For senior dating success: open your mind to open your heart

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – June 25 2021

By Tom Blake – Columnist

For Senior Dating Success: Open your mind to open your heart

As senior singles emerge from the pandemic, many would like to meet a mate. Some of them have asked me for advice on how to begin, where to go, and what to do. Perhaps the most important piece of advice I can offer comes from 14 years ago and is still significant today.

In 2007, Patricia emailed me her story on how she met her mate. Her story was unique. I liked it so much I included it in my “How 50 Couples Found Love After 50” book, which was published in 2009. Her chapter is titled “Love on the Back of a Harley.”

How 50 Couples Found Love After 50

Several of our Champs’s stories are also in that book.

This week, I found Patricia’s 2007 email in my Gmail archives. She was 62 then. Her email detailed how she met and married a man named Cowboy. His interests and lifestyle were dramatically different compared to what Patricia was seeking in a mate. He was a biker. She had never been on a motorcycle. The final two sentences of that 2007 email particularly got my attention:

She wrote, “On our second anniversary of when we first met in person, Cowboy and I were married. I truly love and adore this big ‘Biker’ and I am proud to be his wife.

“Single senior women should not give up on finding that someone special. They should broaden their minds and consider the unexpected. I never expected to be some biker’s “Old Lady,” but I’ve never been happier and more in love. Ladies, you should take more chances in meeting men.”

In re-reading that email 14 years later, I thought to myself, “Patricia’s advice is still valid today, especially coming out of the pandemic restrictions. Older singles can improve their chances of meeting a potential mate by jettisoning old stereotypes and beliefs, which means being open to people of different religious beliefs, ethnicities, income levels, family situations, hobbies, interests, and accepting people who wear tattoos, or body piercings, and perhaps, have different political affiliations (which, in 2021, maybe the biggest stretch of those listed).

So why did this information from 2007 cross my mind? Last week, I received an email from Patricia, who is now 68. She wanted to update me on the changes she and her husband Cowboy, now 70, have endured during the last 14 years and how they are dealing with post-pandemic retirement.

Patricia and Cowboy

She wrote, “It’s time to seriously think about retirement. We are both working full time and collecting Social Security. We just purchased a beautiful home in Montana, and we have put our California ranchette up for sale.

“Yes, we are doing retirement backward. We are moving from a warm state and a single-level home to a cold state and a two-story home. But, no more earthquakes, raging forest fires, horrendous mudslides, or high gas prices.

“We love Montana’s beauty. The edge of our new 1.5-acre lot drops down more than 300 feet to a creek with rainbow trout in it. Cowboy loves to fish. If we get snowed in, we can just relax, and take advantage of our fully stocked kitchen pantry.

“Granted, riding the Harley year around isn’t a possibility in Montana, but we will have months when we can. Our new adventure is just getting started, and it all started when I took a chance and met a ‘Biker’ no one ever thought I would match with!”

Patricia added, “When I was online years ago, I read Cowboy’s profile that said, ‘Don’t let the biker thing scare you off, we are not a bad lot; you might want to meet me before you make a judgment. A lot of us are real nice men.’

“I took a chance and met my ‘Knight in Shining Armor.’ He just happens to ride a Harley.”

Patricia’s advice from 14 years ago to open one’s mind and expand one’s comfort zone to meet new people, can be as effective today as it was back then.

Age is just a number

Age is just a number
On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter

June 18, 2021
by Tom Blake columnist

(The article today has been edited for length and clarity)
marjorie and hans
Senior dating at 80+ Marjorie & Hans – Love across the pond
Marjorie, 87, (photo above on left) emailed this week about her senior long-distance romance with a man from Amsterdam, “My motto: be interested and interesting. My passion is traveling and enjoying the visual arts.

“My Amsterdam relationship began in 1998 when my engineer companion and I did a house exchange with Hans and his wife, who lived in Amsterdam.
“Hans’s wife died in 2014. He came to California in 2015. We took a trip together and discovered we were meant to travel together. We have crossed the Atlantic six times traveling in Europe and the USA.

