How Can We Get Past the Photos?

 

old man in mirror

 

The post, “Why Are Boomers Ageist?” drew a huge response and left many questions unanswered. Many readers expressed anger, disappointment, and sadness in telling their experience with people (both men and women) who did not list their true age or posted photos that weren’t current. It is truly a dilemma without an easy answer. We all want to find love and companionship and be “given a chance” to show someone who we really are and what we have to offer. Here is an edited post from two years ago that I hope will add something to the conversation. Please in the comment section of this  post, add your ideas and suggestions so that we all might benefit and choose a path that works best for us. If you are not subscribed to my blog, please sign up on the Blog page and you will be able to follow these posts about finding love and know that you’re not alone.

 

THE biggest limitation to online dating is the powerful influence the photos have on the seeker. I wish it weren’t so, but unlike meeting someone at an event, or being introduced by a friend, we see, make a judgement and click “Delete”.

Do you ever wonder what people are thinking when they post a primary photo of themselves from ten years ago or a head shot taken when madras was still in fashion? To be honest, it’s to get the seeker past the photo hoping that by reading the profile, they will be seen in a more complete way for who they truly are.

We all want the same thing…to be known.

After 55  we can sometimes feel like a younger version of ourselves trapped in an aging body. Many of us still love to go dancing,  fantasize about building a little cabin up in the Sierra, live for our fast motorcycles and love having hot sex all night long (well maybe not ALL night long).   The problem is, some of us also think our bodies are younger than they are (the shirtless thing is not working, guys) or we believe that we’ll never get an email if our photos are current. And more and more of my clients over 60 who return to online dating after a 2 or 3-year relationship ends tell me that they get far fewer responses to their profiles than a few years earlier.

How can we show up as ourselves with integrity, post interesting current photos and write the kinds of profiles that tell viewers a story about just who we are, right now, right here, today?  We can begin by giving honesty a try and trusting that someone will love us exactly the way we are.

The world of dating can be a slog. Taking the risk to put ourselves out there takes courage and giving ourselves credit for our willingness should come first.

Try this the next time a coffee date shows up not looking like him or herself. First, find some compassion and understanding. Then, if you want, share your feelings with them about how it feels when they show up not being themselves or the self they posted online.  And if you find that you still want to get to know them, enjoy your coffee and you may find it didn’t matter what brought them to you. You’re really happy to have met them.

 

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