Tag Archives: Online dating service

The Lure

Dear POF, MATCH, OUR TIME, and probably most of the other dating sites,

Go to any retail store and you find that typical business practice is to lure potential customers in however they can.  Stores will put colorful items up front like candy, festive items, and sparkly displays to lure you in, and then make you walk through the store to find what you need. Walmart, for example,  is notorious for placing things in odd locations, so it isn’t obvious to the customer, to, let’s say, go to household to find light bulbs. No, they want you to walk to the other end of the store, pass every department, and then spend another 15 minutes looking for someone that works there, only to find light bulbs are in automotive. So now you have shopped all over the store and picked up a few things for the cart that you had no intention of buying.

Dating sites lure you in by photos. Some advertise free, but that is to look at a few pictures and if you really want to see someone’s full profile, or, in some cases, be able to message someone, they want you to pay. Fine. This is a business. Just like Walmart or other retail stores where they want your business.

I get advertisements constantly for retail stores and dating sites included. My question is, where are the guys they show me? I walk into Walmart or Target and I see clothes, household items, and  Holiday items and it makes me want to go into those departments.

But on a dating site, I look at these photos, showing me who I can meet and chat with, and when I go in , the old bait and switch is there in black and white. For those of you lucky enough  who have not experienced this concept, or heard of it, here is Wikipedia’s version of the explanation:

Bait-and-switch is a form of fraud used in retail sales but also employed in other contexts. First, customers are “baited” by merchants’ advertising products or services at a low price, but when customers visit the store, they discover that the advertised goods are not available, or the customers are pressured by sales people to consider similar, but higher priced items (“switching”).

So we have POF, or Our Time, to name two,  that use photos. they show us somewhat good looking guys, dressed nicely, big smiles on their faces, and we think, Hell yea. I’m in.

Now I am in and I start looking. Wait. Where is the guy with salt and pepper hair with a fun smile? Why am I seeing someone in his bathroom taking a picture in the mirror? Why do I see a dogs, cars and  shirtless men who shouldn’t be?

I know it is business, and I also know if they put “bathroom man” on the advertisement, or “man with fish”, they would be out of business in an hour. But, we go in. We browse. We shop.


Small Town Living

I live in a small town. Of course it is all relative,  since I am well aware there are much smaller towns to be found. Let’s put it in perspective. The town has a population of approximately 17,000 people. The town I recently moved from to come here had a population of about 34,000. Double the amount of people, for those of you who don’t have your calculators  handy. I am originally from New York City, population 8 million give or take. Having lived in Miami, San Francisco and 15 miles from Washington DC. , you can understand why I am saying I now live in a small town. We are talking cows and chickens small.  There is a Main Street. Most small towns I have been to have a street called Main Street. Some run about a block, but my town’s main street  is a few miles!  


Living in a city or suburb of a city, one can count on anonymity. You blend in a city of 8 million. You can certainly blend in a city like Miami , where the population is about 400,000+. When I lived in the town of about 34,000, I did on occasion run into someone I know, but not often. Blending was more difficult, but still i could go months without seeing someone I knew.


Which brings me to my town of 17,000. Not excessively small but clearly my anonymity is gone. The historic part  of  the downtown area runs a few blocks. Quaint and cute, but small. Scattered about the county are many antique shops, small businesses and of course Wal-Mart , Target and Tractor Supply Store. One of my pastimes is to maintain an antique booth in an antique mall in the town I live in. Weekly, I stop in to add things, pick up a check (hopefully) and keep it neat and appealing.

Last week, I parked in front of the Antique Mall, hopped out of the car,  just planning on running in to grab a chair to take out of my booth.  Wound my way through, grabbed the chair and was headed for the front door to throw it in my car.  An older gentleman (he looked older)  (Guess he could be my age or I really hope older because otherwise he isn’t looking that good) jumped up and said let me get the door for you. He was very small. Inches shorter than I am and somewhat stooped over.  I thought that was very gentlemanly of him to offer. I thought, ahhh small town living at its best. So he held the door , I walked through with my chair, and he follows me outside! He then says, “How are you?” “just fine”, I reply and “how are you today?”


He says “good. I saw you on Plenty of Fish.” I stopped in my tracks and said “oh really?” No one, anywhere, had ever recognized me from a dating site nor have I ever seen anyone in person on the street from a site. Maybe that is not the norm, but for me, I thought oh no. I live in a small town and now people recognize my face. I can pretty much say there does not seem to be a lot of people in my town on this site! There are not a lot of people period. He then says” so how’s it going.”  I said “Fine”. Then I realized he meant my success or lack of success on the site. I said, “ oh you know, haven’t been on much lately (which is not a lie. since I moved dating has taken the back burner.)