The pandemic has limited us to daily Skypes. Will we travel again at our age? I’m not sure. Hans is 84.” The photo of us above was taken in my 90-year-old artist friend’s home (she is in the middle).

More on senior love

Two weeks ago, the June 4 eNewsletter featured three independent women, Paula, Kathy, and Leslie. Champ Art, Margate, Florida, commented about each woman’s situation. 

But first, a reminder about Paula, age 75, who moves to a new city every two years or so, and renovates homes, and then flips them. We included a picture of her two Bassett Hounds in that June 4 issue. Paula said, “The only way I can do what I do is to be single.”

Art said, “It’s interesting that Paula has not grown roots, and still has that wanderlust feeling about herself. I’m 82 and find meeting (potential mates) very easy, but I would not want to become interested in a woman who has not found a man to call a keeper or a place to call home by the time she is 75.

And Art said this about Kathy: “Her issue, being allergic to most animals, could never work for me. I love animals and have two cats at home.”

Regarding Leslie, age 80, who met her fiance four years ago, Art said, “I congratulate Leslie on her engagement. Her independence is a trait I admire if not carried too far. Leslie has found her way to thrive in a singles world.”

Art added, “When my wife passed in 2007 I thought that I would never know love again, but by learning how to use POF (Plenty of Fish) and putting a lot of thought into my writing, I have been blessed beyond my expectations.

“I am currently dating a 79-year-old woman who lives about a half-hour from my house. We are both vegetarians, both of us love live theater, and we each find the other attractive and fun to be with.”

Even more on senior love

One of our Champs is Tammy La Gorce, the New York Times “Weddings” columnist. This week Tammy shared a column she wrote about two 95-year-olds who just got married.

She thought I’d like the last two sentences from her article, which are quoted below:
“Nobody starts life at 95,” Ms. Morrow-Nulton said. “But we did.”

“I’m not lonely anymore,” Mr. Shults said. Better still, “I don’t think we’ll get sick of each other.”

 Here is a link to Tammy’s story:

P.S. You may be asked to subscribe to the Times’s online edition, for a very reasonable rate.

Part 2 – Champ Larry on Lake Michigan
Grand Haven Sunset Larry
Larry and his daughter on Lake Michigan during sunset
Grand Haven Lake Michigan Sunset – June 2021

Last year, Champ Larry, (above, with his daughter a week ago), contacted me, saying he would be in the Dana Point area and asked if we could meet for lunch. He mentioned that he was retired, single, widowed, living in Florida, and spent summers in a beach city on Lake Michigan.

Having grown up in Michigan, I asked, “Where in Michigan?”
Larry said, “Grand Haven.” I was amazed. I told him that my mom had grown up in Grand Haven and our family had rented a cottage there for a month during several different summers.

“What was your mom’s maiden name?” Larry asked.

“Frances Pardee.”

Larry said, “I knew a man named George Pardee. He hired me for my first job in Grand Haven. He worked for the Peerless Novelty Company.”

I was even more amazed. George Pardee was my uncle. Turns out, Larry was the City Manager of Grand Haven for years, before moving to Florida where he was a City Manager in a beach city there. He and my uncle became good friends.

Larry and I met for lunch and found we had even more in common.
Two weeks ago, he was visiting South Orange County again (his daughter lives here) and we met for coffee for a couple of hours. So, Larry is another Champ who has become a special friend.

Is he single? Well, yes, but let’s put it this way. He seems to have met some nice potential mates in Florida. I’m certain he will keep me posted on what happens in that regard.

Thanks to Larry for sending the photo. I encourage other Champs to do the same thing, along with some biographical information.

Seniors are getting the travel bug

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – June 11, 2021
by columnist Tom Blake
(The article today has been edited for length and clarity)
cheryl and guy new orleans
Guy and Cheryl – Mission Viejo, California
Seniors are on the move and traveling again
Senior travel is back. Despite the pandemic, Champ Cheryl and her husband Guy (That’s Guy and Cheryl in the photo above) managed to travel.

