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Archive for the tag “Page Larkin”

Getting to first base…


Charlie hadn’t been on a date in decades.

His friends kidded him and said he was “Rich, retired and a great catch.”

He married his first wife right out of college – everyone was doing it – it had seemed like the right thing to do. Within two years, they realized the folly of their ways and quietly divorced. She moved back East and he buried himself in Grad school then Med School. The White Coat ceremony at Columbia was a defining day in his life.

He “First-Dated” a lot of nurses in Med School and rarely had a second date. On some level, he figured there was something wrong with himself and, like two of his uncles, rolled over and became a Confirmed Bachelor. His sisters, cousins, neighbors and office staff all tried to fix him up.

He became very well respected and famous in his own right. He had three cars in the garage at his Ralph Lauren ranch-style home on the outskirts of town. Single women made a bee-line for him at social events and he never took the bait. Always a gentleman, he slipped out of and skirted conversations that pertained to his social life and lack thereof.

Charlie was 62 when he met Chellie. She was a waitress and the Club and served him breakfast every Saturday. They bantered back and forth. It took a year before he realized how much the two had in common. They had read the same books, had seen the same movies (solo) enjoyed the same Country Western singers and were curious about opera. They were like two ships -and he was patently oblivious – until he woke up.

One day, Chellie told him about the Chihuly art opening at the university. It was free to the public – she was going- did he want to met her there? He had a Chihuly chandelier hanging in his entry way and readily agreed. They met at the gallery, spent two hours examining every inch of the exhibit. They had lunch in the school cafeteria and talked for another two hours. They spoke like two old friends. It was easy and comfortable. Totally out of character, he asked her to come over for dinner – they could create something together. Chellie, agreed – one if she could bring wine and dessert.

To say they made “beautiful dinner together,” only begins to describe how the two fell in love.

The two 60-somethings actually are living happily ever after. It happens.12552537_10153816436226063_4053098047250667699_n







EH? eHarmony and learning the ropes


Learning the Ropes on eHarmony. One man’s story:

Dear Page Larkin,

You suggested trying two online dating sites. Two weeks ago, I signed up for eHarmony. I paid $60 for a one-month trial.

I heard they ask hundreds of questions- and then present you with a Personality analysis (The Book of You) and dates! You mentioned they spend a lot of time listing your virtues and assets. I didn’t have that experience

Ouch! eHarmony hurts- like a fortune cookie

Not one to stand on ceremony, after carefully answering the first 50 questions, I whipped through next few hundred questions and posted those all-important pictures; I played 20 Questions – wrote the mini essays (My favorite books, my favorite movies, my favorite mentor, etc.) paid the big bucks, was ready to go.

 First off: EHarmony wrote a book about me… Called “The Book of Mike”

These are the actual opening remarks from EHarmony:

You know what, Mike? This entire paragraph could be written out completely using, “blah blah blah” but it doesn’t. You are keen and aware to notice that there’s a lot more here than just fluff. Let’s explore it!”

  • Your perspective is very colorful because of your curiosity too. You are Original, Bold,  and Out-of-touch.

The six-page synopsis of “Me” seemed to be in written by somebody just learning American English in New Delhi. “Blah-blah-blah?”

The clumsy writing- resembling fifth grader- was laughable. Except, I didn’t laugh. Being Bold, Cold, Quirky and Insensitive my humor had dissipated.

  • Do you carry sunshine in a bag when it rains? (What?)
  • You gather information from books.

In this barrage of nonsense, non-sequiturs, and poorly written parlance my very favorite line was   “Did your parents expect you’d be walking the streets of Hollywood?”

theme park sideshowFour words come to mind, “What are you smoking?”

eHarmony – the giant, should have a sophisticated computer like “Hal” with those highly touted 29 Dimensions and famous “algorithms.”

They claim responsibility for 542 marriages a day through its “scientific approach.” The questionnaire bored me (i.e. Are crows feet cute? Do you walk around naked? Does Chocolate fix everything?)

I waded through the babble – discounted all the inane comments and started reviewing all the “Perfect Matches” selected for me. I look at pictures, I am a guy.

Ten women were dazzling –I sent each a note and sat back and waited. And waited. Still waiting. Turns out five  of them are no longer on EH – go figure?

