she's pretty but unavailable

Dating Men of a Certain Age: Bumble Is Not the Answer

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[IMAGE: At 31, Whitney Wolfe is the youngest self-made Billionaire. The Bumble founder is young and attractive. My question: is she available for dating? Where does a single billionaire go to find a suitable mate?]

Dating after 50 is more difficult
than it was in our 20’s or 30’s.

Dating In Today’s World

  • we’ve got online dating apps (the emptiness of Bumble and OK Cupid)
  • we’ve got FaceBook (yes, we have thousands of “friends”)
  • we’ve got fewer close connections (where a friend my set us up on a blind date)
  • we’ve got fewer social events (where we might meet someone)
  • we’re less active (either we’re keeping up with our physical fitness or we are not)
  • we’re less interested in putting up with bullshit (passive-aggressive comments, ghosting, lies)

And yet, it seems more challenging than ever to find an eligible, like-minded, and attractive, partner. Why is that? Has our world grown colder and more isolated due to social media, the pandemic, toxic masculinity, and the #metoo threats? Is it easier or harder to date in 2021? Now, if you’re over 50, things are even more confusing.

Older Women Seeking a Partner

Online dating. I write a lot about it. I try it a lot. Online dating provided me with two opportunities, both interesting and entertaining, but not what I was ultimately seeking. It wasn’t the “online” part that was the problem, it was the “offline” part. People don’t share recent photos. (“Um, you know you don’t look like those photos on your profile, right?”) People are playing the dating game, but more interested in entertainment than finding a partner. Online dating is like practice. Look for what gets you excited. Write down what you think you want and what you think you offer. These are all great practices. BUT, you are not likely to find your next partner on Bumble.

Boy Toys and Trophy Wifes

Men get a bad rap for wanting to date only younger women. Women get the same bad rap, if they are sufficiently attractive, of going after boy toys. And in online dating, what’s the harm? Flirting with a woman who is 15 years younger than me, might get me excited right at once, but it’s unlikely that this hottie is really interested in a relationship. She’s either 1. a fake account manned by a woman in Korea; 2. a hot woman who has nothing better to do than torture older men for fun; 3. a scam artist of some sort trying to lure men off Bumble and onto their “private” site, where “we can share more intimate details.” Um, you know what that means, right? Porn.

There is a lot of boy toy trolling and trophy wife posturing going on in the online dating world. The fake accounts and scam artists make up 40% of the profiles. So, if a hot person starts hitting you up on Tinder, make sure you spend some time discovering if they are real before spending any energy in getting to know them. Often, they are there to flirt, get you excited, so you keep paying for the premium features of the dating site. You will NEVER get a date with one of these fake or scam accounts. But you could have some great fantasies while chatting with them and looking at their profile pictures. Just do me a favor, don’t follow them off to any “other” sites. It’s a SCAM. Always.

The Actual Work of Finding a Partner

At any age, the actual work of finding a partner is getting out there in the real world and being awesome. If you are looking, you’re not focused on what’s important. This very moment is the most important moment there is. If you’re playing tennis, play tennis, don’t get distracted by every young man or young woman on a court nearby. Pay attention to what you are doing. Do the things that you love. And explore all that is good about your single life before you go on your quest to find a mate.

We’ve got to get out there doing the things we’d like to do with a partner. Tennis? Join a coed league. Running? Join a running Meetup group. Reading? Join a book club.

Only by doing the things we love will we run into other people doing the same things. Sounds easy, right. But that’s the magic trick. When you stop looking for a partner and start living your life to the fullest, you will cross paths with other like-minded, able-bodied, people. And while it may take some time, the people you meet in the real world, offline, and on the tennis court, are more authentic than any dating profile. Only by meeting the people in person are you going to know if there’s real chemistry, or if it’s just a superficial attraction.

Get Out There and Get Off Bumble

Bumble is in the news these days because of the young woman who’s now a BILLIONAIRE. Congratulations to her. But guess what, if Bumble were all that good at finding us partners, we’d be ON and OFF Bumble and they would make less money. If Bumble makes it look like there’s a lot of available partners in your area, but prevents you from connecting with some of them, or presents them to you over the course of a month, they are simply trying to get you to pay for the PREMIUM BOOST or whatever they call it. “In-app purchases” to show your profile to more available people in your area? SRSLY? Aren’t you going to have to show me all of them eventually? Or do I have to pay?

You Have to Pay

The online dating market is so hot FaceBook saw the piles of money Bumble and were making and launched Facebook Dating. (It’s awful, btw.) But the online dating companies aren’t making money by being great at finding you a relationship. The Bumbles of the world are making so much money because they are NOT finding partners for you, they are teasing you with potential partners, many of whom are FAKE ACCOUNTS. And these fake accounts may approach you, make the first move at a conversation, and simply look too good to be true. They are. They want you to sign-up for the next month, subscribe to the premium features.

You can keep playing around on Tinder and the like. Or you can get on with your life and living and engage with people who are equally engaged with their lives. You need someone who’s happy and thriving on their own. Who wants a relationship, but only when it’s right. You need someone who is not wasting time chatting online with super-attractive partners who are 10-years younger.


John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
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Get the complete single dad story with John’s new book: Single Dad Seeks (available in all formats)

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