The Midsters Podcast - Friendship & Midlife

3. Navigating Midlife Online Dating..... And some funny stories to share!!

May 24, 2022 Season 1 Episode 3
The Midsters Podcast - Friendship & Midlife
3. Navigating Midlife Online Dating..... And some funny stories to share!!
Show Notes Transcript

You might feel 16 again when you start dating,  but it's a whole new world of online dating as a Midster. Tish shares her 5 tips for any Midster who is new to the world of online dating in 2022 with Bumble, Match, The League, and more options.  And, Tish and Ellen both share some hilariously funny dating stories too.

This week's obsessions:
Tish - Community gardens
Ellen - warm yoga at Love Story Yoga

The Hilton Head community garden Tish visited:  Sea Pines Heritage Farm Association

Grab a tee shirt, beanie or hoodie at  The Midsters Store

Tish Woods:

Welcome to the Midsters podcast. We are lifelong friends exploring the endless possibilities for women at midlife. Hello, I'm Tish coming to you from Charlotte, North Carolina area.

Ellen Gustafson:

And Hi, I'm Ellen coming to you from the San Francisco Bay Area, specifically Marin County.

Tish Woods:

Well, today, we are going to be talking about five tips about entering back into that dating pool, supporting your friends that are going back in there.

Ellen Gustafson:

This is a meaty subject. And you know, we've been titled this episode feeling 16 Again, but they changed all the rules. So Tish, I'm really excited to learn all of your tips and tricks and experiences. So let's get to our obsessions though, before we jump into this exciting episode.

Tish Woods:

Absolutely. Well, you know how I feel about going on adventures. So recently, I was in Hilton Head, South Carolina. And I came across the most amazing community garden. It's called Sea pines heritage farm Association. And they have eight acres on this plot, where people can apply to have their own little piece of the garden. And they let visitors come through, just don't pick or take any of their stuff with you, and you leave. But it's all open for everyone to come in and share. And I stopped by and just stroll through this garden, and it was amazing. I loved I actually stopped and spoke to one woman Her name was Anne and I talked to her about her little plot that she had there. And she had only been doing it a couple years. But she gave me a little background on the community garden and what it provided. And it made me realize, I think, Alan, we need to do a whole segment just on community gardens, why we should do them who has some good ones. But it really was inspirational going around there. So that this week is my new obsession.

Ellen Gustafson:

I love it. And what a great thing for us to do a whole episode on I think it really kind of touches of your beekeeping hobby. Yeah, and your love of nature. So I'm looking forward to that. We'll put in our show notes where that Community Garden Inn in Hilton Head is located.

Tish Woods:

And maybe we can get some of our listeners to share because you know, we're going to be doing this episode. If you participate in a community garden in your area. Maybe give us some feedback on what works for you and why why you started it. Awesome. So Alan, what is your obsession this week?

Ellen Gustafson:

Well, I think you already know about my obsession, because I talk about it all the time. But I am obsessed with warm yoga. Not hot yoga. Oh, warm yoga.

Tish Woods:

So tell us what's the difference between yoga, warm yoga and hot yoga.

Ellen Gustafson:

Well, I'm no expert, but the warm yoga is about 82 degrees. And it just really makes your muscles relax, you know, and you're able to be so much more flexible. And I have a three times a week more or less yoga practice that I've been doing for about five months. So no long track record here but obsessed with the the warm yoga because it's like being wrapped in a cocoon for an hour or an hour and a half. And you just really get a sweat and feel amazing after and a little shout out to my yoga studio @LoveStory yoga in Larkspur, my teacher, Jennifer. Amazing. Just throwing it out there for any Midsters that are thinking about yoga, check out the warm yoga.

Tish Woods:

I definitely the next time I'm out visiting you. I think I need to go out and try some of that warm yoga. I can't wait. Hot Yoga kind of scares me but I might even try that one day. Well, so as we were saying, our show today is if you're finding yourself in this new world of dating, okay, and a lot of our mister listeners are, honey, the rules have changed since you were 16 Oh, oh, in fact, throw that dating rule book out the window of your Pontiac TransAm while you are listening To the Bee Gees, playing how deep is your love? Because all those rules went out when that was popular.

Ellen Gustafson:

Way, way, way long ago.