Never again – tough lesson learned,

Mike, 52, Single,  SF- with a big bag of sunshine



 Thanks, Mike!

Wish I could say your letter is the first I have received with this complaint. It’s not. Men and women have both ranted and raved about Corporate EH and the obvious ‘outsourcing babble’ they produce under the auspices of accurate information. Thank you for sharing.         Peace, Page



The Dating at 50 Game: Risk! Trivial Pursuit, Solitaire or Sorry?

golden-gate-bridge-534614__180The following letter is from K.Sarah-Sarah- 57, divorcee, small business owner who reports back on her Suddenly Single/ experience:

To: Page Larkin – The Dating Queen

From: K.Sarah-Sarah– my first loves on

Once Upon a Time: when I ventured onto I asked my friends, Who will I be? What will I say? What will I find? Who will come to me? Will he be handsome? Will he be rich? Here’s what they said to me: Que sera, sera whatever will be will be. The future’s not yours to see, que sera sera.

I didn’t believe them…what did they know? They were married.

And so I wrote a pretty hot –a tiny bit enhanced- I Am Single Hear Me Roar kind of profile laced with innuendo, wit and charm.

I put on my best smile. I posted five (count them: 5) photographs. Divulged a few curious yet cogent facts about moi. I was warm and I was vulnerable. I might have dipped in the braggadocio bag a bit.

Like everyone else, I sat back and waited for responses. And, so it began. First a flood – like a feeding frenzy –Attencione! New Woman on the Island! 

I received winks and Im’s and dozens of emails: long and short and sweet and strange- from every type, size, age, weight, birth sign, religion.

I met a few men

Some came with a lotta baggage – a few with small carry-ons. Some were marvelous and wonderful – a few  were “separated”  and merely playing the field; Others had pre-conceived notions –some with a lot of “notions.” It was right out of Dickens: best of times – worst of times.

After six months and dozens of dates – with some lovely, interesting, yet dead end men – so not so great… I gave it a rest.

Here I am – just as pretty and witty a wry – still a Party of One with No reservations…well, a few.

Hey, the Big Takeaway:

The online dating games like Chemistry, JDate,Match, etc – like the game of life: a little Risk, a dash of Trivial Pursuit, some Sorry, Solitaire, bit of Small World and a lotta Twilight Struggle…

Que sera, sera. Whatever will be will be. The future’s not ours to –  see ya!

 Love, K.Sarah Sarah

I’m still here (see Elaine Stritch)



Tell me your dating story:

Help! I forgot how to flirt with a woman

Chicks7How can I tell she is flirting with me?

Dear Page Larkin,

I used to be a really good flirt – a long time ago. I’ve lost all my “moves.” I haven’t been on a date in 25 years. I have no clue if a woman is “OK” with me –if she likes me- or if she is just tolerating me.  Help! How do I know if a woman is flirting back?  

Marina Man – Out of Touch  

Dear Marina Man ,

Welcome back to the Dating Game – as much as dating and flirting  has changed in 25 years – it remains the same. Remember these threes cues: Ask questions. Listen. Pay attention.  

If a woman is interested in you she will smile and make eye contact with you. She will laugh at your jokes. She might ask for help with something.

She may touch you on the arm; and, she may play with her hair or clothing or an object – all the while smiling at you.

Some flirtatious women will ask to see your hand – and will cleverly read your palm.

Yes, She may even whisper something in your ear. Or, she may give you compliment.   Listen. If she is interested in you she will say your name. And, you will return the compliment by saying her name, smiling at her, looking her in the eye.

After a date, if she is flirting and interested, she will always say that she would like to see you again.

That’s flirting! Jump in the water is fine.  



Tell me your Flirting fun or Failure story:

Dating 101: Winking, Blinking, Kissing on the first date

perfect match__180

This week brings questions about Online Dating at 50+ and all that winking, blinking and getting along.

Send your “Single at 50” queries to

 Dear Page Larkin

I am 56, divorced for six years, and trying  online dating. I did everything you said (posted three recent photos, wrote my short and sweet profile, and enrolled in two different dating sites- OkCupid and Eharmony) and all I get are “winks.”

You said winks at the lowest form of communication. You’re right! Please  Tell men everywhere women hate winks. Don’t send me a stupid icon without a single word. My advice: just write one lousy sentence There, I feel better!

