Archive for the ‘Senior Dating’ Category

Dating's harder for older women

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

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In its prime, The Single Gourmet catered to a younger clientele than in September when the Hampton Roads singles’ dining club met its demise.

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In the beginning, Gourmet owner Ethel-Raye Greenspan of Norfolk says a 65-year-old member of the group would have been “old.”

Today, she says, “it’s not.”

The change in the club’s make-up may be related to Greenspan herself, who was 50 when she started the club. She’s 71 now.

“As I got older, my members got older,” says Greenspan, who is divorced, adding that Single Gourmet chapters “sort of take on the personality and temperament of the person who’s running it.”

But demographics also figure in the mix as older Americans, defined as 65 and older, flood the market and for some women interested in finding love, that’s not promising.

According to “A Profile of Older Americans: 2007,” in 2006, older women outnumbered older men at 21.6 million older women to15.7 million older men, for a sex ratio of 138 women for every 100 men. The report was developed by the Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Nor is there to be any slowdown of the graying of America.

The report also predicts that the population of people 65 and older will increase from the 2000 figure of 35 million to 40 million in 2010, a 15 percent increase, and to 55 million in 2020, a 36 percent increase for that decade.

And while a woman who is 65 grew up corresponding on a typewriter rather than a computer, don’t think for a minute that she isn’t turning to the Internet to find Mr. Right.

Jean Sullender, 66, of Chesapeake tried Match.com. In hindsight, she says the man she met online wasn’t very truthful about himself. She later had a relationship with a man she met through eharmony.com.

Sullender joined The Single Gourmet and didn’t meet anyone to date but did make some friends.

She joined another singles club for which she had an interview and said what she was looking for in a match. She wondered whether the club had enough men in her age group.

“Is there a pool to draw from?” she wanted to know.

She was “ssured there was an equal number of men and women but didn’t find that to be so.

Once you’ve passed your 50s, she says, the men her age are looking for women 45 to 55.

Sullender wants somebody her own age but says that even an online photo in which you don’t look your age doesn’t help.

“All they look at is the age,” she says. “That’s the deal breaker.”

Sullender also tried speed dating. In this a type of event, singles sign up for their age group and gathering go from person to person to talk for a few minutes. Sullender didn’t find a pool of men past 60 from which to draw.

“If I go to ‘senior’ groups, I’m too young — everybody’s 10 years older. If I go to other single groups, I’m too old,” Sullender says.

“For women, you just fall in a hole once you get to 60.”

Most Popular Senior Dating Web Sites

Still looking for love in their later years

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

By DAN GOOD

 

  Jack Ross tosses a wooden board over the plastic legs of his work bench and unwinds the cord on his jigsaw, preparing to cut through the wood. He used to be a carpenter, but now he just does this for fun.Ross, who’s in his 60s, used to be married, too, more than 30 years to the same woman. But in the mid-1990s he and his ex-wife decided they were better apart, so now in addition to the woodworking he kayaks and bikes and occasionally, he dates new people. He’s not looking for another wife – he’s searching for someone to pedal her bike beside his, to fill the seat next to him on trips to Civil War battlefields.

“I don’t know what it is, maybe I’m too fussy, but I know what I want and I’m going to keep looking until I find it,” he says. “It’s hard to meet somebody.”

Ross isn’t alone. According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics from 2002, the most recent census study on our country’s older population, about 23 million people older than 55 years old aren’t married. While that number includes the frail and sickly and people who have no desire to date again, it also includes millions of seniors coupling up. Death and divorce brought this about. Medicine and technology help keep it going.

Dating’s a different game at this age, but in many ways it’s similar to those teenage years. The guys, like their younger selves, still try to show that they have money and a fancy car, and some actually do. Instead of applying makeup to appear older, women use makeup to subtract years from their age. But it’s tough to build a future on something fleeting like appearance. Skin wrinkles. Hair thins. Bodies creak and sag.

