Senior woman is afraid to say “I Love You” to her man

 On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter –  March 26, 2020

by Columnist Tom Blake

                                  Senior   Woman is afraid to say “I Love You” to her man

 (Today’s column has been edited for length and clarity. Names have been changed at woman’s request).

Is Champ Corrine overthinking her relationship? Did she put unnecessary pressure on her new man friend? Here’s her story.

Corrine wrote, “I was married for 24 years (1st and only marriage) and divorced in January 2018 at age 63. Six months after the divorce I decided to go online (OurTIme). 

“I couldn’t believe my luck. Within three months, I met two men face to face, both on the same day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Both men were very nice; but I enjoyed meeting Richard more, the afternoon date.

“We immediately started dating and were committed to each other rather quickly. He had been in a 15-year relationship and was anxious to meet another woman. We were exclusive in that neither he nor I saw anyone else and spent every weekend together. We lived about 25 minutes by car from each other.

“We got along fabulously. We had some differences, but nothing so significant that it would be a relationship deal-breaker. We played golf and pickleball, went to movies, cooked together and, did things around the house. After nine months we talked about a future together with the possibility that he would rent out his house and move into mine.

“On June 2, 2019,  I was supposed to go to his home for dinner, but was tired and didn’t go. I called and texted but no response. I figured he was upset with me and I didn’t think too much more about his not calling back. On June 4, I received a phone call. Richard had suffered a massive heart attack and died. My world was shattered. This lovely, beautiful man was taken too early from us. He was 68; I was 64.

“I mourned and grieved and did not go back online for nine months. Then Covid hit. I messaged a few men, but no long-lasting connections were made. 

“In July of 2020, I met Tony, We hit it off instantly, even during Covid. We have been in an exclusive relationship for eight months. He lives a half-hour away. Tony is a beautiful man, inside and out. He was married three times and in each case, he left his wives. He has also lived with a few women and I believe he left them as well. When Tony becomes ‘unhappy’ he leaves, but he says he always tried to work it out first.”

Tom’s comment: Might Tony’s track record of leaving relationships be a red flag, although Corrine feels he’s a beautiful man?

Corrine continued, “We spend every weekend together. We have so much in common. We love to dance, discuss politics, play golf, pickleball, and even take bubble baths together.

Couples who dance together, often make great partners
                                                                 photo by Tom in Madrid

I laugh as I have never laughed before. We have an intimate relationship and you would never know I am 65 and he is 71. We act and play like we are 35. So one might be asking, ‘What is the problem?’ I love Tony very much. I believe he is my soulmate. I don’t tell him that because I don’t want to scare him or put undue pressure on him. 

She wants a life partner

“However, not long ago, I did say to Tony, “I want a life partner. Not marriage, but a  partner to spend the rest of my life with.” 

“He shocked me by saying: ‘I don’t know if I am that life partner for you.’ 

He indicated that with his track record, he was surprised I would even want him for my life partner. He said he now feels some pressure in the relationship. I can’t imagine ever being happier with another man and quite frankly can’t believe he could be happier with another woman.”

Tom’s comment: Can Tony be happy with any woman? He’s bailed on three wives and “a few other women.” That’s another red flag.

Corrine added, “I didn’t mean that we should move in with each other. What I was trying to convey is if things continue to be this good, I would love to have him in my life as we enter the final chapter of our lives. 

I then made a mistake by saying, ‘I hope you are not wasting my time,’ which of course, created more pressure on him. The following day, I felt so bad, I told him he is not wasting my time, that every minute, every day, that I spend with him, is glorious and I am happy for whatever time we have with each other.

Tom’s comment: The words: “I hope you aren’t wasting my time” were a poor choice by Corrine. Who knows what thoughts those words put into Tony’s head.

Corrine resumed, “My worry: Will he leave me and run because of what I said? Some friends think I should be grateful for this beautiful man and enjoy today and be thankful for the moment and not worry about tomorrow. Others feel I was being true to myself and simply telling him my expectations. I don’t want to lose him. Did I screw it up, by discussing my desire for a life partner?

