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.”
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.
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.