Senior dating advice from senior singles

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – July 13, 2018 Tom’s readers offer senior dating advice

Each week, I receive emails from Champs. Most of your emails land in my inbox on Fridays, after the eNewsletter is published earlier that day. A few more arrive on Saturdays and Sundays. The rest of the week, a few still trickle in.

Most emails contain comments that pertain to that week’s newsletter topic. But not always. There are times when a Champ just wants to vent. It could be about a relationship issue, or how hard it is at our age to meet someone compatible, or any number of topics that pertain to senior dating and relationships. Often, Champs seek advice or want opinions from other Champs. And sometimes senior dating advice from senior singles is given as well.

I try to respond to every email, but occasionally one falls through the cracks, which is why on occasion I review older emails, to see what I overlooked. This week I reviewed comments that have come in over the last three months. There were some interesting ones that I decided to share with you today.

So, in effect, it’s the Champs who are writing today’s newsletter; I’m just the editor (and I do add a comment or two). As I’ve often said, I am impressed with our Champs’ intelligence, experience, sensitivity and caring for other people.

 3 responses to the “Home alone with only dogs for company” newsletter

Helen wrote, “I was home alone with two cats before Phil came into my life. Now, there is an old dog and a bratty cat in our small family. The dog’s name is Rowdy! He’s a rescue from 2007, black and white, long-hair Chihuahua. but looks like a Papillion other than he has the short legs. And he lives up to his name!

“Thank goodness Phil is an animal lover. Otherwise he would not have been my ‘match.’”

Christine Baumgartner: “I think I started reading your column from the beginning. And I only sent you nice letters.”

Tom’s comment: Christine was referring to the women who asked, after reading my first column, “Who is this sniveling puke?” and “Get the boy a crying towel.”

Christine is right, she only sent nice letters; that’s the type of person she is and why she is such an accomplished relationship counselor. She has great empathy for people and has always contributed helpful, positive advice in a nice manner.

Gordon, an avid flyfisherman: “Enjoyed your newsletter this morning (“Home alone with only dogs for company”) and thought I would send you one impression of another writer; although I am not a writer for publication.

During the last two years of life with my wife, I too turned to writing as a therapy and escape from the burdens and emotions of care taking a loved one during her end of life. As I progress through the later years of life and evolve to being single, seeking a life-long partner, retired, and living alone, I have found some comfort at times to again write.

I continue to write letters, stories and journal entries of what life is and to later read them to see my emotions and feelings at that time. Not for publication, but for release from ill feeling, voicing joy of good times, and lessons to be learned.

For me, this is and has become therapy and lessons to learn by. As I look back and read what I was feeling at another time I can see how I was wrong, right, happy, or what made me not so happy.

“Yes, writing is therapy and continues today.”

Comment to Gordon: As a writer, I could not have said it better. By writing things down, you can look back and see—and understand—what and why you were feeling the way you were feeling at that time, and how your thinking has changed since then. Yes, writing is therapy.

                   3 Champs comment on downsizing

Jack of All Trades, “Pat’s letter (Pat Buttress column from two weeks ago) and her mother’s letter were very touching. Thanks for sharing them. An even bigger thanks to you for broaching the subject of senior downsizing. I can’t tell you how much distress this topic has caused me, and I am NOT downsizing.

The mere mention of the word (‘Have you thought of downsizing?’) implies that I am not living right and strikes me as critical. (Usually the people commenting have not downsized either).

My reasons for not wanting to downsize include that I can’t think of anything more depressing. I live in my house, struggle with arranging all the maintenance tasks that come up. I have no kids. And you know what? This house is my HOME and contains many reminders of good times. I have a close guy-friend, since being widowed— and he’s NOT trying to get me to ‘downsize.’

“Good to get this off my chest.”

Comment from Tom: I agree, senior downsizing may not be for everyone. But, I hope people who don’t want to downsize at least clean out the clutter. In Dana Point, there was a famous local writer named Doris Walker. In her later years, she acquired so much writing clutter, that the firemen were unable to save her and her husband from their burning home because of all the clutter in the way.

Bill, Dallas, Texas, “Regarding senior downsizing: I have found that if I take one section of the house at a time, I am better off than trying to do a lot at one time. For instance, it took me a week to clean out the garage and throw away boxes full of memories I had saved. I try to break up the process to give myself an emotional re-charge before starting on another section of the house. This is a time-consuming effort, besides being an emotional effort.”

