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September 29, 2015

I Prefer Dating Older Men

Filed under: beauty, nigeria, people, queen — Tags: , , , — admin @ 1:50 pm

Former Miss Nigeria, Ene Lawani, tells Ada Onyema about her long reign as a beauty queen, her life and why she loves older men

How was it being the longest reigning Miss Nigeria from 2004 to 2010?

Well, it wasn’t my wish to be the longest reigning queen. Unforeseen circumstances that had to do with the office made my reign so long; but at the same time, it was great. I was able to impact on lives positively. I led a national awareness campaign tour with emphasis on promoting a healthy lifestyle, which was part of my pet project of preventing of malaria. I had endorsement deals for companies and others. It was really an eye-opener for me and it opened a lot of doors for me as well.

Was being the longest-reigning queen a distraction in any way?

Yes partly, especially my education. I had to stop school for a year and when I couldn’t hand over on time, I was home for three years before I finally started school again. So, it affected my academic life.

Did you have to stay at home for three whole years?

Well, not really. But I was hoping that whenever I handed over, I would continue my education abroad.

How true is it that beauty queens go out of their ways to get the crown?

I really don’t know about that. I think my winning the crown was a miracle. I had actually given up that day because my costume and everything I was meant to use for the show did not arrive until the night of the show. I don’t know about pressing buttons, although I heard stories that somebody had been paid to win; but I just went for the fun of it. I had already given up, but when my costume arrived, I just thought I could give it a trial and I won. I wouldn’t say all beauty queens were under pressure or press buttons and all that. If you have all the qualities – beauty, charisma, carriage – and have all it takes to be a beauty queen, you will win.

People look at beauty queens as people who use their bodies to get what they want. What do you think?

I don’t think so. It is like every normal pretty girl. When you are a pretty girl, you go places, doors open for you. I don’t think it is just only beauty queens who do that. On that platform, you have opportunities to meet people you least expected and dine with the high and the mighty. It is just an opportunity.

How come we did not hear much about you despite your long reign?

I was busy with school. I started school in 2007 and that took a lot of my time. Also, I was trying to start my business and that made me to lie low. I was not hiding, but just busy.

There was nothing spectacular about your reign. Why?

Nothing spectacular? Well, then Daily Times was privatised so things kind of crumbled. I don’t really know the whole story but then I still made use of it. I was able to impact on lives with my pet project and I think that is the most important thing during my reign.

How did you feel being a queen during such a crisis?

Yes, it was immediately I came in. I understood it was a new organisation, new management and all that. After a few months, things crumbled, which led to lots of people losing their jobs, my crown being put on hold as well. It wasn’t my doing really. I felt sad in the sense that I didn’t get most of the things that I was promised. I didn’t get to go for the international pageant and I did not complete my pet project and I really feel sad but all the same, everything happened for a reason.

While growing up, did it ever cross your mind that you were going to be a beauty queen?

No, never, but I remember while I was in secondary school, I used to act a lot. I was in the social clubs. I won several awards for acting but being a beauty queen, no. I never envisaged that. I had taken the Universities Matriculation Examination and I was waiting for my result. I had this cousin who kept pestering me that I had all the qualities to go for a beauty queen competition. I just thought of giving it a trial. I was not doing anything, just to while away time, and I won. It was not something I ever imagined to be.

While giving the pageant a trial, did you get your parents’ full support?

At the initial stage, I didn’t tell my dad, but my mum knew about it and was in full support. My dad didn’t know until the day of the pageant. He was at home watching TV with my sister and they started watching the pageant, lo and behold, he saw me and he was shocked to see me on TV but after a while, he called me and gave me his blessings. I didn’t want to tell him because he was a disciplinarian. I knew that he wouldn’t encourage it.

It was rumoured that you were out of the limelight because you had nothing doing.

No, as I said, I was in school. Yes, I was not working, but I was in school. That was what kept me out of the limelight.

As a former beauty queen, what would you like to be remembered for?

I will like to be remembered as a role model, for the lives I have been able to impact positively, the girls I have been able to help achieve their dreams.

What do you find attractive in a man?

Confidence, I don’t care about your physical looks. Once the confidence is there, you’ve got my love.

You recently launched your Turban collection; what inspired that?

I have always liked tying my hair. I love hair pieces and as they say, the hair is a woman’s crowning glory. Anything you put on the hair is catchy. Right from secondary school, I have always been tying my hair because I went to a missionary school. After that, it was Miss Nigeria and people loved the way I tied my hair and the accessories I used. So I decided to go into it and moreover, I didn’t want to go into the regular clothing. I wanted something different. It’s been really great. People are now going more for turbans than the regular gele because it is something you can pair with any outfit. It is just a way of accessorising an outfit.

Are we expecting to hear the wedding bells soon?

I don’t know. When it happens, it happens.

And your ideal man?

He is someone who is sure about himself and knows how to treat a lady well. I really don’t care about the physical looks because that could go in a minute. As long as you know how to treat a lady well, you have won my heart.

Do you plan to marry your long time lover?

I don’t know. At the right time.

We heard that you didn’t date men of your age group, you prefer older men.

Let’s just say that I understand the older ones better and they understand me better than the younger ones.

Not because of their money?

No, I can make my money myself. It has nothing to do with their money. I learn a whole lot from them; I like to hang out with people I benefit from intellectually. Most importantly, I learn a lot from their experiences.

Another person may say that school is probably going on for too long for you. What do you say?

Well, I’m doing a part time programme and it is for five years. I’m in my fourth year now. It has nothing to do with me. If I had my way, I would finish today because honestly, I’m tired. I want to hurry up and graduate. I thank God everything has been great. I will like to graduate and I’m hoping it comes very soon.

What determines your dress sense?

Sometimes, my mood does that. If I’m in a playful, romantic mood, I express it in my outfit.

What do you think could be done to bring Miss Nigeria to its former state?

The new organisers are handling it and they are not doing badly. It is even better now because they are making it family oriented; no swim suit. They are doing well.

What is the misunderstanding between you and Nike Oshinowo-Soleye about?

I have no issues with her. She was my boss and I lived with her for about three months when I won and that’s where it ends. After that, I didn’t see her for a while, until she started a new pageant, which I was one of the judges in. I don’t have any problem with her. It is not like we used to go partying and hanging out together. We moved together when I was Miss Nigeria, but I’m no longer Miss Nigeria. She has a new queen now who she works with. We are not fighting, she is a wonderful woman.

July 31, 2015

The Importance Of Girlproofing

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 10:53 am

As parents must safeguard their homes against the presence of a toddler, so must single men prepare their apartments for the company of a woman. This process is called girlproofing. I must give credit where credit is due here. It was the great John DeVore of “Mind of Man” fame who coined the term. He once told me that he refused to let a woman he liked into his apartment until it was properly “girlproofed.” John DeVore is a wise man. For he understands that if a woman doesn’t feel safe and comfortable at his place, she’s probably never coming back.

One of the first questions women ask each other after an overnight is, “How was his apartment?” And why do we ask this? You probably didn’t give a rat’s ass what was going on at our apartment, right? Do you even remember what it looked like? Well, let me generalize for a moment here and say that most women have more needs, require more amenities, pay attention to little details that guys don’t. That stack of crusty dishes in the sink may mean nothing to you, but to me it means, “I wonder if he has roaches?” You may have no problem with that one, moldy-smelling towel you’ve been using for months, but to me, it is a guarantee that I will never shower at your place. So guys, if you want repeat customers — just one or many — I cannot stress the importance of girlproofing. Here’s how it’s done…

1. Clean up! I may tell you that I don’t care that your apartment is a mess. I’m lying. Now, there are different kinds of messes. Maybe there are some clothes that need to be put away or mail that needs to be sorted or you forgot to make your bed. Fine, I can look the other way. Here’s what I can’t ignore:

- An inch-thick layer of dust and crumbs on the floor

- A pile of moldy dishes in the sink

- A bathroom sink covered in your shaving remains

- A shower grown over with grimy fuzz

- Sheets and towels with stains, which reek of dirty socks and old sweat

- An avalanche of dirty laundry

- Heaps and heaps of pet hair

- Bug infestations of any sort

- Stinky, rotting garbage piles

- Your porno smut (unless I ask to see it)

I could keep going here, but I think you’re catching my drift. May I make a suggestion? You may not have a knack/time for proper housekeeping. That’s OK. I don’t either. This is why I set aside $50 a month to have someone come and clean for me. I don’t do my own laundry either. I pay an extra $5 and drop it off every week. It comes back folded and then I just put it away. You may be poor, but this $60, or whatever it is, that you set aside for someone else to do housekeeping for you will more than make up for itself in the sex you will receive. Are we clear about this?

