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Online dating in your 40s

(558 Posts)
StarlightSparkle Thu 13-Aug-20 22:45:36

I have recently entered the world of online dating and am finding it so, so grim! I’ve tried a couple of different sites and on one I’ve had quite a few matches but they rarely message me. Granted, I could message them, but surely if a man was interested they would send you a message?

When I do get a response the conversation seems to dry up pretty quickly - I ask them about themselves and get one word answers and no follow up questions. How the hell are you supposed to continue with a conversation if that is all you have to work with?! If I can’t even get someone to chat, I have no chance of going on an actual date!

I guess most men are looking at profiles of women in their 20s and 30s and maybe think I’m too old but I look quite young for my age!

Has anyone got any tips/ advice? Am I doing something wrong? I’m divorced and have my kids most of the time so it would be hard for me to meet a man any other way but this just seems impossible!

OP’s posts: |
OhioOhioOhio Thu 13-Aug-20 22:47:21

You are braver than me. Reckon you need to feel good about yourself before you even start.

StarlightSparkle Thu 13-Aug-20 23:01:41

All things considered, I do feel reasonably good about myself. I don’t think I’m a bad catch, it’s just that no-one else seems to agree!

OP’s posts: |
seensome Thu 13-Aug-20 23:01:50

Try being even more fussy? So you don't need to message too much, only swipe with the ones that want what you are looking for and only if you can see yourself actually going on a date with them. Then your cutting a lot of crap out and if so do get someone with good conversation skills it'll be worth it.

OhioOhioOhio Thu 13-Aug-20 23:28:20

Wine. Definitely get wine. It's a stressful experience.

Fairycake2 Thu 13-Aug-20 23:33:02

What sites have you tried? I'm on POF and get quite a few messages. Granted, I ignore quite a few but I've had some nice chats too. Quite a few disappear after a couple of days but some have progressed to dates. Sadly I haven't met anyone i like enough to get past date 4 yet but I haven't given up hope just yet 😄

Eesha Fri 14-Aug-20 06:13:20

@StarlightSparkle I suggest you join the dating thread here and see first hand all the ups and downs of dating online. I think you have to be in it to win it and try not to overinvest/dont see it as something that defines your worth. I'm a great catch but it was swings and roundabouts for me. I must have only gone on 8 first dates in 2.5 years. It has taught me a lot about setting boundaries, ghosting, and what I like in someone! I found Tinder the best for actual traffic but I have only had actual dates via Bumble and POF. Meet people early so you don't overinvest. And set expectations - I wanted regular communication and no multi dating.

AGoodYearfortheRoses Fri 14-Aug-20 07:03:49

It’s a nightmare! I don’t understand why half of these men are on there as they never bother to reply and don’t get me started on some of the photos - I’m far from a supermodel but I’ve picked flattering recent pics where I look happy and at my best, some of these look like they’ve just got out of bed - if they make that little effort in their profile I don’t hold out much hope for real life 🙄

pinktophat Fri 14-Aug-20 07:26:12

I think you have to drop the waiting for them to chat first bit - I am chatty on these sites, regularly make the first move to chat, have had a few relationships including two long term from them - preservers, put in effort and it's worth it definitely.

supercali77 Fri 14-Aug-20 07:27:27

Dating in your 40s is tricky. You wade through a lot of potato looking men with smudgy photos. I dont mean to be rude but I've seen my male friends tinder feed, women in their 40s generally make an effort in both dress and photo. 80%of the men seem to take a grim photo from beneath, barely cracking a grin. That said, for what it's worth I've found hinge to be the best. Pof. Don't bother. Ever. Tinder. Meh. Its so so. But so little effort in bios. Hinge people at least have to write a few things. Present 6 photos at least. It leads to more interaction by ita very nature. Good luck

cheerup Fri 14-Aug-20 07:31:50

Its tough. There are relatively few attractive (multiple senses) men, everyone has baggage (me included) and then when you think you've found someone sane, attractive and who you could spend time with in a mutually enjoyable way, they ghost you.

TwoBoysTooMany76 Fri 14-Aug-20 10:40:50

@StarlightSparkle I am in my early 40s (also divorced and two kids) and completely agree with you that I would say 98% of men on OLD is grim. I have been dating on and off for a few years. I read a statistic somewhere that said 45% of people on OLD are NOT single. I would say I have gone on 30-40 first dates in the last few years. I did date someone for most of last year.

Post lockdown I realised I wanted a relationship out of my normal everyday life, so I was quite open to the people I would meet. But I only swiped right on people I found interesting or attractive. If they just want endless chat (or don’t chat after the first message), I delete and move on. If they haven’t asked me out in the first two weeks of chatting, I move on too. I find that men who want to date will ask you out in the first few days or week of chatting if you have a rapport. Also judge by actions, not words. The number of men who say they would love to see me again after a first date and just ghosts after is phenomenal! Also, don’t take it personally. Hard not to. But that’s key. If they start sex talk before we meet, shut it down and move on...

