Dating over 50

What is your preference?

Sex vs. love? Fifty Shades of Grey vs. An Affair to Remember? Abstinence vs. promiscuity? Quite a kerfuffle, but a relevant one if you are a woman and looking for love in all the right places.

Contrary to modern mores, there is a difference between having sex and making love.

In an article published in Psychology Today by Dr. Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D. comparing sex and love, he writes “… When one merely has sex, one perceives the other as an object of pleasure”. …But, love-making is unifying…. So the questions remain should I or shouldn’t I look for love and where will I find it?

One approach

“Barbara” (a pseudonym), an 84-year-old retired driving instructor, lives in Toledo and has experienced both a divorce and widowhood. She comments on sexual freedom when dating, “I’m from the old country and pretty careful,” she said. “I don’t believe in dating this one, that one and the other one. If I go with somebody, that’s it. Be careful; there are a lot of crazy people out there. You want to choose the best; you don’t want just anybody.” Barbara also said she wouldn’t seek the services of an online dating site: “I’m not that desperate.”

Online dating sites

Which brings forth the question of when should a woman register on an online dating site or, more importantly, where should a woman safely look for love and a new beau or mate?”

An online dating site is a “system that enables strangers to find and introduce themselves to new personal connections over the internet, usually with the goal of developing personal, romantic, or sexual relationships.”

So the question remains: Should I or shouldn’t I use an online dating service? With over 2,500 online dating sites available, the need for a woman to do her due diligence is crucial. According to the Top Ten Reviews site (, the best overall sites are Match, okcupid, eHarmony and Tinder.

Tara Johnson, 44, a divorced mother of nine (with one son serving in the Army and one in the Marines) who lives in Toledo, said “Dating is a great thing, but the problem with me is I continue to meet liars and people that are unfaithful, and they’re always hiding something. It’s a great thing if you can find someone that is genuine, honest and true.”

“I have never used a dating site but I think about it. I do use e-verify because I trust no one,” Johnson said, adding that she wouldn’t be so “nitpicky” if it there weren’t children in her home.

Michelle Searcy, 42, of Luckey, Ohio, a human systems engineer and a divorced mother of one son, used the online dating service Match for a short period of time. “I would never do it again,” she said. “You put all of your criteria on Match to identify what you’re looking for. However, anyone can basically obtain your profile even if they’re not a match. They look great on paper, but you don’t really get to see who the person actually is.”

As far as dating, Johnson said, “I like to go to a nice restaurant where I’m around a lot of people or I have gone to church. I lean more towards the religious type people.”

Searcy said, “I prefer having coffee somewhere in a public place. I don’t care for movies because you don’t get to interact with a person.”

Three perspectives

Three perspectives on looking for love from three women. But did these women give an answer to the kerfuffle, the difference between having sex and making love?

Yes each did, in their own way:
Barbara described herself as old-fashioned and didn’t believe “in dating this one, that one and the other one” and said, “If I go with somebody that’s it.”

Tara Johnson said she would “definitely wait. It’s called having morals, having respect. It’s the proper thing to do. I need some time to get to know you before I jump to the big one.”

Searcy said, “It’s dependent on the person in the relationship. We all have our preferences, there are different types of relationships and as long as the people are on the same page, understand and are transparent that’s entirely up to them.”

According to eHarmony, some of the pros of online dating:

  • 40 percent of Americans have tried online dating
  • Dating sites match based on compatibility and personality
  • You meet people you might not have ever crossed paths with
  • One out of five relationships start online

And some cons:

  • It’s a crowded digital space
  • Yes, people do lie on their profiles
  • It’s hard to evaluate a match without any physical interaction
  • Your best chance is still meeting through a friend


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