One of our readers, Peg, was kind enough to take the time to reach out to offer her direct experience as a paying member of OurTime, the dating site which focuses on men and women over the age of 50. Peg suggested that we may might want to take another look at Our Time, since her experience has been generally positive (ours was not).
After some updating of our initial review, we asked Peg, almost 60, and living in Colorado, if she would share her experience with online dating with us, and she graciously agreed.
TDG: Could you tell us a little about yourself?
PEG: I am a 59 year old widow with a daughter (grown) living in the <name omitted> region of Colorado. I still work full time; I changed careers about 11 years ago and went into the environmental sciences. I currently work for a large engineering firm as an ecologist. I also spent 25 years in electrical engineering, with the later portion designing user interfaces.
My job can be very physical and even dangerous, so I need to be what they consider “fit for duty”. I am physically active and enjoy many outdoor activities, but I’m not obsessed with fitness. I am also active in the fine arts and pursue other interests as well.
TDG: What were your circumstances that led you to online dating?
PEG: Necessity. My husband was killed by a reckless driver about a year and a half after we relocated here for his job. We lived in the mountains and I had no family and very few friends. I travel a great deal and am rather socially skittish; however, I made an effort to locate and participate in local single senior events, but most of the membership were women over 70.
I spent a long time believing that Providence would smile on me and that the perfect someone would find me (I am still hoping).
Surprisingly, many of the the younger singles I’ve gotten to know have trouble meeting someone out here, and they have many more options. For someone in my age bracket and lack of knowledge of the community, the potential is quite limited. Online dating sites were the only viable alternative.
TDG: What kind of guy are you looking for?
PEG: I want to be with someone that I respect and can be proud of. Professional with the same or higher education and income. I am financially stable and expect the same. Intelligence coupled with humor is a big yes. (I had a very good friend with a genius IQ and two failed marriages that told me ‘never marry someone dumber than you are’. I figured she knew what she was talking about.) He has to like to read. My guy is not necessarily classically handsome, but attractive, in good shape, healthy, and clean cut. Not a smoker or a pot smoker (yeah, that’s a thing out here). I appreciate modesty and openmindedness in a man. Due to my limited social availability and the overpopulated area where I live, he has to be within 45 minutes of me.
TDG: What dating sites have you tried? What were your experiences like on those sites? Favorites?
PEG: The first site I joined was American Singles (I think it’s called Spark now), which advertised at the time as a site for singles over 40. This site was recommended to me by someone who met their spouse on it. I determined that most of the men I was interested in on that site were only interested in much younger women. Interestingly, I checked out the women members and saw that most of them had professional and/or glamor photos done. I had a rather disconcerting experience on a chat and dropped the site after only 4 months. I swore off online dating after that and did not join another site for 3 years.
The second site I tried was IntelligentDating.net. It is advertised as a senior site, but I don’t think they restrict membership. This was a free site and I liked the questions they asked for your profile the best of any site I’ve used. Unfortunately, there were very few members in my area that I had anything in common with (one, exactly), and I didn’t date anyone on this site in the year I belonged. It’s too bad – the site has a great deal of potential.
I am currently a member of Our Time. This has been the most interesting online dating site I’ve joined so far. The lower age limit is 50 and they restrict membership to that. There’s enough members to make it interesting and they come from a variety of backgrounds. I get the overall impression of honesty, politeness, and quality of the members. The profile questions allow enough information to be presented, but aren’t inane. I also like that captions can be added to your photos. I have been a member for less then a month and haven’t met anyone in person yet, but I have a lunch date scheduled.
I have heard complaints about including photos of kids, grandkids, dogs, vacations, etc. I say nonsense. Most older people are not on social media and this site may be the only social media they engage in. Those relational photos make someone real for me. They tell me that the person has a life and people who love them.
TDG: Were you initially hesitant or fearful to try online dating?
PEG: No, it was only after I had a bad experience that I became hesitant to continue. I am careful online and overall, I have had good luck.
TDG: What roadblocks, if any have you run into?
PEG: This is an interesting question. I mentioned a few above, but the biggest are my own limitations and boundaries. I don’t rush into things, and online dating is not conducive to slowly getting to know someone.
- There are probably more men for whom I could find a connection with if I got to know them in person, but like many other people, I scan photos first and if I see potential in whatever initial information is present, I will open their profile. Unfortunately, selfies using cell phone or tablet cameras don’t show people my age to any advantage, whatsoever. Some of those photos are just horrid! I’m sure they really don’t look like that, but I have nothing else to go by.
- I am really independent and always have been. Surprisingly, a lot of the men here are politically and socially conservative. I get that, but it eliminates what might otherwise be suitable matches.
PEG: 57 to 62.
TDG: How did you find TheDatingGurus?
PEG: I was on Yelp and learned about Our Time and some local over 50 groups on one of the forums. When I Googled “Our Time reviews”, your site came up. You have lots of great information and groovy retro pictures.
TDG: Thank you Peg, for your feedback and your time!