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.

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

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