Love in a digital age

Typography

online dating2

FROM WEBSITES TO TINDER, IT’S POSSIBLE TO FIND ROMANCE ONLINE AT ANY AGE IF YOU HAVE AN OPEN MIND.

You date, you fall in love, you get married (at age 38), you have kids, you get divorced, you date again. And eventually, if you’re lucky, you love again.

In the first go-round — several decades ago — I met women the old-fashioned way: bars, the workplace and ski resorts (I lived in Colorado and Wyoming). No computers, no smartphones. I would walk up and sit next to an attractive woman, start talking, dance a few songs, ask to see her again, and carry on from there. It was simple.

All it took was confidence to introduce myself to an attractive stranger. My dark-haired looks, dubious charm and laid-back conversational manner were my tickets for riding single in the 1970s and ’80s.

And I’ve discovered that it’s the same today — but all the introductions happen online.

Newly divorced at the age of 63, I waited about six months to decompress, deal with any emotional baggage I may have collected during my marriage and subsequent breakup, and dove into the dating pool. I was as confident as ever and looking forward to meeting women in the new age of internet dating sites.

I researched dating sites, found one that seemed a match and signed up. It was OK, but a little outside my comfort zone. So I did a little more research and decided that Match.com and Ourtimes.com — a dating site for those older than 50 — were better fits for me.

I figured I’d go online, write women based on their looks and profile, exchange personal email addresses, text often, talk on the phone once or thrice and then, finally, meet in person. It seemed like a natural, organic progression.

In my first six months online, I dated 10 or so women from the Hilton Head Island and Savannah areas. We’d go on a few dates, usually in the early evening for wine, tapas and dancing to live music. There were no surprises in their looks, weight, attitude or anything. Some fudged on their ages, I think, but overall, these women turned out to be pretty true to their online personas.

Then I met a woman on Match.com: beautiful, smart, self-sufficient financially, an entrepreneur, the mother of successful children, a grandmother of five with a lust for living. She’s older than me by a few years, but that doesn’t matter.

She is divorced from a Vietnam war veteran and the widow of a wonderful, successful businessman who treated her well. And then I came along, a writer and a creative sort. Neither of us want to get married again. We just want to be together.

We’ve been together for four years, and life is good.

Online dating works if you’re open, curious and grounded.