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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Looking for love in all the online places?

Jan 25, 2022 04:03PM ● By Lynn Jacobs & Mary Boylan
Online dating is big business and growing every year. Although many folks over age 50 have never used a dating app, you can bet your kids have been swiping right and left to approve or disapprove of potential mates on Tinder for years.

With age, however, circumstances and marital statuses change, and you might find yourself looking for new ways to make connections. If asking your kids how to proceed doesn’t appeal to you, then this article should help.

Getting started

First, there are many matchmakers to choose from with more than 1,500 dating sites on the world wide web. Most of the bigger sites also have their own apps for smart phones and iPads.

While biggies like and boast the biggest dating pools, sites such as and are devoted solely to mature daters. There are also sites for practically any specific interest, be it religion ( and for Jewish singles) to pages devoted to farmers, clowns and even vampires.

A few sites are free to use; others require payment. Some apps let you test the waters by allowing you to view prospective matches at no charge. However, you’ll have to pay if you want to actually talk to these singles. 

A three-month subscription to will cost you around $32 per month. As with most dating apps, if you commit to more time, the fee lessens. 

Some singles believe the paying sites help separate the wheat from the chaff, but others have had luck with the free ones. 

Profile tips

Once you’ve chosen a site (or two), you’ll be asked to answer some questions for your profile about yourself and what you’re looking for in a mate. 

Retirees Joe and Jennifer Marcotte, both 74, met on the free site Plenty of Fish 12 years ago. They had an immediate attraction, but Joe said the women he met before Jennifer were anything but catches.

One thing, he noted, was that their profiles didn’t sound original.  

“So many gals said they ‘like long walks on a sandy beach.’ That’s nice, but I live in Colorado,” said Joe. “Another big one was, ‘I want someone who is interested in traveling.’ I need more depth than that. That has nothing to do with a relationship.”

Use a new picture

Divorcee and pilot Larry Laxson, 68, said there were several times he met dates at a restaurant and didn’t even recognize them from their profile photo. 

“Their pictures must have been at least 15 years old,” he said.

Joe recalled meeting a woman at a diner after reading her profile, where she said she was remodeling her house. He got the impression that she was vigorous and industrious. She entered the diner using a walker and looked nothing like her picture. 

Know what you want

Give serious thought about what kind of relationship you want, the type of person you’re looking for and what behaviors or viewpoints are unacceptable. If you want to get married, make that clear, Joe advised. If you truly just want an occasional dinner, say so. 

“So many gals said they were interested in dating but within two minutes of meeting them, it was obvious they wanted a partner and father for their children. And I was guilty of the same thing,” he admitted.

Although he posted that he was just interested in dating, Joe eventually realized he wanted a deeper connection. 

“I asked myself, do I really want to spend my time with a gal who just wants to drink and eat? Is that really what I want?” he asked. 

Thicken your skin

You will be rejected and must, at times, reject others.

Amy Brooks rejected quite a few would-be suitors on eHarmony, but tried to do so with kindness and tact. Recently, she agreed to go on a date with a man but backed out when he suggested they play “ding dong ditch” for an evening out. 

Divorced mother and singer Miriam Roth, 52, saw an ugly side to online dating apps and says she probably won’t use them again. 

“Sometimes when you say no to a person, they get vile,” said Roth, who after refusing to go out with a man, was verbally assaulted by him. 

She also received unsolicited nude pictures.

Ageism was also rampant.

“Men in my age range also don’t want to date women in my age range,” Roth acknowledged. “Fifty-year-old men want to date 30-year-old women.”

Brooks, too, has given up on online dating. She met some nice men and dated a few seriously. But the moment she turned 60, her page went cold and the messages stopped coming in.

Final thoughts

Despite the pitfalls of cyber romance, Jennifer says it was an effective way to meet eligible interested singles. For her it was successful, as it eventually led her to Joe. They’ve been married for 11 years.

But you must be brave, she warned. 

“If you’re retiring and afraid of going outside your comfort zone, online dating is not for you,” Jennifer said.  

Her final advice to anyone embarking on internet intrigue? 

“It’s fun to read profiles,” she said. “Don’t make it so serious.”

Online dating  safety tips

Vet the candidates
Be prepared to spend some time weeding out the fakers and scammers. As online dating has increased in popularity, so has the number of sketchy characters. Be careful and don’t rule out running a background check, if need be. If you have doubts, check it out or step away. Trust your instincts.

Use the block button
Dating sites make it easy for people to get to know one another, so get out there and work it, baby! You can flirt, like, wink, show interest, favorite and give a photo a thumbs up. You can text or talk anonymously, or you can peruse profiles without anyone knowing. Be proactive, but don’t be annoying. Don’t hesitate to block flirt harassers.

Email and phone first
Keep your communication to the dating platform, or exchange some emails and talk on the phone a couple of times before going on a date. During these preliminary exchanges, red flags might pop up or deal breakers might be revealed. 

Beware of catfishers

But on the flip side, don’t drag out communication too long. If someone hesitates to meet, it might be a setup for catfishing (when someone uses a fake identity to take advantage of another). If someone refuses to meet, move on.

Never send money 

Never send money, especially over wire transfer, even if the person claims to be in an emergency. Never share information that could be used to access your financial accounts. If another user asks you for money, report it to the dating site immediately.

More online dating tips here.