Sigh.

“It sounds like he’s a good dad to his children.

“I’m starving. I wonder if I should mention ordering something. Not dinner – too much of a commitment – perhaps an appetizer to share. Yes, I will suggest it.

“Did I really need to hear that story about someone he used to date?

“I think it’s time to call it a night. I’ll offer to help pay the bill.

“He shouldn’t have taken me up on my offer. It seems counter to my feminist ways to believe the man should pay for the first date. And yet, I do…though I’m at odds with myself on this.

Finished (The End)

Nice that he’s walking me to my car.
“Oh, he’s a good kisser. Needs a breath mint, however.

“WTF?! Did he really need to have a hands-on verification from me of his growing desire? Am I back in high school? Yes, I think I am.

Epi-mono-logue

“Even before that little move to place my hand on his crotch, I didn’t think there would be a date #2. No spark. I remember that spark and I need it.

“I wish he hadn’t texted to ask me out again.

“I don’t want to ignore it. I know how awful it is to be ghosted. I’ll just have to text him and let him know I’m not feeling a connection.

“Next.”

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Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

 

Facebook Stalking my Ex’s Girlfriend

blog woman at laptop 2

A couple of weeks ago, I made the mistake of Facebook stalking my ex’s current girlfriend (GF). I had not done this before and it was not premeditated. I was searching online for local music events and happened upon an upcoming performance by my ex- and his romantic partner. The duo’s title was their two last names. I had not known the GF’s last name and only accidentally learned of her first name when one of my children let it slip. So it was pretty easy to confirm that my ex’s band mate and GF are one in the same.

I’ll back up a bit to explain the situation. Join me in some warm fusilli salad while I fill you in. Although some divorced couples maintain communication, we don’t. Our children were adults when we divorced and now that all financial entanglements have been untangled, we have no “business” reason to communicate. And that’s fine with me. I’m just not feeling the desire to stay in touch.

Right after we divorced, I admit to some minor online stalking of my ex. I wanted to clarify the names of his bands to avoid attending a performance.

But after I had that intel, I had no further interest in e stalking. It was time to move on with my life. So it was a departure for me to snoop on his GF’s social media page.

More back story: this current GF is not the woman my ex took up with soon after we separated. She’s long gone. I was mildly curious about her replacement.

So when I popped open GF’S Facebook page, I saw that she was younger than my ex (and me) and blonde, like her predecessor. A cliché come to life. There are so many “experiential clichés” in life – e.g., middle-aged man buys a sports car.

The GF’s Facebook page had only a few photos and no pictures of my ex. A check of her “status” revealed she was “in a relationship” as of 2013. She didn’t name her significant other, but I knew it was my ex. And then I saw his complimentary comment about her latest photo.

I closed the page.

Here’s the funny part. If my ex came crawling back to me, I wouldn’t have him. Truth: I don’t want him. And yet, it hurts to see evidence of his relationship and how relatively easy it is (and has been) for him to find someone. This is a harsh reality of what I call dating disparity. In general, divorced men have an easier time finding a date, a companion, or a partner, than divorced women – especially in the boomer years. Challenge me on this but this has been my experience and what I have observed.

So when I’m in a dry spell and not meeting any men, when there are no possible relationships in my life, I think about dating disparity and my ex.

In contrast, when I’m dating and have lots of possibilities, there are few thoughts of either dating disparity or my ex.

I’m used to this cycle by now. Dating dry spells can lead to the blues and self-pity. But self-pity doesn’t offer any rewards. To counteract the blues, I learned that it helps to get busy, reach out to friends, do something new.

That’s why even though I knew in advance that opening the GF’s Facebook page might trigger some emotional shakiness; I also knew any blue notes would be brief. It’s called healing.

If you liked this post or any past ones, subscribe to get regular email delivery of Dating, Sex, and Life in your 60s.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

Blog Birthday: 14 Lessons Learned about Dating, Sex, and Life in Your 60s

Wonder woman for blog

In honor of the 1-year birthday of this blog (February 14), I’m going to indulge in a brief interlude of narcissism. Today’s theme: what I learned in the last year about dating, sex, and life in your 60s – and blogging.

My goal, as always, is to impart useful knowledge, make you laugh, or just be that wing woman sitting at the whine bar with you while we wonder why the hell we can’t find the one.

I’m going to write this blog post in real dating time. In other words, I’m writing this post while texting two guys simultaneously – a guy from Tinder and a Bumble match.

Given my track record lately, one will turn out to be a Russian spy who has traveled forward in time from the cold war era and the other one will actually be a married trans woman. But hope springs eternal…so I text on.

