Dating After 40 – Part 2 of 2 (Current)

Last week you read about my online dating experiences that happened almost five years ago. This week I will be writing about my current experience, which for the most part has been completely different in a good way.

I still watch “Catfish: The TV Show” regularly to help me make sure I’m talking to a real person. Also, what things to look for as far as red flags and If there are any new research methods I need to do. I highly recommend watching the show, especially if you are on the online dating sites. Nev and Max are the best, I would have loved to have had them help me the first time around catch some catfish.

I will not mention names and days in this writing to protect those I will be writing about. Whether my experience was good or bad, I have no regrets nor do I want to hurt those who may have hurt me. This writing is more to help others who are online dating.

In February, I signed up on an online dating site. I had a friend look over my profile before I posted it to make sure it was ok, that it didn’t sound desperate or that I would be easily taken advantage of. This is how it currently reads:

Hi! Thank you for taking time to read my profile.

******My paid subscription ended 4/5, so I will not be able to see certain features (like Meet Me) on here so please message me if you’re interested.**

I moved to Charlotte two years ago from Pittsburgh, PA for a fresh start. I quit my day job in Corporate Finance (3/17) to start my own business which will be opening in June in York, SC (I will be moving from Charlotte to York in July). I am opening a candy store and selling candy I make along with other candy (I will also sell online through my blog website). I will also be selling essential oils. My third business is a blog I write, I started writing a blog in October (

I like all kinds of music. I have not gone to any concerts since I’ve been in Charlotte, I am hoping to go to some this year. My music taste varies from country (George Strait, Garth Brooks, and Reba), current (Maroon 5, Train, Coldplay, One Republic), easy listening (Barry Manilow and Neil Diamond) to 70s (yes I still listen to disco and Abba), 80s (Huey Lewis & the News, hair bands, and pop), and 90s (Sugar Ray, Sheryl Crow, and Jewel). I’m open to listening to new music.

I like to golf, bowl, and play tennis even though I’m not good at them. I do have my own golf clubs and bowling ball.

I am a die-hard Pittsburgh Pirate Baseball fan!

I have two cats. I love animals. I grew up on a farm, animals have been important to me all my life.

I have been divorced since May 2013 (separated September 2012). It was a 20-year marriage. I will answer questions you may have on why it ended.

I’m looking forward to meeting a nice, romantic, honest man.

If you have any questions just ask.

I make sure to attach current pictures. I have six pictures on my profile all within the past six months and I update them frequently so that most recent selfie of me is on the page. While I am finding that most of the men do not do this, I want to make sure that any man I am in contact with knows exactly what I look like. I am not going to show up at a meeting spot and be a totally different person.

I have talked/texted/messaged with probably about 15 guys since February. However, it wasn’t until April that I started meeting a few. That was purely by my choice. When I start communicating with a guy, within the first few communications or even in the first one, I let them know that I want to meet somewhere soon, that I am not looking for a texting / messaging only relationship. I want to meet to see if we have chemistry and start to get to know one and other. I have learned that you cannot know from electronic communication whether you and this other person have chemistry.

Another thing that I am upfront with a guy I am going to meet is that I write a blog. I mention it in my profile, but I tell the guy to go read some things before we meet. This way he knows if he wants to continue with me or not. I would say this has weeded out about six guys’ I was messaging and getting ready to meet. That is fine with me, because if they can’t handle what I write about they sure as heck cannot handle me.

I clearly state in the “Intent” section on my profile “I am putting in serious effort to find someone.” Again, I want to make sure that we are not wasting each other’s time. The choices for this particular site are:

• “I’m looking for Casual dating/No commitment”
• “I want to date but nothing serious”
• “I want a relationship”
• “I am putting in a serious effort to find someone”
• “I am serious and I want to find someone to marry”

I pay attention to what the guy says under “Intent” in his profile. The first two are obvious that he is looking for hookups and not in it for the relationship, so I avoid those profiles/guys. You can tell when you meet a guy and he lied about his intent on the profile. If he lied about that, there are probably other things he lied about.

Other things I have done this time around is restricting who can send me messages. Which means that a guy has to meet the criteria I set in order to email me. Here are some of my settings:

• “Male”
• “Age Between: 37 and 57”
• “Lives in United States”
• “You must have a picture to contact this user”
• “Lives within 75 miles”

This helps weed out potential catfish. It doesn’t eliminate it, but it helps by putting in these criteria. If they provide pictures, you can Google them to see if anything comes up. Trust me this is an important feature. When I started using that five years ago, I started catching catfishes easier/quicker. That way I was not wasting my time and could report them.

When looking at men’s profiles, it makes me laugh when pictures are of the guys almost naked, sayings instead of picture, or pictures from 10 or 20 years ago. Come on guys, we will find out that you have aged when we meet up. So be honest out there on the site and put more current pictures. Don’t put the romantic sayings as your main profile picture or only picture, we want to see what you look like just as much as you want to see what we look like. If you are going on a dating site, put a current picture of yourself. Oh, and don’t have the only picture be a group picture where we do not know which one is you. I do not even waste my time looking at a profile without a picture. To me personally, not showing your picture means you are hiding something and I do not even want to deal with what you may be hiding. If I am confident enough to put my picture out there (and I did it even when I was 60 pounds heavier), then you should too. I am an animal lover and you can have pictures of your pets, but don’t have that be the only picture. Yes, your dog/cat is cute, but I’m not looking to date them.

I’m not a parent, but one of the things that does bother me on the dating sites is men putting pictures of their young kids. Tell me you have kids, even tell me their ages, but don’t expose them to the dating sites because not all people are honest and that could cause issues down the road with the wrong person seeing those pictures. Protect your kids, don’t use them as bait.

