Tinder in España

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My Tinder app exploded in Spain.

Despite a half-hearted promise to myself to take a break from online dating while on vacation in Spain and Ireland. I was curious about my “match-ability” in another country. So I spent some time swiping while waiting in museum lines and hanging out in tapas restaurants and pubs.

I almost laughed when just about everyone I swiped right on in Barcelona and Madrid was a match…and many of them were a decade or more younger than me. This was a great ego boost for a woman celebrating a “ semi-big” birthday. Have a slice of birthday cake with me.

Unfortunately, hablo un poco de Español, so my travelling partner daughter and volunteer wing woman agreed with me that I shouldn’t meet anyone who didn’t speak English.

Thanks to my Google translate app, I was able to communicate to a certain extent with all of my matches, including one seeking a late-night hook-up and the guy who wanted to know where I was at that exact moment. No, gracias.

As bad luck would have it, my two most promising English-speaking prospects matched with me just as I was about to leave Barcelona. After a couple of texts, one offered to drive me to the airport. No, gracias. Still, I exchanged email addresses with both of them. Mr. J plans to travel to the US later this year and like me, Mr. F believes in serendipity. Anything can happen.

Spain: 2; Ireland: 0. For various reasons, I didn’t want to correspond with any of my Irish matches.

In the meantime, I’m back on U.S. soil, suffering from jet lag and reconnecting with my pre-trip matches.

One guy – #2 from my rule of three post, revisited his earlier “he’s just not that into you” behavior. First, Mr. B missed an opportunity to send me a happy birthday text while I was away (no excuses since we share the same birthday).

Second, before I left for Europe, he asked me to let him know when I was back in the states. Since I had given him my return date, I was on the fence about proactively sending a text to say, “I’m back.” However, I had a planned date with someone and wanted to try my best to follow the rule of dating three. So I sent a short “back in the U.S.” text on Friday afternoon. Mr. B asked about my trip but didn’t reply to the short summary I sent him: lots of walking, eating, art, and architecture.

Then, at 9:29 p.m., 5 hours after I offered my 140-character trip summary, he sent a text. He acknowledged the short notice and asked if I’d like to get together the next day.

My immediate take on his “late” request: he invited me out after returning from a bad Friday night first date. Plus he failed to comment on my beautifully crafted 140-word trip summary. So, yes, “he’s just not that into me” and “No, gracias” to the invite.

How does someone show he is “into you?” Case in point: Mr. K. We matched before my trip. I texted him to say I was headed out of the country. He said he’d wait for me. He texted me the day I returned. We texted, talked by phone, and had lunch yesterday. After our date, he texted me and I see that he has texted me good morning.

Now, men, that’s how you do it. The object of your affection should feel like she is on your mind just before you go to sleep and as soon as you wake up.

It’s a simple implementation of the psychology of love and dating. Whether you are stateside or in Europe.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

Dating Young, Really Young

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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

 

The Rule of Three?

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There’s a psychologist and relationship expert who advises women to embark on a Dating Program of Three. This program, as described by Diana Kirschner in her book Love in 90 Days, counters what she calls the “three-date” rule, an urban legend in which women should decide by the third date if a guy is a keeper and have sex or lose him forever.

Kirschner’s alternate approach encourages women to date three men simultaneously without having sex with any of them. “By not seeing any one man too often, you find the men who are really into you and who will stay the course,” she writes.

The program protects you against what Kirschner calls the dangers of “love addiction.” Since you will see each guy less often, you won’t zero in on any one – a possible emotional risk.

Although kissing and canoodling are okay, says Kirschner, she stresses that by not having sex you avoid “premature infatuation, dependency, and a kind of pseudo-intimacy that almost always backfires.” You’ll also get to compare the guys – and their positive and negative differences will be more apparent.  Another benefit, according to Kirschner: You’ll be naturally less available so men will get to enjoy “the chase.”

The kicker: women are advised to keep dating three men for a couple of months after they have found someone who seems to be the “one.”

Although this is an intriguing program and theory, when I read this chapter of her book, I almost laughed. Such a bounty of men seemed like an impossible dream not to mention a Herculean juggling feat and libido challenge.

It’s hard finding one guy I like enough to date — and it’s not because I’m too picky. I’m not knocking this program. I think the book has a lot of valuable advice – but, since I haven’t tried this triad approach, I’m not convinced I could do it.

However, at this very moment, despite my protests, I stand on the cusp of possibly dating three guys simultaneously. As you well know, that moment could change quickly and may even have changed during the course of writing today’s post.

Stay awhile longer and share some of this farro with roasted mushrooms.

I’m convinced that my dating universe has at least temporarily expanded thanks to the new and fresh professional profile photos that I loaded onto all my dating sites and apps. I used Online Profile Pros to find a photographer near me. The site subcontracts with local photographers. Prospective clients can view sample photos, prices, and locations of the photographers near them.

Back to the contenders for my program of three (in order of contact, not preference):

#1- A Bumble match who does not match my ideal location and height but is interesting, intelligent, and shares my interest in a healthy lifestyle. We’re both travelling in the next couple of weeks but agreed to meet halfway between our cities when we return.