Join me in an anti-Valentine’s Day treat of creamy Gorgonzola and portobello mushroom risotto created by a wonderfully named chef called Nadia G (of Bitchin’ Kitchen fame). Just substitute vegetable broth for the chicken stock and you will eat like Nadia A.

And now I present my top 14 lessons learned in the last year about dating, sex, life in your 60s, and blogging:

*Maximizing opportunities keeps hope alive. I’m on multiple dating sites and apps. Later this month, I will try speed dating a second time (via a new speed dating meet-up) and attend a Match happy hour with live in the flesh as opposed to virtual men.

*Keep trying something new. This is related to the maximizing opportunities point above. The single life is not only about dating but also about finding ways to make new friends and to enrich your life through education, culture, or sport. I signed up for a Spanish class, multiple new meet-up groups, and went to museums, art galleries, poetry readings, and story telling events.

*Keep trying something old in a new way. Because I have CRS (Can’t Remember Shit), I have no idea what I meant when I jotted this down in my first draft of this post…. but it sounds good so I’m keeping it. Please tell me what you think I meant.

*It’s good to get out of your comfort zone. Take this in any way you want. Going to a bar happy hour by myself was a leap for this shy blogger.

*Say yes to as much as you can. Even if you’re tired. Even if you’re cranky. Go, do, enjoy.

*If a man starts to make you feel bad about yourself in any way, run to the nearest exit. Consider the source and do not believe anything he says about you.

*Similarly, if a man doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, look elsewhere.

*Get used to the roller coaster of dating. One day you’ll be messaging or talking to 3 guys – all seemingly good possibilities and by the end of the next day, one has disappeared, one is revealed as a scammer, and the other one is starting to creep you out.

*Smile to yourself when you’re out with a couple (married or otherwise) that drives each other crazy or engages in petty fighting. At this moment, say, TGIS (Thank God I’m Single.)

*If a man’s total focus is on sex – either before or after you meet – drop him even if you want sex.

*Put on your big girl panties and tell your man what you need and what you want.

*Keep a journal or write a blog to help you figure out your life. Writing an anonymous blog helped motivate me to try new things – for the good of the blog. 

*Be as physically active as you can to relieve stress and to feel better about yourself.

*Be a woman who roars. Revel in your strength and independence. It feels good to add oil and transmission fluid to your car, tighten that loose toilet seat, manage a home renovation project, and book an overseas trip.

What have you learned in the last year? Let me know. If you liked this post or any past ones, sign up to get regular email delivery of this blog. To maximize your pleasure, sign up for my Twitter feed and like my Facebook page. You’ll get frequent daily updates of news and features about dating, relationships, sex, the single life, and life in your 60s.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

Online Dating: Epic Fails, Firsts, and Freaks

blog woman with phone

Despite the recent wet and snowy weather, I’m in another dating dry spell. Oh, yes, there was my date in late January with the younger man who kissed like a steamroller (and that’s putting it nicely). Since that epic fail, my dating life has consisted of:

*Endless and slow-paced Tinder messaging (Hi, Hi, How are you? Good, How are you? I’m good, what are you doing? ad nauseum) that doesn’t result in an actual meeting

*Deleting emails from strange guys, and

*Falling on the floor in uncontrollable laughter at some of the profiles in my match list.

So, join me in a super sweet potato chickpea Buddha bowl while I share some of the epic fails, firsts, and freaks from my dating files.

Profile of a man who believes that size does not affect spirituality:

pix 1 blog

Profile of a man on Tinder who believes a curriculum vitae is better than any pick-up line. Certainly a man who has strategic planning ability is a major turn-on for me.  

blog pix 2

Profile of a man who is unsure of his availability…perhaps…maybe:

blog pix 3

Profile of a man who knows just what to write to appeal to a woman:

I am separated and live alone with my cat.

Profile of a man who is so popular that he has to weed out some of his thousands of prospects:

I apologize but: Due to the volume of messages. If you are bigger than a size 18, not only will I not read your messages but I will delete them and block you as soon as possible.

Message from a man who apparently wrote to me and I failed to respond (perhaps due to his extreme geographic incompatibility):

blox pix 4

Profile of a man of uncommon height:

pix 5

Message from a meteorologically sensitive guy:

pix 6

No comment:

pix7

Profile of a man seeking his clone:

pix 8

Message from a confused, scary man who thinks my name is Phoebe and who is likely as nutty as the weirdos he disparages:

pix 10.png

Profile of a man who travels almost 2/3 of the year…but hey, when you see him, you see ALL of him…

pix 11

Profile of a “man” who stole a woman’s profile (read to the end)…and not a great profile:

lipstick

Message from a man who can discern texture through photography:

soft feet

Message from a 20-year-old who might be 40+ years too young:

better pix from 20 year old

Send me your dating fails! And don’t forget to subscribe to this blog. Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia