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LucyGransnet (GNHQ) Fri 26-Aug-16 13:01:53

Would you try internet dating?

Is internet dating the only way to meet a new partner nowadays? Author Barbara Hudson describes her experience...

Barbara Hudson

Would you try internet dating?

Posted on: Fri 26-Aug-16 13:01:53


Lead photo

Would you try internet dating? Or maybe you have already?

After I retired, single and lonely, I began to wonder what was the point of me. I have some good friends and a reliable pension, and I live in a lovely part of the world – but without my job, it wasn't enough. I wanted a partner.

We ladies of a certain age can't hang out in night clubs or pubs, hoping to 'pull'. And my nice friends proved unable to help me find someone. So it had to be Internet dating.

Many single older people are turning to the Internet nowadays. There are sites specifically for older daters, as well as a host of others focused on particular interests (religious faith, hiking, green issues, for example). If you are concerned about educational attainment there are sites reserved for people with a degree - there is even one for graduates of Oxford and Cambridge only (and yes, they check!).

We ladies of a certain age can't hang out in night clubs or pubs, hoping to 'pull'. And my nice friends proved unable to help me find someone. So it had to be Internet dating.

Many newspapers have their own site.

If you are sensible in your choice of dating agency, careful about where you meet and about not giving your address out too readily, you should be as safe as you would be arranging a date with a stranger you have met in any other situation.

Certainly that first meeting can be embarrassing. And you have to steel yourself to be rejected and to reject. In my experience, it has been well worth trying. I came upon only one man who was the kind everyone warns you about: he gave a false address and wanted telephone sex. As for the rest, I met a lot of very nice people - certainly all of them were pleasant and polite and our meetings were interesting - and about a dozen have kept in touch as friends. And there was one I really clicked with. Now, after about ten years, I am on my own again, and at seventy six I have decided to focus on my writing.

I would love to know about other Gransnet folk? Have you tried internet dating? Any advice to offer?

Barbara's book Timed Out is published by Driven Press and is available from Amazon now.

By Barbara Hudson

Twitter: @Gransnet

tanith Fri 26-Aug-16 13:06:13

No its not for me, should anything mean I was single again I would be happy to remain so. I acutally enjoy my own company and that of my family and friends that would be enough for me.

Nothing wrong with trying it and its a way to expand your friends group but its not for me.

Linsco56 Fri 26-Aug-16 13:41:26

Happily married but if I did find myself single I wouldn't look for another partner.

However, I have a friend who was widowed at 51 who joined an Internet dating site a couple of years ago and after meeting a few oddballs is now in a happy relationship with a lovely man.

Nelliemoser Fri 26-Aug-16 13:54:04

I honestly don't think I could be bothered. Even if I wasn't married, you never know what you might end up with.

lizzypopbottle Fri 26-Aug-16 20:57:49

I am single (widowed over 8 years ago) and was married only once and for 33 years. I wouldn't want another partner for several reasons. Some of my reasons are altruistic and some are downright shallow!

I think it would be very hard to establish with someone new the sort of relationship I had with my husband because we started out together at age 20 and lived and grew together in love, respect and trust over those 33 years.

My husband worked hard (worked himself to death wouldn't be an exaggeration). He left me comfortably off and the provision he left behind will be mine and our children's. I would never risk another man having any claim on that.

I don't need anyone to look after me. I can turn my hand to most jobs around the house and can call on two sons, a daughter and a son-in-law or get someone in, at a pinch.

I've had my fill of washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning and 'being there' for someone else. In other words, I don't want to look after anyone now my husband is gone.

I have friends and family so I'm not often lonely although I do go short of hugs sometimes but my dog is a real comfort and he expects nothing in return.

I'm not sure people are honest about themselves on dating sites. If there's no photo, there's a reason... You've heard the saying, ' You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your Prince.' I'm not willing to kiss any middle-aged frogs. If I was honest on a dating site, certainly about my age (64) I'd have to expect men of a similar age to contact me (if anyone did)...nuff sed! (This is my shallowest reason! And, yes of course, I'm devastatingly attractive myself ?)