“A couple of months later, things are still very good between us. I do not bring up my ‘life partner’ comment nor marriage (which I don’t necessarily want or need).

“I’m afraid to tell him I love him but do say, ‘I adore you.’ He says the same to me. I just somehow wish I knew we will be together in the years ahead. I know there are no guarantees in life, even when you are married, but I just feel somewhat insecure, which is not typically like me! 

“I want to make plans and talk about the future. AND NOT JUST ABOUT NEXT WEEKEND.”

What do you Champs think?

Senior dating eNewsletter: keeping it fresh

 On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter –  March 19, 2021

by columnist Thomas P Blake

                                       Senior dating eNewsletter: keeping it fresh

The pandemic has made producing this weekly On Live and Love after eNewsletter a challenge. The reason? Many Champs—not all—have hunkered down in their homes and haven’t gotten out of the house as much as they would have during normal times.

Hence, they have less to say about life and love after 50. The stories, experiences, questions, and comments from Champs have slowed to a trickle.

Champs are the voices of people age 50 and beyond—often far beyond. We’ve got subscribers in their 90s. And at the other end of the age spectrum, we’ve got Champs in their 40s.

(The latter are mostly women who are dating considerably older men. These women often take issue with me, claiming that I infer they only want the old guy’s money. They say, “I’m with him because I love him.” I roll my eyes.)

There are weeks when I say to Greta, “I have no idea what the hell I’m going to write about this week.” I ask myself, “Why do I continue writing these eNewsletters? Why do I keep hammering them out after 26 years, having inked more than 4,000 articles?”

(That total is a combination of newsletters and newspaper articles)

Greta says, “You do it because you love it, you are helping people, and it’s good for your brain and helps keep you young.”

And then an email arrives from a Champ that rekindles my enthusiasm. In this week’s case, the email came from Patrick Hynes, a Champ I’ve known for more than 40 years. We’ve mentioned Patrick a few times in our articles. He and I worked for the restaurant chain Victoria Station in the 1970s. We did not know each other then, but have resurrected so many memories it seems like we did.

Patrick is an interesting man; he loves to write. For about six months, he’s been publishing a short blog titled “Patrick’s Brief Encounters…Snippets of my life in America.” He is a native of Australia.

At Tutor and Spunky’s Deli Meet and Greet: Tom, deli owner Samantha, and Patrick  (photo by Tom)

For a few years, Patrick was a public relations executive for the Anaheim Hilton Hotel, near Disneyland. In that capacity, he met several VIPs: Mohammed Ali, Joe DiMaggio, Charlton Heston, to name a few. And that’s what he writes about, those brief encounters with famous folks, including photos. He’s written 31 “Brief Encounters.”

In his email this week, Patrick’s said: “I am running out of steam with my ‘brief encounters’ blog…and I’m anxious to move on to a new theme.”

I wrote back, “What? Out of steam after only six months?” And yet, I understood. It’s tough to keep writing fresh material without inputs from readers.

Patrick added, “I am blown away with your longevity (26 years) and fresh eNewsletters and columns. I feel honored to have been mentioned in some of them.”

Patrick’s comment gave me a shot in the arm (not to be confused with Greta’s and my Covid dose #2, which we received two weeks ago), a boost to my morale, and a recommitment to keep producing these weekly eNewsletters.

Patrick’s comment was from a person who understands and appreciates the challenges of keeping a blog/eNewsletter or newspaper column fresh. A little appreciation goes a long way.

                                  Our Champ Patrick Hynes

People ask, “How many Champs receive this weekly eNewsletter?” I send out approximately 2,000 each week on Friday. Of course, not all of them are opened. Hence, I resend the column on Sunday to those readers who did not open, which is why some weeks Champs might receive two copies (because they didn’t open the Friday one). 