Tish Woods:

So now that they're gone, and it's changed, what do we need to know? But we want you to know, we're gonna help navigate you through this minefield of dating, which seems to be really focused on a lot of this online dating.

Ellen Gustafson:

Yes, I think it's probably the way most of our ministers are dating these days, especially with the pandemic, and people having really been, you know, isolating more, but given this, what would be your first piece of advice? Tish?

Tish Woods:

Okay, so there's multiple dating apps out there, okay. And you need to find, I would say, two or three, that kind of work for you. Okay. There's everything from farmers only dating to Tinder to plenty of fish match.com. There's one that called our time Christian Mingle, even Facebook has its own part of a dating app. So there's so many but fine, I would say to maybe to start with maybe even three, and you want to go in and complete a very complete profile, with all the things that you really enjoy doing. Okay, because you want to meet somebody who has similar interests. So you really want to put all your interests out there? And can I really encourage you to use on filtered pictures. You don't want to have these glam shots that have been edited, and D wrinkled, and and all this crazy stuff to it. And then you go to meet somebody. And they're like, ah, that's not what I thought you look like. I'm going to encourage our ministers to put their real selves out there. Okay. And I do need to put a public service announcement warning. For some reason, guys think they have to have their obligatory selfie in a public restroom mirror. Don't be disarmed. Okay, bless their little hearts. They think this is sexy, or something. I don't know, someone needs to tell these guys. It's not sexy. But they all do it. I'm going to tell you right now.

Ellen Gustafson:

Well, seriously, a lot of these guys have no idea how to post a good picture, or a good profile. And don't even get me started with the people that have on sunglasses or a mask in their profile picture. So you can't even see who they are. But I'm just gonna put a few of my pet peeves out there. One is a guy holding a fish on a boat, that they love more than anything next to a car, like you need your car to impress me, or a bathroom selfie that's in their house that's messy. Or if they have no friends. Like if there's just four pictures of you that you took on your own by yourself. I'm thinking Hmm, so anyway, what do you think makes a good profile Tish?

Tish Woods:

Again, for me, I just when I do mine, okay, I just want to put all my different hobbies out there. Okay. So if you're a person who likes to go hiking, post pictures of you hiking, you want to attract somebody who likes to do that, too. So you can go and do those things together. It's going to help strike conversation. Now, I you know how I do the beekeeping? Well, I have actually put pictures of me holding bees in my profile. And man, it has been a really interesting conversation starter. For sure.

Ellen Gustafson:

I bet. Either people are attracted or they're like, No way.

Tish Woods:

Yeah, it's usually. Well, this I kind of look badass about it, right?

Ellen Gustafson:

All right, so we've selected two or three different dating apps, and we have a good profile. So now what are we doing?

Tish Woods:

Okay, so here comes in my second piece of advice. When you communicate with somebody, if you ask generic questions, like so, how's your day going? You're gonna get a generic answer back. Yeah, it's a good day. How's your day? So I want to remind our people who are just getting back into the dating pool, you are trying to connect with somebody you're trying to stand out from 1020 other people that are saying the same Same exact thing. So my second piece of advice would be to come up with a creative or unique question that you ask, that kind of makes you stand out, and kind of also shows your interest. So, for me, personally, I'm a very goal oriented person. So I may say something to somebody in, in terms of, well, in the next few months, I really want to get back into the gym, and really build up my core strength because I want to learn how to surf. Okay, and so I may say to them, so what is something that you want to learn or try? So I've kind of given a little piece of who I am, you know, chose active and kind of like, you know, I like to do new things. And I'm trying to find out, does that other person have those same type of things that they like to do? So that's what I put. So put a little piece of yourself out. But then also ask a question that goes along with it. I think that's, you know, really part of it. So it's a, it's a two part thing, you're sharing a piece of you, but you're also trying about a piece of them. Say you're somebody who's really passionate about traveling, ask them the question. Like, if you had a week to go travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? And I may, again, I'm asking them a question, but I'm gonna give them a piece of me. One of my things is, I would love to go and stay one in one of those glass igloos and watch the Northern Lights. So again, it's an ask and, uh, give, you know, part of it, too. So um, so you just, you're just you're finding out? Here's one of my interests, do you share that interest? That's what you're trying to come to?