2. Stock up! Now that your place is clean, on to girl-friendly amenities which you must have. There are certain things I need — or at least want to know are there if I’m spending the night. These things will put me at ease so all I’m thinking about is you. I don’t want to lay awake at night thinking about how much I wanted to brush my teeth, but couldn’t because you don’t have toothpaste. Then I’m worrying about whether or not you brush your teeth. It’s a vicious cycle. Don’t forget the basics:

- Unused toothbrush

- Toothpaste (not crusty, with enough inside to easily squeeze out)

- Mouthwash

- Toilet paper (c’mon!)

- Hand soap

- Shower curtain

- A garbage can in your bathroom

- A space, clean towel for when I take a shower

- Soap, shampoo and conditioner in the shower

- Tissues and Q-tips

- Basic face and body lotion (anything fancy I want, I’ll bring myself)

- Water

- Coffee for the morning (bonus points if you make it for me)

- Something for breakfast

You may be like, “But I didn’t know you were coming over and I wasn’t prepared!” Just go out this weekend and stock up and then if you get lucky, you’re good to go. You don’t have to wait for a special girl to girlproof. Why not girlproof preemptively?

3. Bells and whistles! And now for the bonus round. Advanced girlproofing 101. If you want me to stay over lots and lots, you’ll need a few more things:

- Condoms

- Candles (if that’s your vibe … they smell nice)

- A place for me to put a few of my specialized lady products

- Some space in the closet or a drawer for some clothes

- An iron

- A blowdryer

- What I like to eat for breakfast (Kashi and Almond Breeze)

- My favorite beverages

- Chocolate of some sort

Or just ask what she likes to have around. I’m sure that she will be more than happy to tell you.

And on that note, feel free to chime in with instructions about guyproofing. Do I need to buy beer or bourbon or special shaving cream or something?

8 Signs You’re Dating a Financial Frog

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — admin @ 10:52 am

Love is blind — and never more than when it comes to our money.

But how do you keep from choosing a dubious financial partner while falling head over heels? It isn’t easy, as any of us who’ve loved and wound up in the red can tell you.

That’s what this list is for. In between the flowers and the heart flutters, take the time to see if the person you love fits any of these eight signs.

The advice below is steeped in real-life experience, as well as a recent survey by TD Ameritrade about the biggest financial dealbreakers in Americans’ love lives. Not to mention research from the National Marriage Project about the most likely predictors of divorce — many of which center around money.

After reading these signs, if you’re tempted to say, “Oh, but my partner isn’t really like that …”, call your mom or your closest girlfriend and discuss. One sign alone doesn’t mean your relationship is in jeopardy. And for each, we’ll give you a recommendation of what to do next if your true love fits the profile.

Check out the signs the one you love just might be bad for your financial health.

1. He’s In Major Credit Card Debt (And Not Doing Anything About It)

We know: Life happens. Icky things like a job loss or divorce can put you in the hole quickly. (Which is why we always recommend you build at least a six-month emergency fund.) We’re not saying you shouldn’t date anyone with debt to his name. The red flag in this situation is someone who continues to accrue it — and doesn’t have a plan to undo it.

Not only does the habit suggest you’re falling for someone who can’t handle money responsibly, there’s also evidence it can hurt you both long-term. “Consumer debt is an equal-opportunity marriage destroyer,” reports a 2009 report by the National Marriage Project. “It does not matter if couples are rich or poor, working class or middle class. If they accrue substantial debt, it puts a strain on their marriage.”

Credit card debt increases the likelihood a couple will fight over money — as well as issues other than money — and decreases the time they spend with one another, shows a study published in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues. And the couples in the study who had accrued debt actually grew less happy over time as compared to those without it.

What You Can Do: The flip side of that same study shows that couples who made a plan and tackled their debt together remained happier with each other over the long-term. Debt definitely needn’t spell the end of a relationship, but it does mean you need to have a talk about how either partner got into debt in the first place and what you’ll do together to pay it off. Our “Get to Your Goal” calculator is an easy way to see how long it could take you.

2. He Spends Like A Drunken Sailor

Whether it’s literally getting drunk and buying a round for the whole bar, or just a serious taste for pricey new gadgets, spending as though money is going out of style can be a warning sign.

“When individuals feel that their spouse doesn’t handle money well, they report lower levels of marital happiness,” say the researchers. In fact, one study showed that feeling like your partner spent money foolishly increased the likelihood of divorce 45% for both men and women. Only extramarital affairs and alcohol or drug abuse were stronger predictors of being headed for splitsville.

