Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 21, 2018

Empty Nest: Internet Dating

By Curt Swarm

I did it!  I subscribed to one of those internet dating services, and the results were amazing, stupendous, in fact.  In a matter of minutes, after the initial free enrollment, I was receiving “flirts.”  I’m serious.  
I won’t tell you which dating service I subscribed to, there are a score of them out there, I will just tell you it favors people with a country background.  Heck, I lived in the country growing up, and did farm work.  Close enough.
Why a dating service?  I’m in my sixties, would like to have someone to go to dinner and movies with, and want to simplify the process of meeting the opposite sex.  Voila!  I was flooded with possibilities!  Through the privacy of the computer, I could use any selection criteria I wanted, like, age, distance, interests, education, religion, etc.  Hint: be wary of the ones who won’t include their photo, and be wary of photos in general.  Most everyone uses their best photo from 10 years ago.  The ones who won’t include a photo, or use a photo of their horse or flower garden, are an easy rejection.  Here’s a substitute-for-a-picture that I got a kick out of: “I wanna do dirty stuff with u, like farming!”
I’m also confused by the flirts that show a picture of a guy.  Hmm.  Is this a mistake, or is this person ...  Oh, never mind.
Back in circulation, here are several of my experiences:
Stacy: She’s the CEO of her own company and has a Ph.D. in engineering.  Why on earth would she use a dating service?  Simple: she won’t date men or associates involved with her company, and she wanted to meet someone outside her business circle.  Ok.  We had a nice evening out, with possibilities of future dates.  Then she showed me her pet tarantula.  Sayonara.
Anna: Nice lady, comfortable to be with.  We were able to overlook the skirmish that her dog and Buddy got into over a bowl of food, and we were able to accept the fact that she is five-foot tall (barely) and I’m six-foot.  But when it came to politics, there was a definite clash.  Never, ever talk politics on a first date.  
Erika: We both had the same wants and desires—casual dating, evenings out, nothing serious.  Then we looked into each other’s eyes.  Gulp.  Maybe I do want more than just “casual dating.”  Stay tuned!
Matchmaking is an honorable profession, and the computer is ideal for it.  It’s anonymous, fast, and you can accept or decline a flirt by the simple click of the mouse.  A young friend of mine found his wife through a dating service, and she’s a sweetheart.  They now have two kids.  The computer beats the heck out of a blind date or having your friends line you up with someone.  It’s like what the computer did for writing.  Once you start using word processing, it’s hard to go back to handwriting.  
I’m in sales.  I learned a long time ago, the more people you see, the greater your chances of a sale.  The computer increases your odds of meeting someone exponentially.
Now, if it could only grow hair.       

Have a good story?  Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, email him at curtswarm@yahoo.com, or visit his website at www.empty-nest-words-photos-and-frames.com.  Curt also reads his columns www.lostlakeradio.com.