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Internet Dating Over 50: I Want Companionship
by: Susan Dunn

“Internet Dating over 50: I Want Companionship,”
by Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach

Trying to figure out what the other person is
like, how you’ll get along, what the potential is,
what the other is after, and what they mean by
what they say are just a few of the challenges in
dating at midlife. In some ways it’s easier on
the Internet, and it’s fast becoming the preferred
method of many midlifers.

One thing we certainly look for is someone who is
compatible enough. Personally, I prefer the word “complimentary,” as I relish those dynamic differences that enrich a relationship, and it gives a nod to the dictum that opposites do attract. A psychologist once told me, as we observed an unlikely pair we both knew who had decided to marry, that “men marry their conflicts.” What then is the woman doing? There’s a ying and a yang to it all, yes?

“Compatible” is used a lot, however, so let’s
consider – in what ways do you need to be
compatible? Shared values are crucial, and
certain goals, such as what sort of financial
situation you want. How into traditional roles
you are, and how family-oriented you are. For
some, sharing the same religion. Certainly a
couple should have the same general idea about
what a marriage is for, should provide, and can
accomplish. These can be conversed about, but to
assess the all-important “chemistry,” you must
meet in person. Do it as soon as you know it’s
safe, I say. You’ll save yourself a lot of time

“I was totally in love with him in writing,”
Marsha told me. “We both thought we’d met the
person we’d been waiting for for 30 years. When
we met at the airport, we both knew there was no
way. In person it was too compatible, like
brother and sister. It’s ironic. Our 3-month
online romance remains one of the highlights of my

Another thing most of us want it “companionship.”
(For complete coverage of this topic, see my
“Midlife Dating Survival Manual for Women”.) I
want to caution you that it can mean just about

It can mean, when a man says he “wants
companionship,” that he’s no longer interested in,
or capable of sex.

Some people mean “recreational companionship”, and
beware. It can mean “recreational appendage.”
I’m thinking of one man I dated who was retired,
and it turned out he wanted me to play tennis with
him every morning, golf every afternoon, then take
walks or go dancing every night, and go hiking on
the weekends. A meal might be thrown in when
necessary, for fuel, and talking, too, as long as
it was factual and related to the task at hand.
Oh, and the second morning of tennis (and last),
he arrived with a bucket of balls and told me to
“stand over there”, as he was going to teach me
how to serve.

The Italians say, “The first woman a man marries
is his wife. The second is for companionship.
The third is nonsense.”

I want a full relationship, not just a sports
buddy, and whether I’m the man’s first or second
wife, I want to be the last, and a wife, not an
object. Yes, I love sports, but I love many
things, and most of all, I want to love a MAN.
That means I want emotional and intellectual
companionship, as well as recreational. If the
person’s completely polarized and just after a
warm body for one specific thing, and you want a
full relationship, better to find our sooner
rather than later. I’ve been thrilled when I’ve
found “the perfect tennis partner,” but I wouldn’t
marry for that, would you? He or she might.

Now let’s look at what people have said in actual
online profiles. Ladies first:

I enjoy having a nice companion to share good
times with. The person I would like to be with
will have a great sense of humor and the ability
to converse on many subjects.

To be able to discuss something in a loving and
understanding manner is a cornerstone of a good

Sharing events and activities with a special
person is very important to a happy life. I enjoy
doing a multitude of things and over the years
have been active in community events as both
organizer and volunteer.

Now from the men:

I want to enjoy life with someone special and
share things they like to do and things I like to

Dancing is important to me, but it’s not that you
have to be a pro. Indeed, if you do not dance at
all that is probably best. Raw material! I also
love to read, go to films, plays, and rarely stay
home. So I suppose someone who enjoys that kind of

No couch potatoes please. Someone who likes what
I like – biking, hiking, working out, and boating.

The dance partner guy wants a dance partner, not a relationship; “raw material,” as he calls it. Reading, plays, and films aren’t shared activities. The home he rarely stays in sounds more like a base of operations. Of course I’m guessing. The thing is, read your own profile through the eyes of someone else, or work with a coach so that you say what you mean.

The woman who asks for “a nice companion to share
good times with”? Whenever I read or hear this,
or it’s cousin, “I just want to have fun,” I know
they aren’t talking about marriage. I’d love to
share fun and good times with someone, but I’d
also like them to stick around if and when it
isn’t such fun. I want someone who will walk
through the fire with me.

That doesn’t mean, as one man interpreted it, walk
through the fire FOR me. I’m not looking for
someone who will fight all my battles for me
(though some would be nice). I’m looking for a
man who doesn’t disappear when one of the
grandchildren has a stroke, or shut down after a
fight, or refuse to deal with it when one of the
kids is in rehab, or disconnect when he gets laid
off. Walking THROUGH fire means staying present –
physically, and connected – emotionally, when
things get rough. When things are going well,
it’s easy. The test of a person’s character and
commitment is what happens when it’s not fun.

The no-couch-potatoes guy? He’ll likely drag you
happily around sports courts, but if you want to
do something active that he doesn’t like, like
shopping, I bet he’ll redefine “active.” But you
know that because he ingenuously tells you he
means things HE likes to do.

The woman who wants to share activities and then
mentions her community involvement? I’ve seen
people marry because they were united around a
cause, but generally the cause dies, and there
needs to be a lot else there. Check it out.

“We hit it off because we were both animal
activists,” Cheryl said. “The problem was, I got
tired of it after a while, and it turned out it
was his entire life. If he’d treated me the way
he treated out dog, we’d still be together.”

Most people really do reveal a lot in their
profiles, if you’re willing to take off the
blinders and see it. At the same time, you need
to create your own profile in a way that doesn’t
mislead others.

Kudos to those who say, “I doubt I’ll remarry,” or
“I’m looking for someone to sail around the world
with me for 3 months,” or “I’m looking for the
last love of my life.” When you know what you
want, and speak it clearly, you’re more likely to
get it.

Keep your eyes open, love like you’ve never been
hurt, and know that if it’s possible in the
universe, it’s possible for you.

Good luck!

©Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach, . Coaching, Internet
courses and ebooks you need, when you need it.
Coaching is convenient, affordable and it works.
Coach training and certification. Email me for
info on this fast, affordable, comprehensive,
no-residency program. Training coaches worldwide.
For FREE EQ ezine, .

Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach, . Coaching, Internet
courses and ebooks you need, when you need it.
Coaching is convenient, affordable and it works.
Coach training and certification. Email me for
info on this fast, affordable, comprehensive,
no-residency program. Training coaches worldwide.
For FREE EQ ezine, .

Contact him at


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