What You Can Do: If your partner is fabulously wealthy, his spending is well within his budget or he has otherwise healthy financial habits, you can probably relax. But if your heart rate goes up every time he opens his wallet or unveils another new “toy,” it’s time for a talk.

People overspend for a lot of different reasons. Your first goal should be to communicate that his habits make you uncomfortable. One easy way to start the conversation? Take our “What’s Your Money Belief?” quiz together to reveal the emotions behind the financial decisions you each make.

3. You Have Vastly Different Attitudes Toward Money

While opposites do attract, and this needn’t spell doom, having vastly different worldviews when it comes to your finances can cause friction. Maybe you’re the spender, he’s the saver, or vice versa. Either way, over time, being nagged can wear thin. The problem is that resentment builds up.

Take a pair of married friends we know: “She has no concept of what a budget even means!” he’ll rail when he discovers yet another shopping bag. She, on the other hand, defends herself, saying: “I work so hard, I deserve to buy what I want.” They’re caught in a money stalemate.

What You Can Do: The goal isn’t to decide who’s ultimately right, just to get on the same page so you’re not fighting every time you head to the ATM. One of the easiest ways is to look at how you pool your money. If you need to have this talk, or you’re just headed for the altar soon, our free “Getting Hitched” bootcamp — which tells you everything a couple needs to know to combine their finances — is a great place to start.

One quick rule of thumb? Allocate money that is yours, mine and ours. LearnVest recommends 75% be shared for household expenses and meeting financial goals, with 25% as discretionary income you can spend on your own.

4. He’s Frequently Unemployed

Lose a job once? Can happen to anyone. We’re talking more about a serial pattern of unemployment, which has been shown to have serious impact on the future of your relationship.

First, the common sense: A pattern like this could suggest there’s something underlying his patchy employment history other than a bad economy or bum luck. Whether it’s a problem with authority or a lack of responsibility, neither bodes well for your long-term happiness. (If multiple employers don’t find him reliable, odds are you won’t either.)

Plus, according to a study by Liana Sayer of Ohio State University, while a woman’s employment status had no effect on the likelihood her husband would head for the hills, a man’s unemployment, on the other hand, increased the chances his wife would initiate divorce and the chances he would leave.

Even men who were relatively happy in their marriages were more likely to skedaddle if they lost a job. The researchers chalk it up to the fact that there’s still more societal pressure on men to be the breadwinners.

What You Can Do: Look at the big picture. Was he affected by the recession? Does he work in a particularly volatile industry? If neither of those explains the pattern, talk to your partner about your concerns and see whether he has a good explanation… or gets defensive. If it’s the latter, you may want to recommend he seek help from a therapist to figure out the underlying issues.

5. He Doesn’t Want To Get Married

This is an interesting one: Dating a commitment-phobe can actually mean you’re hurting your chances not just of walking down the aisle, but also of accumulating wealth.

Researchers have found that getting married improves your fortune in more ways than one. First, there are economies of scale (two can live more cheaply than one, and each specializes in what he or she is good at — like fixing a computer or changing a light bulb, so you can save on hiring someone to do the task. )

But there’s also something about committing to a life together that has a halo effect on your finances. Overall, married couples save and invest more for the future (and, at the same time, act as built-in insurance for each other against uncertainties like an illness or pink slips). And something about committing to a partner makes men more virile economically: Married guys actually earn between 10% and 40% more than single men with similar education and job histories.

What You Can Do: Only you can answer whether marriage matters to you. But for anyone in a committed couple, the best things you can do are to be honest about your approach to your finances, make a joint plan to tackle debt and create lifestyle and savings goals you want to reach together, like saving up for a down payment, or socking away $20,000 in your emergency fund.

Happily, building assets together, researchers say, is one way to grow closer as a couple. “Assets … sweeten and solidify the ties between spouses,” says the National Marriage Project, “by minimizing any sense of financial unease that couples feel, with the result that they experience less conflict.”

6. He Declared Bankruptcy, Or Got Foreclosed On

Most of us are already on the same page about this one. In a recent “Couples & Money” survey by TD Ameritrade, women said their top two biggest financial dealbreakers in a relationship were bankruptcy (42%) and foreclosure (32%).

Men, on the other hand, cited bankruptcy and high credit card debt, at 24% and 21% respectively.

There are two considerations at work here: what it says about your partner and what it means for your joint future. Bankruptcy suggests that, at least at one point in their life, the person you love got so deep in a financial hole he or she couldn’t see another way out.

