Ask Dr Gilda-Can seniors find love online, too?

One widower is ready to find love again… online. Dr. Gilda offers specific profile-crafting advice for seniors whose relationship goals are radically different than the average online dater.

By Dr. Gilda Carle, Ph.D.

ear Dr. Gilda,
As a widower, I thought I wouldn’t have much use for a dating site, but my kids have finally convinced me to try online dating. Yet, after looking at a few sites, it seems that all of them have similar styles and don’t show the detailed information a man my age would care about. I’m 69 now and frankly, I’m lonely
I’m lonely and I want to skip the getting-to-know-you formalities…
and the biography of the person is more important than the picture, although I would like to see both. In fact, I can find nothing that gives detailed information about a person’s goals in her senior years. Important information concerning how and if the woman wants to live with her chosen man are left out to make room for a bunch of boxes to check that have no meaning to me. Who cares about swimming? I’m too old to do anything but laugh at the sections about kids and sports and whatnot. To be honest, I don’t even care about sex. The most important thing to me is companionship and sharing my later years with a loving friend. How does a man my age find like-minded women without wasting time on these questions that don’t apply to seniors? Or is there a good senior dating site out there I don’t know about? Thank you.
– Leonard, Lost Among the Profiles

Dear Lost Leonard,
Your question stomps its foot and screams, “I’m lonely and I want to skip the getting-to-know-you formalities and find a woman TO LIVE WITH ME NOW!” Hey, Lost Leonard: quick rushes reflect a sense of desperation and worthy women want to feel special. By not vetting a partner properly, you could end up with someone who would cause you heartache. If you think you’re lonely now, your misery will expand tenfold with a terrible romantic mismatch!

I wonder if the reason you say you’re “Lost” is because you’re depressed without your wife. Depressed people are depressing people to be around. Perhaps you’d benefit from counseling to change your “Lost” mindset to one that is “Found” — and, incidentally, far more attractive to the opposite sex.

Dating involves meeting and greeting potential long-term mates. I’m sorry that you’ll have to put yourself out there that way, but it seems your only concern is your need for a quick love fix, even if it’s just friendship. You’ve got to show a woman you care about her and her interests.

So you actually need those (seemingly meaningless) “bunch of boxes” on the dating profiles you detest. They categorize people so you can find a
Define what YOU consider to be good “companionship” activities.
partner who shares your favorite pastimes and outlook on life. While you might not enjoy swimming, someone else who does would appreciate knowing this information in advance. What do you think the “companionship” you’re seeking is based on? It’s mutual interests, Lost Leonard — mutual interests that you can both enjoy together! The “bunch of boxes” to which you object is where singles indicate these interests — and it would be a good idea for you to explore them.

And you don’t need a woman’s entire detailed biography to identify interesting partners. Online, singles offer generalities to eliminate security concerns and also to optimize the potential for dating adventure. Yes, dating IS an adventure where you can explore many possibilities, share your lifestyle preferences and judge who fits you best romantically.

This is what I recommend you do now:
  1. Define what YOU consider to be good “companionship” activities. Is it playing cards together, going to movies, taking walks, traveling, or what? Describe these activities in your profile.
  2. Consider the meaning of the word “fun” and make it part of your entire attitude.
  3. Post your profile on a large and popular dating site that offers plenty of different women to choose from while you’re looking for possible matches.
  4. Fill in those categorical boxes you hate knowing they are meant to assist you in finding not just any person, but the RIGHT person for you.
  5. Steer clear of telling women what you don’t like, regardless of whether it’s swimming or sex. Negativity is a turn-off to seniors anxious to optimize their golden years. Instead, enumerate what you DO enjoy so you can attract like-minded ladies.
The dating interests seniors have may be different from those of younger people, obviously. But the key to any successful romance lies in using a great deal of scrutiny during the selection process. As my Gilda-Gram advises, “Don’t pursue happiness. LIVE IT!” What you project, your dates will reflect. Be discriminating at the start and wisely select the RIGHT partner for you. That’s the fun of dating!

Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle, Ph.D., gives Instant Advice throughout the world via Skype, email and phone. She is the 30-Second Therapist for Her best-selling books include Don’t Bet on the Prince!, 99 Prescriptions for Fidelity and How to Win When Your Mate Cheats. Please visit her website at (
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