Love After 40 Is Possible (I Found It Online)

Love After 40 Is Possible (I Found It Online) Hero Image

While online dating is all the rage with young singles, it can be an intimidating proposition for post-40-year-old women and men, myself included. I never knew much about online dating at all, but after my separation, I was ready for romance.

I was at a break in a marketing conference when my co-worker and friend Tad told me about his experiences with on a popular dating site. I knew next to nothing. He explained you can read profiles, view stats (including height and religious affiliations) and then message people, all under the anonymity of a username.

The idea tantalized me, and I soon drafted a profile. Because I'm a writer by profession, describing myself was not difficult. I found a few cute photos and clicked "submit." Each night when I got home from work, I checked the site. I could see how many men had visited my profile, and I would eagerly open my inbox to new messages. It was exciting!

Within the month, I exchanged a few notes with a fellow writer. On the day we met, I went to the movies by myself, buzzing with excitement during the film about the possibility of meeting a solid romantic prospect. When I walked outside, there was a tall, handsome man — Eugene. We strolled to a wine bar, and talked excitedly over Tempranillo. This began a six week adventure: picnics in Central Park, cocktails on the Upper West Side, and romantic evenings at his apartment in Washington Heights.

The problem was Eugene didn't want to be exclusive. So I broke up with him, and went on to meet many other interesting, creative men through the site. That is the beauty of online dating. Then there was John, a Colin Firth look-alike and instructor at Hunter College. We had great first, second and third dates. I traveled to Europe the week after we met, and then never saw him again: he was recently separated and "confused."

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Despite not finding a relationship immediately, I maintained a positive attitude and concluded that there's no point in worrying about rejection. I was looking for a man who would be "the one." If someone wasn't interested, he obviously wasn't it.

Beginning my online dating journey after 40, I was also a busy professional and who didn't want to waste time. Some online daters prefer a slow progression: from messages on the site, to personal emails, to phone calls. But if I was really interested, I wanted to meet fairly quickly. After all, the question, "Do we have chemistry?" can only be answered in person.

After dating online for about two years, nothing serious had developed. I was still meeting fascinating people, and I never made dating the center of my life. I pursued hobbies, had dinner with friends, and spent time with my family. I knew that feeling desperate was as bad for my psyche as it was unattractive to potential mates.

Then, one day, I found a profile I liked. An intelligent man who wrote in a poetic and slightly offbeat way. He listened to the same indie music I did and described himself as a bon vivant. And he was a chef — the perfect complement to my hobby of wine collecting. During my time dating online, I had learned to cut to the chase. I sent him a message saying simply: "I'm sold."

Although he was geographically inconvenient — he lived three hours north in the Catskills — I knew all great romance requires some kind of flexibility. So on a sunny September day, I drove to meet him. A year later, he is moving to my house and we are starting a life together. Needless to say, we had a promising first date.

Online dating requires courage and persistence, and, in my experience, not letting dating become a sole focus. Romance seekers of any age can use online dating platforms to meet interesting people, have fun, and — if you're as lucky as I was — find a wonderful person to love.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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