What I did when lockdown first eased was I just swiped most days. It really is a numbers game. Grim when you have done 100 left swipes and no one to swipe right on but keep going. I currently am dating a few men. I have had three dates with two and two dates with two. Eventually I guess I will whittle them down. I already have a favourite! grin But I know it’s early days and anything can happen! I am just keeping it light and fun for now. But have paused all the apps for now.

So I am on Hinge, Bumble and Tinder. Two of them are from Hinge (which is the one I find hardest to use!), one from Bumble and one from Tinder. It’s funny as experience has also shown me the men I end up having chemistry with in real life are men I almost swipe left on or men who sent me messages/likes on Hinge and I’m like meh! In fact, my current favourite is someone I met for a date only because I thought he sounded interesting and there would be no chemistry. But wow! In real life it was star and we ended spending seven hours together. So I think sometimes you need to give it a chance. First date, have a coffee/drink in the open/park (lockdown has helped that!) and make your excuses if they have lied about their photos/details. You don’t owe them romantic feelings!

But I must have swiped thousands to get to this point. I completed Bumble a few times grin. I actually got most dates from Tinder and Hinge and Bumble has been dire lately... I think it swings round and about to be honest. I’m very aware I still could end up with no partner at the end of this but it helps that I am very happy/content with my life so I won’t settle and I make it clear I’m not taking any shit from any of them. And my kids are a no-go zone (as in they won’t even be meeting them for a bloody long time) though they all know I have them and it limits the time I can see them.

Best of luck! I remember feeling the way you feel earlier this year when I started dating again. I shut all the apps down in lockdown. I think meeting someone is important to establish rapport and chemistry. And only started up again when lockdown eased with a new mindset and that’s helped. I’m enjoying dating at the moment and that’s how it should be!

PhannyPharts Fri 14-Aug-20 11:51:18

There's no good news. Its a snake's pit of ghosting, banal conversation, disinterest and disappointment.

People are treated as disposable because something "better" is a swipe away.

ravenmum Fri 14-Aug-20 12:14:33

Huh, can't say the experience was grim for me; maybe it's just the British ones that are that shit :D or I was lucky. I also used the method described by TwoBoysTooMany76; open-minded about anyone apparently decent, met several at once, then ended up with the favourite anyway smile

TossACoinToYerWitcher Fri 14-Aug-20 13:08:38

To be fair, OP, I'm male and I can say my experience has largely been the same! My inbox is hardly overflowing but I was pleasantly surprised that my matches went into double digits. But from then on, same problems as you... but rather than it being them messaging someone 10-20 years younger than me, I think its more becoming aware I'm just one of many, many "irons" (as they say in the dating thread) in a rather large fire. Conversatios go great and then I get ghosted. Quite often, they'll come back a week or two later and I can't help but think "yeah, okay, so Option #1 either fell through or else turned out to be a nightmare, so I'm the fall back option". And then, if I reply, the same happens again. It's like trying to get a toddler's attention in a sweet shop. And, whilst I don't blame them, its very offputting. I think everyone wants to feel special to someone - not like a pair of shoes that's constantly being tried on, put back, then tried on again, put back, tried on, taken to the till, left on the till as another new pair's caught their eyes... rinse and repeat.

It’s funny as experience has also shown me the men I end up having chemistry with in real life are men I almost swipe left on or men who sent me messages/likes on Hinge and I’m like meh! In fact, my current favourite is someone I met for a date only because I thought he sounded interesting and there would be no chemistry. But wow! In real life it was

Yeah, this x100. I seriously thinking of giving up OLD because I'm realising the people I've dated and/or had mutual crushes on in real life are people I've often developed chemistry with that wouldn't have been apparent online. One had no mutual interests whatsoever, but for some reason it clicked. Plus I'm not a guy who has "instant impact" as it were: I'm not over 6ft. I'm not high-earning. I'm not a fireman or a barrister or any career with a certain prestige. I'm not especially good looking. I don't have the gift of the gab. In other words, I don't have anything that might nudge someone to instantly think "well I'll give it a go". What works for me is developing chemistry, over a period of time, in a non-pressurised atmosphere. It sounds awful, but I tend to "grow" on people - to use Bridget Jones Diary as an example, I'm more a Mark Darcy than a Daniel Cleaver and I think OLD really tends to favour the Cleavers of this world more.