In certain professions (like some areas of finance), a bankruptcy may hinder your efforts to get hired: A recent District Court ruling found that a non-government employer may choose not to hire someone based on a past bankruptcy. And, since it remains on your credit report for up to ten years, and a foreclosure for seven, it can also impact whether the two of you would be able to get a loan for a car or a house of your own someday.

What You Can Do: Have a frank talk about the circumstances that led up to the crisis: Was it a slew of medical bills after an unexpected surgery, or pure financial irresponsibility? “Ask yourself: What was the situation, is it likely to be repeated — and are you jeopardizing your own financial well-being?” says Stephanie Kirkpatrick, LearnVest’s Director of Financial Planning.

7. You’ve Caught Him In A Lie

According to a new poll by CreditCards.com, 92% of Americans say they never hide the details of their financial lives from a significant other. But the 7% that do means that 6 million Americans are hiding something. The most common things they conceal? A credit card account (67%), a secret savings account (45%), a hidden checking account (38%) or a plain old financial secret.

Whether he’s hiding how much he makes, how much he owes, or you caught him red-handed withdrawing money from your account — true story of a friend’s ex — it can lead you to question: 1) why and 2) what else he’s concealing.

What You Can Do: Have a talk about “financial infidelity.” How honest do you expect your partner to be? Are there any money uglies in your past you need to talk about? Here’s a good guide on how to broach the topic.

The issue here isn’t so much your bottom line, but trust, which underlies the foundation of every relationship. If you catch him in a lie that shakes your belief in who he is, it can be hard to rebuild your faith in each other, let alone a solid financial future together.

8. He’s Always Borrowing… From Someone

There’s cheap. And then there’s the eternal mooch.

This is the type who’s always asking his friends to “spot him” and promising to “get them back next time.” If you’re dating, he’ll routinely forget to repay you for that time you covered dinner. And brunch. And he’s no stranger to loans from friends and family — often in the form of help from his parents.

While there aren’t many stats to prove the deleterious effects of the mooch, odds are, if you’re seeing one, you know the drawbacks well yourself. Not only does he sap your bottom line, he can also do a number on your energy. That’s because, often, a financial mooch thinks the world owes him something … or sees himself as a victim who’s unable to pay (or make) his own way.

What You Can Do: In this case, it’s worth it to have a frank talk, and tell him how his money behavior is galling you. If he’s not truly broke, and the behavior still doesn’t change, it’s time to refer him to a good therapist.

July 21, 2015

Top Ten Things Guys Hate To See You Wear

Filed under: date, guys, look, outfit, wear — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 10:13 am

When it comes to the first date, no one puts in quite so much effort as the female of the party. The guys may just throw on a nice pair of jeans, their smartest shoes and a freshly ironed shirt, but the girls have a much tougher time of things.

Not only must you get the outfit right from a hundred and one that you may have already picked out of your closet, but you must also pair this outfit with shoes, accessories, and that is before you even begin to think about the sheer amount of date possibilities and the appropriate different kinds of outfits there are to choose from!

Thankfully, we have devised a cunning list of the top ten things that men would not like to see you wear on a first date:

1. Thigh high boots. Yes, all men love an “easy” looking girl; no they don’t want to look like Richard Gere out of “Pretty Woman”! You are not starring in a porn film; there is no need to wear thigh high boots.

2. Your work uniform. Nothing says “I’ve put absolutely no effort into this at all” than wearing your work uniform. If you don’t have time to go home and get changed after work, at least have the common sense to take something simple to slip into!

3. Track pants. In all fairness, unless you are going to the gym, you should never wear track pants in public and even more so when you are on a first date. This is unacceptable – you wouldn’t let the guys wear track pants, so don’t think you can get away with it, no matter how cute you think your butt looks.

4. Inappropriate clothing. You wouldn’t wear a little black dress and stilettos for a lunchtime picnic in the park. Also, you wouldn’t wear denim shorts and flip flops to a nice, five star restaurant. Ask where you are going and be honest – tell the guy you are trying to pick an outfit and knowing where the two of you are heading would come in useful. If he doesn’t want to tell you, he will simply guide you in the right direction of a suitable outfit, which more often than not gives the game away anyway.

5. For those short guys out there – don’t wear skyscraper heels. It is embarrassing for a guy to appear shorter than his date, and at the same time, you don’t want to feel like a towering monster. If in doubt, wear smaller heels.

