“I started online dating shortly after I got divorced in 1998,” Ellen, a psychiatrist, told me when I contacted her — through Craigslist, of course — to inquire about her ad. A stand-up comedian by night, she has a great sense of humor. “I learned to ask a lot of questions,” she told me when I asked what she had learned from her experiences.“I tried it all — JDate, Match, e Harmony…” Her voice trails off, as if she’s thinking hard. And, like the rest of the millions of people registered on dating sites and apps across the internet, she finds dating exciting, if not simultaneously exhausting. “When I go on dates now I say, you know, ‘are you completely, verifiably divorced,’ you know, ‘are you completely single?
She told me a handful of tales as old as time about her dating horror stories.
Exhaustive stories with similar endings: dishonest people always get caught being dishonest.
So after a grueling 17 years in the online dating world, Ellen decided to get back to basics. I'm kind of old fashioned so if you are genuinely single and want to meet someone educated and reasonable, please get in touch. Do you have some free time on weekends for conversation and companionship? ’ Because I learned separated really means married.” According to a Pew Research study from April, 6% of singles ages 55-64 are online dating, a far cry from the overwhelming 22% of 25-to-34-year-old singles signed up to find love.
No, not by speed dating or being set up by friends or meeting a real-life matchmaker, but through Craigslist — the online classified section whose layout and functionality have been largely the same since its debut in 1995. I'm not a Victoria's Secret model but I am told I'm cute/pretty and have a sense of humor and am slim. I've tried online sites and am tired of looking at profiles with guys wearing hats and sunglasses. Seeking single/divorced/widowed professional funny, friendly male mensch for friendship/companionship and eventual romance in Manhattan. I enjoy reading and writing and am working on a book. Seeking someone drug-free and truthful and reliable. And Ellen's age group is what Pew calls a thinning market; Ellen, who has been riding the dating train since she was 44, has also seen the stigma of online dating disappear.
So why, Ellen, would you take your quest to the land of apartment scams and $10 Ikea dressers?
Surprisingly, she says, people are more honest there. Ellen has dabbled in online dating for almost two decades. And for a few years, I had profiles on Match and J-Date up at the same time.” Ellen's voice is warm and inviting. But as anyone who has spent more than five minutes in the dating scene knows, finding a true partner can be like searching for Waldo (as in “Where’s? And Waldo, Ellen says, was not on any of the dating sites she signed up for.
She has actually been a fan of Craigslist for years. Her dating advice for others is simple: “If you listen, he’ll tell you who he really is.
Here's her ad: The full text reads: The dating world has changed a lot since I got divorced. I love stand-up comedy, film, TV, theater, music, cruises, coffee, museums. Please don't respond if you are alcoholic or smoke pot/use any drugs, or are married/involved with someone else, or are under 45. "It used to be a thing no one understood or wanted to talk about," she recalls.
"Like something was wrong with you if you had to take that path to get a date." But along with the advent of online dating, and the dozens and dozens of sites created to make finding companionship easy, she figured out the cold, hard, truth: any site can promise to make you a match, but paying .99 a month to find love doesn’t necessarily mean love will find you.
“I've tried online sites and am tired of looking at profiles with guys wearing hats and sunglasses. The 61-year-old Manhattanite recently posted a personal ad to Craigslist in an attempt to get one step closer to a “warm male mensch.” You may be wondering, why Craigslist? After a cursory Google search, it's clear there are plenty of dating sites tailor-made for the over-50 crowd, not to mention the dozens created for the twenty-and-thirty-somethings.
She’s, by her own definition, a DWJF — divorced, white, Jewish female — and she’s looking for romance.