Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Is early-mid 40s too old for OLD?

(45 Posts)
alloverbarthegrouting Thu 14-Jan-16 22:23:07

I want people to be reasonably gentle with me but also give it to me unvarnished, if that's achievable. Feeling quite sensitive about this but also need to know if this is a losing battle from which I need to step away with quiet dignity.

I've fairly recently come out of a long term relationship and have started OLD for the first time. I knew it wasn't going to be a case of on and suddenly into a perfect new relationship. But I'm shocked and quite upset at how little success I've had on there and its made me question whether I actually have any hope of meeting anyone ever again.

When I first signed up I got a huge rush of people who were obviously trying anything female that moved. Most of them sleazebags saying things like "hi sexy" etc. Then after about a week or so, nothing. Literally nothing. Not so much as a like of my profile for over a week.

Without wanting to sound big-headed I'm quite taken aback. I'm not a Great Beauty, by any stretch of the imagination but I don't think I'm unattractive, I take care of myself, present myself well and I have a reasonable profile picture. (I know its all about the picture, no-one reads women's profiles, do they?).

I have friends of roughly the same age who are getting messaged and asked out on dates so there must be some demand for women over 40 and while both of them are attractive I struggle to say both of them are head and shoulders better looking than I am. I also have a DC which I suspect doesn't help, but I'm a bit despondent about it at the moment. It's really making me question whether I need to take myself off the market altogether and accept that I'm just too old for dating.

I'm not especially looking to jump into a relationship, by the way -- came out of a difficult and occastionally abusive LTR just over a year ago and have one very brief fling since but have basically been on my own for a while and in therapy. I'm not the sort of person who goes running from one man to the next, and I've spent fairly long stretches alone, but I would like to know whether I'm even just theoretically dateable any more of whether I need to retire and come to terms with the fact that that part of my life is over.

spankme Thu 14-Jan-16 22:36:03

Dear op I'm more or less in the same boat & ive had success & so can you. I think you need to have a positive attitude & be proactive. Keep trawling the profiles, don't be afraid to initiate first contact. I personally didn't mention my dcs on my profile because I wanted them kept well out of my dating life but I told people early on face to face & it wasn't a problem. It ia a numbers game though. I got lucky on no.13!

ravenmum Thu 14-Jan-16 22:39:36

So you've tried one site for a week and based on that think you are undateable? If that's typical of your state of mind now, perhaps you are not really ready for OLD?

TooSassy Thu 14-Jan-16 22:56:36

OP, there is a dating thread (no. 94 currently) that a lot of us wandering back into OLD are on.

You are most certainly NOT undateable!! However as we are discovering on the thread. You need a grow a lot of skins for OLD.

Come and join us on the thread. We are a lovely (slightly crazy) bunch supporting one another through all sorts of trials and tribulations!

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Thu 14-Jan-16 23:02:14

Which site are you on? You need patience with OLD!

HandyWoman Thu 14-Jan-16 23:25:15

allover do come be join us on the dating thread - you get a free bottle of rhino-hide on admission you need it but not for the thread but for the OLD

SelfLoathing Thu 14-Jan-16 23:29:38

I did OLD for a while on and off but don't do it any more as I decided the type of man I was after was unlikely to be doing OLD. I've tried most of the websites at one time or another and my advice is as follows:

New Users get more traffic
It's true that the biggest rush of interest is when you first sign up for a site. For this reason, if you are serious about meeting someone, it's not a bad idea to sign up for a short period then when your subscription ends, delete your profile and move to a new site. Then after a few months/year, you can go back to the other one.

Pick a website that suits you
Some websites are better than others depending on what you are looking for and your personal interaction style. I found Match a total waste of time - it has a lot of dead profiles. The best ones I found were Times Encounters and MySingleFriend (which I really liked, the best guys it seemed to me were on that site). I also liked PoF (Which is a free site) but seemed quite interactive and had older people on it.

Other people I know rave about OKCupid (I never really liked that one, it seemed a bit too "lots of chat, no serious interest in dating). I've also heard good things about Guardian Soulmates. I didn't like EHarmony as I found it too protracted and proscriptive - but it's not bad if you like a bit of structure and at least you know the users are serious about meeting someone

Be active on the site
Most sites have a system where a user can see if you looked at them and some have ones where you rank more highly if you have logged on recently. So make sure you look at lots of male profiles in your preferred age range - just do a search and click through them. I never used to bother to read them - just click through lots. The ones who are interested in you will contact you and then you can read it and see if you are interested.

