I’ve decided instead of being a victim, I want to see the fun in dating “over 55” and using the internet. I plan to post at least once a month if not twice a month. Please feel free for advice, suggestions or your own stories!
(The names have not been changed to protect the innocent…I figure if these characters go online to date, then I can surely write about them!!!)
Just recently I was talking to a very dear friend who has been happily married for over 25 years. She seems to get a kick out of listening to all my “dating over 55” stories. As I was updating her with the latest ordeal, she kiddingly suggested that I should write them down and share them with others. So…it didn’t take me long, I went right to my computer to start my story.
It all started about a year ago. I had been separated for about 6 months, but it felt like 6 years. The past 4 years my ex and I were like roommates. Don’t get me wrong, he is a nice guy, a great Dad, but after many up and down years with employment, I think we had run out of respect and love for one another. Suffice to say, the sex life wasn’t there either. Could it had been 4 years without sex…really?
Since we had grown children, I decided to not only separate but physically get out of dodge. I moved 400 miles away. I know, crazy but healthy!!! I relied a lot on friends and family to pull me out of the darkness. It was during one of those friends’ visit when I found out that I was now on Match. I also think it was the bottle of wine we shared the night before that helped.
I immediately received some “interests”. Wow, how could this be so easy? Well, let me tell you it’s not! I’m an educated person…college degree, in shape (remember, “diet divorce”) and I’ve been told a “go-getter”. So, I took these interested men and tried to answer all of their wacko emails. I mean wacko. Here is a sampling:
“ Hi, it seems funny reading your profile, as we are so similar!…I’m looking for someone beyond just dating…You are beautiful, I am sure you have lots of opportunities”…J
- Well, I responded and suggested talking on the phone as our paths definitely had some parallels. Never heard from “J” again.
“Hello Desert Mom: I wasn’t sure I was reading it correctly that perhaps you meant ‘Dessert Mom’ which has a totally different connotation. …If you’re so bold, give me a call.” John
- Note to self and others…Ladies, never call the guy. I don’t care how desperate you might feel, it’s still a man’s world and they want some control. So I let John call me. Unfortunately, when John did call, I accidentally hit a wrong button using Google voice (new to me) and it recorded the whole conversation. AWKWARD! Needless to say, haven’t heard from John since.
I get these types of “interests” a lot:
“You look nice”. (What am I supposed to respond to??? No I’m not nice???)
“You are beautiful. Is age important to you?” (No, I’m not into dating my son!!!)
“dam gurl ur really cute wanna talk an possibly meet” (Damn boy, can you spell?)
Ok, yes in the beginning I guess one’s ego needs to hear that I don’t look 58 to some guys, but when you really “weed through” you end up desperate just to meet someone normal!?!?
About a month into all of this, I met Robert. Nice guy, a bit different than I was used to but he was/is quite attentive. It also helped that he liked to play tennis, go hiking, explore and had as much free time as I did. He definitely made it known that he was looking to settle down after being divorced for 12 years. Yikes, I was thinking, I’m just starting! I was honest with Robert and told him that I wanted to date since I only started this process less than 3 weeks. I also couldn’t give up how great a kisser Robert was/is. Remember…it had been quite a few years ladies!
Meantime, I met Frank, Kevin, Steve and Paul, etc. Nice but no thanks. Frank was interesting…we met at the usual local Starbucks. He was running late and was kind enough to text me to give me a heads up. I went ahead and ordered a latte. When he finally arrived, he came up to me and did a 360 and then asked, “So, do I turn you on?” OMG…what was I to say? I was in a “no win” zone. I forget now what I said, but never heard from Frank again.
I know what you all are thinking…dating takes time. The “right guy” will come along. Really? Just like a job? I don’t think so. And least we forget to ask our friends if they know someone! NOT!!!
My next “long” term relationship was with Chris. I was drawn to him because of his profile. He loved his kids…3 boys. I’m a sucker for a great dad so I responded, DESPITE no picture even though everyone said no picture, no response. Chris was a manly man. Tall, sure of himself and rugged! Someone so different than I was used to, I had to know more. Well, he was so engaging and responsive and attentive. I fell and I fell hard. For three whole weeks, the texting, the meet ups, the sex was unreal! Then, on one beautiful sunny morning, it all stopped. Complete dead silence. Was it me? Did I come on too strong? Did I want it that badly? Was I desperate? Well…I’ll never know so I continued on.