In the end, these single seniors just want to find someone to grow old with.Ross looked for his next girlfriend in the classifieds. No dice. Friends set him up on some disastrous blind dates. The streets of the 55-plus community where he lives, the Oaks of Weymouth, are about as quiet as the beach in February, so the grind of Ross’ saw echoes off the neighboring houses and street signs. The sound reaches up the street and around the corner to the activities building, where a dozen ladies line dance inside. But stepping to “Achy Breaky Heart” isn’t really the definition of active that Ross is searching for. And it seems the line dancers are all married.

Nanci Phifer, 62, is one of the married line dancers. Two divorces behind her, Phifer says there’s more responsibility – but the same sweet, sappy sinew – attached to dating later in life.

“When you start dating, you have the same giddy feelings you did at 16 or 18,” she said. “I’d like to say you’re wiser at my age, but that’s not necessarily true.”

Maybe realistic is a better way to describe it. When dating at this age you’ve experienced more life events, more happiness, more heartbreak. Everyone in this dating pool has buried the one they loved or lost the one they loved or missed out on a chance at love. Having children also changes the dating landscape, Phifer says.

“You have kids and they have kids, and it kind of puts a damper on things,” she says.

In our busy world, more seniors are scouring the internet for love. A quarter of the people who find matches on the dating website www.eharmony.com are over 50, and according to Joe Tracy, publisher of Online Dating Magazine, the fastest growing segment for online dating is seniors.

“Initially the boom was with people between the ages of 25 and 40, then it grew with college students. Now senior citizens are seeing this as a great way to meet people,” Tracy said.

The trend has taken off locally, as a dating Web site based near Philadelphia, www.seniorfriendfinder.com, is filled with profiles of seniors from Linwood, Ventnor City, Atlantic City and Millville, the seniors all looking for pretty much the same thing.

Sexual chemistry factors into many senior relationships. Ross searches for a younger companion because he wants to maintain his sex life. He says women in their late 50s and 60s tend to lose their drive, and he’s not ready to give that up.

Age can take away a man’s drive as well. Bedroom frustrations are one of those things that guys don’t like talking about, so erectile dysfunction has grown into a $2.7 billion dirty little secret. That’s how much money people in the U.S. spend every year on ED medicines like Viagra, Levitra and Cialis, according to Miller-McCune magazine. A generation ago if a man couldn’t perform there was little he could do about it. Now, with the little blue pill, there’s still hope.

Sometimes sexual activity continues into those nursing home years. JoAnn Starn, activities director at Millville Center, said she’s accidentally caught residents in the act. One male resident frequently bragged to Starn about his sex life and Viagra use. She brushed it off thinking he was joking, but when he passed away she had to go through his belongings, and sure enough, she found his Viagra stash.

“With seniors you wonder how long they’re able to remain sexually active, and here you have the answers,” she said. “It depends on the person’s health and if they’ve been active all their life.”

And then somewhere along the line, in the 70s, the 80s, the 90s, senior relationships shift focus from contact to companionship. After the sex fades couples continue holding hands on the bus, eating lunch together, sitting outside, talking. If dating at 55 feels like high school, this resembles middle school romance – more harmless, less pretentious, bonds built over field trips and socials.

Elaine Schiapelli, 82, is looking for that type of connection. Elaine has had a few special men in her life. She was married twice, then after moving into the Millville Center she dated Fran, who used to give her jewelry. It’s been two, two and a half years since he passed away. She continues to hope for another Prince Charming.

“I want someone who likes to laugh and have fun and who likes to dance,” she says. “You know anybody like that?”

Patricia Stewart, 76, found someone like that. Known him for 40 years, too. She was friends with Carl Stewart and his wife years ago, and the couples stayed in touch through Christmas cards. Patricia’s husband died 12 years ago. She didn’t think she would marry again, but after Carl’s wife also passed away, he asked Patty to lunch and they started dating.