While our readers are mainly located in the USA, other countries represented include Canada, the UK, Australia, and South Africa.

This week, a widow from Budapest, Hungary, subscribed. I sent her a ‘welcome’ email, telling her that Budapest is one of the great cities in the world. I based my comment on a 2016 visit there that Greta and I enjoyed.

The widow replied, “I m a widova for 3 years – after more  than 20 years together –  and just trying to understand life, love, and men.” So welcome to her.

Also, recently readers have subscribed from the Philippines and the Canary Islands (Spain). And welcome to them.

So I remind you. If we want the “On Life and Love After 50” eNewsletter to continue arriving on a weekly basis, keep reaching out, sending me your material. Encourage friends to join us.

Note from Tom: I have a website. It covers several years of travel that Greta and I have taken. Lots of photos. Once at the travel site, if you scroll to April 2016, you can read about and view photos of our visit to Budapest.                        

And now, some “brief encounters” with Champs this week:

Carol, 73, wrote: “Regarding those women who preach stop looking so hard for a man or how wonderful it is living alone, I say: ‘That makes no sense to me. I’ve been happily independent for over a decade.’

“Having friends, family, and activities does not alleviate the desire for slow dancing with a partner, or snuggling up for a movie, or in front of the fireplace, or hugging and exchanging backrubs. The desire for the company of a man does not imply some inherent shortcoming in a woman’s life.”

Gina emailed, “If you walk daily on a beach pedestrian path or nature trail, around the same time each day, you start to see some of the same people. Say hello and good morning to as many people who make eye contact.

“I have met a nice man and we go on walking dates. I’m not into the awkward dinner dates anymore. Walking and great conversation is perfect.”  

Future topics: I’d like to write about two issues in future columns:

1. Health issues as we age and our partners grow older as well (names can be withheld)

2. A Champ wondered why widows or widowers who have new relationships still display pictures of their deceased spouses, seemingly everywhere, including at their homes and on Facebook. How should we respond to her comment. 

Let’s hear your opinions.

Senior dating: 10 tips for men

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter –  March 12, 2021

by Columnist Tom Blake

                        Senior dating: 10 tips for men

(this eNewsletter has been slightly edited for length and clarity)

David Southworth, a Michigan widower, has been a Champ for at least 20 years. A poem David wrote, called  “The Sands of Time,” is on the Finding Love After 50 website (link provided below). It’s a heart-grabber.

David has often contributed to this eNewsletter, and he is doing so again today. He’s puzzled why some senior men have difficulty meeting women, and is suggesting five places men might visit to improve their chances of meeting a mate. As the pandemic eases, people will be more safely getting out and about more, making today’s 10 suggestions easier to implement. 

(1) Restaurants – David said, “I met my late wife in a restaurant where neither of us had ever eaten.” The point Dave is making is that when men (and women) get out of the house and go places, including new places where they’ve never been, they improve their chances of meeting someone interesting.

(2) Flower and plant nurseries. David added, “One spring, I visited a large flower nursery with hundreds of flowers, plants, herbs, vegetables, and garden decorations for my English gardens. To my surprise, there were very few men shopping there.

“I encountered and talked with approximately 30 different women. We talked about the variety of flowers available, a gardening club I belong to, planting new flowers, building a new garden and herb garden, and cooking preferences of home-grown vegetables.”

Tom’s thought: Remember the old line that men used when trying to get women to come to their homes: “Would you like to see my etchings?” Well, this methodology could be applied here, “Would you like to see my garden?”

(3) Bookstores (yes, they still exist, but are fading away). David said, “When I stopped at a Barnes and Noble to review new books by my favorite authors, I was the only man there. However, there were many women present.”

Note from Tom: Going to other stores or places where mainly women shop, such as Bed Bath & Beyond, might work as well. 

(4) Antique stores. David wrote, “While shopping in an antique store, I was the only man present with numerous women shopping. I have been collecting 1840 to 1880 antiques since I was in my 20s.

