Has senior dating changed in 17 years?

ebook Widower Dating. Gold Mine or Mine Field?

            Has senior dating changed in 17 years?

On March 10, 2018, a rainy Saturday morning in Dana Point, California, I decided to go through some old files in my office. I am trying to determine whether to pursue a writing project I’ve pondered for three years, since I sold Tutor and Spunky’s, my Dana Point deli, and retired. More than three years later, the deli is still operating nicely, under the direction of the owner Jim, and his brother Shaun. Four of my long-term employees are still there.

I kept rough notes during the 25 years of operating the deli, and I’ve considered writing a history of Tutor and Spunky’s, tied in with the events that happened in South Orange County, California, and things that happened to me personally, during that time frame. To organize my material, I put each year, 1988 to 2015, into a separate folder.

When I reviewed the 2000 folder, I came across a letter dated December 20 of that year. The letter isn’t deli-related; it’s senior dating and relationship related.

In 2000, I was a columnist for The Orange County Register, writing a column called “Single Again.” The letter I found was written by a widower named Lawrence. As I read it, I started thinking that things may not have changed much in senior dating in 17 years. I share Lawrence’s letter of December 20, 2000, with you today, in March, 2018.

Lawrence wrote: “Dear Mr. Blake: A few comments from a man. Thank you for your interesting column.

“I am 75-years-young, lost my wife just over a year ago after 49 years of a happy marriage. In your recent column, one lady you quoted complained that men are focused on their dead wives. Of course, we can be, after 49 years, she was my soulmate, sweetheart, friend, lover, and an earth angel. A kind, wonderful, compassionate soul whom I miss very much.

“She told me before she passed away not to mope and grieve over her (easier said than done). I was never one to go to doctors, but I went three times in seven months this year. Through grieving, I just kept getting sick.

“She also told me to find a nice, compatible lady and maybe remarry to enjoy my last years and to not feel guilty about it.

“In the past months, I’ve been to senior centers and met many ladies and have found, to my chagrin, alack and alas, all the ones I’ve been attracted to are married – it seems all the senior nice girls are happily married – that’s why they are so nice. The unattached ones seem to have chips on their shoulders, or other emotional problems.

“Widower dating isn’t easy.”

Widower dating cover

Link to Tom’s ebook: Widower Dating. Gold Mine or Mine Field?

“Talking with other men, I found the men complain that there are not too many good, unattached ladies out there, that they either smoke, drink, lie a lot, a few are on drugs, and I have come to the conclusion—after hearing a lot of horror stories—that the only way to go is to find (if I can and it’s not easy) a compatible lady who is in the same situation as me, who lost a good hubby after many years of a happy marriage, and is looking for a good reliable man.

“Are there any such ladies out there? I’m ready to get acquainted. The legal beagles strongly advise, in such situations, if homes are paid for, pre-marriage agreements are a must, to protect family and grandchildren, and if one partner demurs and says no—don’t walk away–run!

“Any comments?”

                                  Tom’s take

I wondered what happened to him. The letter listed his address and phone number. I entered that information online and the results indicated he was still at the same location, same phone number, and is now 92. I called the number.

A woman, who sounded to be much younger than 92, answered the phone. It could have been his daughter. I explained that I am a newspaper columnist in Orange County, that I had a letter he had written in 2000, and asked if Lawrence was still doing okay and if he had met a compatible woman. She said, “Lawrence never remarried. He’s hard of hearing. Do you want to talk to him?”

I could hear her in the background trying to explain to him that I was a newspaper columnist in Orange County. I could tell he was confused.

Lawrence got on the phone. He explained he couldn’t hear very well so I tried to talk loud and slowly. There was static on the line; perhaps, caused by his hearing aid. He asked if I could write him a letter instead, which I did. Mailed it last Saturday.

I will let you know if I hear anything back.

I’m curious. Do widowers, or widows, in 2018, feel the same way about single members of the opposite sex, as Lawrence did in 2000?

Update, March 31, 2018: I did not get a letter back from Lawrence, so I guess I will not know how things worked out for him.

Author: Tom Blake

Tom Blake is a newspaper columnist in south Orange County, California. He has published five books. His primary topic is finding love after 50 and beyond, sometimes far beyond, for people 80 and older as well. He also blogs about travel at TravelAfter55.com.

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