Earlier this week, they celebrated their first wedding anniversary.

“I knew what kind of person he was, but we never realized how much we had in common until we started dating,” she said.

Jack Ross prepares his woodworking equipment. His T-shirt reads “Life is simple. Eat. Sleep. Bike.” But the slogan is misleading, since life is never really that simple. Biking alone on familiar roads gives you a lot of time to think about much more than eating and sleeping.

Someday, when he finds someone to pedal a bike beside his, Ross’s life will truly be simple again.

Senior Dating Guidelines

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Your 50 and you still haven’t found the one that you can call your true love? Don’t just want to watch and let your life pass you by. By all means, indulge in senior dating!

It’s been years or decades since your last date? In as much as you would like to really test the waters of the dating scene again, you’re too scared that you already lost your touch. And wondering how much the dating etiquette has has already evolved? Sit back and relax. Regain your dating prowess as you had in your teens back then. Read on to gain some advice on how to make senior dating lesser of a pressure and of more of an enjoyable activity.

1. Care for a second serving? Deciding if you would want another one is the one of the goals in getting into a first date. And how else can you accomplish that but to plan a date that would ensure lots of conversation, right? This is the opportunity for you to get to know each other more. Senior dating is not at any rate different from younger dating since the “guidelines” don’t differ that much. On a first date, it will be wise to avoid activities that will just leave you sitting mummed in the dark, i.e., watching a movie or a play. Senior dating does not exempt anyone on the pressure of groping in the dark if a first date became full of dead air.

2. What makes the both of tick? It is imperative that you consider activities that you think will be of your same interest. A hobby or a shared value incorporated in your first date will not only lessen the pressure on the two of you but will also bring out the best in you. In senior dating, no matter how long you’ve abandoned your throne already, you will be given a headstart if you do your homework. Whether you ask your date regarding what she fancies to do beforehand or research through common friends to surprise her with such activity. If you’re really into it, there’ll be no way of stopping you to make this first date a good one.

3. A lunch date may do wonders. Choosing lunch over dinner just because you’re considering that senior dating must be done earlier for some health reasons is a loser’s thought. A first date during senior dating, just like teen dating, will be more fun if done during daytime when more activities are available for the both of you to enjoy. It’s just that intimate ambience that a dinner date conjures that makes a first date more of an anxiety-inducing bustle than an at ease feat.

4. If going on senior dating just put you in a nerve-wracking jumbled mood, consider the ever trusty group date with friends. This will not only lessen the pressure of coming up with an in-synch convo but will also be more of an opportunity to see how you two interact with others. A charity auction or playing a sport that you and your group both agree to will do.

5. Rock and roll or take a stroll. No, it’s not about going to rock concerts but you could if you would like to. If you are not really a lunch-date person, dance parties are also good first date ideas. After an exhausting boogie-ing evening, you must have already been relieved of the tension brought about by your first date. Taking a stroll after the dance date will give you more time to get acquainted more of each other.

6. Senior dating doesn’t mean that you have to be pressured to doing everything to the extent of straining yourself just to hit it off. How? You just don’t have to confine yourself in wine tasting or book searching, which are some of the generic first date activities in pursuit of senior dating. You may also go to markets or malls that will not only give you time to gauge whether you’re of the same wavelength but may also give you an excuse if you didn’t it off. This is not about giving you negative vibes regarding your first date on senior dating but to prepare you for the possibilities of a not-so successful one or some kind of a way of getting a glimpse of the worst scenario.

7. Be graceful or don’t be. First dates often mean not necessarily knowing the person that much. If ever something comes up or simply you felt that you’re not comfortable with your date, leave. It’s better to be safe than be sorry.

Don’t just keep on telling yourself that you’ve been there and done that. Just keep an open mind and remember that you’re involving yourself with senior dating to have a good time. The first date is not an exception.

List of most popular Senior Dating Sites