6. Too much makeup. No one likes an orange girl that looks as if they have rolled around in a bag of Cheetos. If you appear orange, you can see foundation lines around your face, or you can actually see the pores clogged up with powder, there is a good chance that you are wearing too much makeup. You may think more is better but just imagine if you spent the night at his after an amazing first date – how are you going to get rid of all that makeup when it is smeared across your face in the morning?

7. Don’t take a large bag with you. He is just going to think that you have packed an overnight bag, and that will make you look too forward and too easy. Take a small bag out with you and have just the essentials. You will be amazing at how little you can pack and yet still be prepared for the awkward morning after at the same time!

8. Ripped clothes are a massive no-no. Would you want a guy to turn up in scruffy ripped jeans? No? We didn’t think so. Make sure that you do a complete up-and-down check before you leave the house to make sure that there are no tears, rips, threadbare bits or stains on your clothes. You are not a homeless person; there is no need to dress like one.

9. Clothing that is too tight – well this goes without saying really. If you are not the skinniest girl in the world, you will just look ridiculous, and even if you are skinny, you will just look cheap.

10. Too many designer clothes make you look high maintenance. Go with one or two designer pieces – you don’t want to intimidate the poor guy, especially if his bank balance cannot compare to your own.

July 14, 2015

Over 50 and Looking for Love?

Filed under: aarp, dating, online, service, single — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 10:22 am

By Lisa Stark

Mention AARP and most people think of Social Security, Medicare and senior discounts. Now the group is getting into the dating business.

The organization has launched an online dating channel, and an online dating site for the over-50 crowd. It can be found at aarp.org/dating

“AARP wanted to get into the game because one, we know isolation is a very big issue for our members as they age,” said Nataki Edwards, Vice President of Digital Strategies and Operations at AARP. Edwards said a quarter of the group’s 37 million members are single and many have been asking the organization to help them link up with others.

“It’s not necessarily about getting married,” Edwards told ABC News. “It’s about the companionship and having fun things to do with someone else.”

AARP’s new venture is not the first dating site geared toward this age group. It’ll be competing with OurTime, which bills itself as the premier online 50+ dating service. AARP is partnering with HowAboutWe.com, whose philosophy is to get people out on dates early on to see if they hit it off, rather than spending a lot of time getting to know each other online, only to find there’s no chemistry when they meet in person. Edwards calls it “dating like they used to date.”

That appeals to Shelley Kilburn, who describes herself as a “54-year-old SWF (single white female).” Kilburn said she likes the idea of meeting face-to face, telling ABC News, “When you talk to someone in person you get a better image or feeling, you have that ability to use a (woman’s intuition), that sixth sense.”

Kilburn, a Southern California resident and a former news colleague of this reporter, has been divorced for five years. She hasn’t tried online dating yet, but says she might gravitate to an AARP site because to her the group has a trustworthy “history and reputation, (so) I would be comfortable.”

Carol Siflinger agrees, writing in response to a Facebook question about the new site, “It is a great idea! I would hope singles going to this site would be of a better caliber than ‘meat market’ sites!”

For those 50 and older, trying to date again can be daunting.

“It’s not so easy for people because many of them haven’t dated for 30 years or more”, said relationship expert Pepper Schwartz, who’s written extensively on sexuality. Schwartz, who is also AARP’s Love and Relationship Ambassador, says online dating can be especially unnerving. “Honestly, I think most of them go kicking and screaming. They wouldn’t do this if there was another option.”

Schwartz, who is 67, says she met her fiancé online. “It’s not easy: you have to work at it. You have to be resilient.” Of course, Schwartz adds, that’s not necessarily age-related. “Who ever found dating easy,” she says, “even when they were younger?”

Looking for a companion online worked wonderfully for Becky Hedlund Lemaire, of Breaux Bridge, La., who met her husband of six years through an online service. She says no matter which dating site you rely on, it’s important to take safety seriously.

“Always meet in public”, says Lemaire, “Don’t give out personal information and make sure someone knows where you are going to meet.”

AARP has tips too for the more mature dater — the group suggests you don’t spend the first date talking only about your children or grandchildren, or your aches and pains. The organization says its new online dating channel will help with dating advice.

Those popular senior discounts will come into play too. AARP is offering a seven-day free trial, then half off the dating service price for its members.

AARP’s Edwards said she won’t be using the new service because “I am married myself.” However, she laughs, “I have sent it to every single friend that I have who is looking.”

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