Online Dating Over 40

One writer takes a look at how the Internet can open up a host of unexpected possibilities—especially for those who are over 40 and dating.

By Jim Sulski

fter more than a decade of devoting himself to his small business, Bob realized he had “made it.”

“After taking a lot of risks, I realized I was financially secure for the first time in my life,” he says.

What he had also come to terms with was that he
“At my age, it seemed like a very good option.”
was over 40 and didn’t have a social life.

“I was putting 80 hours or more a week into the business,” he says. “Now that it was successful and I had people in place to help it grow, I was ready to start meeting new people.”

Bob wasn’t much of a singles bar person and he also felt awkward at social gatherings, so he decided to try his luck at online dating. “At my age, it seemed like a very good option,” he says.

Within a few weeks, Bob had connected with several people via his online ad, eventually becoming serious with a woman who lived just a few miles away.

For folks like Bob, online dating for the 40-plus crowd makes sense for a number of reasons.

Focus, Focus, Focus
The first is the ability to concentrate a search. “At my age, and with my responsibilities, you don’t want to waste a lot of time,” says Susan, an attorney who is nearing 50.

Susan likes the fact that online dating allows someone to search for a specific type of potential partner. “There were certain types of ‘demographics’ that I’m concerned about — age,
“If they sent me an interoffice memo, they were out.”
religion, income and whether they have kids,” says Susan, a mother of two teenagers.

For Bob, online dating gave him the ability to find a match who had tastes similar to his. “I like exotic foods,” he says. “And I like the opera. So if the ad said their dream date was a hot dog at the ball game, I wasn’t interested.”

Take a Test Drive
Once a connection is made, there is the ability to “audition” prospective partners through an online relationship.

“I know this sounds pompous and superficial, but seeing a photo of a prospective date was important to me,” Bob says. “On the other hand, I wanted potential dates to be able to see a photo of me. I wanted them to know I wasn’t Mel Gibson but I’m also not the Hulk.”

Efficiency Counts
For a busy over-40 guy such as Bob, online dating also offers the ability to make sure a date is well planned.

“With one date, we decided on not only the cuisine but the restaurant via email,” he says. “I then went online and made the reservations.”

For Susan, a preliminary email relationship also allowed her to see if her potential suitors had the romantic tendencies she desired.

“If they wrote poetic letters to me, detailing what our dates and relationship could be like, they were in,” she says. “If they sent me an interoffice memo, they were out.”

Jim Sulski is a freelance writer.
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