(5) Antique shows. David said, “Next was an antique show with more than 100 antique dealers, again a majority of those shopping were women.”

Tom’s comment: I know what you may be thinking about items four and five above, and you are right. The man says to the woman: “Would you like to see my antique collection?”

David concluded by saying, “The theme here today is quite simple. Men, think outside the box. Open your eyes, open your heart…women are everywhere; they are right in front of you. They have been there all this time!”

I’d like to add five other suggestions that might improve a senior man’s chances of meeting women.

(6) Wear a baseball cap with a conversation-starter logo on the front. In early January, we featured Heather and Reuben who met because he was wearing a University of Michigan block M on his hat. It’s like a free, conversation-starter,  billboard. Heather and Reuben now live together.

To illustrate different locations for conversation-starting logos, I posed for this picture showing “M” logos on a hat, mask, shirt, and even the shoes. I said to Greta, “Wow if I went out dressed like this wearing all these logos, think of the conversations women would start with me.” She said, “Go for it. You’d look really silly!”

(7) Get a dog. This week, a company called Honest Paws emailed a press release that stated, “70% of singles believe having a dog in their dating profile helps them get more matches on dating apps. The top five breeds that singles most love to see in a dating profile are German Shepherds, Pitbulls, Huskies, Labradors, and Golden Retrievers.” Of course, walking a dog often draws positive comments from strangers.

Tom’s comment: Owning a dog is a big responsibility. So, don’t get one only because it might attract more women, be sure you understand the other responsibilities of owning a dog. A guy told me his Labradoodle is a chick-magnet.

(8) Visit a dog park.  Of course, this only applies if you take action on item number 7 above. Don’t go there without a dog just to try to meet women. You’d come off as desperate. 

(9) Become a dance host on a cruise ship. That’s what our Champ Chris did after a divorce. He met the love of his Tina, a woman from England, who 14 years later became his wife. I have an updated story about them planned for the near future.

Oh, one word about dance hosting. Hosts are not allowed to date passengers while on a cruise. But, once the cruise ends, of course, it’s okay to date a woman a host met on the cruise, so the host must be a bit patient. Solution after a dance together: “Here’s my contact card, email me when you get home from your trip.”

(10) Move to Sarasota. Of course, I’m only joking. We wrote three recent columns involving Sarasota, thoroughly exhausting that topic. One woman said, “I can’t live in Florida; I live in Pa.” Okay, enough said.

So there you have it. Ten suggestions to help senior single men meet women.  As Champ David said, nice women, are everywhere.

Today’s topic reminded me of a 1954 song by Bill Haley and The Comets, titled, “Thirteen Women (and Only One Man in Town).” The song was the flip side of “Rock Around The Clock,” which in my opinion, was the song that launched rock and roll.

Here’s the Link to Thirteen Women (and Only One Man in Town)

Link to David Southworth’s poem, “The Sands of Time.”

Senior women seeking men: stop trying so hard

  On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter –  March 5, 2021

by Tom Blake – Columnist

Senior women seeking men: stop trying so hard

(Note: This eNewsletter has been slightly edited for length and clarity.)

Two weeks ago, this eNewsletter put Sarasota, Florida on the senior dating map. How? Margaret, one of our Champs, had purchased two rental properties there. She mentioned how friendly the people living there are, and that she’s met many senior single men. I, tongue-in-cheek,  raised the question, “Is Sarasota a mecca for senior singles?”

Last week’s article featured responses, which I selected, from 11 Champs about what Margaret had written. Oh my gosh, those responses were all over the place, not to mention the ones I didn’t include.

Some enjoyed what she said, others took shots at her, some made false assumptions, and some wondered why women are even looking for a mate at this stage of their lives.

And the latter point is the subject of today’s eNewsletter. I’m including responses from two women about why women shouldn’t be so focused on finding a man.

