Over 30 and dating in the digital age. Is it really that hard?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, May 16, 2013.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is related to my son, Mr. 35, although I am just curious about it in general. I was thinking (I think too much...lol)...

    He's hardly a prince, but he comes across as really nice and he's a decent looking guy with a good job and a car and he isn't looking for just a hook up. Dating seems so different to me when I listen to him talking about it. He's on Match. Seems there is texting forever with some people wanting mostly text penpals. There is little in the way of phonecalling and he tells me the girls would rather text. There is even less meeting even in public places that are safe. He gets frustrated. But this isn't about him. This is my curiousity. Is it really that different to date now than it was before the internet?

    I met my sweetie hub by placing an ad in the newspaper and I was young and pretty then so I got over one hundred letters!!! That was without the men seeing a picture of me first and with me being very clear that I was not looking for a one-night-stand or anyone who drank much or was divorced more than one time. Most of the men I met were not drinkers and were only divorced once, but they still tried to have sex...lol! Ah, well. Not all of them did. I regress.

    The men still had to talk to me over the phone and it wasn't that hard to get men to meet me in a public place for about an hour. I think I'd have failed in the digital age. I absolutely HATE texting and can't see myself as a person who would have liked it even if it had been popular to do when I was in my thirties.

    Lighthearted thread. Also, how did you meet your mate? Is it harder to find a match now? Is marriage sort of going out of style?
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    My XH was introduced to me by a mutual friend. I wasn't interested... So XH and I became "just friends". Years down the road, we decided to find out "what if". I miss that friendship.

    Most of the people I've dated, I've met either by being somewhere or having a mutual friend. The few possbilities I have met online... Ugh. One I met in an AOL RPG chatroom, mid 90s, and got to be friends. Ended up going to Prom with him - he was 18, I was 22 and he had a MAJOR crush. Sigh. The other one, I met at the Mall food court and was very glad I had, he creeped me out in real life.

    husband... I met at work. I worked for the subcontractor in one building, he was filling out new hire paperwork for the prime contractor in another. I had gone into the secretary's office to do something to her computer. Here was this cute, surfer-haired guy with glasses and a backpack... But something was hard about his eyes. I pegged him then for a Marine. I mentioned something about flashing the BIOS on my computer and since then the joke's been I had him at BIOS. I had the secretary ask if he was single, looking, and interested. The answer? Single, yes, looking, no, interested, yes. And he had a psycho ex. "Well who doesn't?" I thought. MAN, if I'd only known!

    It became clear we were supposed to be together... I'd been at an outdoor shopping mall, at an arcade owned by my then-boyfriend's uncle, and there was a fight in the parking lot... The security guard and a drunk. Years later, husband was telling a story to Onyxx about being a security guard at an outdoor shopping mall and having to take down a drunk... Fact checks, and it was HIM. And my friend M wanted to introduce me to this Marine friend of hers, he was recovering from a nasty first marriage... I'd be perfect for him, and him for me. "Nope, I don't date military." So she hooked him up with another friend - who turned out to be bio, and yes, this was him again... Onyxx and Jett could've been my bio kids... (Still friends with her, too, LOL!) Several other near misses.
  3. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    I've dated online and it can be frustrating. And it does seem like people just want to talk. When I first met people online I was a teen and met a few other teen ish people in a public place and blah blah blah. Was safe and met some cool people seems like because of the dangers that have become more apparent over the past several years no one uses it as a real "meeting" people method. But maybe that's not true since match.com says joining them makes you 3 times more likely to have a relationship.

    My hubs and I met in the army, we knew each other for several years because he was in my unit. He knew me when I was pregnant with boyo, an said he still thought I was cute. Anyway when it became apparent my ex and I weren't going to work things out while we were deployed. Hubs and I started talking more seriously and had common goals, common morals.
    It was like seeing him for the first time. Our relationship progressed at the usual normal breakneck speed of any army court ship because of orders and we ended up getting married 2 days after my dad died and 10 days before he was supposed to be in colorado for orders.

