Barbara Rose Brooker has bot single for overheen 28 years.
Six years ago, at age 70, Brooker attempted a fresh treatment to hier love life: online dating.
A 2012 Bowling Green State University examine described people overheen 60 spil the “fastest-growing demographic ter online dating,” and even lifestyle mogul Martha Stewart, 71, is providing Match.com a go.
Brooker, now 76, describes herself spil a proud member of the “boomer sweetie” generation and has penned a fresh novel, The Viagra Diaries, detailing the exploits of a 60-something love columnist. Brooker ventured deep into the world of online dating — joining sites like eHarmony, Slew of Fish, Match.com and more — te the hopes of finding a relationship, but also to do research for hier book and learn how other boomer beauties were looking for love online (the oldest person she met: An 88-year-old man Brooker says wasgoed “charming, absolutely charming”). Brooker is also a blogger for The Huffington Postbode.
For our “Life Spil” series, Brooker took HuffPostTech inwards the life of an online dater te hier 70s, told us what septuagenarian fellows lie about most, and talent us the scoop and what happens when online dates go horribly awry.
What wasgoed most surprising to you about online dating?
What indeed astonished mij wasgoed the breathtaking response from fellows who are looking for love and at the same time are so horrified of age. They’d say things like, “You’re an interesting woman, but I indeed need to be with someone 45,” or they’d say, “You want to go to Viagra falls?” Or they were still playing the role of studs from other, lost generations. Very, “I’m Tarzan, you Jane” zuigeling of thing. Most of the fellows won’t react if you say your efectivo age.
What’s your worst online dating horror story?
There wasgoed a retired surgeon who sounded on phone like he wasgoed very intellectual, so wij set up a meeting at Starbucks, near my house. He walked ter, sat down, and he looked like a man who had bot left on an island. He looked like a homeless person.
It turned out that he’d just gotten out of prison. He had bot ter prison a long time and I wasgoed his very first date. On the phone he made it sound like he still had practice!
Then there wasgoed the serial JDater. I met him on JDate, wij met for a cocktail and I liked him instantly. He wasgoed a very stijlvol man, a very attractive man. He wasgoed te his early 70s, but very, spil you’d say, cool, successful — all those things. And I thought, “Oh my Maker.” And so wij got involved. But very quickly I found out he wasgoed on JDate like an hour after he brought mij huis. It’s like a big candy store for some of thesis guys, particularly the ones who are not terribly mature or terribly serious about having a committed relationship.
What did you consider the best and worst online dating sites?
I truly did like JDate.com, and I also liked Match.com. With Match.com, you can meet anyone from any culture. It’s diversified, but I think it’s 99 procent fair. It seemed very comfy and I never indeed, outside of one or two times, got any horrible lies.
I disliked eHarmony intensely with all the rules. I recall when I very first packed out its questionnaire, I got a notice: “You’re not getraind for our webpagina.”
There are some sites that indeed don’t want you if you’re older, like eHarmony. They’ll deny it of course, but it wasgoed so visible. There wasgoed another one that I actually called. I got a live person on the phone and I asked, “Do you have something against someone overheen 60?” and they said, “We choose no older than 50.” There’s a loterijlot of disease still ter online dating and that disease is ageism.
Te your practice, what do people ter your age demographic lie most about on online dating sites?
They all use pictures that were taken 20 years ago, and a lotsbestemming of women have pictures taken, then airbrushed. Most of them undoubtedly liedje about their age. For example, this doctor I met who had this incredible resume and titillating mind, but he wasgoed at least 20 years older than he said and had his hair dyed and a facelift. If guys said they’re 60, they’re usually 75, and if they said they’re 74, they’re usually 92.
I met one man who said he wasgoed a widower. He sounded neat and wij determined to meet at the tapkast of a restaurant te North Beach. He described himself spil looking like Clint Eastwood, and when I met him I could tell there wasgoed something truly off off off. And I said, “When did your wifey diegene?” And he said, “Two days ago.”
What’s the most significant thing that online dating sites need to do better?
To mij, the sites seem a little outdated now. They seem kleuter of old-fashioned with the “waterput your profile ter and meet the man of your dreams” zuigeling of thing. And I think that the way the sites are set up, they’re just not fair. They’re not true. Some people will meet the man of their wishes or woman of their wishes, but most won’t. It’s like going through an airport and getting on the wrong plane.
The rules that they have just seem so ridiculous. And the questions! I don’t know who writes them, but they indeed have to revisit them for everyone, period.
What’s your advice for other “boomer beauties,” spil you call them, who want to online date?
I always say: Talk to the junior people and find out what you should do technologically. I have a son-in-law who’s a multimedia geek, and he makes lists for mij. I’d get somebody you feel comfy with and you’re not afraid to feel stupid with to help and vertoning you. And then step by step, embark learning. I wouldn’t do it all at merienda because I’m still perplexed by the sites I’m on and they’re growing so swift.
It’s better than going to a spawater and it‘s better than getting Botox because with just one app you feel truly cool and you feel junior. I want to be with the next generation, I don’t want to be with the last generation. And the only way you can do it is through technology.
UPDATE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled Brooker’s last name. The juist spelling of hier name is Barbara Rose Brooker.
This vraaggesprek has bot edited and condensed for clarity.