Comment from Tom: Bill is a senior swimmer for the Masters of South Texas swim club, located in San Antonio. Bill went to a swim meet at Texas A&M last weekend. He said, “Had a pretty good meet. Won 4 individual events (50, 100, 200 and 400-meter freestyle) plus was on three winning relays. About the only good thing about being 81 is the lack of competition. The meet was in a 50-meter pool in College Station, Texas.”


 Members of the Masters of South Texas swim club. Tom’s brother Bill is in back row, right of center, next to tall guy, yellow t-shirt, just below Texas state flag. This is one of most accomplished seniors swim clubs in the world. Photo courtesy of Masters of South Texas

Bill and his relay teammates hold many world records for their age bracket. How do I know all this? Bill is my brother.

Terry and Daeng, “After 10 years together traveling back and forth twice a year between Thailand and the USA, we are downsizing and moving totally to Thailand. It is a very emotional time as we are going from a house I have lived in for over 20 years down to four suitcases. Well, maybe five suitcases and a 4″ shipping tube for some oil paintings that we are taking off the wood frames. I think what is helping is the old Amish teaching of “Less is better.”

                                      Where to look for love?

Where can I go to meet someone is the most difficult question I have no answer for (especially in Iowa)

Marcey emailed, “I just read a column you wrote in an Iowa magazine for over 50. I’m in Iowa for the summer, live in Florida, a widow for five years, 70, and thinking about enjoying a companion! Where do I start?”

Tom’s comment: I’m puzzled. I’m wondering how my column appeared in an Iowa magazine? I don’t write for any Iowa magazines. And then, there’s the Iowa part of Marcey’s question. I mean no disrespect for Iowa but have two recollections about the state of Iowa I wanted to share.

I remember when Andy Rooney did a CBS TV special, on April 20, 1976, called, “Andy Rooney Goes to Dinner,” which featured the finest restaurants across America. He added humor to his comments. In the special, Rooney said he included Iowa in his search for great restaurants, but, it ended up being a non-stop trip across the state. So, seeking a mate in fine-dining restaurants in Iowa isn’t recommended.

In the mid-1980s, I was selling specialized computer hardware and tendency-analysis software to athletic departments of major universities. I was fortunate to get appointments at both Iowa State University, located at Ames, and the University of Iowa, located in Iowa City. I got these appointments because of contacts I had within the Athletic Department at the University of Michigan, my alma mater.

I drove between Ames and Iowa City, 137 miles; it took a little over two hours. Driving those two hours, I was able to hear Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard sing “Poncho and Lefty” on the car radio 18 times by flipping around all the country stations on the dial. I didn’t listen to any talk show hosts discussing how to meet men on that trip because nearly all the stations were country.

So, I don’t know what to tell Marcey regarding where to meet a senior companion in Iowa. Maybe she should resume her search when she returns to Florida in the autumn, where there are a lot more, older single men than in Iowa. But, the problem is: there are also many, many more, older single women in Florida, so the ratio of single women to single men is very large there. What a dilemma: finding love in Iowa or finding love in Florida?

If Marcey is willing to get out and meet new people in Iowa, she just might meet a companion. Her chances may be better there than meeting a man in Florida. We never know where or when we’re going to find love. Be yourself, smile, have fun and Go Hawkeyes and Go Cyclones.

And to tie today’s eNewsletter together, we finish with Champ Doug, who ends today’s eNewsletter with comments and advice:

“I can’t thank you enough for your unstinting efforts to bring life and love after 50 to the 50-and-over set. I look forward to your message every week.

I’m closing in on my 80th birthday without a Serious Romance in the last twenty years or so, but I’m still enjoying the hunt and whatever other joys life may bring.

“For anyone out there who thinks they’re missing out on love, I have one bit of advice: Get a dog!”

Tom’s comment: In an amazing moment of timing, at the end of editing the newsletter, as I was reading Doug’s last sentence yesterday morning, a text arrived on my phone at that exact moment. It was from a friend of mine and his wife, both of whom I’ve known for 25 years. Tomorrow, they pick up their new dog in Arizona, a chocolate Lab. He sent me a photo of the litter; their dog, “Reggie the chocolate Lab,” is on the left. This picture will melt your heart. It did mine.


            Reggie is on the left. My friends Hawk and Tracy pick him up tomorrow

Author: tpblake

Tom Blake is a newspaper columnist in south Orange County, California. He has published four 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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