    And yes I think marriage is out of style probably with good reason if we hasn't both been federal employees, with the benefits of marriage making it almost impossible to be together if we weren't married, well I wouldn't have done it again. Marriage is bondage and people seem to get along better without that piece of paper that seems to mean "I can treat you like **** and you can't leave without it costing you a boatload of money"
    But marriage for the past month or so has been closer to the relationship we had before we got married. Which is nice and I'm glad to have him most days.
  4. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I have done online dating in the past and I can say without a doubt that I absolutely do not miss it at all whatsoever. One of my biggest pet peeves was having a guy send me a message for the first time, and then before I can even respond they would ask me to meet them somewhere THAT night! No way was I going to agree to meet some virtual stranger the very same night he sends me a message on a dating website. I'm like, "No thank you. I would like to talk to you a little first and get to know you a little better before agreeing to meet somewhere." Most men didn't respond well to it. They didn't want to waste time chatting for a bit. They wanted to meet right NOW. So I said bye bye to those types of men. And then there were the sex perverts. Ones who compliment me and tell me I have a beautiful smile or beautiful eyes. So I think to myself awww how sweet. Then they start with the sex talk. Asking me sexual questions or wanting me to send nude pics to their cell phones. So I had to block them. Then there were the guys who played sweet and innocent for awhile. We would chat about things we had in common like sports, music, etc, and they would seem so nice and so innocent. So I felt comfortable enough to give them my phone number. Then one day I would be sitting at work and get a random text on my phone. I would check my text and it would be some picture of a guy's penis that I had talked to online. And this didn't happen just once. I have had this happen SEVERAL times. So again I blocked.

    I met my current SO through a mutal friend on facebook. He saw one of my posts on her page and he asked her if he could friend request me. She said yes and I accepted. We remained friends for awhile. We have a lot in common. We are both die hard basketball fans, love the same music, and attend the same church. So he eventually asked me out on a date and I accepted. We hit it off and we've been together ever since. If somehow it doesn't work out with him and i find my self in the dating scene again, I think I am going to avoid dating websites all together. I have had too many bad experiences and I really got burnt out after awhile. So hopefully SO and I stay together. I don't envy anybody out there who is currently in the dating scene at the moment. I am glad to be done with it.
  5. Castle Queen

    Castle Queen Warrior in training

    I met my DF on an online dating site and am well over 30 (40, even!) . We didn't initially text- we emailed. That lasted less than a month, and only that long because the kids & I went on a trip to visit my folks. But I wouldn't have been happy texting for long because no matter how good that connection seems you still need to meet in person to find out for sure. And who wants to waste their time? I think a lot of people today are reluctant to leave the "safe" world of text/email because in that world, rejection is less painful. If they actually have to step out of that comfort zone to talk on the phone or meet, they are taking a risk. But these folks are probably engaging more than they would if email/text were not an option.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    But hmmmmmmm if you know there is nobody at work to meet and if you don't have a group of friends who know a single person to fix you up with, what is your other choices in meeting somebody? Bars?

    Seems kinda grim!!! Glad I'm married. If anything God forbid happens to my hub before me, and I hope it doesn't, I can't imagine trying to date again. It's not just my age. It's how things have become. Plus hub is a great hub. I can't imagine trying to replace him. I'd rather just make friends...
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I don't think online dating is that wonderful an idea. sure technology is great, but for some things you need to be face to face. Therapy and dating are firmly in that category, in my opinion. I have known tons of people who got conned and/or scammed by people they met while attempting to date online. I only know one who actually married a guy she met onlne and I can guarantee that it won't last. She is my exsil and is flat out crazy and has scammed this guy into marriage while still having six online boyfriends that she has phone sex with while her husband is at work. So not much faith in that. I know a lot of people who tried to date people they met online and it always ends up with them saying that they had no idea what teh person was really like until it was too late and they were always upset and felt they were lied to at the very least.