Linda in Las Vegas

Dear Linda in Las Vegas,

Thanks for voicing the opinion of many of us. Every week, I get tweets, texts, and lengthy e-mails echoing your same sentiment. Point well taken.

Peace and love, Page

 Hey, Page

I met a wonderful guy on Eharmony two months ago. He posted a photo of himself wearing a lampshade. Who can resist a photo like that? We skipped tedious questionnaires and spoke on the phone. Before our date, I Googled him and found him to be “as advertised.” We met at the Ferry Building, walked around for an hour and took the Sausalito ferry. We had lunch, split the bill; we walked and talked. He hugged and kissed me goodbye and I never heard from him again. I e-mailed him once, no response. Was it me?

Down and Out in Burlingame

Hey Down and out in Burlingame,

No,  it wasn’t you. You failed to mention if there was chemistry, heat, or mutual attraction. Good Manners dictate that a person thank the other for the date.  There is an unwritten “law” that – after a first date- two people make plans for future date or bow out, with a polite “It was nice meeting you, we are not at match.” You dodged a bullet. Truth be told: He is just not that into you. Say, “Next!”

Peace and love, Page

Hey, Larkin,

I sent out 25 e-mails on and not one woman responded. My message was cute and flirty and I thought it was really good. What’s up with women today? Is everyone stuck up?

Wonky in Woodside 

Hey Ronnie in the Marina

Remember: spell check is your best friend. Take the time to write a message that is coherent, interesting, and logical. Sometimes our efforts to be clever and sarcastic can be misconstrued. Try, try again.

Peace and love, Page

Dear Page,

My feelings are hurt. I enthusiastically signed up for the seven-day free trial. No one writes back to me! I am a Georgia peach: 56, 5’6. athletic, smart, cute and fun to be with. I sent out 15 “winks” to all the cutest guys within 50-miles of Atlanta. Not one man responded. Help!

Ashley at Tara

Dear Ashley at Tara,

Good for you for getting out there and trying. Let’s recalibrate: erase all thoughts of “winking” at men. (See above) It’s a lost cause looked down upon by thousands.

First, create a short introduction linking you to an attractive man: “I enjoyed reading your profile; especially the comment about… We both like… Please read my profile and if anything resonates, please get back to me. Thanks.“  Or, write a simple  Comment on one of their photographs…

“Manners on” are a source of much consternation amongst men and women.

The First Rule of online Dating: Respond to all notes, quotes, lines,  queries with at least: “Thanks for contacting me…good luck in your pursuits”

Good luck, Page



Free: Top 5 really rude dating mistakes

photo_21523_20120317There are too many horror stories about rude online dating behavior

Feeling clueless? Need to brush up on your dating etiquette? Take a hint:

 Page Larkin’s Top 5  Online Dating Etiquette Tips:

1.) Respond, sil vous plait or, You talkin to me?   The biggest complaint heard from online daters is about the lack of response. Hey kids, here’s the rule: if somebody takes the time to drop you a polite email of interest – you have a responsibility to answer back.   (Note: If the message is wacky, bizarre or peculiar- or the person sending it appears to be all of the above, you need not reply- simply delete and move on.)

However, new dater, if you receive an email from someone – okay, maybe not your ideal mate – maybe not even close – but he or she took the time to write.  Your job? Write back. Not a tome – not a poem – a simple message along the lines of, “Thanks, we are not a match – good luck in your pursuits.”  That’s all. Simple and sweet.

who is lyin?

2.) BehaveCan You Please Say, Thank You?   The men have spoken and complain loudly and frequently that some women barely utter a “Thanks” after a date. Hello, ladies? Are you Ms Manners or missed manners?

3.) Hit-and-Run   Knowing full well that online dating is truly a numbers game, (See Catch and Release in the Coy pond) there are some who send out a dozen “winks” every day.

Exit Sign

What is a wink? A wink is the lowest form of online social connection. It requires little time or effort.  It involves the wannabe dater to click a tiny icon, which sends a message to the recipient, indicating absolutely no effort made. How popular is a wink? Many online dating profiles start with, “No winks, please.”  Translated: “Come on, and make the effort to write at least one cogent sentence.”

4.) Talk, Talk, Talk – The Biggest Buzz-kill.   Okay, so you are fascinating and you don’t mind telling everyone. The non-stop talker is the biggest buzz-kill on a first date? Yes, it is okay to be nervous. It’s okay to be chatty. It’s a mortal sin to blather on and neglect asking questions. Save the monologue for a Stand-Up Routine.

5.) The Houdini Disappearing Act: Pouf!  They are gone.   So you‘ve exchanged a half-dozen emails – you share many of the same “likes,” and  seem to have a little chemistry- and boom! They are gone. Not a word: text-email-note-nada.

What’s up with that? Did their spouse find them playing on the computer – with you?  You wonder if the other person is a  player?  Or just plain rude. If, at any juncture, the chemistry isn’t there – politely bow out of the conversation with a well meaning, “Thanks for the conversation, enjoyed it and wish you all the best.”

Can’t we all just get along? Be nice. According to Greater Good in Berkeley – being kind –(polite) – will make you happy.

“Be polite; write diplomatically; even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.”  Otto Von Bismarck

Don’t miss a single Page Larkin column- double click-click  the Subscribe button



And,no selfies, Binkie

What is the best online dating company?

Today’s column is all about “The Best.” 

Is there one single dating site that is better than another? Depends- are you Christian, a cowboy or a playboy, a Geek, an Apple fan boy, a gold miner or a gold digger? There is a site for everyone.

Best Advice: Buyer Beware.

Dear Page,
Help! I just looked. There are dozens of on line dating companies to choose from. In your research, what is the best online dating site?
Paulie boy

Dear Paulie boy,
The best dating site? My opinion changes like the weather in San Francisco – constantly. Let’s see, recently,  I opined that the best online dating site is JDate Why?  Because yesterday, Maureen, a devout Irish Catholic, told me she had the very best success( Romance!)  on the famed Jewish dating site.  Maureen reminds me that JDate has a very pro-active marketing team ( read: Pushy) who are forever sending their clientele suggestions, updates, and pointers on succeeding at dating.

Granted, JDate is like those kids at the high school dances that kept pushing  you on the dance floor. A little awkward in the beginning – and then, voila, you’re dancing.

Anyway, Maureen (“Be Gentile with me”) revealed that she met the love of her life on Jdate –  as fate would have it, her new beau, Sean, is also Catholic (claims he is a “collapsed Catholic”) and yes, they met on the Jewish dating site.

Perfect Match is a lot like flypaper – express an interest in them once and they swarm you with emails. Tread lightly.

Both and are’s more expensive step-sisters. Exactly the same as Match with a twist and a turn here and there it makes for a good change of pace. If you get bored by Match – quit. Dabble in a new site. You can always go back to Match.

MillionaireMatch – Be careful out there- if it is too good to be true – (See: Two Worst Dating Sites)

Is EHarmony a waste of time and money?

There are some (read: thousands) who are totally seduced by the wonderful television campaign ads touting the magic of EHarmony.  Others will tell you it takes forever to fill out the 50-plus pages of mind-numbing questions and that the results are glacially slow. Really, really slow. And, other people say they been extremely happy with the pace and the product of EHarmony. Your call.  See EHarmony: like the titanic or a kayak?

Double Dipping: Try Two Dating Sites at Once?

Dr Diane Kirschner, the lively and popular author of Love in 90 Days suggests signing up on two different sites – concurrently. You might want to try a free site and sign up for a “reputable” site.

Plenty of Fish and OK Cupid are  famous, fast, and free – and, it has been said, you get what you pay for. It is a fun and easy way to test the waters. Take a look. (See:  Say OK to OK Cupid)

Got Class?

Another reader is a total cheerleader for – she re-connected with a high school acquaintance and they are now in a happily-ever-after chapter of their lives. is a veritable gold mine of opportunities for meeting people with interests that match yours: hiking, biking, wine tasting, art, spelunking – there are groups for every taste, interest and persuasion.  Take the  time to plug in your zip code and interests. Every day, there are dozens of events  in the the Bay Area to choose from.

Go out and have some fun!unnamed
What About Craigslist?  See: New to Online Dating

See  HERE:  Craigslist 

How is that working for you? Tell me:

Summer Reading: Marry whom? Him? Why not Settle?

Settle down.

The red-hot book,

Marry Him, The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough

has been flying out of bookstores since it was published – causing a stir and consternation.