I’m still trying to figure out what prompts someone to email/text a picture of their private parts when you were casually talking. Does that person really think that if they show you what it looks like, you will just swoon over him and want to meet? If someone asks or the conversation turns very sexual, then that’s a different story, the picture is kind of a byproduct of the conversation. If you are online dating and send naked/private part pictures, remember they now have the picture you willingly sent to them and you have no idea what they are going to do with it. The best decision is to not take / send those types of pictures, protect yourself.

As I mentioned, I started meeting up with a few guys this month. It has been an interesting experience and very educational about myself and the dating world. I went out/met with five of the guys. I am talking with two other guys trying to determine when we can meet somewhere. Of the five I met I had a connection with three of them, since it’s early, none of us were ready to commit to an exclusive relationship as of right now. I will say that four of the five have been polite, sweet, smart, and frustrating. Taking precautions to meet at a neutral location, to see if I trust them enough to eventually have them come to my place or for me to go to their place. I have trusted all of them to end up at some point at either place. No, I did not sleep with all of them. However, I am 47 and I’m not going to act all innocent, I did sleep with three of them. It was the first time I had sex since my separation/divorce. One of them found someone else, which I am fine with. I am still talking to two of them to see about more dates. Dating at this age has been harder to plan things out with work schedules. I know some have kids and as expected their kids come first, I fully support that mindset. Others have two jobs or on call jobs and I understand that too.

I have learned to take care of myself and if a guy wants to do something that I don’t and he does not listen I either leave or kick him out. That happened a few weeks ago when a guy would not take no for an answer I kicked him out of my apartment. I had another guy who only wanted to sext and kept sending me pictures of his penis. I blocked him on the site and on my phone.

I actually thought this one guy that I met up with/dated three times was going to turn into more than casual, but he has not communicated to me in several days. When we met for lunch before communication stopped, we talked about some concerns we both had, and we both answered honestly. So, when I left him, I thought we were ok and moving forward. One of my concerns was communication. Communication was lacking in my marriage and while it wasn’t the only reason for the end of the marriage, it was a big part. The fact that this particular guy has not gotten in contact with me since we had lunch several days ago and has not returned texts tells me he is not as interested as I originally thought.

Currently, I am talking to three guys. One I have met before and we are trying to figure out when we can meet again. He works two jobs and I am trying to get my candy store opened by June. I am trying to meet up with the other two guys, their work schedules right now have been a challenge, but I think in the next week we’ll be able to meet.

Dating these days is challenging but it is also liberating. Growing up we were taught to hold off on sex until further along in the relationship or married. Today sex on the first date is acceptable in your 40s. Even living together back twenty-five years ago was looked down upon. Now it is almost encouraged to see if you can put up with each other under the same roof before you are married.

I have been asked by friends, family and men if I want to get married again. I have nothing against marriage. The fact I’m divorced does not sour me on the thought of getting married. I believe that is the ultimate commitment to each other. However, there are a few things that whomever I do marry needs to understand. One, I am not changing my last name. I am starting a new company and it will be associated with my maiden name (I went back to that during the divorce). Two, there will be separate bank accounts, I will have one, he will have one, and we will have a third one that we put money into to pay bills. Three, I will not be isolated from my friends and family again. I have such a fantastic group of friends (old and new) and there is no man who will pull me away from them. He will need to accept them as part of me. Finally, communication has to be an important part of the relationship. We need to be able to communicate about everything. We should be able to talk about our hopes, dreams, issues, bad days, frustrations, sex, romance, and basically everything going on in the world.

If you are single I think you should try one of the online dating sites, at least one of the top five. Most of them you can try free and sometimes they do have specials where you can join inexpensively for 2-3 months. I have done both paying and free. Online dating is the new way of meeting people. It also gives you more options than your local bar. If you would have asked me four years ago I would have said “don’t do it, you’ll get catfished.” Note, your success online depends on how you present yourself and how you pay attention to the other person. Watch for red flags, ask to video chat or meet. If you keep hearing excuses that is a big red flag and it’s time to move on. Whatever you do, do not send money. There will be people out there asking for money with sob stories, until you meet them and get to know them DO NOT send money.

Be safe out there. Meet in a public place. Use protection if you do choose to have sex. Take self-defense classes so if things go sour, you can defend yourself. Let someone know who you are meeting, where you are meeting and check in with them. I always let at least one of my friends know who I am meeting, the guy’s name, I send them a picture, and let them know where and when we are meeting. Then I would check in at some point so they knew I was ok. I know it seems over protective, but in this day and age, you have to take precautions. You don’t know these people and we want all of you around for a long time.

Remember that NO Means NO. This goes to both sexes, if the other person says NO, honor that and back off. Consent needs to be on both parties. My suggestion is don’t drink too much where you are not in control of yourself. One to two glasses of something is fine, but when you get inebriated it leaves you open to bad things. I personally do not drink alcohol on any dates or meets because I want to be alert and actually pay attention to what the other person is saying.

Note, since I am looking for a man on these sites the perspective in the writing is what I notice on their profiles and my experiences. However, I am sure that some women are just as bad, so guys if you are looking for a lady, please be careful yourselves. They can be a catfish too. Watch “Catfish: The TV Show” trust me it is good TV and a lot of good information.

Because of my belief in “everything happens for a reason,” I know when the time is right I will find that special guy or if its someone I’ve already met he will change his mind and commit to me. I do not want to force a love connection. It is either there or it isn’t. If your gut is anything like mine, you know right away whether there is a connection or not. Chemistry cannot be faked.

I will post updates on my dating experiences.

Good luck finding your soulmate!

Who will get the red rose?

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