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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Not Your Mother's Mothballs!

As Spokesperson for Match.com, I recently attended the annual AARP convention in Boston, where I participated in a panel titled “Love at First Click.” To be precise, love at first click is impossible, just as is love at first sight. However, LUST from the get-go is a definite maybe—and it could pave the way for more to come—if you keep your head in reality.

When some of my friends heard I would be speaking to AARP-ers, they teased me about seeing a bunch of old people. For those who think this organization consists of mothballed seniors biding their time until the inevitable, think again. There were 30,000 participants on site, and those I saw were distinctly vital and thirsty for ways to increase their longevity. Of course, those I actually addressed also had a determined desire for love.

Our room had every one of its 200 seats filled, with bouncers outside to prevent fire code violations by love-anxious trespassers. When it was announced that there were a few vacant seats still left, a woman called out, “Fill them with men.” Another chimed in, “And be sure they are willing to drive at night!” These folks were hardly what anyone would call “old”!

Online dating has become the best way to meet folks with whom you would not ordinarily make contact. The moderator met her husband on JDate, and the Black couple on the dais with me connected on Yahoo, while they only lived a few blocks from each other. I discuss the ups and downs of Baby Boomer love on my weekly Match.com Suddenly Single column, posted on MSN’s Dating & Personals page (http://msn.match.com/msn/suddenlysingle.aspx?lid=413). For this group, the one thing that stands out is their concern, not about aging per se, but about the stereotypes placed on them because of their age.

The participants in the room shared some of their Online dating horror stories, along with their love connections. Of course, the lure of the anonymous behind a computer screen can camouflage many sins. One of the funniest, yet unfortunately true, cautionary tales of Online romance is the country music video by Brad Paisley, called “Online.” Jason Alexander from Seinfeld directed the video, and also enacts a geeky social outcast, who mouths these lyrics:

I work down at the pizza pit,
And I drive an old Hundai.
I still live with my mom and dad.
I’m 5’3 and overweight.

I’m a Sci-fi fanatic,
Mild asthmatic,
Never been to 2nd base.
But there’s a whole ‘nother me
That you need to see.
Go check out MySpace.

‘Cause Online I’m down in Hollywood.
I’m 6’5, and I look damn good.
I drive a Maserati,
I’m a black belt in Karate,
And I love a good glass of wine.

It turns girls on that I’m mysterious.
I tell ‘em I don’t want nothing serious,
‘Cause even on a slow day, I can have a three-way
Chat with two women at one time.

I’m so much cooler Online . . .

I get home, I kiss my mom
And she fixes me a snack.
I head down to my basement bedroom
And fire up the Mac.

In real life, the only time I
Ever even been to LA
Was when I got the chance with the marching band
To play tuba in the Rose Parade.

Online I live in Malibu.
I posed for Calvin Klein, I’ve been in GQ.
I’m single and I’m rich.
I got a set of six pack abs that’ll blow your mind.

When you got my kinda stacks, it’s hard to get a date,
Let alone a real girlfriend.
But I grow another foot,
And I lose a bunch of weight,
Every time I log in . . .

I’m so much cooler Online . . .

This song is funny, but the video is a scream because of its honesty. Since most people would like to think they are “so much cooler Online…,” there is a lot of truth bending in tender e-notes. Much of it concerns pre-meeting self-descriptions, where men are conditioned to boast about their success, and women feel compelled to brag about their looks. To prevent the continuation of prefabrications, I recommend that people meet in person as soon as they believe there is a connection to explore.

Back to reality, a man in our audience said he chose to meet a psychologist he conversed with Online. When they were face-to-face, she volunteered that she was really 3 years older than the age she had posted. He said he’d never see her again because she had lied to him initially. After I asked him, he said he would still have chosen to meet her, even if she had posted her true age. But now her lying was something that would stand in his way—forever. Participants complained that every Online site requires they post an actual number for their age. If they lie, they are dishonest, which they know is a romance derailer. But if they tell the truth, they fear being passed over. At the end of the discussion, a good-looking man in a baseball cap approached me. He, too, had a grievance about this age business. He said he would like to go Online, but couldn’t because of the necessity of revealing that number. He shocked me when he said he was 80! He was in great shape! He said, “You see, your reaction matches that of everyone else. I date 60-year-olds. But if I want to meet new people Online, once they hear my age, they steer clear.”