Author Lori Gottlieb is a controversial marketing genius.        

First, there was the well-timed flurry of Valentine’s Day book promotions, appearances on myriad television talk shows, guest column slots, and a drag- out marketing campaign, which catapulted the author into the SEO stratosphere.

Called “wise and daring” and “brutally honest,” Marry Him is a surefire bestseller because of the controversy it leaves in its wake. It all started in February 2008, when Gottlieb wrote ‘the article’ for The Atlantic.

The scathing piece, the basis for the book, was considered by many as caustic, heartless and derisive. Nothing like an effective literary attention getting device to garner great ratings.

Best Marketing Ploy for Book Sales: Controversy. Granted, women have strong and heartfelt beliefs about:

1) Marriage

2) Marrying beneath oneself (what does that  even mean?) and

3) Perhaps – choosing to remain single.

The topics are very personal and scalding hot. Does Marry Him instruct us to discard our standards, ideals, and our precious Top 10 Qualities List?

Do we merely ‘settle’ for the next guy, with a pulse, who darkens our doorstep?  I think not. But, men and women need to be open –  way open – 24 -hours a day open.

photo_7840_20081106(1)love small

I Could Have Been a Contender

Bo Derek was a “10” in the 1970’s…  Perhaps you were, too… in the 70’s.

You do the math– numbers change…bodies change and attitudes do, too. Now we are more mature, evolved, and we evaluate people less superficially- don’t we? No, Binkie, you cannot know in the first  3-minutes of a coffee date if the guy is “a keeper,” slow down and smell the coffee.

Gottlieb makes a sobering point in the  magazine article about women and all the various “dating things” we do wrong.

Many of us were raised on stories about Cinderella, Prince Charming, Wolf Ranges, white picket fences and Volvos. Some of us bought into the fairy tale and elevated ourselves high atop lofty (lonely)  princess pedestals.

Sky high, self esteem puts one just beyond the reach of really great guys. Whoops! Time to climb down, sister,  Get real, and be open.

Marry Him is smart summer reading. You want to get attention on the beach or by the pool? Walk around with this  book – see what happens.

You’ll see: the book is rife with very cogent points; chances are you’ll open your eyes, blink, and shake your head in disbelief. And, in total agreement.

All I know: Life is all about compromise, and at this stage of the game (50-something) we know that compromise is the panacea of life.

The best relationships are all about give and take. Right?

Remember: Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes. And he knows it. woman

Dating at 50 – Book of the Month selection- quick step to love

Moon.. spoon …June

Instant gratification and romance in 90 days? Yes!

On your mark, get your calendar out, get set for your autumn romance.

The best selling book, “Love in 90 Days,says 13 lucky weeks is all you need to meet the man of your dreams.

The much talked about, how- to- book, continues to fly off the shelves of bookstores …and a copy seems to be on the coffee tables and reference material for many of my friends.

Author Dr.Diana Kirschner, a true calendar girl, urges you to block out the next 90 days to successfully find your soul mate and true North. Her book is filled with myriad goal setting exercises, affirmations, techniques and tips for women to attract their heart mate.

Are you a Studfinder?

The author gives a whole new meaning to a ‘stud finder’ as she advises looking for “Studs” (seriously terrifically utterly desirable dudes) and avoiding ‘Duds’ (definitely unworkable dudes).

Since Adam and Eve and that pesky snake,  there have been romantic and seductive schemes, plots and plans levied by both sexes. It has to be challenging to come up with new ideas. Enter Dr Diane. Some may take special umbrage at a few of the exercises, like the novel suggestion to date three different men at one time.

Three men at once?  Seriously? I call this a ‘manage a trois.’    Managing to date three men, concurrently, sounds vaguely like juggling babies: you must be very discreet, delicate and focused. Then you say, “What was I thinking?”

Advice: Take it all with a grain of salt…and a shot to Tequila?

Be forewarned: this compendium of counseling has more buzzwords than a month of Dr Phil shows. However, Dr. Diana is no Dr. Phil, thank heaven she is not another Dr. Laura.

Kirshner is a lot more fun, creative and  “Love in 90 Days” is replete with pages of heart-filled ideas and exercises. Hey, you’ve got 90 days – go for it!

“Women desire men’s desire of them.” Freud

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