Here is the first of four interviews from users at Seniors Meeting Seniors.
SMS: Catherine – thank you for taking time to talk with us, and with others that are thinking about online dating.
CATHERINE: You’re welcome, I’m glad that I can share my experience.
SMS: So Catherine, can you tell us a bit about yourself? What made you try Seniors Meeting Seniors?
CATHERINE: Sure. Well I’m 68 years young (laughs) and needed to get out of the house. My husband passed away suddenly about 3-years ago, and the kids are all grown and have their own families. None live close to me, so I really only see them and the grand-kids on holidays.
SMS: That sounds like it can be depressing.
CATHERINE: Sure, sometimes it can be. But I knew I wanted more, I just did not know what. After my husband passed, I really did not want to do anything. We were married for over 40-years, so losing him was hard on me. But I did get involved with community events, and for a while it was gratifying but coming to an empty home would really stress me out. I am quite fit for my age, but the stress was showing and my doctor put me on medication! That is when I decided I had to do something!
SMS: What did you try?
CATHERINE: Well, I had read about a seniors cruise, so thought that would be fun. It would give me a chance to get out and mingle and perhaps meet someone else with similar interests.
SMS: Well that sounds very exciting! How did it go?
CATHERINE: It was a disaster, I mean – I enjoyed the cruise I really needed to get out and it felt good but really I did not meet anyone that I felt I could really connect with. There were a lot of men on the cruise, but they wanted something different.
SMS: Did online dating even cross your mind?
CATHERINE: Heavens no! Here I am, a grandmother trying to meet someone online? Frankly I was terrified.
SMS: What changed your mind?
CATHERINE: My daughter, actually. Her family came to visit me and actually surprised me with a computer. She said it would keep us closer in touch, and that I could Facebook with her. So Facebook was really the first step. I was able to get online and meet a lot of people and join some groups that shared hobbies I was interested in. It was just by chance that I was on the internet and I found this website called Seniors Meeting Seniors.
Initially I must say, I was really on edge. I mean, when you are younger you are more willing to take some risks. But here I was, acting like I was 25-years old! It was exhilarating, but terrifying. I was nervous, and could feel the butterflies in my stomach. Maybe I felt like a teen again going to my first dance, and hoping the boy I was fond of would ask me to dance!
SMS: What were you expecting?
CATHERINE: Oh, I don’t know really. I mean I knew I wanted to find someone to be a companion, who I shared common interests with and who wanted to share their life with me. While intimacy was always in the back of my mind, I didn’t know if that was what I wanted. Let me tell you, I must have spent weeks looking before contacting anyone! In fact I was on the site for almost 6-months before I found him. At first I was just too scared and perhaps set my expectations too high. I didn’t really compromise because I knew what I wanted, but I found that it was difficult to get Romeo without a little Roger.
SMS: How did it go? What was your first experience like?
CATHERINE: I was scared, I won’t lie but the man I was talking with was very sweet and while we didn’t have every single thing in common there was enough there that I felt comfortable to meet with him for brunch at a local restaurant. It was a lot of fun!
SMS: So tell us, if you’re OK with it – how did it go?
CATHERINE: Well, it was fabulous. I still drive so I met him at the restaurant. He was a real gentleman. Once we got to talking we realized that we actually did have a lot in common. Our first date was a success, and I think we both felt it and decided to meet again in a few days for dinner.
SMS: So this was the first person you met? How amazing!
CATHERINE: Yes, I know! What were the odds? We met for dinner and really from there is progressed. I invited him to my home sometime later for a home cooked meal, but because I was still nervous I asked one of my neighbors to join us. The four of us had a great time!
SMS: Anything else that you would like to share with our readers?
CATHERINE: Yes! Just try it. Be safe, and always trust your gut – but once you find someone you will wonder why you took so long! Here are a few things that I put together that I wanted to share:
- Expect the truth – don’t start of any new relationship on a lie, but it doesn’t hurt to be a bit guarded.
- Expect RESPECT – if he (or she) doesn’t respect you, you need to get out of that situation and relationship. Respect is the cornerstone of any relationship, even if it is just casual.
- Expect a close fit – I tried to put everyone into the mold of my deceased husband. That won’t work. That relationship took a very long time to cultivate, and you won’t find another like him so stop trying.
- Be patient – I know we’re not spring chickens, but don’t rush into something until you are comfortable.
- Trust your gut and your first impressions! Need I say more? We’re pretty mature to be able to tell good from bad.
SMS: Catherine, thank you for sharing your insights with us. I know our readers will benefit greatly from your words.