What is this thing we call “age”? I myself question this all the time, especially being in the business I’m in. One night at New York’s Elaine’s, some drop-dead gorgeous male model walked in, as people turned their heads at break-neck speed. He looked twenty-something. He took his seat with a bunch of guys, and everyone returned to their private conversations at their tables. Before I knew it, baseball great Keith Hernandez came over to me and whispered in my ear, “Doc, my friend wants to meet you.” I said, “Who’s your friend?” He said, “That guy over there,” pointing to his young pal, the same male model who made women swoon. I said, “Keith, the guy’s a little young for me.” But Keith said, “Oh, don’t worry, he loves older women.” I had never thought of myself as an “older woman” before. I didn’t know whether to thank Keith or slap him. But I invited the guy to my table, and we flirted all night. I told the story on the Fox News Channel a few nights later, and explained that I had recently been out with someone 60. I guess that makes me a loose woman when it comes to age! But the truth is that I enjoy men with whom I have a deep spiritual connection—into which age does not enter.

At a time when 60 is the new 40, why are we all still hung up on stereotypes? Plenty of people may be missing out because of their pre-conceived notions. For centuries, it’s been okay for men to date much younger women. These days, years after Cher and her twenty-something “bagel boy,” Demi Moore and countless others have thumbed their nose at convention by being with younger men. A fifty-something friend of mine with a 3-year-old grandchild is dating a man with a 3-year-old toddler! When Mary Tyler Moore married her physician husband 18 years her junior, she attributed it to a meeting of their souls that surpassed all else. Coincidentally, I observed this couple’s interaction while I was waiting for a plane in a private airline lounge. Amid the quietness of the room, I was taken aback by a loving man asking his wife, “Honey, would you like me to get you some coffee?” She said she didn’t want any, and they took their seats. When I looked up, I saw who it was, and I watched them. They had already been married for years, and their interaction was tremendously respectful and loving. Age never entered into that equation.

Singles are forever complaining about the difficulty of meeting someone wonderful. I told this AARP group, “Everyone who wants to be married gets married.” A lot of folks took issue with that proposition. Out came my Gilda-Gram: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always go where you’ve always gone.” I exemplified one of my clients who left a marriage to an abusive, alcoholic, who was also a wealthy man. Now on the prowl again, she would only date guys with money. The problem was that some of her castaways were terrific, far nicer than her ex, and good future marriage material. As I told her, and I told my audience, “She had some reassessing to do.” The Black woman on the dais chimed in, “During my search for Mr. Right, I even experimented with men outside my race.”

Many daters are still stuck in old habits and tastes. No matter what our age, no matter what our goal—dating or otherwise—if we get out of the box that we ourselves constructed, we get out of our own way. We can all take a page from the AARP participants who traveled to Boston from across the country, all in quest of MORE. If you’re one of those people stuck in your past habits, mindsets, and preconceptions, ask yourself, “Who’s really donning the mothballs?”

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Gilda,

Good evening. I read the article from your Blog discussing her role as Spokesperson for Match.com at the annual AARP Convention in Boston and enjoyed it! I’m glad that you had a good time at the convention. As a single 32 year old heterosexual male a woman’s sex appeal, sexiness, seductiveness, and attractiveness is totally as state of her mind and being, not a function of her age at all.
Sex appeal for women comes from within mentally and physically, and women should definitely embrace it regardless of what age they are!”

I like slightly older Caucasian single and divorced women then myself who are Catholic or Protestant, who are self confident, self aware, know what they want out of life and a relationship and what they don’t as well who are just as smart if not smarter then I am.
Age is just a number and inner as well as outer beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

Anonymous

Henry G Castleberry said...

