Single senior shares the male point of view on senior dating. Reflections on who pays for the senior date?
Tom P Blake
Comment from Tom: There are two parts to this column. Part One is Rich’s Male Point of View.
Part Two is the responses from newsletter readers the following week. Fun to read the before and after.
Part One – Rich’s Male Point of View
One of the complaints I hear from single women is that we don't hear much from single men. Today, we address that issue.
I have a friend we will call Rich. At the end of this article, he explains why he didn't want his real name used. I will say he lives in Orange County in Southern California. Rich emailed in a response to a number of recent newsletters. He didn't have any axe to grind, nor did he focus on any one topic. He just shared some of his rambling thoughts on being single from the male point of view.
Before you judge Rich too harshly about his comments, let me say this: He is an intelligent man with a keen sense of humor, so dry and quick it can throw you at first until you get to know him. Inside, he is a caring, warm and solid human being, his age is somewhere in his late 50s.
Regarding the recent newsletter about couples ashamed to admit they met online, Rich said, "I can understand some reluctance in talking about meeting online, but not to the point of lying. It's no one's business but it's nothing to be ashamed of either. I often ask people how they met. I'm always looking for fresh ideas."
Rich commented about his online dating experience. "I gave it my focused attention for four months (several days and/or nights a week). I met some very nice ladies and unfortunately met too many who misrepresented themselves. Too many times I met someone who did not resemble their photograph or had misrepresented themselves in other ways.
"Online dating isn't perfect, but it's much better than staying home or not trying. There is someone out there for all of us!"
Who pays for the senior date? The cost of senior dating.
On the cost of dating for a man, Rich said, "Going out as often as I did, I found it too expensive. I finally suggested we should meet for coffee or a cocktail only. There is no sense in wasting each other's time. (Editor's comment: Or, wasting money on a dinner date where the relationship isn't going anywhere).
"Some women found that coffee suggestion to be very objectionable. Needless to say, we did not meet. I never suggested it but perhaps a woman should insist on paying for her half at that first meeting. It might make them more comfortable and give them a different perspective."
In a case where a woman doesn't have money to spend taking a guy out, Rich said, "After dating the same woman for awhile, it would be nice to have a home-cooked meal, or, a picnic, or something to show she appreciates me."
Rich commented on two singles functions he attended last week: "I don't normally go to these things but did to 'stay in the game.'
"I noticed at both events the women were clustered together. Now personally, I love the challenge of invading the herd, pod, gaggle, tribe, school, flock, etc., but I couldn't help but wonder if this clustering didn't make it more difficult for some men.
'I often read in your articles that women complain about not meeting men, where to meet men and that no one talks to them. Perhaps men and women should consider how approachable they are and have a few 'talking points' they can use. One of my favorites is, 'YO, nice fanny!' Admittedly, I haven't had much success with that but it certainly gets their attention."
On instant chemistry, Rich has an opinion: "I strongly believe in it. I'm talking about meeting that certain someone that you just instantly feel comfortable with and the hours fly by. It doesn't happen often but when it does it's like finding a soul mate. As time passes, I may learn things about the woman that are not for me but there is something to be said about the initial 'click.'"
Where does Rich stand at the moment? "I'm done with online dating but it was a good experience. I learned a lot about myself and will continue to look for that special someone with chemistry. OK, maybe biology or better yet, anatomy?"
And the reason for his anonymity: "Please don't use my name if you find fodder in this message. I'm still on the hunt!"
Perhaps inspired by Rich, other men will speak out.
Part 2 - Responses to Rich’s male point of view column last week.
Here's what some of you said about a gaggle of Rich's topics
On paying for dates
Joe, "A shopping mall is a great place for that initial meeting. Taking a stroll around sure beats sitting in Starbucks drinking expensive coffee and it avoids the issue of who pays. You get exercise and it gives you both a chance to see what the other person looks like. At this stage of the game, we want to waste as little time and money as possible. If the person is unable to get around, or so dislikes exercise, it's good to know up front."
Marta, "I think Rich is spot-on when he says women should offer to pay their half and that he might expect a home cooked meal or picnic after a couple of weeks of dating the same lady. It is passé to suppose that men ought to pay for everything, even on the first date."
Jane Ann, "I would never expect a gentleman to pay my way. Why on earth should he? At my first meeting with my Rich, I stated up front that I prefer to pay my own way in order to maintain my freedom and independence. Since I am not much of a cook, I always share the bill. That is only fair, AND makes for more eating out at the same time."
Lynne, "I could not find anything to quibble with in Rich's comments. He sounds like a reasonable guy. I was bemused, however, by some of the women he has come across. Why on earth would someone object to only coffee, or to paying for herself on the first meeting if she's really interested in making a connection? Sheesh!"
Pat "There is nothing wrong with meeting for coffee/a drink/lunch; it costs less for the man in and is a comfortable way to talk with someone. If there is no connection, it's easier to cut the time short and make a graceful exit."
Jennifer, "I recall one man who insisted on dinner and I later regretted accepting, since he was an extremely overweight bore who considered himself an epicure and wanted to talk about food all night. The first meeting should be short and sweet."
A gaggle of women
Betty wrote, "Rich is "right on" with what he shared about women huddling together and talking like a group of chickens non-stop, it does intimidate men from walking up to talk to them.
Judith, "I laughed at Rich's comment about 'gaggle,' because that's the term I use. I stopped hanging out with a group of women.
"Now, while by myself, men ask why I'm no longer with that group and sitting alone. I state I am tired of being with a 'gaggle' of women-no fun. The men laugh, understand and say hello more frequently."
Lillian, "In fairness to some of my sisters who still cluster in 'pods,' it is usually because they are either unsure of the singles scene for themselves (me, for instance), or they might be newbies and need moral support from friends. One of the worst experiences I ever had at a singles function was being invisible."
On women misrepresenting themselves
Karen had advice for women, "Stop putting up false pictures of yourselves. It's hurting the rest of us."
On rear ends, butts and fannies
Rich's comment, "Perhaps men and women should have talking points. One of my favorities is, 'Yo, nice fanny!' I haven't had much success with that but it certainly gets their attention," created a stir.
Andrew: "I'm sure he would get attention outside the USA with that line, and probably thrown out of the building."
Jon, "I can see why Rich's comments about butts hasn't gotten him very far. Women are very sensitive about looks and figures. Even if I think that someone is exceptionally attractive, I avoid making anatomical comments and simply keep it to something like 'You look nice tonight.' It gets the point across and they don't feel they are being hunted."
Marcia emailed, "His 'Nice fanny' line will bomb."
I know Rich and I doubt if he's ever said that to a woman. He undoubtedly thinks that way, however, as most red-bloodied guys do, including me.
Rich's explanation: "Thank you for explaining my humor. I'm sure there will be objections, especially to the 'fanny' and 'anatomy' jokes, but that's OK. I is what I is."
Women from Florida, Indianapolis, the Midwest, and Texas said they were sorry Rich lived in California, they'd like to meet him.
Patti summarized, "It was nice to read a man's point of view that was realistic and not filled with disappointment and bitterness."