I opened the back of my car to put the chair in and he is lingering. I said as cheery as I could, “Thanks so much for holding the door. That was very kind.” He says, “Anytime. I am here often”. What? It is an antique shop. He was just sitting in a chair near the front desk when I came in. Is this a local  hangout?  A Meeting place? Do people gather there and tell stories? Or is he waiting for unsuspecting dating site participants to come through looking for a vintage chair or vintage man!

On a Serious Note…

Online dating.  It is said to be daunting, humorous, and most of all, scary. Many of us have been there. I have written many times about men who write such hard to believe drivel, and want my email or phone number so we can learn about each other. Happens all of the time. There are constant warnings about meeting in private, making sure you meet in a public place, not sharing your address and phone numbers immediately, and so much more. Pictures are important, but, as I, and I am sure many others have experienced, they don’t always match the person you meet. I remember meeting someone, who, when we chatted and I saw his profile pictures, was a good-looking man. I met him, in a public restaurant, and it turned out he not only used his friend’s photo, but he lied about his age as well.

This Washington Post article talks about the dangers of meeting people from online sites. This particular incident discussed, which sadly includes murder, was an ad placed on Craigslist. But, as we all know, the dating site most likely does not matter. There are predators and crazies lurking anywhere.

This article tells you to think like a cop. Be wary, don’t be so trusting right away. Is he or she legit? Are they really who they say they are?

This gentleman was a married man, looking for a man to have a secret sexual encounter. Instead, he got a woman who robbed and stabbed him to death in a hotel room. A sad story, but hopefully, a wakeup call for many who thinks it will only happen to someone else. A cautionary tale to be aware of when chatting online and preparing to meet for that first date. The only scary part should be whether you like him or her and whether there could be a second date.

Read it and hopefully it will keep us all on our toes.



Dating Business



Tinder and eHarmony. Different as night and day, yet they probably have more similarities than we think.

It is all about money.  The concept of all of us meeting the love of our lives, clearly  attracts millions of people of all ages and backgrounds. But the dating sites are making millions and now that Tinder has Tinder Plus upgrade, will be making more. Good for them. It’s a big business.

But for us, it is how we meet men or women.

As this article states, is it based on looks, like Tinder advocates? Or eHarmony where though we see a picture, we still get so much more information to help us form an opinion.

Either way, that is the first impression. I will admit, no matter the site, if I look at someone,  I am deciding then and there whether I will message them or respond to them if they message me. Though I have said before, good-looking doesn’t always mean good date!

Age plays into this big time. Tinder, though it has all ages, really is geared toward the 20’s-30’s crowd. eHarmony, as many other sites such as Match or POF, tend to attract more of a larger mix of daters.

I like to spread the wealth. A little on this site, a little on that site.  Spending a few minutes on Tinder,  I  do tend to swipe more lefts than rights! Well, really I like hitting the big red X. At least in my age group, for me,  there are always more X’s than hearts. Still it is like a train wreck. I have to look. To paraphrase  a  quote in this article from a single mother who is 41, she says she is a dried up prune on that site. (Tinder) That means I am dead and buried.

Picture This

And the picture offers! The usual approach is,  men begin chatting on the site with you, then they say lets exchange email addresses because it is easier. Easier, I thought, why is it easier ?  We are emailing now. Then the light bulb goes off. There are restrictions on the dating site but not on yahoo, g-mail, etc.  There are  message communications and also instant messaging on these sites. Well, even so, I fell for it  before I thought it through. I exchanged emails with one gentlemen.  I use that word loosely.   We chatted the usual pleasantries and he said,  would you like me to send you a picture? I saw your picture I mentioned.  No, he said, i mean other pictures so you can “see” me. I don’t consider myself naive, and sometimes  dare I say , savvy, so I  thought for a moment and suddenly it hit me!  I don’t want naked pictures!.  “Are you sure?”  he offered. Positive,  I couldn’t emphasize enough.  So, he decided to send me  pictures anyway.  Did I look ? Well yes,  yes I  did.  Curiosity kills the cat , etc.  First time,  I admit, anyone sent me  pictures of that nature.  Though, I will say , other offers have come though. Quite a few men were more than willing to share the family jewels with me, but yes, I declined.   But,  admittedly,  when I received them ,  I had to look! It is like a train wreck. You don’t want to look, but for some reason, you do anyway. He is now off my list of potential anything. (okay so the pics weren’t that impressive either.) Why do men feel the need to send these pictures? Are they trying to impress me with their physical attributes ? No idea, that is a psychologist’s job. But my thought is, for me, if that is all you have to offer, then  you need to broaden your horizons.



Dating Online?

 The joys of dating over 50. Okay , first confession, over 60.  Some of the online dating sites’ claim to fame is dating over 50, so I went with that. You see, in my head I am 40, so right away, I am ahead of the game. Oh I fought this for a long time. I am not that type of person who goes online to date. What is that type of person? I have no idea, but I knew it wasn’t me. I  would think it is a combination of not wanting to admit that I wanted, or even needed, to go on the internet to find a date. but really, where else? The bar scene is old news, especially given my age. And we know that most relationships formed at a bar are not usually long-lasting. Well, in my experience anyway, though I imagine others have fared differently.