Cheryl explained: “Last July, Guy and I wanted to venture out of California when our international trip was canceled. So, we rented a Silverado dual cab and went on a 7,000-mile road trip for five weeks culminating in New Orleans.

“We visited nine states and had fun seeing how other states were dealing with the pandemic. We enjoyed visiting family and friends along the way.
“It gave us a lift as we returned home to Covid restrictions in California.

Almost everything in New Orleans was closed. We did get a beignet (deep-fried pastry with powdered sugar) at Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter of course!”

Now, Cheryl and Guy are going to travel internationally. She continued, “After being canceled for two years, we have received confirmation of our flights and hotels for Vienna, Prague, Budapest, and more. We are traveling alone and conduct a great deal of research on each destination.

“Six years ago, I made a quickly scribbled note about your website, which you said describes a trip to Budapest that you and Greta took.

“Could you let us know how to access that information on the website? No rush because we do not depart until August for a month. Before we go, I like to have as much information about a city or site. Travel books are basic help but I like information from reliable people I know.”

Tom’s response: “ is the right website. On the home page, look at the archive listings in the right-hand column. Click on the May 2015 archive. That will take you directly to Budapest and the subsequent river cruise (on Viking) we took from there to Vienna, continuing to Amsterdam.

“Our visit to Prague was eight years earlier when we took the Orient Express train from Venice to Prague and on to Paris. Click on the April 2007 archive to read about Prague. Note: you will first see an article about Valencia, Spain, but scroll down pass that to read about the train trip and the visit to Prague.
Travel After website

“You are going to love your trip.”

Thyrza emailed “Since I am free to travel until my next doctor six-month check-up, I plan to take a seven-day cruise to Greece with Holland America Line. Short enough but long enough to just relax and get pampered. My sweet doctor said I can’t be sitting around waiting for the next six-month check-up. I think for us seniors this is true: tomorrow is today.

Larry, a former neighbor I’ve known for 30 years, lives with his fiancee in the Phillippine Islands. When the pandemic hit, he was in the United States on business for a few months.

Since then, he has been unable to fly back to The Phillippines. He’s had seven different flights booked and then canceled by the airlines or the Philippines government.

He emailed this week: “Now I’m shooting for a flight to Manila on July 10th.”
So, it appears that Larry will be able to give his fiancee a long-overdue hug next month. I am hoping for him.

You will remember Champ Carmen, who lives in Barra de Navidad Mexico. He’s the one we wrote about a month ago who was corresponding with Annalisa, 69, who lives in Milan, Italy.

He’s planning to travel soon; I’m not sure if it will be to Milan, Italy, or Michigan, or somewhere else in the USA. He’ll let us know.

My partner Greta and I love to travel. We’ve had our Covid-19 vaccinations, our passports are up-to-date, and we’re raring to go. But, just to be cautious, we’re going to wait a few more months to cruise or possibly go see our friend Carmen who might still be in Italy.

Cruise ships are starting to appear in U.S. ports, which is an encouraging sign, for those of us who enjoy cruising. 
Senior travel–so much fun when there are no restrictions.

Senior Independent Women

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter June 4, 2021

by Columnist Tom P Blake

Paula, 75, emailed recently, describing her life with Harvey and Stuart. While reading her email, a song popped into my head, which seems to be happening often lately.

As you read today’s column, I think you’ll understand why Paula’s email content made me think of Bob Dylan’s classic 1965 song, “Like a Rolling Stone.”

So, who the heck are Harvey and Stuart? They are Paula’s two Basset Hounds, pictured above.

Paula wrote, “When I wrote you after your recent column about Sarasota, Florida being a dating paradise, I explained why I was disenchanted with Florida. You asked why.

 “It’s too hot, too humid (but the bugs aren’t as bad as those in Texas) and lastly it just doesn’t feel like ‘home.’

 “After a divorce 29 years ago, I decided there was an amazing world out there that I had not seen and things I had not done. I have lived in several states—Montana, Alaska, Washington, Florida, to name a few.

