Dating Over 40

Online Dating Disasters & Delightfully Funny Moments #1: Gnaw, Paw and No Car

Am I doomed to be alone?

The world is opening up and I’ve come out of quarantine 8 pounds lighter and feeling good about spring and summer dating. So I hop back on a online dating app and my first conversations makes me I feel like I’m on Candid Camera.

I’m on one of the many sites owned by’s parent company, People Media which I think should be called because it’s just Match with different prices and landing pages with pictures of specific interest groups. Here are all their sites:

You have the option to “automatically” sign up for other sites they suggest. You’ll quickly learn that the same singles are on the other sites because all the sites have equally poor sort, search and alert functions. They are notorious for bait and switch tactics like saying you have 3 or 4 people “interested” or “messages” but when you click on the alert — no one is there.

I put my preference on one of the sites for Black singles and white guys were the first to send me messages. I’ve written extensively about why I no longer date white men, but I’ve doubled down on this position in this current political climate.

Now that we’ve uncovered the genius of People Media basically taking one website and a massive, endless pool of singles and turning it into 24 other fake customized sites to rake in millions of dollars — I’ll talk about my experience.

After about a month of fake alerts and a slew of canned messages -finally a guy who looked like a reluctant serial killer sends a real message. I’m cautiously excited. I ignored all the awkward pictures because I’m not photogenic and I HATE taking selfies more than a mammogram.

He sends me his number and asks can we talk now. I say sure and I send him my Google Voice number (a must for online dating). Several minutes go by, I grow impatient, so I call him.

He sounds like Jay-Z and Mike Tyson had a baby…I push through it because I’ve been told I sound “like a white girl” even though I’m a Black woman in my 40’s.

Out the gate he starts with: Send me a pic.

I’m annoyed, but I do.

Then, he seems to have what I can only describe as a system malfunction because he seems flustered and keeps repeating that he was watching TV and was going to get something to eat.

I apologize and offer for him to call when he’s free, but he insists on having a conversation and relaxes a little. Then, I make the mistake of asking does he drive.

Quick cultural note: I know a lot of urban white people don’t care about cars or feel they’re frivolous polluters. However, as a single mother and now an older woman with health issues in a dangerous city — a car helps me safely and quickly get where I need to go. Therefore, my partner can’t just call an Uber in a crisis.

He yells, “Cars don’t define me!”. I calm him by saying that I don’t really care about a car (I do — but not as a status symbol. I study them because it’s what I did with my Dad.) I shared that I didn’t have a car until I became a mother and now I need a car because of health issues, but it also limits my driving. His solution: I could take him car shopping… I have no clue what he meant, but it gets better.

He kept pushing for us to meet that day. I told him I was busy, but he said he just wanted to meet to kick off our friendship. I told him my quirks and he was still interested. In his last attempt to get me to meet him — he said, “I promise not to gnaw and paw you…” While I nervously laughed at the comical comment with possible cannibalistic undertones, I was done.


I don’t want to die alone, but if getting yelled at by a squeaky voiced, 55 year old man who spazzes out about not having a car and his consolation is he won’t “gnaw and paw” me — I kinda give up and it isn’t June, yet.

I agreed to meet him next week, but now I think I’ll start crocheting the blanket that will keep me warm on my cold, lonely nights.


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