Jeff Saville of Friendswood, Texas, like most sentient beings, found dating to be an anxiety-producing exercise. A particular challenge was selecting a look that conveyed fashion sense without trying too hard. In July 2019, Jeff was trying to dress for a date, and was at a loss over what to wear! Enter Jeff’s second-oldest daughter Carli, 19, who helped her dad eliminate some fashion choices via text message, settling on a pair of faded jeans and blue button-down. (His daughter reminded him to tuck the shirt in and add a belt to the ensemble.)
If Carli’s fashion advice would have sealed the deal, we’ll never know. Jeff, like many before him, threw caution to the wind and changed it up before walking out the door. In the meantime, his date canceled, letting him know she just wanted to be friends. Unbeknownst to Jeff, his daughter had shared their exchange on Twitter, complete with the glamour shots, amassing 168,000 likes, 6,000 retweets, and countless standby offers.
Dad I’d Like To Friend
With four daughters keeping an eye on him, Jeff’s must-haves in a mate are pretty standard. Of dating, he told Houston station KHOU, “You do want to get it right with that next person, especially when you’re at an older age and you don’t want to make a mistake again. And it’s kind of scary.” According to KHOU, the 56 year-old single father has been divorced for just three years after a 22-year marriage that produced his fashion guru Carli (19), oldest daughter Hannah (22), and two younger daughters Jade (16) and Mia (14).
Jeff’s story is so relatable that fans used Carli’s tweet as a means for matchmaking. Dozens of users shared photos of their single mothers, but most took the opportunity to boost Jeff’s confidence and add their own advice. @TravelerJared wrote, “Your dad is killing it either way! I hope he finds the right person!” @E_Kidd_88 suggested, “Mans looks fresh just drop the vertical stripes off the shirt and we good to roll.” Other users needed a follow up ASAP, like @savgoldstein, who pleaded, “will you please tell me how he is after being stood up i am too invested in this emotionally and i’m not ok :(“.
A Grand Plan
After the tweet went viral, Jeff briefly tried joining Twitter himself, but it seems he was overwhelmed as his page has since been taken down. No matter; Jeff seems to have a pretty healthy attitude about the whole deal. As he told Houston ABC 13, “I think there’s a grand plan in all of this. It’s pretty cool. It’s pure. It’s real. It’s good. I think we tend to put too much pressure on relationships. God doesn’t want us to do that.”
AARP has a site devoted to information and research on dating over 50. According to 2018 research, 20% of adults between 55-64 have used an online service to find a date. This percentage has nearly tripled since 2013 and doubled again since 2016. Because of the number and scope of the dating sites out there, there’s never been a better time to find love online, though it can be a confusing prospect even for the tech-savvy. A cottage industry of online-dating coaches has formed around the activity, some specifically for seniors looking for a little extra support.
But, as Jeff wisely notes, there’s no pressure. As fellow single guy @UncleChilliMan advised in reply to Carli’s tweet, “I can kinda relate to this. I’m 55 and lost my soulmate in 2011. I dated (even had a somewhat serious relationship) for bit and looking good was a real thing. Us blokes can stress over this stuff. Nowadays I’m happy just chillin’ with me and me dog.”
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