Failing at Dating the Third Time around at Seventy-Two

When I joined Plenty of Fish (POF) in 2016, I paid for several months, and eventually dropped my membership, because I decided it wasn’t worth it.  There were not enough choices that came even close to my lifestyle.

Why would a tall, slim vegan that doesn’t drink alcohol, party, travel the world, or do drugs of any kind, doctor prescribed medication or illegal, want to date an overweight, unhealthy, meat eating, party animal with a desire to travel the world?

And why would a rare healthy woman in her fifties or sixties — trust me, there are not that many of them — want to date a man in his seventies no matter how healthy his lifestyle was?  A woman that healthy and in great shape probably has her pick of younger men that still look healthy.

Then I paid and joined Match for a few months thinking it would offer a better experience but it didn’t.  I dropped out there too.

My third experiment with dating was with eHarmony, but that site also did not match my expectations.  Last month, I cancelled my membership so it will not automatically renew. Until later in April 2018, I’m still a paying member of this dating site but then … no more.  That will be the end of my “failed” internet dating experiment.

“It’s obvious that no matter how old men are, they go after younger women,” and “The higher a man’s salary, the more women will like him.”

Seriously, many of the profiles of women POF and Match recommended for me had photos of women drinking booze and traveling the world even when they were decades younger than me and not interested in a man my age. Do you have any idea how much it costs to be a global trotting, older tourist supporting a young trophy wife in her forties, fifties or sixties that still craves that life?  And imagine her medical costs if she doesn’t have her own medical care?

I do not want to be a younger or older woman’s bank account or credit card generating debt machine.

Then again, maybe this dating experiment failed because I’m too picky. That’s what my former wife said – that I’m too picky.  We divorced in 2015 but are still friends. She’s dating again as long as the man she’s dating pays for those meals at expensive restaurants.

Or maybe those experiments at dating failed because I do not want to belong to a religion and most of the profiles of women of all ages all three of the dating sites sent me belonged to religions I wasn’t interested in being part of. I divorced the guilt ridden, always forgiven Catholic religion I was born into back in my twenties and pledged to myself, “Never again!”

I also don’t party, don’t drink, don’t smoke, and I live a strict vegan lifestyle. I think being really healthy is much better than living a fast paced nightclub, cruise ship, globetrotting, theme park lifestyle, and it is obvious that most people at my age are not willing to give up that lifestyle that also often comes with doctor prescribed medications to help mask all the health problems that come with it.

It seems that most women, no matter what their age, dream of an Eat Pray Love lifestyle that most of them can’t afford so they want someone else to pay for it.

I don’t travel a lot because I’ve had my fill of other countries. I’ve been there and done that enough. I still enjoy the occasional causal hike near my house that’s away from the urban sprawl, and there are still a lot of great outdoor locations in the United States and Canada I haven’t visited. I also enjoy working on the house I’m renovating.

There will be no more internet dating sites for me. Was it a waste of money? No, because it was a worthy experience that taught me a lesson. It isn’t easy at my age to find someone I want to be with who wants to be with me too. Then there is the fact, that I do not fake a smile for photographs. My smiles have to be natural and unexpected, and I do smile but not on demand in front of a camera lens.

What I learned?  I enjoy my life. I like who I am. I’m okay with living out the rest of my life alone.


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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4 thoughts on “Failing at Dating the Third Time around at Seventy-Two

