Karen was a seventy-year-old whose husband had passed away the previous year. She was lonely and lived in a tiny rural community, where the assortment of single older men was exceptionally limited. She decided to try out Internet dating. She read the tips that were given online for how to write a successful personal profile. All she got in response were replies from men she could tell were scammers and gamers.
Finally, she got mad. Nothing was paying off. She sat down and wrote from her heart, with the genuine passion and anger she felt. “I’m not here to be anyone’s servant. If you want a woman to pick up your socks, go look for somebody else.”
The very day after she posted the new profile, a man named Dennis found her on the dating site. He read her fiery essay, chuckling the whole time. “This is one old gal I’ve simply got to meet,” he said to himself. It was love at first sight. Karen and Dennis have now been together for thirteen years of marriage, and still are going strong. They are a true, senior, Internet love story.
Many mature-age people today are turning to the Internet to find the love of their life. While sometimes this is indeed successful, the practice can be fraught with dangers. There are stories of individuals being scammed, ripped off, and occasionally even killed when they have trusted a stranger they met on the Internet.
What you need to be aware of
If you decide to engage in online dating, do it very carefully and responsibly. Spend considerable time talking with the other person over the phone before agreeing to meet him or her for the first time. When we ardently want to meet that special someone, it’s easy to fool ourselves into thinking, “This must be the one!” We ignore the warning signs because our desire for love is so strong that it blocks out what our eyes and ears are telling us.
If you are confident after multiple phone conversations that the person on the other end of the line is genuine, agree to meet him or her in a public place. Never go to a secluded location with the person, or give the person your home address, until you’ve met several times and have spent a lot of time together. It’s advisable, before meeting, to do a criminal background check, and in other ways to check out the veracity of the person’s profile. For instance, you could call the place where they work to make sure they really are employed there. If you find any discrepancy between what they’ve told you and how their story checks out, don’t walk away. Run.
If done responsibly and cautiously, Internet dating can be a way of meeting available seniors based on values and interests shared. Some describe Internet dating as a process of getting to know another person from the inside out, rather than from the outside in, the way we do in real life. But, remember: anyone can lie on a dating site. Check out their story before you get involved, and don’t let your hopes blind your reason. Only if you are responsible, rational, and careful, can Internet dating be both safe and productive.