Be prepared to deal with a lot of idiots
Time wasters, married men, weirdos, people just looking for a sex (nothing wrong with that if you are honest!). Put on your flak jacket and get on with it.

Treat OLD as an additional way to meet men but not your sole avenue
The chances of meeting someone good through OLD are not high. It's not impossible but requires a lot of luck and a lot of kissing frogs to find a prince metaphorically speaking. Don't put all your eggs in the OLD basket. Try other things too - joining classes, volunteering, speed dating, singles parties/holidays etc.

Remember making new female friends can just as easily lead to a new man in your life
Women have brothers, male friends, husbands with male friends and so on. Don't focus just on building a network directed at meeting men.

Threefishys Thu 14-Jan-16 23:51:06

Get on Tinder!!

niceupthedance Fri 15-Jan-16 06:31:04

I second tinder.

It can be a soul-destroying process, people not being honest, mainly. I met 8 people over about two years as it was all I could cope with (plus had a fuck buddy to take my mind off things). Luckily the 9th person was just what I was looking for. I'm also early 40s.

alloverbarthegrouting Fri 15-Jan-16 06:48:04

But to ravenmums point here's the thing -- I totally get that if your self-esteem is low its going to affect your interactions in RL.

But online, how the hell can anyone tell what your self esteem is like? If you're not being visited/clicked on/messaged, surely that's pretty empirically telling you you're too unattractive (or too old) to date. It's hard for your self esteem to challenge the cold hard logic of numbers.

Part of the reason I started it just to get used to it again and build up my self esteem but with no responses (or very few) it seems just to confirm that I have probably left this whole thing too late....

Re Tinder, I did consider that as it seems to cut out the bullshit you get with other sites, but can't because too many people I know are on there.

alloverbarthegrouting Fri 15-Jan-16 06:49:31

Sorry, word missing:

Part of the reason I started it was just to get used to it and build up my self esteem.

(Maybe my being functionally illiterate isn't helping my chances either)

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Fri 15-Jan-16 07:01:34

People you know? In what context? Female or male? Bear in mind on tinder you only see people within your search parameters so if searching for men 40-50 you won't see women or men outside those parameters. And you will only show up in searches of people who have set to women in your age group. The chances of seeing someone's profile that you know are medium but unless you both swipe right (unlikely?!) they won't be able to go back and view your profile once they have swiped past it.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Fri 15-Jan-16 07:02:12

Tinder will boost your self esteem when you start seeing how many people you match with grin

alloverbarthegrouting Fri 15-Jan-16 07:08:37

Obsidian not being cynical, but if I'm not getting clicked on on sites aimed more or less at my demographic how am I going to get a self-esteem boost from not being clicked on by hot young things 20 years younger than me? Don't buy that, I'm afraid.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Fri 15-Jan-16 07:11:43

You're missing the point confused
Hot young things won't even see your tinder profile unless they have a thing for older women!
Your profile will be viewable by people who have set their parameters to women between the ages of x and y where x and y are older and younger than you.
Probably men in their 40s and above I would imagine.

Intheprocess Fri 15-Jan-16 07:25:05

Been on OLD for short while too, similar experience - lots of initial interest and now getting no more than a few views a day. However, non of the women have messaged me even though some have viewed my profile several times. My approaches to the (very few) women who I'm interested in have so far been a polite "thanks but no thanks".

But as it's so soon into the process, and, like you, I'm not long out of an ltr, I'm not worrying about it. I suspect it's obvious from my profile that I'm a newbie and a little over-excited. Over the next few weeks I'll re-do my profile / ad with some help from female friends and get some decent pictures up and then start approaching some more women.

One thing - you have to approach men on OLD. There are a couple of women who have viewed my profile more than once who I probably would meet up with if they engaged with me. Truth is, pictures are not as attractive as real people, but attention IS attractive. Give it a month and I may contact them myself. Take the plunge, being told "no thanks" really isn't that bad.

Toystory4 Fri 15-Jan-16 08:00:33

I gave it up a year ago at 47! The quality was very hard to find amongst the chancers. The quality pool is not as great in your 40's. I found most of the men indated to he bitter about ex's and generally miserable. Are all mid 40's men miserable?

I am holding out hope of meeting someone in real life but that's just as hard!

ravenmum Fri 15-Jan-16 09:29:59

That's not quite what I meant, though, allover - I meant that you were feeling hopeless very quickly, so maybe aren't in the robust, thick-skinned state required for OLD, anyway (regardless of how dateable you are or not).