I've always been independently minded and I suppose I've become even more self-sufficient since I've been widowed. I please myself and I'm happy. I don't have any need to start again with someone new. I might sound hard as nails. In some ways I am but I'm soft as clarts (NE saying) about my family.

phoenix Fri 26-Aug-16 21:52:20

An ex work colleague met and married her FOURTH husband via internet dating!

Bellasnana Fri 26-Aug-16 22:00:19

As a fairly recent widow, I agree with everything lizzypopbottle said.

rubylady Sat 27-Aug-16 04:34:13

Why is it seen though in society as though you are not whole if you are not with someone? I love being single and have done for a long time now. I would not like, at this stage of my life, to find anyone. I enjoy my own company and like lizzy says, I too do not want to wash anyone's boxers or slave over the stove to cook their tea anymore.

I have loved, of course, but it would take a very special person to take me on now, with my illnesses and needs, so I am probably better off tending to myself. That way I can decide if I want to have tea at tea time or go to bed for an hour. So no, I wouldn't try internet dating, been there in the early days of post divorce, never again. Very happily single.

lizzypopbottle Sat 27-Aug-16 13:19:01

I know it sounds as if I'm condemning all men of our generation as reactionary old fuddy duddies looking for a surrendered wifey... but men of our generation were probably set this example by their own fathers. I've read posts from the guys on GN and they do sound quite liberated but they're bound to be taken and pretty special, too, to join and contribute to a forum that's mostly women! I don't think there are very many gems out there to justify the search and so I'm happily single ?

larraine Sat 27-Aug-16 14:00:02

Always pleased to read about those who found happiness via Internet Dating Sites but l sadly did not so after many scammers, who thank goodness never quite managed to scam me, although many tried hard too, now 3 yrs on and now aged 70 l have given up. Now days prefer to stay with my known friends within my local Church and enjoying my various interests and lovely holidays.
Never the less to all those who may sometime in the future decide to give it a go....

Lona Sat 27-Aug-16 14:08:33

lizziepopbottle I could have written your post after the part about your relationship with your husband (mine was a bully).
I love living alone and have done for most of the last 24 years. I don't have a dog to cuddle though, so I make do with a special friend wink
I don't think there are many gems out there either.

Tegan Sat 27-Aug-16 14:26:43

I think young relationships are about chemistry and older relationships are about common interests. My ex and I are both in new'ish relationships. He is riding round on motorbikes with his new partner, [also an adrenalin freak]something I could never get to enjoy. The S.O. and I go shopping, go to nice cafes for coffee and cakes,walk on beaches a lot and watch sport together.I certainly wouldn't have wanted this due to the trauma it cost all of us at the time, but we are both very content with our lives now, and we all, actually get on well. I did join a singles group 15 years ago, not with the intention of meeting someone but just to get out and meet people in general and another group that involved phoning people up didn't work for me; in fact it was horrible. I didn't have internet back then but, if I was 15 years younger and in the same position I probably would give it a go. Although I bet that older internet dating men are still looking for women 10years younger#somethingsneverchange

lizzypopbottle Sat 27-Aug-16 14:53:17

Bellasnana ??
rubylady I agree about society's expectations.
Lona ? ?

lizzypopbottle Sat 27-Aug-16 14:55:57

That's hands clapping, Lona. I like your reference to a special friend ?

sarahc446655 Sat 27-Aug-16 16:30:04

Men in their 60's and younger want younger women usually. Nice to read that so many women have such a positive experience of long marriages, that they dont want to repeat the experience, so glad I never bothered.
When I did decide to try a relationship I was quickly cured by the automatic dis-respectful attitude to women, that seems to be so prevalent in alot of men, even when they hardly know you.
I dont fancy men in their 60's etc. attraction is about looking at someone attractive and sexy and a pleasure to experience - I subtley notice attractive males and with dignity - leave it at that.

Lona Sat 27-Aug-16 17:52:40

My ds is currently single and he's been on the Tindr website where you look at photos and either swipe left or right depending on your fancy! He phoned me and said " Mum, I've got repetitive strain injury from swiping left!" He reckons a lot of older women are telling porkies about their age.

