Meetcha at 8?

Let’s face it – dating strangers is awkward.

And with online dating, no matter how much emailing and messaging and e-flirting you do through the site it’s nothing compared to that first time you meet up “IRL” (In Real Life for the online dating-free.)  You know, when you agree to wear that blue sweater you love so much to make sure they’ll definitely know who you are when you see each other at the restaurant.  Then you sit down to dinner and within five minutes you know that this is absolutely not going to work.  But you suffer through the next ninety-minutes because you want to give it a try – see if it will work.  The site couldn’t be that wrong, could it?

When Jeff Taylor (the founder of monster.com) started his newest online endeavor, an online community for Baby Boomers called Eons, he was looking to create a space for people aged 40+ to chat, find folks to hang out with and really connect with.  On a platonic level.  Like Facebook for the generation.

But he quickly found that rather than just sharing gardening tips and catching up on the latest episode of Lost, his community members were using the site to meet – on a more than platonic level.  He knew he wanted to facilitate more dates for this awesome and unique segment of the population to find love…or at least someone to check out the latest summer blockbuster on Saturday night.

Enter meetcha.com, an online dating site for 40+ singles that is actually so much cooler than most other online dating sites.  Wherein those other sites focus on (again, let’s face it) painfully created and clumsy cookie cutter profiles and photos of only our best and email conversations focusing on tiny snippets of information extracted from a 100-word “About Me” this site is about singles events and acitivities.  As Jeff noted, it’s as if you are trying to choose from the best of the worst.

You know how you always wished that you would meet someone at a friends dinner party?  Or at a book signing for your favorite author?  Or out hiking on your favorite trail?  That’s the dream we all have, that we meet people with similar interests while we are out doing stuff.  People Out Doing Stuff.  PODS.  Flash PODing in Post Office Park and Deering Oakes Park and Hadlock Field (umm…Park?)

Oh, maybe that’s just the awesome way *I* spent my Saturday afternoon…

Yep, hanging out with PODSworth in 90 degree weather certainly gets you thinking, and it got me thinking that there’s gotta be something to this PODS dating style.  Not everyone can have a great first date off a site.  Heck, some can’t even get a good second or third one.  So an opportunity to take off some of that pressure by going out with like-minded people to do fun things and not have to force that awkward conversation.

Well, as Parks McKinney, one of my PODS-ey dancing comrades says “Is there really a GOOD way to meet people?” (PS – It’s important to note she’s speculating on the experiences on her friends, some brilliant person snagged her into wedded bliss years ago!)

There certainly might be something to the PODS.  And there definitely is something to single folks 40+ who are fabulous in their own rights and just want to find someone else who is just as fabulous.

Most importantly, there’s something to dating folks who share some common interests and having some fun with them and taking out the awkward pressure of the games and forcing it.

What do you think of PODS?  Would you be up for meeting someone special while out doing stuff you love?

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