Which dating apps should I choose?
September 18, 2022 6:45 PM   Subscribe

Older heterosexual American male in their 50s, recently widowed, seeks advice with dating apps after being out of the dating game for 25 years.

I'm looking for a somewhat casual relationship , which can range from a hookup (regular or one off) to repeated dating (so a long distance relationship is out). A long term relationship isn't out of the question, but it's not something I'm immediately looking for. The only definitive aspect that I want for sure is dates with the same person on the regular, who I can also hangout and chat with. Sex does not have to be on the immediate table. Companionship is most desired.

What dating sites are best for that range of possibilities for heterosexuals around the age of fifty? I have no problem being clear about what I'm looking for and the widower status in my initial bio.

FYI, I'm already on Bumble, Tindr, and Eharmony, with little success, but it's only been a few weeks.
posted by Brandon Blatcher to Human Relations (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
i absolutely hate dating apps but i actually kinda like coffee meets bagel, despite the horrible name. i get overwhelmed pretty easily, so cmb’s model of sending a few matches each day works well for me.
posted by missjenny at 7:23 PM on September 18

I just want to say, you are not old. You are not older, you are not second rate stuff, just so you know. Widowers are highly desirable, because of the track record of caring. I wouldn't approach this with a shopping list. Look in your area of interest. Do your best to make something real.
posted by Oyéah at 7:26 PM on September 18 [8 favorites]

Maybe try OKCupid, too? Dating apps suck for pretty much everyone due to various reasons. I'd have the best pics possible that are taken by a friend. I have no idea of what you look like but, after 40, I think it's more about being fit than handsome.

Being open about your relationship status is very positive. I have to respectfully disagree that being a widower automatically makes someone more desirable. For some people it'll be a plus while others will have had bad experiences and avoid you. It's good to weed people out, right? People tend to have a lot of hang ups and baggage and that's OK: focus on those who seem open and fun to talk to. Be open to dating women your own age or older, which it sounds like you are?

I'll be real with you: so many straight men on the apps are looking for what you describe, a casual relationship that's basically a relationship but without any responsibility for you. That's honest and fine but, for context, at almost 40, I have literally dozens of men of all ages offering that to me all the time. In fact, it's exhausting and annoying; many women online are dealing with the same. I'm not some stunning babe; the odds are just in my favor. I'm not really interested but, if so, I tend to go for the guys who are kind, ten years younger, and have great communication skills. Maybe if you're comfortable or open to it, also consider non-monogamous people who are already partnered and looking for people to have secondary relationships that are basically friendships with sex. I don't mean to be negative or judge you; I'm just being super real with you.

Based on your posts here, you seem like a really cool, kind, and interesting person. It's so hard to meet people in person these days, especially with COVID as well as people not wanting to seem creepy. However, I think you will really shine in person, just like you do here, and that's even more of a place to look.
posted by smorgasbord at 8:39 PM on September 18 [21 favorites]

I see you don't use Hinge yet either? I'd try that as well but I think OKCupid might yield more of what you're looking for because it's has a quirky, sexual, and intellectual side (or at least can at times?)
posted by smorgasbord at 8:43 PM on September 18

You said you’ve been on Tinder and Bumble a few weeks without much success. What does that mean? Without any matches? Dates? That might be more about tweaking your photo and profile than finding the right app. You might also try Hinge, but I suspect the specific apps you’ve chosen aren’t the problem.
posted by bluedaisy at 10:09 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

I live in a small city so less common apps don't have enough people on them to be worthwhile, so am sort of stuck with Tinder and Bumble even though they suck.

I am 47 and extremely politically liberal. Given the choice between two similar profiles, I tend to opt to casually date younger rather than older, because on average I find that younger men are more likely to have interesting things going on in their lives to talk about, more likely to understand and agree with modern feminist beliefs, and less likely to have trouble using condoms. If I'm the sort of person you might be interested in attracting, you may want to make sure you put information about your politics and activities in your profile.
posted by metasarah at 9:47 AM on September 19 [6 favorites]

Yeah, I'm guessing it's not the app so much as the fact that as mentioned above, most men on the apps are looking for "something casual" and therefore women who are looking for that too (and it's a minority) have tons of options. The apps are all pretty much the same now.

I would think about working on your profile and focusing on unique things you can offer, making sure your pics are as good as possible, and also maybe considering non-monogamous/partnered people. Suggestion of Okcupid is good, but honestly, dating apps are more and more alike and Okcupid is not nearly as unique as it once was.

You might also consider what I am trying to get myself to do, seeking out a meet-up group based around an interest or activity, that meets regularly
posted by bearette at 10:17 AM on September 19 [2 favorites]

The only definitive aspect that I want for sure is dates with the same person on the regular, who I can also hangout and chat with. Sex does not have to be on the immediate table. Companionship is most desired.

Also, I want to say that this actually sounds like a situation that a lot of women might be interested. I think that there are some women who prefer to move a bit more slowly into physical intimacy, so this could be something that works in your favor. And regular dates with an emphasis on companionship is definitely something that could work for a lot of women.

Also, this doesn't necessarily sound "casual" to me. Sometimes when folks say casual, they mean "no strings attached hook up or one night stands." Just make sure you aren't accidentally communicating something you don't mean.

As for one-time hookups: those definitely can happen consensually and happily, but you will probably need to go on a lot of dates for that. Many women do not want that and many do, but a lot of people aren't super direct or open about it.
posted by bluedaisy at 1:05 PM on September 19 [2 favorites]

Was just coming here to quote exactly the same part as bluedaisy. I think that should totally be a part of your profile. I would also consider including the fact that you were widowed earlier in the year precisely because that’s definitely a part of your story. If there are some people who going to be spooked by that, why waste your time potentially going out with them at all? Easier to mention it in your profile and scare them off early.

I have not been on OK Cupid for nearly a decade. So it’s not the same app but I did have extremely good luck when I used it. I always try to filter from the get-go, which is to say I made it super clear that I was an outlier and was only interested in dating people who were down with that and compatible in various ways. Anyway, this is my pitch for considering opening an OkCupid profile as well. OK Cupid seem to be a place, at least at the time, who rewarded literate types such as many of the folks on MetaFilter. I also think it will improve your odds of finding someone compatible with your goals if you are open to meeting people who are older than yourself. I already know that you’re a total catch from your activity here. Good luck!
posted by Bella Donna at 2:48 PM on September 19

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