Linsco56 Sat 27-Aug-16 17:54:42

I can't imagine (and don't want to) being with anyone other than DH. We met when I was 19 and he was 26. We know each other''s faults, foibles, strengths and weaknesses and I think that takes a lifetime. We are both strong characters and had many a confrontation when we were younger and I couldn't be bothered reliving that part of a relationship. We are both happy where life has led us, and for that we are very thankful. But to start thank you!

specki4eyes Sat 27-Aug-16 18:04:41

The problem is - and this is a generalisation - most men don't 'wear' as well as women. Its easy for us to use skin care and make up, hair colouring, fashionable clothing..its almost expected of women not to let themselves 'go'. But men of our age who have been in long term relationships, in general HAVE let themselves go and have either no motivation to smarten up, diet and get/stay fit and so often they subscribe to that common male belief that they are attractive simply by being an available male! I sometimes reflect, when people watching, that it is rare to see a man of a 'certain age' who turns your head. Paunches, bad beards, comb-overs, scruffy clothing,BO -thats the norm.
And when they find themselves single again for any reason, they start looking for a 'babe' or failing that, a 'nurse with a purse'. Is it any wonder we older gals conclude that its better to stay single?

specki4eyes Sat 27-Aug-16 18:15:16

I should have added that i am on an internet dating site and I have to say that I do not even bother to read the profiles of most of the men who I am matched up with.. Just looking at their unkempt appearance on their photos makes me hit the delete button straight away. Ok that is shallow, but what is the point of contacting someone who you know you would not want to get up close and personal with because they dont bother to try and look appealing?
A case in point - a guy contacted me: he had long unkempt grey hair and beard, a beer belly, he was posing beside his hideous motor bike, with a fag in his hand and he said he was separated. "Fancy a chat?" he wrote. "No thank you" I replied, you smoke, you are married and you are a hairy biker who needs to diet". "Your loss" was his reply!!!!!!!!!!!shock I rest my case.

Cath9 Sat 27-Aug-16 19:16:08

I am sure I would find it difficult to be tied to another male after spending 45 years with my one and only.
If one wants a frinedship maybe one of the dinner dates would be a good idea.

BarbaraLornaHudson Sat 27-Aug-16 22:43:40

Thanks for all the interesting and moving contributions. But Oh dear! I was hoping more success stories. Perhaps people are shy about telling them? I really do recommend it if you choose a good dating agency, and I know a lot of older people who have met a new spouse of partner this way.
Oh - and my dates certainly gave me inspiration for my novel Timed Out!
Barbara Lorna Hudson

rubylady Sat 27-Aug-16 23:32:16

Lizzy That's right, I am booked to go to a spa on Friday and when I phoned up this week to confirm booking I was asked by both the spa and reservations if it was only one who was booked. Yes, I said. Maybe it is unusual to go on your own or maybe society has people feeling like they cannot go to places on their own. But I'm past that now, and intend to enjoy every moment next week.

lizzypopbottle Sun 28-Aug-16 00:13:36

Enjoy it rubylady. You deserve it ?

GannyRowe Sun 28-Aug-16 00:47:22

After a thirty year marriage to a moody, emotionally abusive, controlling, man I emerged out the other side a damaged woman who honestly felt no one or nothing would even notice were I to disappear totally. Sadly it was only after I found my freedom, did I realise how horrible it had been, and that I deserved better.
I was lonely, so I joined an Internet dating site, and met a wonderful, truly honourable widower, who, quite simply put me back together again. How showed me love, respect and a future. Sadly he was diagnosed as terminally ill only six months after we met, and we spent the next six years together, making the most of every moment we had. It was not easy helping him fight his disease, but he did it with such dignity that I am no longer afraid to die, because I am convinced we will meet again. I am now alone once more, but have some very cherished memories, and so thankful I found my soulmate.
You never know what the future holds for you, and if that includes finding someone special by these newfangled means then why not!

Christinefrance Sun 28-Aug-16 09:07:04

What a lovely story GrannyRowe, so sorry it ended sadly but as you say lovely memories.

I met my husband via an advert in the paper, it was before Internet dating came on the scene. We have been together for 13 great years now. I think we shouldn't discount any means of meeting people although obviously there are risks.

It's such a personal thing whether or not we want to be with someone. I must admit I would be scared of using the Internet after hearing about so many fraudulent people.