The Unspoken Realities of Online Dating in Your Forties (Guest Post)

Following my recent post about dating in London in your thirties, a blog reader contacted me to ask if she could shed some light on online dating in your forties.  So here it is … her personal Dating Odyssey.
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
2001-2014: A Dating Odyssey
I read the recent blog about dating in your 30’s and HAD to write about my experiences. I’m not looking to get married or have babies – I’m now in my 40’s and have a completely different approach. Let me take you back…….
It’s 2001 and I’m online dating. It’s a pretty new and cool thing to do and there aren’t many sites to join. I’m on Love@Lycos which is an add-on to a now-defunct web browser (think Google, but way smaller!). I’ve got a Nokia 3410 which just makes calls and texts. Oh, and you can play Snake on it.
Up until this point I’d always met guys in bars or clubs and been approached – never the other way around. This way guys contact me, then we start texting, then we speak and meet. Simple!
I meet 6 guys including a doctor, a journalist, a DJ (who I kinda fall in love with but doesn’t love me back) and the 7th – an electrician. I’m 29. I marry the electrician.
It’s 2008 and I’ve got the divorce papers through. My brother is getting married. I give up on men.It’s 2011 and I’m now 36. I haven’t been on a proper date for years, but I’ve been sleeping with someone that I shouldn’t have been for the past two years. Not in a bad way, he’s not married or anything. Just a “transitional man”. Oh, and I work with him.

It’s 2012 now and I haven’t so much as spoken to a man I don’t work with for over a year.
I sign up for OKCupid. I go on a very wide range of dates with guys from age 23 upwards. It’s nice, I like the attention. It’s fun for a while but then things start to turn weird.
Guys want to meet at my house. Guys send dickpics. Guys can’t tell me when they’re free. Guys have girlfriends already. Guys run off in the middle of the night. Guys doctor their pictures. Guys get annoyed if I’m not free when they are.
One of my best friends gets dicked around by a guy. I get dicked around by a guy.
It’s now 2013. Tinder happens. My first date is a guy who I date for 6 weeks but fucks me up for 3 months of this year. I cannot get over this guy. I’m heartbroken, a mess. Friends wring their hands. My parents do too. As does my boss.
I go speed listening, I go to a Pheromone party, I’m on TV.
Eventually I get over him.
I go on a date with another guy from the app who can’t even make it to where we’re meeting  – despite it being in his part of town.
My final Tinder date is a guy who gropes me in a park in broad daylight and I have to make excuses to get away from.
Dating in 2014 is about as far away as I can get from my experience in 2001.
It’s definitely more cutthroat, and you need thicker skin. Why?
Now, despite multiple forms of instant communication (Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat) it seems harder to make a connection. Guys seem to think it’s acceptable not to get back to you, leave you hanging or cancel a date 30 minutes before you meet them. Or even make up a completely fake profile to lure you in. (This happened twice to a very good friend of mine). Crazy!
Maybe there is too much choice?
A guy I dated recently gave me the male take – he said women have the advantage when it comes to dating. There are many more guys trying to get dates but as women can ALWAYS pick and choose. I know for sure that I can’t reply to every message I receive, so why should I expect the same?
Two days after my 40th birthday I decide to go back on Tinder.
I end up with 6 guys interested – all of whom have my number, but none who will commit to actually meeting me. I go on a few dates with a guy who tells me he still lives with his parents at 33. I delete the app.
Reluctantly, I go back to OKCupid, shocked to find some guys still have the same pictures from a year ago when I was last on there. Some of the time wasters even get back in touch. Weird. So, what have I learnt?1) You need to have your wits about you.

If, on first contact a guy seems cagey or is reticent about meeting – stay well clear. Unless you really really want a pen pal!
2) You are allowed to have fun.
Date guys you wouldn’t normally go for, whether they are younger or older, professional or jobless.
3) Be brave.
If a date isn’t going well or you’re feeling uncomfortable, leave.
4) Be realistic.
If after your date, you don’t hear from him, respect that you probably won’t. It sucks, but no-one wants to beg someone to see them again.
5) All talk, no action.
Many guys who starts talking dirty online very quickly are not worth talking to, even if you want to things to go that way.
6) Dick pics are now a part of dating
… solicited or not.
7) Spelling and grammar is a good indicator. 
8) Some men lie.
About what they look like, how tall they are, if they’re in a relationship or not. Probably why some are so cagey about meeting!
9) Be safe.
It’s obvious, but never arrange to meet a guy at your place – you really don’t want to get into a situation in your own home.
I never expected to be dating into my forties, but actually I’m really enjoying it this time around – I’ve met some great guys online dating and elsewhere. Watch this space!

4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. The Realities of Online Dating - Cougar Date Blog | Cougar Date Blog
  2. Dating in Your Fifties by Rebecca Perkins | The 30 Dates Blog
  3. Dating in Your Twenties (Guest Post) | The 30 Dates Blog
  4. The Realities of Online Dating - CougarDate Blog

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