Whatever the type, the signs of the professional single older man are fairly easy to spot. His approach will be direct but not cheesy. If you respond, the correspondence will be chatty, lively, and fairly interesting. He can spell reasonably well, and string words together, a novelty in itself. You will start to find things in common. After a slow start*, he is becoming flatteringly keen—keener than you are, but not to an alarming degree. You feel the first real tug of attraction.
Obviously some are con-artists, and dangerous in the extreme, and you would emerge poorer and wiser and possibly broken-hearted. The more charming, attractive and eligible someone is, the more wary you should be, but that adrenalin rush is addictive. Mr Right, especially when he confesses he has been around for a while yet never met the Right One, is not for catching. He can be fun, though, if you know the rules. The commonest types (well, on the website I watch) are:
- The Heathcliff, brooding, heartbroken, bravely carrying on after the loss of a dearly loved spouse, who has to be wooed and coaxed into talking about his pain and fights against his attraction to you.
- The Cad, who admits to several adventures in the past, warns you off, despite his great attraction to you. He says disarmingly that he’s never felt like this before, but his track record is dire, he knows the fault must be in him. Yet, with you, he feels different . . .
- The Waif, who loves too deeply and gets treated badly by women, and is almost afraid to trust but is drawn, despite himself, by your honesty and sincere nature.
- The Bluffer, who puts a bold face on life but under it all feels insecure and unsure and confesses he envies you your confidence and wonderful personality.
- The Married Man gets a surprising amount of action. He usually lists himself as single, but confesses early on that he is married and hanging in there for the children / grandchildren / his wife couldn’t cope alone. (Quite often he isn’t married at all, by the way. Very handy shield, and a way of juggling his diary to suit himself and run several women at once.) Women find him safe, and feel a little sorry for him, and he’s obviously attractive enough to at least one other woman. He often seems a little naïve, and asks for advice a lot. His seductions are often the most intense and if you’ll take my advice, don’t risk it. Those ones always seem to end up in tears. Choose another professional.
You’ll get stung somewhere along the way. Always gonna happen. Congratulations, it qualifies you as a semi-professional. Go try again. Do no harm.
I wrote a book a while back (Five Six Pick Up Sticks) about the predators lurking in the deep end of the singles pool. I have learned so much since then I might need to rewrite it. On the other hand, it is a lively novella about murder and deceit. These guys are all about love. No, honestly. Cross their hearts.
*you made the cut. They usually have four or five lines in the water at the same time. If you suddenly stop hearing from him, you didn’t make the cut. Don’t worry. Plenty more fish in this sea.