No sooner than I closed the door to Chris when a friend called me and said, “What was I thinking…I have a cousin that you should meet!” Unfortunately, John lived 400 miles away, but he loved to travel. We had some fun conversations on the phone and six weeks later I was headed up north and we planned to meet at last. The night before we met, he called and said, I have a terrible cold and won’t be able to do our camping weekend (mind you we still had not met face to face). I replied, no problem, can you meet for a cup of coffee? He didn’t respond back right away so I assumed the answer was no. He actually did call to see if we could meet but I was already two hours away. Never heard from him again until two months later when he decided he was going to “get it all out”. Here’s a snap shot:
“Finally got over my “cold.” Of course, you know, wasn’t really a cold… right?! (Actually went to bronchitis and then (or already was) mononucleosis. Only about six+ weeks to recover. Still have some lingering, yet quickly disappearing effects. I’m just explaining this because I can only presume you haven’t had any experience with this, or maybe some lingering effects from past relationships gone awry or…? Maybe it’s just simple lack of consideration or respect, or understanding, or something else, who knows? Oh well. I realize now you wanted to meet with me when I told you I was sick just to affirm I was actually sick. Truly, why else would anyone want to risk getting sick themselves or impose upon one who is really feeling like crud? Hmm, kind of pathetic, really.”
Really John…we hadn’t even met. No wonder you are 54, not married and no kids. A bit self centered? (Note to self: I need a man with kids!)
It’s not easy to know all the qualities one is looking for right away, but sooner than later those qualities become quite obvious!
In the meantime, I received an interesting email from a gentleman on Match. Oh no, not another “no picture” guy. Hadn’t I learned my lesson from Chris? No, once again, I was struck by how wonderful he appeared to be as a dad. I also knew the area he lived and respected it. So, once again, I naively responded. I was travelling at the time so we met two weeks later.
First meet up was three hours long! Isn’t the rule 20 minutes? I enjoy learning about new things and found that Larry took an early retirement and was doing some interesting things. He seemed a tad older but it turned out he actually was younger than I. Larry took me by storm. I hadn’t even turned the corner after leaving the restaurant when I received his first text to me:
“Three hours and it felt like 5 minutes with you Cathy. I look forward to our next date soon.”
Ok, how can anyone avoid melting. Again, I’m pathetic! So, Larry and I started to date. We had a lot of fun and even though his college graduate (son) moved back in with him, we managed to find ways to continue our relationship. I had planned to go on a 2 week vacation a month after being with Larry and throughout the entire time, we either spoke on the phone or texted every day! In the meantime, his health wasn’t too good. When I met him, he told me he had had a hip replacement, two knee replacements and neck surgery. This time, he was going in for back surgery. He was in a lot of pain. Being a mom, I didn’t think twice about the saying, “I don’t want to be a nurse or a purse.” In hindsight, I should have repeated that several times!!!
Oh, before I go on, one important point I forgot to mention. When I first met Larry, he did tell me that his previous two relationships didn’t last more than 3 months or so. Stupid me, I didn’t “dig deeper” into the “whys”?
Right before his surgery ( two days after his birthday), I decide to surprise Larry with a weekend away to a wonderful resort close by. All expenses paid for from dinner to spa to room. That’s the LAST time I’m going to go all out before I have a ring or something I can trade in for my expenses! That was basically the last time Larry and I had fun.
After his surgery, I would come and visit him (avoiding at all costs his son at night). I cooked for him, cleaned for him, did some grocery shopping and also trying to help by massaging his back to relieve the pain. In return? Larry (I guess) got bored and decided to go back on Match behind my back. When I confronted him with a text, he responded by saying that someone had hacked into his account and Match gave him a free month so he took advantage of it. Huh????
I’m now 0 for 2…3…4??? But, as my hairdresser says, “You have to cast that big net Cathy…” So, I tried eHarmony. Now this one works so differently that I had to take some time to understand it. Not quite sure I still understand it. In any event, Paul pings me.
Paul is a gentleman. Even his profile says it. We live about an hour away and met ½ way in between. We had a nice first meet up even with a hiccup. As he was walking me to my car (oh yes ladies, here’s another tip: IF they are interested, men will walk you to your car. IF they are not interested, they say good by at the coffee house), I thought he had said good by. I took off and headed home. About 10 minutes later, I get a call from him. He said, “Where did you go?” It turned out, he actually said I’ll be right back, I want to give you my business card. Oops!
The next week he was headed to a week road trip with his son (again, I love those DADS!!!) so we were trying to figure out our schedules. It turned out, almost three weeks later, we had a nice dinner. Again though, not without a hiccup. In between those three weeks, I had updated my profile on eHarmony. I kept getting guys interested who were at least 4-5” shorter than me. I’m tall and do not enjoy speaking down to a guy. So the customer service rep told me I should change my preference. Well, it turned out that even though Paul was on a road trip with his son, he stilled logged onto eHarmony. He quickly sent me a text that said, “I guess I’m out of the picture.” Huh? I quickly had to cover myself and explain that I was receiving too many weird dudes!?!?!?! (Note to self: here we go again???)
We did go to dinner…I wanted him to know that I wasn’t that superficial about height. We actually had a nice evening…he is interesting to talk to, especially when I ask him about his business.
