DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I discovered your web site a while back and have read many of your excellent postings. Your web site rocks! In a field so rife with just plain bulls--t, you’re laying everything down in plain English. You deserve kudos for that by itself!
Now, on to my situation. Much of your site appears (to me, anyway) to be geared toward folks under the age of 35 or so.
I’ve just turned 62. I’m told I’m a good-looking guy for my age, but there it is.
Did I mention that I’m a slowly-but-surely recovering social-phobic, with autism tacked on for good measure? Did I also mention that I live on a small fixed income in a small city in a northeastern state? Frankly, I’m thankful that at least I’m not a 62-year-old virgin.
Methods of meeting partners that are geared to twenty- or thirty-somethings aren’t necessarily appropriate for someone my age (e.g. I don’t do clubs. Much too noisy and crowded). It also doesn’t help that a lot of single women in my age group (at least according to one dating site) seem to just want an express ticket to the nearest marriage altar. One or two others seem to want to fool around with guys young enough to be their grandchildren!
Can you offer me any age-appropriate advice, or steer me toward anyone who can?
New View At 62
DEAR NEW VIEW AT 62: First of all, NV, congratulations on your progress on overcoming your social phobia! That’s a big plus for you and you should be proud of all that!
Now as for your question:
Don’t let confirmation bias f--k with your head. A handful of people on one dating site is hardly representative of your demographic as a whole, even though it may feel like it sometimes. It’s really easy to get hung up on the people who seem to conform to your worst fears and miss out on the ones who don’t… and may well be exactly what you’re looking for.
Something else that you need to keep in mind is that different dating sites cater to different audiences. eHarmony, for example, is a fairly conservative site by design and is pretty specifically for people who’re looking to get married. Match tends to be for the more traditional serial-monogamy dating experience, while OKCupid is a bit more wide-ranging, with a greater tendency towards hook-ups and more casual relationships. The culture of the dating site is going to affect the people who sign up and stick around. If one site’s not a good match (HA! I kill me!) for you, then it’s worth trying others that may skew more towards your desired relationship style.
The other thing you should keep in mind is that for women in your general age group, finding men who want to date them is shockingly difficult; many older men want to date younger and tend to ignore women close to their own age. Find the right site and you’ll have a surprisingly wide field; guys who want to date women around their own age can be worth their weight in gold.
Now that being said, meeting people in person is still an option and it doesn’t mean having to go to bars or clubs or doing a lot of cold-approaches to strangers. One of the best ways to meet people in general is to be active and social. Joining activity groups, volunteering, even MeetUps is a great way to expand your social circle and put you in a position to meet folks who already have similar interests to you. That way, you’re in what’s known as a “warm approach” situation, where you already have a social connection to the people you’re meeting that makes getting to know them easier and less intimidating. It also lets you take things on a slower pace, so you can get to know folks before deciding whether you want to take the step of asking them out for coffee or to go to the museum. It also lends itself more easily to someone with relatively limited disposable income instead of heading to bars and buying drinks every Friday and Saturday night.
DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I am a tall person about 6ft 5 and whenever I am out in bars and clubs I tend to see women staring at me.
I don’t know exactly how to treat this i.e. are they staring at me because I am tall or else because they want me to approach them?
DEAR BFG: It’s all in the way they look, BFG. Are they looking and going back to whatever they were doing? In that case, it’s probably just your height. Are they doing the “look, look away, look back” game? That’s more of an approach invitation. So are looks where they linger or have a softer or more intrigued facial expression – that “ooh, that looks nice” face.
As a general guide, you want to follow the rule of four: look for clusters of indicators of interest occurring more or less simultaneously. For example: are they doing the eye-game and turning to face you and smiling and preening? Then they’re interested and you should go say “hey”.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, firstname.lastname@example.org