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February 8, 2022

 

Hi there, 

 
Valentine’s Day is coming, which always reminds me of my dating days. I was an early adopter of the precursor to internet dating: the newspaper’s personals section. Long before the internet existed, I advertised in the personals in the Village Voice, a newspaper for New York City’s creative community. Getting actual letters beats messaging online profiles any time, IMHO. Of course, many potential dates failed to send photos, so meeting in person was often a big letdown. I met my husband this way, which may or may not have been a good thing considering that he left me 18 years later for a younger woman. But that’s another story. 

After my marriage broke up, when I was 60, I got on Match.com and OkCupid. I had a ball dating lots of different men; I had two torrid love affairs, neither of which turned into long-term relationships but which I don’t regret one bit. At this point, I feel I’ve aged out of the dating pool. All the men I’d be interested in are either married or underground. I wouldn’t want to burden anyone with all my baggage, including health problems. But I still get a thrill when I read about women who have found love late in life. I like to be reminded that it’s possible.

I’m Erica Manfred, Geezer Geek, Snarky Senior, and author of I’m Old so Why Aren’t I Wise? I moved to Florida alone in my trusty Ford Focus seven years ago from upstate New York and haven’t regretted it. I’ve always written about my life, and now that I’m old, aging and ageism are what I care about most. I’m writing this newsletter as part of the event platform Life Experienced. Each week, I’ll be exploring what matters to us later in life, from finding community to nuts-and-bolts stuff like figuring out our phones. I’ll also be interviewing inspiring seniors. Know someone we should feature? Email us at Info@LifeExperienced.com or join us on Facebook.  

 

Meet Joan Price, retired high school teacher, health and fitness writer, and author of the candid memoir Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty and three other books. As an advocate for ageless sexuality, Joan is an upbeat, warm, friendly expert who is chock-full of information for all of us baby boomers looking to meet someone special. She found love in her 70s through online dating and has great advice for those of you willing to try it.

Why is online dating the way to go for seniors? 

In our youth, it was easy to meet singles because everywhere we went we were surrounded by our peers, and due to hormones, most people were interested. Now, a half-century later, we can sit in our favorite coffee shop and hope that Mr. or Ms. Right Now walks in, but it’s not an efficient way to meet people to date. The odds are stacked against it.


How about meeting someone while doing activities you love?

You might meet someone that way. You’ll certainly meet other people who share your interests, but that doesn’t mean you’ll meet your next date. The easiest way to meet someone is through online dating. There’s a better chance that the person you’re talking to is interested in a relationship and, hopefully, is single.


What’s the secret to success in online dating for seniors?

Sticking to it. Don’t give up right away. You might get deluged with the wrong people, or nobody will contact you at all. You might go out on a lot of bad dates. People meet each other into their 80s, but it takes self-confidence and tenacity. It’s not going to happen in the first week or month of internet dating. If you’re not getting the kinds of response you want, ask a friend to look at your profile and tell you why they think it isn’t attracting the right people.


How about your photo? 

Have a friend or family member take it. Selfies are not flattering. Spotlight your best qualities, like your smile. Use a recent photo—not one from years ago. Don’t judge yourself for your looks, but celebrate what you love about yourself. 

What should you include in your profile? What should you leave out?

It’s essential to make sure your profile presents you as authentic and appealing. Lead with something that will catch a reader’s attention about you. Remember that people are scrolling through dozens of profiles. No cliched walks on the beach at midnight. It should be something arresting that makes people want to date you. [For instance, Joan suggested this opener for me: “I’m a snarky writer. I’m aging with challenges, but we can talk about that.”

Be direct. Include what you’re looking for in your profile. If no smoking is non-negotiable, state it upfront. That way you’ll avoid the random people who answer everyone. Don’t lie about your age—it will come back to bite you.

How did you meet your current partner?

I used OkCupid. Mac was newly widowed after his wife’s long illness. We were the same age, 73. His sister encouraged him to put up a profile. He was very lonely but had never used online dating, while I’d used it on and off for years. When I saw his profile, I was smitten. He had so many of the qualities I was looking for. Plus his smile was so cute. I wanted to meet him right away. He felt the same way about me. We met for a coffee date and went for a walk and then dinner. We made a second date before the first was over. As I walked away, I did a little “he likes me” dance. We’ll have been together for five years in May. 

Do you have any other tips?

Plan your first date in a public place with a time limit. Meet at the coffee shop at 5 when you know it closes at 6, so it’s not awkward when the date ends.  

Treat each first date as an audition for the second date, not for the rest of your life. Every date is practice for how to converse with a new person, how to present yourself. It’s never wasted time. The worst dates make the best stories.

Have one long phone call before you agree to meet to get a sense of who the person is. If they don’t laugh at your jokes, forget it.  

Meet as soon as possible. Long courtships don’t work at our age.

Check out this article about the best sites for senior dating and some good advice. And for encouragement, here’s a heartwarming story about two people in their 70s who met on SilverSingles and married during the pandemic.

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Life Experienced exclusive events

 

Plant-based cooking demo
Thursday, February 10
11 a.m. PT / 2 p.m. ET

Join plant-based author Ann Gentry for a cooking demo on how to prepare quick breakfast foods to set yourself up for the day feeling satiated and energized. This class is perfect for people who are new to plant-based cooking or for those looking to add new recipes to their repertoire.

Ingredients for Ann’s superfood chia breakfast parfait: *Feel free to substitute ingredients for what you have on hand
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon dried goji berries
1 tablespoon dried fruit: apricots, prunes, peaches
⅓ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup berries
½ banana (optional)

 
RSVP

 

Dance fitness party
Wednesday, February 16
9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET

Put on your dancing shoes—or your sneakers—and get ready to move. The Fiesta Fit Sisters are leading a 30-minute workout for all levels and experiences. You can dance standing or from a chair; just be ready to break a sweat and a smile!

 
RSVP

 

Quick and easy cooking
Thursday, February 17
5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET

Join lifestyle expert and TODAY Show contributor Jill Bauer for a night of quick and easy cooking! Jill will share creative and delicious ideas for entertaining, along with one of her favorite dinners for a busy evening.

 
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Featured partner event

Valentine’s Day-themed Zumba party
Thursday, February 17
9:30 - 10:30 a.m. ET

This February, treat yourself to 60 minutes of heart-pumping, lovey-dovey dance music and sweet moves! This special Zumba Gold® class is perfect for EVERY body. Enjoy a low-impact workout that is heart-healthy (it is Heart Health Month, after all) and that will make you swoon. Come ready to sweat and sing along to a love-inspired set list with an encouraging instructor! We also offer a bonus video of each class you attend. This class is open to all ages and fitness levels.
 

RSVP

What’s in the news

In line with this week’s newsletter topic, check out the recent New York Times feature about sex after 70. Joan Price, today’s interview subject, is featured in it, and the article reveals more than you may want to know about sexuality in our older years, including some depressing statistics about how much it declines. But that’s about to change. As “the baby boom generation, which grew up during the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, age — the oldest are about 75 — many sex experts expect they will demand more open conversations and policies related to their sex lives.”

Become a partner

Does your organization reach a community of older adults? Get in touch with us for information on amplifying your events and activities on the platform and expanding the Life Experienced service to your network. There is no cost to partnering. Get in touch with us here: https://lifeexperienced.com/become-a-partner.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. And if you want to chime in with your two cents on what this newsletter should include, email us at Info@LifeExperienced.com

Until next time, 
Erica  
 
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