#2 – A Tinder match I first connected with on Bumble several months ago. After chatting on the app for a short time and setting up a date, he cancelled on me with a lame excuse two days before our planned meeting. I wrote him off and had a lot of doubts about him. I considered our second match on Tinder a curiosity, worth exploring primarily to see if my earlier reservations were unfounded. Pre-date, I was not that enthusiastic. Mid- and post-date, I was pleasantly surprised and felt some chemistry happening. There’s a good chance of a second date.

#3 – A Match.com match I first noticed on a Match event page for a happy hour I was unable to attend. When he later popped up on my Match home page, I decided to send him a wink, a tactic that has worked for me in the past. He responded and we chatted frequently for a couple of days with a tentative plan to meet this weekend. I was pretty excited about him even though he’s 10 years younger but then all of these contenders are younger than me.

However, during our first (and only) phone call I learned he has a 9-year-old daughter. This is close to being a deal breaker for me. My kids are adults and I feel I’ve been there, done that. I’m now less excited about #3 but still want to meet him. Given that I haven’t heard from him in 24 hours, however, our interlude of interest may be over.

Upon review, I see this list is pretty fragile. I’ll be happy if just one guy is a keeper. I’d love to try a full program of three but I’m not sure these contenders will remain in the game.

It’s all part of the dating single life in your 60s — or any age for that matter. Contenders come and go, fade in, and then out with a boom or a ghost-like whisper.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

Fizzling, Catfishing, and Lessons from a Millennial

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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.

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Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

A Change in Dating Tactics

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Online dating and dating apps are not working well for me. In the spirit of “I’m not giving up yet,” I decided to change my approach to meeting men.

Have some cheesy rice with asparagus and I’ll explain my reasoning.

I am frustrated with the caliber of the men who reach out to me. With apologies to Lady Liberty, don’t give me your tired, your poor, your uneducated, unkempt, and uninformed. Do give me an age appropriate educated man with a sense of humor. Age appropriate is difficult to find.

I believe – and my single friends will back me up on this – that the men about my age who are online are reaching out to much younger women. Some of them try to get away with this by lying about their age. I have caught men in an age lie (e.g., a reference to a 50-year-old son by a man who is supposedly 60). Sometimes all it takes is a close look at the guy’s photo to know the age on the profile is inaccurate.

My profile has my real age and perhaps that is the problem. If most of the men are lying, I sometimes wonder if I need to shed some years to be competitive with the younger women they are pursuing.

I recently met with a matchmaker who confirmed the ageism reality of online dating. When a man plugs in his search criteria – or just browses online – he may disregard women in their 60s, even though these women may be in great shape and able to pass for women a decade younger.

If that same man met an attractive 60+-year-old woman in person, he might ask her out without even knowing her age. I believe age discrimination may also explain why a man who matches me on Tinder immediately unmatches me. My guess is that he selected me based on my – recent – photo but balked when he saw my age.

We all know that people age at different rates.   Appearances aside, many “baby boomers” have a young outlook on life, are active, social, interested, and interesting.   Jumping down now (despite my aging knees) from the soapbox.

My new approach involves a combination of stepping back from online dating, embracing in-person opportunities, and, in a case of turnabout is fair play, seeking out younger (not crazy young) men who appreciate a woman of a certain age. Like many of my about-faces, this approach may not last long.

How will I put this strategy into action? Here’s my plan:

Online Dating Pullback:

I’m on a lot of sites and apps. I won’t be checking these sites as often and I’m considering hiding my profile on a couple of them. I also will stop going to the online dating sites on weekends. Some dating coaches recommend a temporary total break from online dating and I may try that at some point.

For my no online on weekends experiment, the traditional dating sites (Match, OkCupid, etc.) will be off limits between Friday at 6 p.m. and Sunday about 5:00 p.m. Not only will this give the impression that I am dating up a storm all weekend but it will also give me a break from the tedium of the online experience. To feel like I’m doing something proactive, I will still swipe on the Tinder and Bumble apps. These apps require less work and no one can tell when you were last on them.

Meeting Men in Real Life: 

In recent months, I’ve been gravitating toward meeting men in the wild – going to a Match happy hour for example. The matchmaker I recently met thinks meeting men in real life is my best tactic. It’s a work- around men who search for younger women and won’t consider someone their own age. Pros: I will know if there is in-person chemistry and what the person really looks like. Cons: I’m shy in certain social situations so this will be tough for me.

To implement this approach, I signed up for memberships in the Smithsonian (classes, films, concerts, and trips) and the Phillips museum (events, concerts). I also joined The Writer’s Center (classes and events).

I’m already in a number of Meetups and have met some great women friends. I plan to seek out new groups that offer more potential for a romantic connection.

Younger Men: 

Let me start by saying I hate the word cougar. I think one of the male equivalents – manther – is just as bad. Let’s just call it what it is – dating younger.

On the dating sites, I see 60-year-old men seeking women 30 to 45. I’m not that unrealistic and that would be too much of an age gap for me. However, I’m o.k. with a 10-year-difference give or take a few months.

Apparently, there are a number of women who don’t mind a substantial age gap. I’m currently reading Raven: My Year of Dating Dangerously by a 60-year-old woman who has a wild time with men several decades her junior.

The Raven’s experience aside, I doubt I will have the same success as 60 something men who wish to date 50 something women. But if I strike a 54-year-old’s fancy, I’m open to dating him.

Wish me luck dear readers and let me know how your dating life is going.

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Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia