Tom Blake. File photo
Tom Blake. File photo

By Tom Blake

Online dating is one of the tools seniors can use for meeting a mate. Two women contacted me this week, sharing their vastly different online dating experiences. One found success; the other was met with frustration.

Cheryl said, “I would like to share my recent good fortune and experience with online dating. I began corresponding with a widower in October 2015 on the dating site OkCupid, which allows subscribers to write detailed information on their profile and also offers thousands of questions that can be answered on a variety of topics. I have been divorced twice.

“When we started corresponding, he had answered nearly 500 questions, and I had answered over 600, and we both had added comments to many of our answers. So we already knew a lot about each other.

“We remained on the site communicating for a few weeks before moving to personal emails, both agreed to progress slowly and eventually we moved to phone calls and then to Skype. This occurred over a period of several months.

“Early on, I verified information he gave me (checked his website and ‘Googled’ him). Our correspondence enabled us to learn more about each other and gain confidence in our relationship. We are both 69 and live 600 miles apart. When I flew to meet him in April, there were no surprises. We totally enjoyed each other’s company and made a commitment to continue to develop our relationship.

“He drove to my home in July. We spent two and a half weeks together, during which time he met my family, friends and my church family. Everyone ‘approved’ of him! We have been blessed to have found love and have made a commitment to travel ‘the rest of the journey’ together.

“Our correspondence and willingness to be totally open and honest with each other along with both of us wanting a long-term relationship were the keys to our success.”

Cheryl’s point about both of them wanting a long-term relationship is vital to relationship success. Also, she and her man emphasized the benefit of using Skype before meeting in person.

She said, “Skype enables each person to see the other’s facial reactions and enhances the intimacy of the communication. We both feel that Skyping before meeting in person made us feel much more comfortable with each other when we did meet than if we hadn’t Skyped.

“During my 15 months online, I encountered some suspected scammers, whom I reported to the site. But I also met and/or communicated with some really nice, caring men. My online dating experience was very positive. I will be moving to live with him in September. He often says, ‘life sings,’ and we feel very lucky to be singing a duet.”

The second woman, Annise, was married 25 years before becoming a widow six years ago. After many online dating attempts, she met a wonderful man who later died in a plane crash.

She said, “I jumped back on the Internet and have met and dated a few interesting and scary fellows, including a lawyer, who wore more jewelry than I, a convicted felon, a recovering alcoholic who is mixed up with lots of baggage, a man who prefers non-English speaking women because they are more subservient and many other characters. Anyway, I’ve been trying!”

She said, “Yikes! What am I doing wrong? Being widowed, I have a better than average appreciation for time; that ‘Life is short’ jingle is brutally true. I would rather spend time in a relationship than spend time in online dating.”

Despite the tragedies that Annise has endured, she continues to have a sense of humor and zest for life. One of her requirements of the men she is meeting: “He cannot be at war with his ex.”

Internet-wise, the only suggestion I have is she might try other dating websites to avoid meeting so many bizarre characters. Other than that, Annise’s energy, positive attitude, resiliency and determination to never give up looking for a mate are what it takes to find success in senior dating.

Seniors who use the Internet for dating should proceed slowly and must be prepared for any quirk that might surface. But love can be found, as Cheryl experienced.

Tom Blake is a Dana Point resident and a former Dana Point businessman who has authored several books on middle-aged dating. See his websites at www.findingloveafter60.com; www.Vicsta.com and www.Travelafter55.com. Email: tompblake@gmail.com.

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