Why did I finally crack? Maybe it was in my head for a while , but just didn’t surface. In my mind I had thought about it, but was never brave enough to do it . Friends had gone online and my siblings went online. There are a few who have had serious relationships, some have had plain fun, some have even gotten married. Then my son suggested I should do it. What harm can it do? You should get out there and not sit home by yourself.

For some reason that hit home and I started looking into some dating sites. There are so many out there. Should I pay for it? or go with the free ones? Most, as far as I know, let you browse, like window shopping for dates. And , of course, when you look at the sites, or advertisements for these sites, the pictures they show are simply perfect looking men. Don’t be fooled. At least 85 % do not look like these men. Sort of like when you look at the models in a magazine, you know no one in real life really looks like that.

The first site I stumbled upon, was the over 50 dating site, Our Time. I saw it on a commercial. 2nd confession. I was watching the Hallmark channel. Where else would they advertise an over 50 dating site? Makes sense, doesn’t it? Okay I can try this, I thought. I will get a membership. That would make it official, so I told myself.

Now I had to write a profile and unfortunately find a picture. That was about to end the entire project , but I searched through my photos and found one I wouldn’t mind making public. Had to do some digging. One does not want to get a photo that is too old. You want to have a current photo, well at least within the last couple of years. I posted a current one, one from a trip a year or so before that. and one holding a grandchild. Diverse, different aspects of my life, and yet clearly showing who I am.

The profile proved to be easier than I thought, though just starting it was a bit daunting. So, I just began with where I grew up, where I live now, family, and interests. Short but sweet I thought. I can’t write sappy stuff like I am looking for my soul mate or my life’s journey. Looking for someone to date. That seemed cut and dry, simple and non-committal. Deciding on a title of sorts was a challenge. It is suggested you get a catchy phrase to catch an eye or two. Like “looking  for Mr. Right” or “lonely no more”. I went with a variation of “taking the plunge”.  I figured , in a sense, that is what I was doing by just signing up for this.

I even went with a 6 month membership. That will prove, even if just to myself, that I am serious. I went through all the steps, picture, profile, answering questions about interests, my sign (no idea why they need this), how long was my longest relationship, kids, do I want kids (haha that was a funny one) and now I am in. I have to say I was quite surprised, when suddenly all these messages started coming in. Fresh meat I thought. New kid in the neighborhood and they pounced!

What a smorgasbord! Skinny, fat, young, old, every ethnic group you can imagine, and many combinations in between.

You can pick and choose who to respond to, and of course you can search with your own criteria. So I put in age 50-60 males, and started looking. I also found out that if you click on a profile, the other person can see that you have looked. oops. That proved to be interesting in itself. The minute you click and read their profile , and they have seen that you did that, they feel it is justified to send a message. Fair enough I thought. I can ignore the ones I don’t want to respond to, and I did. Once in a while , for fun, I would respond. The idea to do it was fun, but of course, the person on the receiving end may not be thinking along the same lines. But I did find that would get me into situations, I then, had to get out of gracefully. Or in some instances, not so gracefully. lf one responds to a message, it is logical that the sender will assume you are interested and not just doing it because you are bored. Not a good idea in the long run. I found myself making up excuses , couldn’t say, well I am already seeing someone because , well, I am on a dating site. Quick thinking , I went with , oh this isn’t a good time I am travelling or busy and then gracefully bow out. Much easier to not respond if I am not really interested, but then again I don’t always do things the easy way.

I will confess it made me feel good that I was getting so many responses. Were there any I wanted to respond to? Not yet, but it still felt good. … for a while. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it is very flattering to get numerous responses, though some of the messages I could live without.

After a couple of weeks I actually saw a few profiles I would follow-up on. One thing I will say , is, I look at the pictures first. Yes many people will say it is what is on the inside that counts. True enough, but then reality hits, and you and I both know you will check out photos before responding. It is a natural phenomenon. If you are physically attracted to someone, then the conversation will begin. I am sure it does not hold true for everyone, but I do think a physical attraction is a common thread in the beginning. Especially when you are dealing with online dating. It is not like you know someone for a while and they grow more attractive to you as time goes on. You are shopping and what catches your eye is what you want to try on!

If there is no picture, then I have no idea who I am dealing with. I confess I have to be attracted to someone in order to pursue a meeting. Jumping ahead for a moment, I once did meet someone for a drink that I did not see first. I decided, after that meeting, I will not do that again. Need I say more? Put it this way, his voice did not match the overall package. Basically he should work in radio. I am aware how bad that sounds but that is my reality. No attraction is not going to work .