You sure are Hot.

Dr. Gilda Carle said...

Hey, Henry G. Castleberry,
Thanx for the compliment!! You obviously have a discerning eye.
Love,
Dr. Gilda

Anonymous said...

I am 44 years old, good looking, smart, make 200K per year, funny, etc, etc,

Out of frustration over exploring every other dating venue, for the past two years I have tried on-line dating, and yet I have found every dating site I have ever been on a complete waste of time. Only the fat ones and the ones close to my age are interested. Just recently tried, match.com again for 6 months, useless like the last time, yahoo, useless, E Harmony useless.

Why do I keep trying? Because I think that the biggest regret I will have in the end is not having a family.

Nobody has put more effort into trying to find a mate, keeping a good attitude, not being bitter, oh trust me, I have been screwed over or seen guys get screwed over so many times by women that I can't bare it. I am starting to have no patients for them anymore.

Especially the hot ones which is the only thing I am attracted too and willing to marry. They are the first to be cruel. Why, because they can be they have HCS “Hot Chick Syndrome”. They know all the guys want them, supply and demand. And yes most of them are for sale on some level. You don't think so? Pick any area of the world where there is a high concentration of money and you will find commensurate high concentration of gorgeous women. I don't blame them one bit.

It is all an extension of our nature. Man was made to hunt and spread his seed women were made to breed and nest. Hence, out of survival, they tend to go with the best hunters who can provide food and shelter. Today that equals $$$ . Marriage today is a joke. Unless you really want kids you would be an idiot get married. Find a life partner but why marry? So you can invest in a partnership that has a 52% failure rate and ends up with the court giving the women half, and for doing what? Occasional sex, which depreciates over time, sharing house duties, someone to go to the movies with? Let’s face it; society and the legal system have made getting married for a man an extremely expensive and risky venture. And don't give me that bullshit of not looking at it as a business/partnership in the beginning. That is the first thing that is valued when it is time for divorce, what are the assets worth. Any good investment has a well thought out exit strategy. So get yourself one boys & girls. You got fire insurance don't you? Get a prenuptial and none of this bullshit of providing her with a life that she was accustom to.

Want to call me bitter about marriage? One could I suppose. But perhaps I am also a realist. No? Ask 100 guys who married the love of their life, then got raped in divorce court. Trust me there is very little I have not experienced when it comes women and relationships. I also know that women get screwed too.

It’s all a recipe for failure yet I want to try, Is it because I am an idiot?

Look the way things are now with women able to work and provide for themselves and the family and the courts totally in favor of women in divorce, do everything to incentivise a divorce. The laws need to change and take into account what a women can actually earn.

So in short, you are crazy to get married unless you want kids, and even then what you are gamboling financially you would have better odds in Vegas. But to get married a second time, third etc. with no kids and so on without an iron clad pre-nub, well then, you are in la la land and or just a plain moron! Especially the old guy with the hottie. (When I see that, I see an insecure hooker). I will laugh out loud in your face when she turns into a bitch, and shuts of the sex.

I guarantee you she is banging somebody somewhere and you are paying for it. Women are by far the best cheats and liars of any man. Why? It’s easy for them, because the guy would never think that the girl he loves would do such a thing. Hey Buddie! I am the guy banging your wife on her lunch break between shopping sprees. Yeah it happens, why, because they just want to get a good hard pounding with no strings yet still come home to her sugar daddy. I feel sorry for you guys, I really do. I used to turn women down all the time when they would hit on me and I knew they were married or had boyfriends. I was very respectful of that. Until one night after I turned a women down when she let it be known that she was married, only to see an acquaintance of mine take her up to her room. I thought that was stupid. She was going to have sex with somebody regardless; it could have been me having sex with her. And on the trip her husband was paying for by the way.