Plus, I’m sharing Margaret’s impression and thoughts about the diverse responses to her Sarasota article.

Please note: these are not my opinions; I am merely sharing what Champs have said.

Champ Bev emailed, “I moved to Florida three months ago, and while I did not move to Sarasota, I must say that a person will be happy wherever she or he ‘chooses’ to be happy.  When people stop focusing on just meeting someone, marriage, etc., and instead start to focus on what brings them happiness, they will be happy anywhere. Happiness begins from within you, not from meeting someone to fill empty holes.   

“You need to start by filling the holes yourself. Once you are right in your heart, the rest will naturally fall into place. I liked what Kathy said about not expecting a line of senior single men at the airport in Florida, hoping to meet women. I think that is true of any place, and we need to remain realistic otherwise disappointment sets in.”

Althea shared, “Your newsletters are always interesting. Your Feb. 26 article was cool. I like how you include people’s comments. Maria’s comment was right to the point when she suggested that for all the complaining and searching that some women do to find a single man…that those women were too ‘man-hungry.’ 

“I wonder why divorced, single or widowed women over 65 need a man? Especially so desperately. If they are set financially, have a home, have family and friends around them, why do they need a man to date, or live with? Haven’t they all been there, done that?

“If they accidentally by fate meet a man and the two of them have things in common, sure, why not spend time together? Great!

“But why the need to go looking and acting so anguished and desperate? Are senior women–after they have lived with a husband for 40, 50, or, 60 years–unable to live alone?

“I can understand the ones who need a man to live with to share finances. But the drawbacks and possible problems that could arise might outweigh the benefit. Been there done that. I’d rather live in a tent.” 

Margaret said,  “The funny thing about the Sarasota article is that at age 65, I am not looking for a date or a relationship as I am very busy with my family, friends and maintaining my properties right now.  Maybe sometime in the future. 

“I kept reading in Tom’s eNewsletter articles about women wondering ‘where the men are?’ and thought the Sarasota demographics were interesting.  My suggestion to women who are looking for a man is to stop trying so hard. 

“Go out, enjoy life, be active, have fun with girlfriends and/or men friends, start a book club, play cards, go hiking, bike riding, walk and travel.  Life is too short and precious to waste ‘isolating’ at home or ‘waiting’ for the right person to come along.  And, when I do go out, I wear a mask, contrary to what a couple of Champs assumed.

“You can choose to let life get you down and have a negative attitude but it will show in your face, body language, what you say, and/or complain about. Or you can choose to pick yourself up, be positive, and look forward to all the wonderful possibilities. 

“These past few years I have lost family members that I loved. Then I lost my health due to a bike accident. I could have isolated at home and felt sorry for myself, but I had wonderful friends and other family members that supported and loved me and most importantly made sure I was not alone. 

“Through their love, I was able to live life happily again.  Some ‘holes’ that Bev talked about will never be filled when a loved one is lost, but there is always hope for happier days ahead. The Florida properties have kept me busy and I am grateful for that. Spending time with my childhood best girlfriend who encouraged me to buy in Sarasota has been such a sweet blessing and helped me in showing me around Sarasota. She was originally a CA girl but retired with her husband in Sarasota. 

“Lastly, we can choose to be a “Negative Nancy” or a “Positive Polly.”  I think the reason I have met so many nice men in Sarasota is that I am friendly, have no problem being the first to initiate a conversation (This does not necessarily involve flirting, just laughing/joking while waiting in line at the grocery store or asking for help at the hardware store) and I am generally a happy person, quick to smile or laugh and interested in what the other person has to say.”

                                  Something to ponder

Wayne (written with a big smile) asked, “I got my second Covid vaccine shot. Should I put that on my dating profile?”

My comment: Hilarious. But it’s a good question in that it may reveal people’s different opinions on the government’s and health-care experts’ mandates regarding COVID-19.

Keep the comments coming so I can keep the eNewsletters coming.