Dating at Our Age?

I’ve been pondering the topics I’ll cover in my new workshop — “How the Heck Do I Date at This Age?” — which I’ll debut in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin  on Oct. 1 and 2, 2011. (See my events page for details.)

Can I get you involved? If you’re newly dating again, or if you’ve been single and dating for a long time, what questions and/or tips do you have for the rest of us?

For example, people who attend my book signings and speeches have asked me these questions about online dating and dating in general:

  • Is it okay to lie about my age? If I don’t, no one will date me.
  • When I’m ready to have sex with a new person, how do I know if he’s “safe”?
  • Why do men pursue me like crazy and then suddenly disappear and I never hear from them again?
  • After I meet someone, how do I say I don’t want to see him/her again without hurting his/her feelings?
  • Why do women show photos of their pets and grandchildren on their profiles? I don’t want to date their pets or grandchildren.
  • Why do men wear sunglasses in their profile photos? It looks like they’re shifty and hiding.
  • Is there a nice way to ask women to send a full-body photo? Not nude or revealing, just showing their body type.
  • Why do men think that 30-50 pounds overweight is “average” build?
  • (From a man:) I posted my profile and got so many responses that I couldn’t possibly answer them all. Are men so outnumbered?
  • (From a woman:) I posted my profile — why didn’t I get any responses?

You can bet I have answers for all of these, but I want to know your opinion first and get our community talking. Here’s how you can participate with your comments:

  • 1. Choose any of the above questions, and take a stab at the answer.
  • 2. Add questions of your own.
  • 3. Add tips to help seniors navigate dating at our age.
  • 4. What else should we know?

After I get an array of comments, I’ll write an update with my views. Your turn first!

Check out more “seniors dating” posts here.


  1. Aida on September 20, 2011 at 1:23 am

    This is a link to "Alarm Bells" that pretty much says it all when it comes to online dating…. that is, you have to have a sense of humor about the whole thing, especially sex, aging, and dating!

  2. Anonymous on September 19, 2011 at 7:25 am

    RE: Why do men pursue me like crazy and then suddenly disappear and I never hear from them again?

    I've had this happen a lot when I've been involved with someone. Men come on to me all the time, not knowing I'm in a relationship. But when I'm not in a relationship, the men tend to disappear. Anyone else experience this phenomena?

  3. Anonymous on September 19, 2011 at 7:19 am

    It seems to me that using age to disqualify a person as a potential fit is no better than an employer using age to discriminate against a candidate without first finding out what the candidate's qualifications are through a phone interview and then if that looks promising, an in-person interview. If age indeed is a deal breaker, then it should be stated up front. I know I would not be interested in someone that shallow, either as someone to date or to hire!!!

    Because I do look younger than my age, I get asked to show an ID all the time and young men have hired me in the workplace telling me they thought I was like their older sister but couldn't possibly be old enough to be their mother. Romantically and sexually, I have been involved with men 18-20 yrs younger and older than me. Either way, the man always thought I was younger than he. So while I don't believe in lying about anything, I also don't believe that you need to let the online world know how old you are just because the question is asked.

  4. Sally Wendkos Olds on September 19, 2011 at 3:19 am

    Before you know whether a new partner is safe to have sex with, it's prudent to use a condom. Then if the two of you want to continue a sexual relationship, you can both be tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases — and show each other your clean bill of health. It's a whole different world these days.

  5. Erica Manfred on September 18, 2011 at 11:27 pm


    The above questions answer each other. Men think 30-50 overweight is "average" because they are in such demand that they can get away with it. They can probably also get away with asking for a full body photo for the same reason. I doubt a woman could. The woman who got no responses, the answer is in the question above yours. It's rough for us older women.

  6. David on September 18, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Here are my answers to a couple of the questions:
    1. It is not okay to lie about age.
    I have recently had that occur. A woman who stated in her CL ad that she was 55. We had a nice date (Sta.Rosa Air show.) but at the end, she said, "I'm really 65, but I can pass for 55, can't I?" Of course I agreed, but by lying she was exhibiting several unflattering things. She's ashamed of her age. She's insecure. She does what many vendors do, lie about her product. (So she considers herself a product to be sold.)
    I much prefer a woman who is proud of herself at her real age. Who does not have to lie. Who does not consider herself a product to be sold.
    7. Just ask–but you admit that body type is more important to you. Nothing wrong with that as long as you are honest with yourself and her. It may seem shallow, but we all have our preferences. I am always clear that I won't date a smoker or a political/cultural/religious conservative. My choice.

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