Ellen Gustafson:

Well, just so our listeners know, you helped me get into the online world of dating. And really helped me understand this point of asking an interesting question, or finding something in someone's profile and being really, really real and authentic about, hey, I love that photo of you, in Napa. I live by Napa, what's your favorite winery? So really making it a little more personalized. And the other thing you and I talked about is just saying, What's the most interesting thing you did this weekend? To someone because that's really going to tell you a lot about them what they did what they find interesting. I mean, hey, how's the weather? You may as well just be like, so wipe in left, if you're asking those kinds of questions. Yeah, so those are a few things I've used?

Tish Woods:

Well, this kind of leads me to my third piece of advice. Stay out of pen pal world. So what I mean by that is, yes, you want to write back and forth to them initially, to see if you have some mutual interest between you. But don't let it go on and on and on for days and weeks and months. If your goal is to meet somebody, in person, alive, person, don't get trapped in that just communicating back and forth. So you want to do it a few times. And then you want to move that conversation to the phone. Now, I've had a lot of people who've been like, well, let's, let's chat on this app now. No, I don't go chatting from one app to another app. The next step for me is always on the phone. And if they don't want to do that, if they're not comfortable with that, that's where the journey ends for me. Because I'm a busy person, I don't really have time to waste. I don't want to stay in pen pal world. So my next step is I want to get into that phone conversation. You're going to hear inflections and people's voice, how easy are you to communicate and kind of going back and forth. So that part of it is so important. And it kind of leads me to a little funny story. So when my youngest son was very young, he was like in middle school at the time, he had a video game, and in order to get some extra bonus something or codes, he had to sign up for something. And doesn't he sign up for Christian Mingle, he has no idea of what Christian Mingle is that it's a dating site. And they asked him to write about himself and this kid fills this stuff out. But he uses my email address and the next thing I know, these women are telling me what an interesting profile and you sound like a fascinating man and I'm thinking he's in middle school, like you, like what's fascinating about middles like they have no idea that they're not talking to A grown man. So it really kind of made me aware like, you need to be able to have conversations with people. Now I have to tell you, I was a little tempted to ask those women to come over. And then I could take off and I had a free babysitter, but I did not. I did not do that. But we always tease him about being a non Christian Mingle when he was in middle school.

Ellen Gustafson:

Wow, playa, playa? Well, you know, the the goal is to form a connection. And I think it's, it's really good advice that you move to a conversation and see if you have some things in common. I think, you know, the conversation pieces is really important. And I had an experience to where I communicated back and forth when I was first doing this for almost two and a half months with someone until I realized he never had any intention to meet with me. I kept saying, hey, let's have a coffee, hey, let's have a coffee. And, you know, it just kind of went into the ether. But I realized that he's probably just forever wanting to have what I would see, as a pen pal, I didn't understand that. When I was first doing it, people put in their profiles, not looking for a pen pal. And because I think this is something that's really common.

Tish Woods:

So you spent two and a half months doing that. So you know, you know what I'm saying? You know that it can eat up a lot of your time. And if that's all that you need from it, that's fine, right? But just know what your end game is, you know, do you want to meet somebody in person? Don't stay in pen pal world if that's the case. Exactly. So, Ellen, so So now we're kind of getting to our fourth piece of advice. And this is one that I want you to share with us, because this is one that you do. And I loved this one.

Ellen Gustafson:

Yeah, I think that that limited time coffee date is the way to go. We have another friend who told me that she'll have coffee, she'll give 30 minutes, 30 minutes to anyone she finds interesting. And again, as a newbie, I thought, Wow, that's so interesting. She's really limiting it. But you know, that's what she said, one, you want them leaving more, if they're interested in you, or to some people will just talk your ear off, and you think you're having a great time, and it's gone on and on. And then, you know, really less is more, I had a coffee date that went on and on and never heard from the guy again. And after about an hour, I was thinking, where's the steak going? It's you know, it's really not going anywhere. And I'm sitting here, spending way too much time. So less is more.

