When I first started online dating after my divorce at age 39, I was terrified. Not because I hadn't been on a date in almost two decades. Not because I hadn't so much as brushed up against a man in over a year, let alone been intimate with one. And not because I was worried about inadvertently hooking up with a serial killer. What I was terrified of was that people I knew would see my online profile and think I was a desperate loser. Etiquette: Online Dating And Facebook Friending
It could happen. When I did a search on one site, a guy from my high school turned up right away. Then a guy who lived in my neighborhood. Then a guy from my synagogue. Oy. The whole point of online dating was to avoid the awful feeling of walking into a bar on the make. Now I felt like I was not just walking into an anonymous bar in search of a man, but walking into a high school reunion, block party or Bar Mitzvah with a big sign on my back reading: "Need Date Now."
What to do? I had already decided that online dating was my only option. I wasn't about to let my friends and family fix me up, since they would just think of the one single man in his 40s they knew and call it a day. I didn't want to go out to bars and clubs, since that would be a waste of time and effort—plus I had kids for God sakes!
So I came up with a plan. I would sign up for a dating site in a disguise of sorts. I would put my age at 85-years old. That way, I could secretly look for someone, but no one would be able to find me hidden among the senior citizen set. And if I decided to contact a man, I would just tell him the age was wrong. Besides, all he'd have to do is look at my picture and see right away I was a vibrant woman of 39. Ingenious! Online Daters Are OK With Others Lying In Their Profiles
"You're 85?" answered one. "I don't get it."
"Oh! Ha, ha. LOL," wrote another after I explained myself.
Here I was, communicating with a select few men who didn't go to my high school, lived in distant neighborhoods and weren't even Jewish. My plan was working.