    For some things the old fashioned ways are still the best. Dating means making a personal connection and that isn't likely to happen via online dating. Most of the single men I know who use online dating are using it to find sex. They want sex and maybe they will take a woman out to eat once or twice to get it. They are not really looking for a partner in life and love. Meeting someone through friends or an activity you enjoy is truly the best way to find a life partner, in my opinion.

    husband and I met through a friend of mine that worked with him. She kept telling me that we were perfect and she gave a Halloween party that I was told was couples only an he needed a date so could I just come to even out the numbers for the party. I agreed very reluctantly. He had NO idea that it was a 'couples' party. He wanted to meet me but had zero clue about what I was told. He did NOT make a good impression. He had seen me at the restaurant where I worked because his best friends owned a store next door. I was waiting tables while wearing a pith helmet (the kind worn on safaris) when he saw me - we had to wear hats at work and I HATE baseball caps with a passion, so I had a collection of hats that were quite unusual. Apparently I was his server, but I only vaguely remembered him. I met him at the party. He had a costume all right. He had on a dog nose and a collar and a tail. His best friend's wife was holding the leash.

    NOT a good impression, Know what I mean?? I left the party five min later. The friend invited him to our Sunday brunch the next morning. She manipulated me into going to a movie with him, and we have been together since. The first time he came to watch a movie with me at my folk's house (I was living at home when we met), he fell asleep partway through it with his head on my lap. My mom came in to say goodnight and just smiled at me. Later she told me she knew then that we would get married. We ahdn't known each other two weeks at that point.

    Friends and family are the best ways to meet someone. Your son will have a VERY hard time dating because he doesn't know how to have a relationship with anyone. He has to make time to have some sort of activity with other people and then a more connected relationship will happen. I just don't see people who are totally tied up in their jobs with no friendships or strong connections to anyone having a successful dating relationship. If you cannot connect to people on a friendly level, you cannot hope to connect on a more intimate level. You don't learn to run without crawling and walking, and in my opinion the same is true of having a long term dating/married relationship. Whether or not you get married, you have to make that connection first.

    Sadly, our online, texting, instant communication/gratification world is keeping people from making those connections for the most part, in my opinion.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Susie... I'm in your court on this one.

    Personal relationships can only be built and maintained through personal contact.
    On-line? well... if you already have a strong relationship, and have to be apart for some reason, it can "help" communication... but it's only a minor tool in the big picture. in my opinion... on-line has no place in starting a personal relationship of ANY sort.
  9. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I would like to add that many men use these sites in order to get sex because there are some women who go for it and give them what they want. If they try hard enough eventually they are going to get it. Makes it harder for the good people out there who are truly wanting to find a life long partner. Eventually I got so sick of being hit up for sex all the time that I put on my profile, in big bold letters, "I AM NOT LOOKING FOR SEX! If that is what you want then please bypass my profile and look elsewhere." I still had men sending me nasty messages. When I would ask them why they are sending me sex messages when I had clearly posted on my profile that I wasn't looking for that, they would respond, "Oh I didn't even read your profile. I thought your picture was pretty so I sent you a message." Ugh! So yeah, the online dating scene is a no go for me.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Randomly, every few months I'll get a facebook friend request from some random person who says they saw my profile picture and think I'm pretty.

    Well... The last time this happened my profile picture was my USMC Grandfather in 1948 and my "cover" was the opening screen from Zork I. I've got my profile locked down pretty well... That's just about all you can see. I checked - no mutual friends. This guy was clearly nuts!
  11. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I've had a couple random guys message me on facebook too. I have no idea how they found me. We don't have any mutual friends. Luckily so far I haven't had any sex messages. One guy is a missionary from another country. He randomly messages me from time to time to say hi and "God bless you." I send him a thank you message but I don't engage him in any conversation. He seems harmless so I haven't blocked him.
  12. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    To me it seems that people are meeting their future spouses still mostly in old fashioned way. Through friends, common interests, in bars (in older times people used to find dates from dances around here, nowadays it is nightclubs), work, school. I met my husband both trough school thingies (we were studying in different Universities but in same city and there were common parties) and through friends. We happened to meet few times in different parties etc and talked a little and were soon dating. We were of course rather young at the time.