Tish Woods:

I've had those to where I plan to meet for coffee. It's just been so delightful. We just stay and stay and stay. And then it's awkward leaving and then like you never hear from them. Because I think like it was there was no anticipation left. It was like you threw it all up on the table. And I don't know, maybe it's the chase. You know, I think guys always like that chase a little bit. But I like the idea of going into it, whether it's a phone call, or meeting in person to say, Hey, I've got something I've got to go to. It shows that you're a busy engaged person that you have stuff going on at you're not sitting by the phone waiting. And that you say, you know, I only have like 30 minutes, you can always say, Hey, let me just make a quick call. I think maybe I can buy us another 30 minutes if you really were engaged with it. But I think to stay with that limited first opportunity. Build that anticipation for the next time. I think that is a great tip for our tip number four. So tip number five, this is one I think is so important for women, I want you to stay in your comfort zone, I want you to go to somewhere where you are very comfortable in your environment. Okay, so um, I know when when my kids were much younger, and they would go and spend time with their dad, because I didn't have a ton of time to date when when I had, you know, all of them at home. And so I would do what I would call power dating. I would set up like kind of back to back dates. I mean, I know this sounds terrible, but I would do back to back dates at the same location that I felt comfortable it was near my house if somebody was a no show. It wasn't huge deal. But it was, there was one time I did this and don't I get the same waiter on the second day. And he looks at me and he looks at the date and he looks at me and he looks at the day and he looks at me he looks at the day, I thought, well, you don't blow my cover, don't you blow my cover?

Ellen Gustafson:

I love it. Well, as you know, as single moms, we have to make the most of the time that we have, especially when the kids were younger.

Tish Woods:

Absolutely. But I always liked going somewhere where I was comfortable, it helped me open up a little bit. I felt safe, you know, that type of thing. So I would say just, you know, stay in your comfort zone close to your home. You know, maybe not somewhere you're gonna run into everybody, you know, but so I think that, you know, it's really important as well.

Ellen Gustafson:

So I agree. I'm very much into the daytime coffee. Yes, kind of I love my coffee. Yeah, in my neighborhood, you know, or, I'm going on a walk. Sometimes I just do a walk down town in my town and then end up for the coffee. So I think those two are really good. The worst kind are like, let's see a movie or something like that, where you don't get a chance to talk, like, not overstate for me, no.

Tish Woods:

I won't do a movie first date because of The talking thing. You know, you want to be able to have a conversation. So definitely go for a coffee glass when something's you know, short. You know, I wouldn't do something that's going to take hours and hours.

Ellen Gustafson:

Right? Or for me, I had a potential date that kept pushing playing pickleball and I'm very new to pickleball and I just didn't see myself being able to get to know this person was stumbling and fumbling around a pickleball court sweating, you know, probably out of breath and I realized he probably wasn't the guy for me because he kept pushing pickleball on me and I was like dude, do you understand I've said coffee three times like not playing pickleball with you the first time I meet you so I think it can also tell you a little bit about someone as well.

Tish Woods:

Now, and I know you might have felt uncomfortable but I'm like okay with those dates that are active like that because I have actually done the pickleball dates and even if it's not a love connection you've gone out you've had fun it's you know just something new you know obviously you want somebody who's going to not try to kill you on the court or something but yeah, so I don't know I'm I'm I might disagree with you a little bit there. I like that active kind of date. pickleball court is like a safe location because there's going to be tons of people but um, so yeah, I don't know. That one I think is we might disagree on

Ellen Gustafson:

Okay, well now that we've covered your five great tips for online dating for mid stairs I want to hear and I'm sure listeners do too. The worst date you've had online dating?

Tish Woods:

oh the oh there's so many there's so many but I think it again I think the one that always comes to mind first and that this because that I did not do tip number three getting to know them over the phone. Well I didn't vet them over the phone like I should have and and talk to them. And the reason was like you'll get into like you were saying you have all these different things going on. And you're you're talking to them for months you wasted all this time. So I felt like the next time I'm like I'm getting to that date fast. I got to a too fast so I hadn't really talked to them on the phone enough it was very brief conversation. And they said hey, let's go to this diner for lunch and I'm like okay, I can do that. Oh dear. Oh dear. I learned my lesson that time

Ellen Gustafson:

ditchin now

Tish Woods:

So what had happened is we get to lunch and and again I first I need to qualify this with I don't need to make fun of anyone who has any type of thing that they are deal with medically or whatever, which he did. But he didn't tell me this and he starts to go in the middle of this diner, I'm like what is happening here? I was like looking around I at first I thought somebody dropped something around. I quick Do you realize he has some form of Tourette's?

