I’m tiptoeing back into the dating game after 30 years on the sidelines. It’s a very different world out there.
In 1988, there was no such thing as dating apps. We used singles magazines and newspaper personals. After my divorce in 1987, I moved from Wisconsin to metropolitan Atlanta, determined to be single but dating for a long time. I didn’t know anyone there, and after spending six months dateless, the Atlanta Singles Magazine looked a lot less dangerous or weird. So I decided to place an ad.
Of course the writer in me required a lot of time to compose it. At the time I was a scientist for a big corporation, so I played with that:
Independent, career-minded research scientist seeks lab partner. Experimental objective: active social calendar filled with fun, adventure, and mutual nurturing. I am a DWF, recently transplanted from the Midwest, intelligent, multi-degreed, 35, 5’10” (legs!), and trim. No dependents. I love music (classical to New Age), nature (hiking, X-country skiing, cabining, and campfires), ethnic cuisines (especially hot foods), wines and dancing. I am enthusiastic, impatient, and looking for excitement after a decade of boring humdrum. Don’t write if you have stopped learning, refuse to dance, or are hooked on tobacco, organized religion, or babies. Do write if you are a S/DM, 30-45 years old, tall, professional who is intellectually curious, physically playful, and spiritually growing.
Wow. I still like it. Some things have changed: I like my food milder than back then, I’m not as “trim” as I was at 35, I much prefer walking to hiking, and haven’t X-country skied in decades. I also got hooked on babies as I matured – my babies, now 23 and 19. But otherwise, this description still fits. These days I would add that I love ocean bobbing (my friends call me a beach floozy – willing to go bobbing with anyone, anytime), yoga, meditation, beachcombing, travel, seeking new experiences and learning about other cultures.
Back then, I eagerly waited for the next Singles issue. I had no idea what was about to hit me. Believe it or not, one key mode of communication in those days was through letters! The hand-written ones were clearly more impressive than those which were photocopied. My phone also rang non-stop for a couple weeks. I wound up having semi-serious conversations with 36 men, and dated 24 of them. For a solid week I had Dutch-treat dates for every breakfast, lunch, and dinner, each with a different guy. No kissing or hand-holding; this was serious work. And with some, it was clear I wouldn’t even be flirting on this first (and last) meeting. It was exhausting.
I did continue to see three gentlemen for three months. Keeping my schedule straight was a job in itself. And I did marry one of them, despite my determination to remain single. But now I’m back in the same spot, 30 years later, hoping to date and have some fun, and definitely not get married again. As my sister warned me, many older men are just looking for a nurse or a purse, not that I am age-restricting my search.
My daughters suggest that I use a dating app. I don’t know. I think the chances of finding someone to date on the Big Island using an app are very slim. It’s nothing like living in cities with populations of 6 million (older daughter) and 12 million (younger daughter).
Just do the math. We have 185K people living here (2010 census). Statistically, half are men, but very importantly, the ratio of single men to single women on the Big Island is 87 to 100. Then 26% of the population is under 18, and half (50.6%) are married https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaii_(island). And among states, Hawaii has the highest percentage of people who self-identify as LGBT (5.1%). So we’re down to about 85 eligible men. Of that number, many live too far away (it’s a BIG island). And some just aren’t interested any more. That last part was a real shock; I guess I’ve been watching too many romantic comedies.
On top of that, those remaining would have to be using the same dating app as me. So I set out to find the most popular dating app in Hawaii. One reference declared it to be Grindr. Unfortunately, that app is for gays; just my luck.
Another reference says it is Coffee Meets Bagel. As with Grindr, this is for the whole state. That means many more of the potential men will live too far away – most likely on another island.
Conclusion: a dating app may not be useful in my situation. I guess I’ll stick to asking the Universe, Manifesting what I desire, and using my social networks. Hint, hint Girlfriends: please invite me to dinner with your eligible male friends who are intellectually curious, physically playful, and spiritually growing. You can show them this photo as an example of me trying new things. LOL.
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