    My older friends who have been looking have gotten lucky mostly at bars, through friends, work or activities. Only internet couples I actually know and who have had a longer relationship got to know each other online, but not in any dating site. Other couple met through Irc, chatted there a longest time and then went to date. They have now been together 15 years. Other one was through a message board bit like this (of course not by topic, it was a pet related site) and they first met in real life in some bigger meeting there many people from that board got together to have a walk with their dogs or something.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, 35 is another story. He doesn't have a network of friends and has a teeny family (me and ex still talk to him...lol). Even if his siblings did, he has Julie, who doesn't know anyone who is available) and nineteen year old autistic Sonic and sixteen year old Jumper. Meeting through friends and family? Not gonna happen for him. However, he is a master at making good first impressions, which is kind of proof to me that internet dating is bad. On the other hand, i think meeting at a bar is even worse. I never would go to bars. My sister did and met exactly nobody who was sober and/or unmarried and/or looking for sex.

    If you work for a place where you meet a lot of people, I think that's a good resource, but a lot of people don't.

    Sus, you are right. 35 will have a hard time because he is socially inept. He's actually not afraid of intimacy. He wants to get close emotionally too fast and too soon and RIGHT NOW (and we are not talking about sex here). But his intensity eventually scares off the women he meets. Which is probably best for both of them. I do want what jis best for him. I am not sure a relationship is.

    As for others, the ones I know who want to meet people are struggling with where to go. Most of my friends don't like to be around drinking and drunk people. Bars are not an option. Plus those I know are older and it DOES seem to be more challenging. Some try church groups or dances, but at most social events like those there are far more women than men.

    I agree with anyone who says that people nowadays do not learn to talk to each other and that doing so is the only way to really get to know a person. On top of that, the internet dating can be dangerous. You really don't know who is at t he other end of the computer before you meet him.

    Of course, any new dating situation is potentially dangerous. That nice looking guy in a great suit who smiles all the time at work could be a serial killer. See Ted Bundy!!! It's scary!
  14. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I met my ex the old-fashioned way: in a bar. Maybe that's why he's my ex.

    Yesterday I heard a song on the radio which is now my favorite song. It's called "It Takes a Mighty Good Man to Be Better Than No Man At All."

    I definitely won't be looking for somebody on the internet. Most of the men I meet in person are rotters and the ones on the net are worse.

    I know not all men are terrible but, at my age, if they're unattached there's a reason and I don't want them either.
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think meeting someone online can be a good thing if you do it the right way. You say he is on Match. Maybe he should try other places too. What is he interested in? Find a website like this and join there. He might find a friend there. Look how many of us have met. It just so happens most of us are female mothers but if he was interested in video games or cars or puzzles or even Pogo, it would be a much more diverse population.

    On Match maybe his profile isnt well written. You are a good writer, maybe you should take a look at it and re-write it for him. I do think people should text and instant message/email for quite awhile before they give out a phone number. In fact, I would keep it online with instant messaging and emailing so they dont even have my phone number for at least a month until I have time to do a good background check on them. You can simply never be too careful.
  16. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I could write an entire book on online dating experiences lol. The main problem I have with the pay dating sites are they're "bait and switch." Your "match results" include paying and non-paying subscribers, which means not all of them can respond to you. If you email a non-paying subscriber, they won't even see your email. I've met some good people, I've met some crazy people, and a lot in between. I don't have a lot of faith in dating sites in general, I've found that the the desperate people, scammers and folks just out for sex generally outnumber the "normal" folks(although there are some good people there, they're harder to find). I've kept a profile up on one (free) site just to keep that door open, but I don't put a lot of stock in it.