Since then I have found that married women, especially the hot ones with older husbands are the easiest girls to get into bed by far. They got their security taken cared of now they just need their sex taken cared of. And when it is time they will file for divorce and take half. Brilliant return on the investment of their time.

Now you tell me, having seen and experienced the dark side of women for 20 years, and having seen what kind of hell and misery they are capable of 52+ % of the time, how am I suppose to trust, give my heart, which is what I really want to do.

You know Dr. Gilda, I learned when I was 16 years old that the person who cares the least is the one in control. My first love destroyed me, never forget that feeling. And I swore that would never happen again, and it has not. Great, except here I am almost too old to start a family, not enough money to attract the kind of girl (looks wise) that I want, I have to settle for a mediocre looking women if I want a relationship.

Women can be so stupid! Yes you can are! I shake my head every time I see women with an unexpected child or three, yes three. Hey idiot the chances of getting pregnant go up significantly if you don't use a condom and even more so if you let him cum inside you. Don't get me wrong, the guys who do this are idiots too but hey girls, he can make a run for it. You are stuck with dealing with it forever. And let’s not forget about STDs. Oh no he or she does not look like she has anything. Wake up. The hotter they are the more bees there are trying to sample the honey. I have not had sex without a condom in 14 years even in my last relationship that lasted 3 years. I have turned it down if not prepared; it’s just not worth the risk. And it amazes, how many women are willing to have sex without protection.

But also look at the choices you have made in men, for real! Look at them, you don't want the nice guy, you don’t even want the nice good looking guy. You pick the ones that treat you like shit and are deep down losers.

I laugh, and I get disgusted when I see some of the choices you make and I just say oh smart one, that will last about 2 weeks or less. She chooses him over me??? Also I see really hot girls with guys all the time. And I say to myself, He has one, I want one too. I wonder why I don't have a girl that looks like that. They guy is an asshole.

I am everything they say they want yet I don't even get a date. They pick the idiot instead. Oh you do so, so stop. Just in my own back yard I have watched in amazement for the past 6 years this fiend of mine, good looking about 38, no education beyond high school, lucky if he makes 30K a year, and lazy. And yet I watch him consistently treat very very good looking girl after girl after girl like cattle and most of them, all know that’s how he is. Even girls who I have tried to date (seriously interested in), I have seen him win them over to the "dark side". And I stand there in disbelief week after week year after year. Because I know where it is headed. As soon as they figure him out that he is not making any money, then they get sick of him treating them like shit, and then "HE" gives them the boot. It is a formula that works for attracting women. Not keeping them, attracting them. I can't attract the ones I want I guess because I can't bring myself to tell them the bullshit they want to hear in order to even get the chance to get them to know me.

Hey forget that I am good looking, great in bed, smart, funny, can cook, clean, dance, (NO I AM NOT GAY :)) and make a good living, but on the inside I am also the guy you are looking for. But no you will pick the asshole. I just want a beautiful women, smart, self sufficient, trustworthy, lady in public, porn star in the bedroom, prefer no kids, (want to make my own to spend the rest of my life with. But to date, I have not even come close. Why just last week I saw a potential one. So I walked up to a very sexy girl standing in a group of girls and asked her to dance. Instead of being polite and saying something nice like thanks for asking but no. I got an annoyed look back, a quick no and then quickly look back at her friends as she rolled her eyes. Oh HCS strikes again. Yes I felt like throwing my drink on her. Instead I just politely excused myself, I am quite use to this type of behavior, and made the walk back to my place of shame and rejection. But at least proud of the fact that I had the courage to approach hot chick. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

Unfortunate for me I am an optimist. What you don't believe that from what I have said above. Hey what I said above is all true every bit of it. I must be an optimist to still be willing to try and or to have any hope at all.

Although when I got back to my place and picked up my beer I looked over to one of my friends and said. I Will Die Alone. The ones I want are just not interested in getting to know me.

