On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – April 5, 2019
by Columnist Tom Blake
Columnist Tom Blake gives blunt advice for a lonely widower
A 75-year-old Champ is a lonely widower of two years. He emailed me last week seeking dating advice. This is the third time he has written me.
In January, he asked if I thought he had a chance for a relationship with a widow of nine years, to whom he’d been introduced by friends at church. She was 65 and he wondered if the 10-year age difference might matter to her. I told him that it shouldn’t, unless she had a fear of suffering another loss.
He also said she told him she had no interest in being romantically involved. He hoped if he accepted her “no romance” position, she might change once she got to know him. I told him to be patient.
They had six dates in six weeks. She told him she didn’t have the energy to go out more than once per week. Despite her “no relationship wanted” type of statements, he stated, “I really want to be with this woman.”
When he sent her flowers on Valentine’s Day, she telephoned him in tears, and broke off the relationship by saying, “‘This is what I was afraid of, I can’t do this anymore. We can still be friends, I’ll see you around at church. Goodbye.”
My impression was, he was trying too hard, probably out of loneliness and desperately wanting a mate. After all, loneliness can cloud thinking.
Two months passed. Three weeks ago, he emailed again, “I’m embarrassed, I went back on Dating site OurTime. I found a lovely Christian lady several states from me, 845 miles away, although I didn’t want a long-distance relationship.
“She is a three-year widow, about my age. First, we messaged on the OurTime website, as OurTime tells you to do. Then, we graduated to texting via phone. Now we talk on the phone most every evening.”
All seemed to be going well…until this info surfaced
He continued, “She has confessed she was scammed last year for over $190,000. She had to file for chapter 7 and get an equity loan on her home. I was taken back. Red flags went up in my mind.
“I don’t feel she is trying to scam me. She hasn’t asked for money. She said most things have been settled with her lawyer and she will be fine except she will have to pay back, over the next 10 years, a $11,000 equity loan.
“The thing that nags at me: why is she still on a dating website after being scammed?
“I have invited her to visit me this June so we can get to see each other. I will supply the round-trip ticket money so she can make the trip.
“We have been communicating three weeks and neither one of us have mentioned feelings for each other, other than wanting to get to know each other more. I don’t have feelings for her–I like her but I’m not about to get crazy about her–until I spend time with her.
“Do you think I am making a mistake here? Do you see any red flags I’m missing because my heart is involved?
I responded: “Don’t be embarrassed about online dating. But be careful. You asked for my opinion. I am going to be blunt; I don’t want you to get scammed. Loneliness is causing you to not think clearly. Yes, I see red flags.
After only three weeks, you say your heart is involved. That’s foolish. You are falling in love or are at least infatuated with an image, not a real person. Until people meet face-to-face, they can’t have realistic feelings for each other, only imaginary feelings. Have you talked on Skype, where you see her?
Also, again in just three weeks, you are already offering to send her money.
June is a long way off. If you want to see her, why don’t you visit her soon? Do not send this person money for a round-trip ticket. The next thing you might hear from her is, “I’m stuck at the airport (see airport below). I had to change my ticket. Can you send me another $1,000? I will pay you when I see you.”
This may be the airport from which she would be flying
I think you are slowly being reeled into a scam. You even admitted that you suspect that.
Please read the reviews about OurTime on Consumer Affairs.com:
You will notice that similar scams have happened to many, many people posting to Consumer Affairs. Scams happen to men as well as women.
“And finally, do you want a long-distance relationship with a woman so far away? Take a deep breath. Find a nice woman near you. Maybe even another church woman sitting in a different pew than the woman you met there in January. Don’t be so eager.”
He replied, “Please ask Champs for their opinions.”
Part 2 – Regarding seniors saving money
Ellen, “Incredible article last week on ‘cutting the cord.’ Keep sending those money-saving tips!”
Joel, “Outstanding compilation of useful info… maybe you should start blogging about bargains for seniors. Many of us don’t have time to shop around the maze of information.
If you do more on this topic, check out ordering from Google Express (free delivery from many stores if you buy enough) or Walmart (some free delivery, free pickup). I am buying all my groceries this way because of price, selection and ease of shopping/buying. Won’t suit those who like to touch before they buy, but it works for me since I know exactly what I want, most of the time.
Comment to Joel from Tom: “I enjoy buying groceries in person because it gets me out into the world to chat and interact with people. As we age, and we don’t get out as often as we used to, having social interaction with people is essential for our mental well-being.
Virginia, “Prescription information, another new scam? Several seniors I know have found their prescriptions are shorted by 2 to 5 pills per bottle, and it’s apparently not an error or a coincidence. Please advise our Champs to take time to count the pills on each prescription as soon as they get them (particularly from CVS). If short, call back the pharmacy immediately and report it (or return in person and report it).
“Gone are the ‘Mayberry Days.’ tsk.”
Note from the publisher: Tom’s article on this topic appeared in: