Single seniors make a written list of characteristics in a potential mate

21 tips for seniors to live by

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – May 28 2021

by Thomas P. Blake author and columnist

When I started writing dating columns 26 years ago, I promised myself I would not write about politics or religion. That commitment hasn’t changed.

One of our Champs sent an email this week stating, “I realize you have to be careful with your column topics but the information in the enclosed attachment is a good guideline for me in finding a serious relationship.”

The Champ, a friend in his 70s, knows I avoid religious and political topics. So when I read his email, I assumed the attachment had something to do with politics, religion, or both.

It did, sort of. The attachment was called “Pastor Rick’s Daily Hope,” written by Rick Warren, the founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California’s largest church. Warren’s headline read: “Let God Guide Your Choices.”

Although the attachment appeared to be about religion, I opened it, eager to see how it might help my friend find a mate. I thought if the information was helpful to him, it might benefit other single seniors as well.

Warren listed five characteristics to avoid when choosing a potential marriage partner and two characteristics that a mate should have. Warren cited a biblical reference to each characteristic. I assumed those references were what my friend alluded to that I don’t normally write about.

I read what Warren wrote and feel his seven items make a lot of sense for senior singles. (Warren’s Bible references are not included).
Five must-nots are listed first
1. Whomever you marry must not be nursing uncontrolled anger. Uncontrolled anger reveals deep insecurity and low self-worth.
2. “Whomever you marry must not be stuck in an addiction. There are hundreds of ways to get addicted.
3. “Whomever you marry must not be harboring bitterness. Bitterness is like poison. It eats you alive.
4. Whomever you marry must not be selfish. When it comes down to it, the number one cause of conflict in marriage is selfishness.
5. Whomever you marry must not be greedy. If you marry a greedy spouse, you will be in debt your entire life.”

And two must-have items are listed next

6. Whomever you marry must be generous and kind.
7. Whomever you marry must tell the truth. Love is based on trust, and trust is based on truth. If you don’t tell me the truth, I can’t trust you. And if I can’t trust you, how can I love you?”

Warren also addressed a common mistake that singles make when choosing mates. He suggested that when a potential mate has one or more of the negative qualities he listed, the potential mate should be avoided “ matter how good-looking, rich or nice they are.” (The italics are mine).

Those words struck a chord with me. I remember years ago writing a column titled, “But She Was Beautiful.” I wrote about a date I’d had with a very attractive woman.

She was rude to the waitress at the restaurant and said when I took her home, “Next time I’d like to go to a more upscale restaurant.” And then she added, “Do you have a nicer car than the Suzuki Sidekick you picked me up in today? I was afraid a friend might see me.”

I ended that column with the words, “But she was beautiful” as if I were rationalizing that tolerating her negative qualities was okay because of her beauty. Of course, I didn’t ask her out again.

My friend concluded his email with, “I wonder what qualities other single seniors think are important? I’d better get busy making my list.” 

I can think of two modern-day issues that senior singles will likely consider when evaluating whether a person would be a suitable mate for them. They could be considered “hot-potato” issues. 

The first: political-party affiliation. With the country so divided politically, people belonging to different political parties might be too opinionated for each other. 

The second characteristic has emerged because of the pandemic: Are both parties vaccinated for Covid-19? I read a recent survey that stated one in four people require proof of a Covid-19 vaccination before going on a date. The people surveyed were under age 55. 

So, considering Pastor Warren’s seven items, plus the common mistake he mentioned, and the two “hot potato” modern-day issues, my friend should be able to create an effective written list of the qualities he seeks in a partner.

Plus, he’ll likely add other characteristics that are important to him. I recommend all senior singles who are dating have a written list of qualities wanted in a mate. Whoops! I mentioned both politics and religion in today’s article. But, I don’t think I seriously infringed upon my 26-year-old promise to avoid those topics. After all, I need to stay current with what’s happening in the senior dating world. 

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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