 “Regularly, I move to a city and state where I have never been before…buy a house that needs renovations and live in it for at least two years so I don’t have to pay capital gains tax.

 “If I enjoy the area where I am then I stay longer but I am always planning my next move to somewhere.

 “I live in Jacksonville, about 45 minutes from the beaches. Parking is hard to find and some beaches are not dog-friendly. I have only been to a beach one time since being here; I am satisfied with that only visit.

 “I have lived in several states and have found that senior women are very cliquish. Those single females have their established group of friends and when a new person appears on the scene, they are mildly friendly but not as accepting as I would hope.

 “Plus, some women have husbands they want to keep attached to their hip, which is no problem for me. “I love having lunch with a lady or ladies just for the conversation because talking to my dogs is not too inspiring.

 “I have made lots of friends along the way and have kept some close to my heart. I use a saying by some anonymous individual ‘…a reason, a season or a lifetime’ as my guide when I meet somebody. “I tried to move back to the Spokane, Washington area after I sold my last house here in Jacksonville, but couldn’t find anything in my price range so I had to return to Jax to buy another house to renovate which is almost done. I am my own general contractor.

“I do everything I am physically able to do. I recently de-tiled the walls behind two bathtubs. I remove carpeting and even do plastering. “I am not in search of a gentleman to call my own…moving as much and as often as I do wouldn’t rest well with any man. The only way I can do what I do is to be single. 

“I have no inclination in finding a significant other since I move around so frequently. Senior men are very planted and moving at an older age frightens them to no end. Most are settled in the place where their immediate family resides. Asking an old man to move would be like asking a ‘tree hugger’ to go out and cut down a Christmas Tree. 

“Being single has its ups and downs but I am happy with myself and busy. I know for certain I would not be a good wife. “I am still pretty healthy according to my cardiologist but I am no spring chicken at the age of 75. I still have a lot I want to do and see but that doesn’t mean getting on a plane or sailing on a boat. The USA has wonderful things to see and places where you can have fun.

 “I knew after four weeks of living in Florida it was not going to be my stopping-off state. I knew I was not going to put down roots here. I haven’t found that place just yet but I know when I do it will give my heart that ‘warm giggle.’

 “I want seniors to know that life doesn’t stop because they have aged, retired, or even lost a spouse. Both men and women can be resourceful and fulfill their dreams. They should do things that inspire their daily living and focus on a rich future. As for being lonely, that is a matter of choice. 

“Warmest regards from sunny, humid and the state where hurricanes love to visit.” 

Senior Men and Dogs

Kathy, “One of my main problems with dating was animals. I love animals, but I’m allergic and even if I wasn’t, I don’t want animal hair on my clothes or furniture. 

“Trying to find a man that didn’t have a dog in the house was hard and I would never consider asking someone to change that for me, so, when I was online, I would pass men up who had photos of their animals in their profiles.” 

Leslie, “In my life when I stayed in a relationship out of fear that there wouldn’t be anyone else, it was the wrong decision. When I’d leave, another door would open.

Those single women-to-single-men ratios you’ve written about bother me because I find they don’t matter. When I was younger and moving to Atlanta, I was told, too many women live there, you’ll never date again. So I went there expecting the worst.

  “It was the opposite, I dated a lot and met the love of my life there. I’m now 80. Never did I expect another relationship, yet here came one, four years ago. He just gave me a ring. “Please write M back and let her know those ratios don’t matter. Plus, when you tell men that, it gives them a false sense of what’s going on and can cause the behavior as shown in Corrine’s situation.

(Tom’s note: Corrine was the woman we wrote about a few weeks ago who was worried that her man would leave her).

“That’s what’s great about your column, you can sway expectations one way or the other.” 

Tom’s comment to Leslie: “In my writing about senior dating topics, presenting a balance is important. Swaying expectations is not my goal. Instead, I prefer that the facts help people make their own decisions. Plus, attempting to “sway” this group of wise and intelligent thinkers wouldn’t work.”

One thing is certain. These three women are fiercely independent and have minds of their own. More power to them. I don’t think they will be “swayed” by anything anybody says to them.