  1. It’s wet outside. The local classical radio station is playing Beethoven’s First. The trees outside my study’s window are coated with nature’s natural tears, shed doubtless over how badly we humming beans have failed as custodians of this beautiful, long-suffering planet. The promised and long-waited ‘pineapple express’ has finally arrived and I’m marking time indoors at my computer…until notice of your recent blog entry arrived and snapped its virtual fingers, that is, demanding my attention and a response.
    Ah! The eternal human paradox of how to synthetically deal with the essential loneliness of those of us who possess erstwhile sentient life. I wasn’t aware that you’d parted from Anchee Min and find that discouraging. I had thought that you and Anchee had succeeded in weathering the storms that typically tend to drive all of us onto the rocky shoals of marital life. It’s disappointing to learn of this, since the combined synergy potential of your relationship I had assumed was a very, very positive and permanent thing. Ah well!
    My own SO made pot-stickers for lunch, so with a full tummy and calm spirit I’ll pen a few thoughts about your observed experiences reflective of my own, content in the knowledge that all of us humming beans are equally condemned to various forms of perdition in these lives we must all lead.
    Wifie and I have been married for just over 30 years now and sometimes I wonder how we’ve managed to hang in there, given our radical differences and predilections. Wifie, who is originally from Guangzhou, and I are exactly the same age (72) ourselves. When people ask me how we met, I love to spin an Irish anecdote (conditional to circumstances and the spirit obtaining at the moment). My favorite one has us meeting in the lavatory of Concorde, back in a cross-Atlantic flight from Heathrow to JFK (the 11.5 Mile High Club?), but truth be told we met thanks to an advertisement she placed in a local newspaper many years ago, stating she was interested in meeting a ‘gentleman’ of refinement, professional substance and maturity, etc. (Little did she know!).
    I had just returned from my last Asian junket, where I’d met any number of drop-dead-gorgeous, well-educated Chinese gals, any one of whom would be considered a trophy catch. However, having been well trained in the potentials for misunderstanding posed in cross-cultural matches, I (wisely, I thought) elected to forego getting hitched to an Asian gal and had returned to the US to reinsert myself back into my profession (medicine).
    Before I knew it, after that first date, she persisted in wanting to stay in touch (which we did) and we shortly became an item. Turns out her family had come to the US after the end of the Second World War, having outpaced the IJA as they took over the southern China region and escaped to Hong Kong. Hers was a regular Any Tan ‘Joy-Luck’ thriller of a story.
    “Quack” (my pet name for her) was quite a sweet person, well-educated, employed as a telephone central switch installation engineer and a member of the local Chinese Bible Church and the eldest of 5 children. Since I was raised from childhood as a Roman Catholic and later as an Anglican (‘till I threw off my religious indoctrinations and embraced agnostic skepticism at age 13), I regarded organized religion the same way an anthropologist regards primitive societies (as ‘interesting’ study matter) and didn’t at all object to attending church with her. To me, religion is a curious ‘art form’ that is entertaining to regard in all its permutations.
    She, of course, regarded me as a ‘Three Talls’ potential marriage partner (tall stature, well-educated, and professionally successful…plus I had an ‘interesting nose’), so after a year or two we married.
    Over the course of the past 30 years we have remained together, although there have been a few seriously unstable moments to weather. Since she’s a Rooster and I’m a Fire Dog, we’re a total mismatch under the tenets of Chinese astrology, but perhaps because I am such a keen appreciator of the great Asian cultures (and a very tolerant person…’dogs’ are like that), we managed to negotiate the usual virtual minefields intact and remained quite attached to each other.
    It has never been easy (again, the cross-cultural liabilities) and in fact the only tangible things we commonly share are a love of classical European music and Husky type dogs (Siberian & Malamutes, principally). And of course, once menopause hit, I’d secretly lusted after younger (Asian) women (having an artist’s aesthetic taste in the XX department). That said, I have remained faithful (don’t know how, exactly!) and she has been one of the most supportive, concerned and dedicated wives anyone could possibly ask for. Since I can barely boil water, she does all the cooking and fortunately I am an adventurous eater who usually likes everything (except traditional Chinese dried oysters…yuk!). My idea of heaven is a single plate meal consisting of chow fun (for example) and two sets of chopsticks.
    As we both aged, she has naturally lost that perfect bloom of youth as all women do, and I too have found myself wondering (foolishly) if I might do better with a younger woman. To my great credit, I rejected that idea, but not before surreptitiously investigating the same dating options our modern Guai Loh civilization presents us with.
    I arrived at the same conclusions you have, apparently, that life is anything if not unpredictable, and the old joke about ‘Where does an old man find sex?’ (Ans: In the fiction section of the library) is as true as it ever was or shall be.
    Unless you are a very wealthy male, your chances of finding and holding onto a markedly younger, gorgeous female of the Asian persuasion are extremely poor-to-nonexistent, thus the choice seems to be ‘settle for a compromise earlier in life’ and get on with things…or let your differences tear you apart and settle for a lonely, insular last stage of life. My chief compromises were religion and active outdoor physicality.
    Unlike Anchee, my wife is not my intellectual peer, but perhaps that is a good thing, since we have had to address our issues as they are, frankly and without resort to outside artificial or highly abstract solutions. I can truthfully say coexisting has never been simple, though, and each and every day my wife’s old-fashioned side manages to rise up and gob-smacks me when I least expect or want it to. Still, we now walk side-by-side into whatever final future uncertainties there are ahead of us and, as the suicide-bent man said as he fell past each floor of the Empire State Building, “So far, so good…”
    “Quack” keeps us both very well maintained, with heart-healthy food, and she is a person of moderation who regularly exercises and reflects my own medical insistance on the need to live a healthy. Those are, despite all the other differences, essential, integral keys to success in any partnership involving mutual regard and care.
    Life, however, is never a fair and balanced proposition, as we both know, and us ‘artists’ have a particularly difficult time adjusting to these givens. Artists tend to be visionary and idealistic…not very real assets in the ‘hard-knocks’ school of life! I have found that sometimes it helps tremendously to have a pragmatic, hard-headed soul-mate to help keep one’s feet on the solid earth!
    As for the dating options presented to us, we are in agreement that there are VERY few eligible women in our upper portion of the age envelope that would satisfy a modern, Mercuric ‘renaissance man’…and even if there were, the chances of crossing paths are remote and odds-on difficult. Looking back on our own 30+ years of marriage, I can thankfully say that it has been a real and never-dull challenge…but one infinitely worth taking up.
    I have no trouble saying that despite all the ups and downs, despite all the disappointments, frustrations and cross-purposes, late at night, when the storm is howling outside and our furry little Husky girl is on station, keeping our feet warm at the bottom of the bed, I wouldn’t trade any of it for all the jade in the world!
    Cheers, Lloyd! Semper fi…!

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