Thanksgiving was the following week and we both knew that it would be difficult to work around family and the different schedules. I received a real nice “Happy Thanksgiving” text…hoping that I was enjoying my time with the family, etc. He left for a business trip to Chicago and continued to “touch bases” every other day or so. (Note to those internet daters: it is highly recommended to “touch” bases at least every other day…relationships don’t continue, let alone grow without keeping in contact).
The following weekend, I was planning on being in his “neck of the woods” so we planned on getting together. Paul actually recommended going ocean kayaking in the morning. He didn’t know that I was actually trying to meet someone else the day before for coffee. Steve had actually contacted me through POF. We had spoken briefly on the phone…I wasn’t really interested but thought since I was in Orange County, why not meet for coffee. Unfamiliar with the area per se, I suggested the one and only place to Steve to meet. He didn’t like that recommendation so I said, “Ok, let me know where you want to meet and time and I’ll be there”. That was on Monday night. By Thursday afternoon, hadn’t heard a thing. By Thursday night, I received a voicemail that said, “Cathy, this is Steve. Where would you like to meet tomorrow?” Huh?!?!?! Ok, I’m really trying hard on my need to direct everyone and everything…let others do some decision making. I decided then and there, Steve was not a candidate for me. Cancelled all plans and any future thoughts. Haven’t heard again from Steve.
Back to Paul. Unfortunately, it almost never rains in Southern California except the day we decide to go kayaking. I received a text from Paul saying let’s just meet for coffee. We agreed to meet at his office and walk to the local coffee shop. We again seemed to have a good time…he told me right away that he was going to leave around 11:00 am (funny, I had blocked out at least 4 hours for kayaking!?). He continued to say that he would like to come out to the desert to visit so the following week, I texted him an invite. The only time he could come out was Sunday morning and that acceptance came 3 days later after my invite. I had almost written it off…I should have kept with my instincts. (Note: Ladies, we have great instinct…don’t second guess it!) He came, we hiked, we talked and within 3 hours of him visiting, he left. He left for good I think…it’s been 5 days and haven’t heard a word. To make myself feel better, we had only hugged good by, not even a kiss. Phew…I’m learning! I’ve even learned how to delete contact information. “I’m gonna wash that man right out of my life…” I have a hunch (call it instinct) that Paul has multiple women. Good luck! It was fun to get to know your business a bit.
It’s been a relatively quiet week. Well, I can’t really say that without some story of the week. I received an interesting email from a gentleman named Jon. A very non-threatening email that seemed very sincere. His actual profile didn’t have any pictures but he did attach a few pictures to his email…hmmmmm…no profile pictures? (I don’t have the best of luck with those guys.) Ok, so it seemed so innocent that I sent Jon a response. “Sure, it would be nice to meet somewhere convenient for both of us for a cup of coffee?” I’m thinking this is pretty innocent as well. His response indicated more interest: “I appreciate your invitation to meet and perhaps we could first chat on the phone…” Ok. I continued the email exchange with my cell number. Well, this was his response: “ …before we take that auditory leap of faith, I first need to be completely upfront and candid with you about my present situation…” YOU GUESSED IT…Jon is still married although he claims his marriage has been over for years…etc. I thanked him and wished him a Happy Holiday and New Year with a nice good bye.
If you have tried Internet dating, has your experience been that the emails come fast and furious Sunday – Tuesday and die off the rest of the week? Do you suppose that Sunday morning these men wake up and say, “Yikes, I don’t have anyone special for this coming weekend…let’s go “fishing”?”
It was exactly at 8:25 AM on Tuesday morning that I received a picture of “two glasses of wine and a rose” from Robert. Actually POF has an interesting marketing ploy. The sender can “buy” a rose to send (a definite plus when you are making a FIRST IMPRESSION electronically). Yes, Robert said all the obligatory “stunningly attractive lady”, etc and continued with the question, “do you feel adventurous and want to take a chance?”
How could I ignore such an email? I casually responded, albeit 3 hours later. Here’s my question to all readers (MALE OR FEMALE: does it look like I’m desperate if I respond that day/that same morning? I’ve always been one to respond to emails right away…just my nature. Has absolutely NOTHING to do with my being desparate!!!).
We exchanged a few emails with our cell numbers. Now, I just recently switched to Google Voice and still haven’t figured out how to use it. I texted him to 1) give him my cell number and 2) just to say hello in a different way besides email. I guess he tried to call, at least I think I saw his number come up but never heard the call. He also didn’t leave a message so I decided to text him and ask him if he had tried to call and apologized for not getting the call. I also added that if he didn’t try to call, to ignore my text. Day 3…no word from Mr. Roseman. Hmmmmm, I guess I really scared him off completely!
Well…that’s it for now. More to come I’m sure!