If you're not being visited/clicked on/messaged, surely that's pretty empirically telling you you're too unattractive (or too old) to date.
It could mean any number of things:
- you need to add some more photos (some people like to see several, as you can't really see what a person looks like from one or two)
- you're on the wrong site: it has the wrong age range, or not enough users, or users who are not looking for whatever you are, etc.
- another site might suit your type better (one with a bigger or smaller profile description, or different features such as the way you can browse/match)
- your profile didn't show up quite right when you first joined for some reason (e.g. you only added a photo later or something)
- your settings are for a narrow range of people, so you'll naturally get fewer responses than someone who's up for anything
- it's just after Christmas and people have just started work again, so they are thinking about work and don't have any money for dating after their Christmas spending
- Mr Right is on holiday this week and hasn't seen you yet
- Mr Right is thinking about signing up next week

Obviously you're not too old for OLD, there are plenty of women your age and older on there. I started OLD at 45, and it took me a few weeks of trying out different sites before I found anyone worth a date.

HPsauciness Fri 15-Jan-16 09:59:05

You may not be to old for OLD, I don't know, but why give up on that part of your life, even if OLD is not for you.

There are lots of other things for people to do over forty, holidays, walking groups, hobby/interest groups where other people, who also may end up divorced or just haven't settled down, will also hang out. You may also make some good female friends, one of my friends joined a walking group for unattached people, met someone nice. Work, social events, it's not all over til its over!

Threefishys Fri 15-Jan-16 10:29:14

Go on Tinder and set your parameters to men aged maybe 10 years either side of your age and a radius of maybe 50 miles. (Bearing in mind it picks up people within that radius at any given time so they in reality be closer or farther away than that) then get swiping. It's a brilliant method for boosting self esteem I promise you. I met my DP on Tinder I'm was 43 at the time he was 37 I consider him a hot young thing!!! grin we've been together more than a year now and very happy

pocketsaviour Fri 15-Jan-16 10:51:35

I know its all about the picture, no-one reads women's profiles, do they?

Does this mean you haven't fully filled out your profile, or haven't given it the attention it deserves? Because I think men who are looking for actual relationships (rather than just casual shags) definitely pay attention to the profile section.

hilbobaggins Fri 15-Jan-16 11:31:24

I know plenty of people (including myself) who've met people in their 40s (and 50s). There's absolutely no reason to think that that side of your life is over. However I agree with others that your attitude needs to change a bit. OLD is just one way to meet new people. Stick with it, lower your expectations and make sure you do lots of other stuff to meet new people. I tried to see the whole thing as a bit of a joke and a thing I was doing on the side of everything else which was the attitude that worked for me. That said another friend took it v seriously pretty much turned it into a full time job - she ended up meeting a guy from Australia and has just moved to Melbourne!!

rosyvalentine Fri 15-Jan-16 18:49:35

I agree with pocketsaviour. Men who are interested in a relationship will read profiles. I met my DP on POF and he says he always read women's' profiles before making contact.

alloverbarthegrouting Mon 18-Jan-16 06:25:01

pocketsaviour I have filled out the profile and did give it a reasonable amount of attention. And I'm not illiterate. I just figured that with a few notable exceptions men are generally not that interested in what woman have to say and what they do with their lives, only with what they look like.

Sorry to sound pessimistic. I'm really trying to develop a thick skin but, like I say, there's no arguing with no clicks and no attention. It's like the online equivalent of someone standing at the back of the school disco whom no-one will talk to....

Psychologically, you have to be "in the game" to play -- you have to feel as if you at last have a shot at this. It took a great deal of guts to get me onto these places in the short term and it was partly about validation, about making me feel that despite my age and the fact that I have been married and have a child I'm not totally unattractive. And in fact the experiment has proved the opposite -- i.e. that I'm totally invisible to men. I read countless accounts by women saying they meet men online and they're all chancers or married or just after sex. I'm not even getting those. It's hard to bounce back and feel positive after shouting from the top of a building "I'm up for it!" and have society shrug and say "whatever."

Goodbetterbest Mon 18-Jan-16 08:54:35

I'm mid-forties and I met someone on Guardian Soulmates. F

Be warned, it's a slow process on there (unless you live in London) as it doesn't seem to have the same volume of people as other sites, but be patient.

Every site has it's arseholes mind you.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now