Dinner With Cupid

Blind date: ‘A former “girlfriend” said I had to do it. The idea seemed nuts and thus totally appropriate’

Will this seventysomething pair show the millennial set how dating is done?

Sharon Cohen and Rob Manoff

SHARON COHEN: 71 / part-time consultant / tutor / board member

Her perfect saturday: Ice cream and wine and stars

What makes her a catch: Low-maintenance and high-energy


ROB MANOFF: 73 / journalist / retired college professor

What makes him a catch: Empathy, sense of humor, and intelligence

His perfect date: A weekend in Paris



Sharon [I signed up] to have adventure and maybe find love for my third act.


Rob A former “girlfriend” said I had to do it. The idea seemed nuts and thus totally appropriate. Besides, I’m a journalist and who better to trust with my love life than fellow scribes?

Sharon I watched the Wisconsin-Michigan football game, bench-pressed at Healthworks; e-mailed my daughter.

Rob I e-shopped three pairs of pants, but they were a bust. In the end I stuck with my lucky pants, and they didn’t fail me.

Sharon I was early. I went to the bathroom to do [the] girly thing: pinch my cheeks for a little natural blush.

Rob I briefly considered escape scenarios but decided to master my demons and show up instead. I locked eyes with a pretty woman. Her eyes said smart. Self-possessed. A tentative, knowing smile.


Sharon Handsome face. I got a great positive vibe, a warm smile.

Rob She apologized for keeping me waiting — said she’d taken refuge in the ladies room! A blurted-out one-liner that signaled she’s for real.


Sharon We were 40 years older than everyone in the room. Where in the world would we begin? Should we exchange CVs and go from there? We didn’t.

Rob We got each other pretty quickly; and isn’t the experience of being gotten about the best there is?

Sharon It’s a small-plate concept and somehow I ended up picking; I ate at least three-quarters of the food.

Rob Food? What food?

Sharon [We had so much in common], I was surprised I hadn’t met him.

Rob We’ve both spent years working on human rights or democratization or peace — a measure of shared values.


Sharon It was about three hours, and we’d talked so much and listened intently.

Rob We agreed instinctively to call it a night — and also to see each other again. It was just in the air.

Sharon I went in for a hug and he said: “A kiss, too.” And, Dear Reader, the rest is personal.

Rob We walked off into the night, parting to go our separate ways. But not for long.


Sharon We are.

Rob We’re setting up date number three!

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Sharon / A

Rob / A  

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