Ellen Gustafson:

I see.

Tish Woods:

And again, it is a horrible affliction to live with. I absolutely understand that. So I don't want anyone to think I'm heartless. But he mentions nothing. And the more nervous he becomes, the more he's yelling, and whooping, and the entire Diner is staring at us. And I'm pretending I don't hear him doing this. It was very kind of comic, I just, I didn't know what to do. You know, I'm just one of these people. I don't want anyone to feel badly. So I didn't know what to say. So I said nothing. And it kept getting worse. And everybody's staring. And yeah, it was bad. It was bad.

Ellen Gustafson:

So how would you handle that differently? Would you?

Tish Woods:

Yeah, I have handled it so differently. I think I would have just gone right to the heart of the matter and say, Do you have something like, I think I would have asked point blank, right. And I would have said, Oh my gosh, I feel so bad. You know, like, hey, just relax. You know what, let's get her food to go, let's go sit at the park across the street and just talk and, and, you know, just get to know each other. I don't think I would have just ended the day. But it was the not talking about this huge elephant in the room. That I just didn't know what to deal with. But I think you know, having been more mature now and having I think I would have just dead on ask, Hey, you know, what's happening here? What's going on? Right. And it may have been a lot kinder way to deal with it.

Ellen Gustafson:

Yeah. broken the ice a little bit about it. I mean, I think we have so many funny stories. And so many of our friends have funny funny stories, too. And I think this is something that minster should share with each other, you know, it's, it's definitely a new place for a lot of us.

Tish Woods:

Absolutely, you know, there's going to be a lot of us in the dating pool, who have been in there, there's going to be some that are just joining the dating pool, you're going to have friends who need your support, you might be in a great marriage, but they need your support going through this. So you need to know what it's about out there. And it's a hot mess, I'm going to tell you right now, you got to have a thick skin, you got to approach it. Just make sure you're safe, you know, approach it safely. And if you have a bad feeling about somebody, listen to your gut, your gut knows it, just know and just end it don't show up. Whatever it is, you know, always go with your gut feeling. Please, please never give anyone any money. Never give anyone any money. And there's a lot of that going on out there. Just take it slow and have fun. One of the wisest piece of advice that I had had was actually from when I was growing up, I used to have to take to city buses to get to my high school in the city bus driver. He gave me the best piece of advice, I think ever. So we used to have to run from one bus to another. And in Buffalo, New York is where I grew up. It is cold in the middle of winter. So if we didn't run from one bus to the other, we would have to wait 10 to 15 minutes out in the bitter cold. And I mean, less than zero Windchill factors out there. So we could see our second boss sitting there. And we are running and running like crazy to get to it. And he seems to be waiting for us. And we are so excited. So he cracks the door open ever so slightly. And he says to us ladies, buses are like men don't chase one, because there's always another one coming. He closes the door leaves us out in the bitter cold and drives off. And you know what? That little piece of advice has stayed from me? Maybe I should say

Ellen Gustafson:

no, I can imagine what great advice right from an unexpected source and really appropriate for online dating because there are millions of men, women, everybody's out there, whatever it is you're interested in, ever. It's there for you. So I think in conclusion we're saying whether you're amidst her that's dating or you're amidst her that supporting some of your friends that are out there dating, whether in real life or online. Just help them and for you to you know keep your sense of humor about it. It's funny if you're if you have that added tude and you're light about it and you just see it as an evolution in a process. You can really have fun with it. Right?

Tish Woods:

Absolutely. That's the whole point of it. Go out and have fun. Don't get so tied up in expectations and what you expect. Just go and have fun. Yeah, that's what I would

Ellen Gustafson:

True. Well, I know this will not be our last episode on dating great Tish.

Tish Woods:

Oh, no, we've got some good ones planned.

Ellen Gustafson:

We do? ! Well, the Midsters podcast drops every Wednesday, we want you to become part of our tribe, the misters tribe. We'd like you to like, share and rate our podcast. Please give us some comments. Let us know what you'd like us to talk about. And until next time, have a great week. See you Tish...

Tish Woods:

Have a great week.