ALittleBitConfused1 Fri 14-Aug-20 13:22:15

It is tough op. Most people say dont try pof but in all honesty I've done it for a while and been on different sites, one of them is a paid site, even on there I did notice that alot of the men had profiles on all of the sites so I dont necessarily see the point of paying when the same blokes are on pof.
I hate the one word answers it's so difficult.
If they dont engage within the first couple of messages I just leave it there....next lol.
I've had some very engaging conversations from online dating but for every 20blokes I talk to there may only be one or two that keep me interested. I guess you've just got to wade through the crap to get to the good ones, I'm still wading op so I feel your pain 🤣

Ekibastuz1 Fri 14-Aug-20 13:36:12

Hi, just thought I'd give a bit of male perspective on this discussion as I'm 40 and currently on one or two apps. I'm having a very similar experience to the OP, not getting many matches at all (I'm nothing special looks-wise but hopefully not 'grim'), conversations with matches often stop abruptly after a couple of messages or opening messages are not replied to all. I just accept it as par for the course really and don't let it become a frustration.

ravenmum Fri 14-Aug-20 14:11:47

'm not a guy who has "instant impact" as it were: I'm not over 6ft. I'm not high-earning. I'm not a fireman or a barrister or any career with a certain prestige. I'm not especially good looking. I don't have the gift of the gab. In other words, I don't have anything that might nudge someone to instantly think "well I'll give it a go".
Not sure if my take on this will reassure you or make you despair smile but my "favourites" were mainly based on factors such as "nice smile", "friendly brown eyes", "humour does not go over his head", "seems very laid back", "sounds like fun". It was only after that that I considered other factors such as "Not like my ex", "Similar level of education" and "roughly similar height". My current bf, the favourite last time, is balding, rather overweight, same height as me, awful teeth tbh, no car, was between jobs when we met, but was my favourite from the start because of the cheeky smile in the picture and the fact that he was clearly also up for some fun. He will go out with me and dance badly to loud music, even though we are in our 50s. (Not everyone's taste at my age!)

I take your point about it suiting some people better than others, but you could always leave your profile up, and just pop in every now and then, while looking elsewhere too. The woman of your dreams might only sign up next month, would be a shame to miss her.

Requinblanc Fri 14-Aug-20 14:32:43

I tried OLD for a couple years but it really wasn't for me.

Negatives: men who were not really single; one word messages; being sent sexual content from the start; guys who had lied about their age and used old pictures; casual sex seekers; receiving a lot of verbal abuse when rejecting someone; some really odd people with an obvious issue with alcohol/drugs or weird fetishes; the fact that most men seem to believe they should be dating someone 10/15/20 years younger; ghosting; very shallow process overall and people tend to treat other poorly...

Positives: helped me deal with shyness and gave me more confidence to make small talk when meeting; ended up making two good friends (dated briefly but we decided to be mates instead and they are still in my life 5 years later!)

As you can see for me it just did not work and it simply became boring and rather depressing. I am glad I tried and on paper it should be a great way to meet men, the reality did not really live up to it.

I went on so many first dates (most of them rather boring) I lost count but only dated a couple of men for 3 months max and then things just fizzled out.

NowYouListenToMeFella Fri 14-Aug-20 18:00:06

Waves to OP and PPs. Also online dating and I'm 40. Decided recently that I am ready to meet someone and am putting effort in.

Back on about two weeks. One date last Sunday and in the planning stages of another for this Sunday. Different guys.

Trying to be positive about it and not think how soon will I get disheartened.

Anyone have any dates this weekend?

StarlightSparkle Fri 14-Aug-20 21:37:02

Thanks everyone, that all sounds like good advice. I think being more proactive is a good suggestion and taking the initiative to message people I match with instead of playing the waiting game. Also, just accepting that this is what happens in the world of OLD and trying not to take it personally!

The apps I’m currently on are OK Cupid and Tinder. I will check out the dating thread though from memory those ladies are doing better than me as at least they have been on actual dates!

OP’s posts: |
crimsonlake Sat 15-Aug-20 17:15:46

All I have to add is that if you think it is dire dating in your 40's, it gets a heck of a lot worse once you are in your 50's. It is all downhill from your 40's.

Wondersense Sat 15-Aug-20 17:48:11

supercali77

Dating in your 40s is tricky. You wade through a lot of potato looking men with smudgy photos. I dont mean to be rude but I've seen my male friends tinder feed, women in their 40s generally make an effort in both dress and photo. 80%of the men seem to take a grim photo from beneath, barely cracking a grin. That said, for what it's worth I've found hinge to be the best. Pof. Don't bother. Ever. Tinder. Meh. Its so so. But so little effort in bios. Hinge people at least have to write a few things. Present 6 photos at least. It leads to more interaction by ita very nature. Good luck

'Potato looking men'.......lol XD

MoominCake Sat 15-Aug-20 18:26:34

"Potato looking men" 😂 brilliant. I can so relate to much of these frustrations OP. I've been OLD three years and thought I'd met all the weirdos and time wasters, but apparently, that's not an exclusive experience. I deleted all the apps a couple of months ago in a fit of frustration and wanting some time out to 'focus on me', as they say. Contemplating giving it another go and taking the multiple dating/filtering approach as a PP has! Tell you what, it's made me laugh how many of the previous ghosters have reappeared from the beyond during lockdown, bored and looking for attention again, well they can bugger off.

StarlightSparkle Sat 15-Aug-20 23:09:27

I had a few more matches today but two of them unmatched me before I even had chance to send them a message! Bloody charming!!

Better luck tomorrow, perhaps...

OP’s posts: |

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