I used to get my feelings hurt a lot by women, especially the hot ones. Until I watch Mr. Dark Side work his magic. I watched him take home and use as a sex toys girl after girl that I was truly interested in dating for the long term, perhaps marry. Well eventually subscribing to, “If you can't beat em join em”, I got to know him and became friends. He is a great guy’s friend and yes Ladies he surprisingly has a lot of girl friends as well. Oh he leaves a lot of bitter women in his wake but I got to laugh at you. So often you do it to yourselves. He plays to your weaknesses of, I need to be cared for, buy me this, blah blah blah. He tells you what you want to hear next thing you know you in his bed.

Hint>>>>>Don't look for a guy to take care of you, take care of yourself then, once you are dealing from a position of confidence and strength, find a guy that compliments you but in return does not need you. Now you may have a partnership that you can build on.

Funny story then I got to go.

This one night, I was out dancing when I saw a group of girls (much harder to approach than the single one standing there on the outside of the heard like the baby Zebra being eyed by the Pack of lions. I am not scared, I live for rejection, I have had a life of it. I say hey with every no I am that much closer to a yes) Anyways in this group there was one very attractive woman I would guess to be about 35. I walked over with a smile, very important, and asked her to dance. Her, suffering from HCS, turned me down rudely in front of her friends like the other girl I mentioned earlier. To which I immediately laughed out loud, and said oh stop! You might have gotten away with that when you were hot and in your twenties but now that you are in your forties and shot out, it’s pathetic. I continued without stopping to say, you should be happy anyone would ask you to dance. I was laughing the whole time I said it. One of her girlfriends, the not attractive one in the group actually laughed too. That’s a great way to spot a weak hot chick by the way. They often travel with one or more very unattractive friends. Why? Insecure, and need all the attention when they go out. Dumb! Look around at the guys. Guys tend to travel in packs that are similar in looks. The hot girls should travel together; they would have more fun if they could just go without their petty bitching among themselves.

You must think I hate women. Oh contraire, do you think I would actually put up with all this bullshit if I did not adore them and really want one for my very own.

Well got to go. Thanks for letting me vent. With any luck I will not have to die alone. I still got hope. But I am about to give up, put all my attention into making tons of money and then just buy me one. Hot chicks follow the money, why cause they got what every guy wants and the smart ones know it. Oh if Only I could come back as a Hot chick I would own a country by the time I was done.

Desperately Trying Not to Die Alone

TORI said...

YOUR ADVISE TO "SUDDENLY SINGLE" was harsh and abusive. You told him that his lack of a back bone was the result ofhis collasped marriage. Would you have said that to a women? No you would have awarded her for leaving an abusive relationship. The collaspe of a marraige can be for many reasons and if in fact him not feeling comfortable enough to share his views or passions in his marraige are a testament to how much of a bully his wife was. Because his children are concerned and have beome caretakers that does not meean he has put them in the middle of his divorce. Many children observe the breakdwon of their parents relationship. If they have deemed his fahter as being the victim-which if you are in a relationship were you do what the otehr wants and ignors your needs and desires-then he is the victim, his children probably see that and treat him accordingly. Your advise was abusive, judgemental and sadly your beat down on someone who needed to be Built up. SHAME ON YOU

TORI said...

YOUR ADVISE TO "SUDDENLY SINGLE" was harsh and abusive. You told him that his lack of a back bone was the result ofhis collasped marriage. Would you have said that to a women? No you would have awarded her for leaving an abusive relationship. The collaspe of a marraige can be for many reasons and if in fact him not feeling comfortable enough to share his views or passions in his marraige are a testament to how much of a bully his wife was. Because his children are concerned and have beome caretakers that does not meean he has put them in the middle of his divorce. Many children observe the breakdwon of their parents relationship. If they have deemed his fahter as being the victim-which if you are in a relationship were you do what the otehr wants and ignors your needs and desires-then he is the victim, his children probably see that and treat him accordingly. Your advise was abusive, judgemental and sadly your beat down on someone who needed to be Built up. SHAME ON YOU