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My Online Dating Generation Gap

Harold and Maude in sunflower room5973780_orig
A scene from 'Harold and Maude'

Who’s contacting me at online dating sites? It would appear to be the much younger and the much older.

First, let me be clear: I support intergenerational dating. One of my top 10 favorite movies is Harold and Maude, with pubescent, death-obsessed Harold (Bud Cort) falling in love with a sexy, vivacious 79-year-old Maude (Ruth Gordon). To me, any relationship, no matter the age difference, that reinvigorates peoples’ love for living is a good thing.

I’m told that there are specialized dating sites that facilitate matches between younger men and older women. And I’m warned that younger men on these sites tend to have mommy complexes or are financial leeches.

But these cougar pups also frequent the dating sites that I’m using, and there does seem to be a pattern among those who contact me. They come on very strong, with flattery that just makes me laugh in disbelief. Example: “ Ok, so there must be a typo cause your profile says you are 56 years old, but clearly any 20-year-old woman can only fantasize of looking ½ as sexy as you.

At the other end of the spectrum are the grandpas. They tend to be self-deprecating: I wish that I were 10 years younger, and I'm not as trim as I want to be. I shamelessly admit that I could have enjoyed the possibility of our meeting on a brief afternoon rendezvous over a cup of espresso or a glass of wine and your pretty face.”

april 17 part colored April 17

Ladies, please don’t feel discouraged. This process takes enormous patience and compassion.  Loneliness can make all of us say the dumbest things. Expressing self-confidence is good, if not taken too far.

I go for grounded authenticity with a little playfulness. That’s what I try to send out into the dating universe and what I hope to attract.

And you won’t believe who I did attract today. I will tell you in my next blog.

A new you within reach — Visit AARP Life Reimagined »

*Names and identifying information have been changed to protect people’s privacy and security.


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