NYCSkylineAs a widowed senior in New York City, I have just entered the brave new world of online dating. As a fairly modern senior living New York, I am nonetheless a bit old fashioned when it comes to making social contacts.

I savor long, leisurely picnics in Central Park, gentle strolls on the New York Highline, extensive exploration of local flea markets, and endless coffee and conversation.

And if you are reading this, chances are you are much like I am, daring to cross the threshold into the boundless immediacy of this technical universe, yet a bit wistful for the traditional “courtship.” Alex Williams explains this in a NY Times article of Jan.11, 2013, “Is Courtship Dead?”

Online dating services, which have gained mainstream acceptance, reinforce the hyper-casual approach by greatly expanding the number of potential dates. Faced with a never-ending stream of singles to choose from, many feel a sense of “FOMO” (fear of missing out), so they opt for a speed-dating approach — cycle through lots of suitors quickly.

My foray into the arena of online dating has been a bit daunting. I am not quite comfortable “telling all” in an email conversation, arranging “a meet” after a few brief Twitters, or juggling innumerable potential suitors. Some look at the dating process as a “job application…targeting many people simultaneously.”

The shortage of available men is legendary prevalent for us seniors; up until now, women have longer life spans and senior men are at a premium. So it seems that a form of speed dating has earlier roots in our lives.

True story—the quintessential speed date:
From the day he was widowed—even before Aunt Gert’s funeral, Uncle Jack found a pot-roast on his Welcome mat each morning, with a different invitation to dinner from one of his many female neighbors! But before he had a chance to taste even one (pot roast or woman), Aunt Gert’s best friend Molly had stepped in to help with the funeral plans and never stepped out again for 13 years.Here’s my point:

Of course I subscribe to the sharing of expenses and choices and even having us women make the call (no longer a “hussy” in my book). But don’t some of you join me—men and women—in missing the old-fashioned courtship with languid city nights and city lights, unrushed conversations, and the first get-to-know-you dates, and all the discovery that unfolds in less rushed moments? If you think of courtship “Life is a journey, not a destination.” So don’t rush a good thing. Let it unfold.

Lonely in New York

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