    I always suggest people check out "Meetup." It's not a dating site -- it's a site created for people to "use the internet to get off the internet." Organizers create groups in local areas focused on specific interests: hiking, biking, knitting, movies, dogs, singles, couples -- you name it, there's a Meetup group for it. People sign up on the site, and then attend events in person. If you meet a person to date that way, great. If not, you've met friends that you can do things with and have fun. I enjoy it so much I run two groups myself. And stil single ;-)

    Is dating really that hard? I think the answer is, it depends. I do think it gets harder as you get older, digital age or not. There's just less out there. Bottom line is to just live your life doing things you enjoy doing, single or not.
  17. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I've been reading this thread with interest........I grew up in New York and have a number of girlfriends who still live in Manhattan. They tell me that due to the incredible busy lifestyle of folks these days, online dating has become a normal fixture in today's dating world. A few of them are married to men they met on Match.com or eharmony, it's been years now and two in particular have met what they consider to be the loves of their lives. The others seem to enjoy meeting new folks this way and of course have to exert common sense and self protection. These are savvy, professional women who are well versed in the dating game. I know many people, of all ages who are using this as a dating choice and I believe, if you utilize your intelligence and good sense, this could be a rewarding experience. Not everyone will meet the person of their dreams, however, for those looking for someone who are willing to just have fun in the process using good self care skills keeping themselves safe, I think it's a fine idea and works a certain percentage of time too, for any age group.

    It begins with anonymous emails through the site, but once someone feels safe it evolves to perhaps personal emails or texts, to phone conversations then finally to a physical meeting, it's an evolution, just like regular dating, it doesn't stay in the realm of cyberspace forever, everyone makes their own choices as to how it goes down.

    As in life in general, I think there are good people, bad people and the usual set of weirdos that inhabit the planet, perhaps more online because anonymity makes it more appealing. I don't think a difficult child would fit well in the world of online dating because certainly, it's about making good choices and good choices are usually not in the realm of reason with our difficult child's. It's a choice, for some not one they would consider, but for others, it's a way of life which works well for them.
  18. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I am way too out of the loop to even have a clue. I know that L found her hubby on Match. She literally lined up her prospects for marriage and dated a collection of men up while living with several others until a few weeks before she walked down the aisle. She wanted to keep her options open, and how much could a man actually know about a woman who lives 50 miles away.

    I hope I am NEVER in the position that I need to date again. Hanging out in bars was bad enough!
  19. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Witz, have I ever told you that you make me laugh??? I really LIKE you and your sense of reality. DDD
  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    MWM, I do NOT recommend you EVER writing your son's dating profile. The way he treats you would NOT improve. He would then call and harangue you about every single person that either did not respond to him or did not do what he wanted. His single status would be 1000% your fault. Having anyone else involved will give him someone to blame besides himself. If he wants a relationship to work, he first needs to deal with his drinking, his abusive treatment of others (no way is his treatment of you different from his behavior with others), and the pain that stems from his divorce. It is WAY too soon for him to be dating and in my opinion he is way too unhealthy for any relationship to be successful in a healthy way. It is sad, but it is HIS problem to deal with. Your involvement will ONLY serve to let him blame you instead of himself for dating/relationship failure. You do NOT need that.

    The too intense too early thing is a MAJOR red flag for an abusive relationship. He has other things that would make me wary of introducing him to any of my friends. If he wants a relationship that is not online, he needs to find something to do that is not online or work. You have to get out there, find something to do. Every area has various groups who do things. From exercise classes and gyms to churches (if you are a guy they are PRIME places to meet women, esp if you like kids or have one), to parks, dog parks, clubs that do charity work, etc...

    I know a LOT of people who met their spouse/partner at AA. The ones who have long term relationships waited at least a year before dating. Others, like my bro, had sex early and dated early, maybe got married but it was NOT a good thing and didn't last. The guys who have made it through a year or more of AA and sobriety (both,NOT one or the other), actually ended up being really good husbands.

    The big problem with online dating is that if you don't have good 'offline' relationships, when the online dating becomes offline dating, those problems are going to be there and it will be NOT good. in my opinion your son would be far better off exploring why his marriage failed and how he could be a better person and father and then once he has addressed those issues he could try dating and would have a vastly better chance. Of course I have been married for 20 yrs, so what do I know? Although I did watch gfgbro try the online thing and that was scary. I felt bad for the women. Except for the ones who were scarier than he was.