Lat (Living Apart Together) Relationships

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – July 30, 2021
By: Tom Blake – Columnist

Senior dating: Identifying the types of senior living relationships can be confusing

Lately, I’ve been receiving an increasing number of questions from Champs and single seniors regarding the various types of relationship living arrangements they are choosing or considering. The different acronyms can boggle the mind.

The most popular: LAT (living apart together) 

In checking my columns-written archives, I first mentioned LAT relationships in eNewsletters during March 2018. The LAT designation was applied to Champs who were in unconventional relationships. Some stated they were committed, loving, intimate relationships, and yet, they lived under separate roofs.

This week, I searched online but couldn’t find any articles– other than ours–that had been published anywhere in the world earlier than 2019 on the LAT relationship topic. Our Champs blazed a trial in senior dating relationship definitions.

In the three and a half years since that 2018 article mention, the single senior living arrangement topic has mushroomed among people who write about senior relationships. And I sure hear more about the topic.

The primary reason why LAT relationships will not become the norm for seniors is financial. Two separate households are more expensive to occupy vs. when two people share expenses under the same roof. For some, a LAT isn’t affordable. And for some, it’s not even a desirable way to live.

For example, Mary Ann emailed: “To me, if a couple doesn’t live together there is no ‘US.’ The pluses appear to be having their own space, privacy, and daily routines. But living this way does not bring them closer and committed enough. I call this a compromised relationship (CR).” I’ve been in a few of those myself.

Champ Mark sent me a link to an online New York Times article dated July 16, 2021, titled, “Older Singles Have Found a New Way to Partner Up: Living Apart,” written by Francine Russo.

In the article, Russo mentions a widow named Linda Randall, who lives in Chicago and was widowed in 2016. Randall is now 81 and has a romantic, intimate, relationship with a widower, age 87, who lives across the alley from her and spends most nights at her apartment.

When the widower asked Randall if he could move in with her, Randall said no because she liked where she lived and felt they were different in how they lived.

Plus, a big factor was that Randall didn’t want to become a full-time caregiver. Living apart but nearby, Randall and the widower remain intimate.
Russo also wrote in the article, “In Europe, the data clearly shows that later-life LAT relationships are on the rise. And Russo quoted a Canadian sociology professor who said, “LAT is now a ‘popular option’ in the United States and Canada.”

Champ Joel, emailed this week: “I saw this term, which was new to me: ‘living celibate together.’ When I entered that as a Google search, a lot of articles showed up.”

I responded to Joel, “So now we have LCT (living celibate together) senior relationships? I don’t want to be in one of those.”
Joel answered, “Nor I, an 

LCT doesn’t float my boat either.”

Another Champ, Ginny, whom we wrote about in April, a widow, age 80, has had a seven-year relationship with Harry, 87, a widower. They live three walking minutes apart.

Harry was the guy who didn’t want to remarry (he had been married 59 years). In April, Harry changed his mind and a November wedding was planned.

Now, Ginny says, they are planning to marry in September.

I asked her why they are getting married after seven years.
Ginny said, “I visit Harry nearly every evening. But I return home the same night. Because of our faith, we agreed years ago to abstain from sex unless married. It was difficult. After we marry, instead of coming home each night, I will come home the next morning. We can finally have sex.”

Ginny added, “Still, we will have a LAT marriage.”

“Why the LAT marriage?” I asked.

“We will have a prenup. We both have children and grandchildren. Our money stays separate as do our homes. I like my home. It’s a short walk. Why not?”

Tom’s comment 

I love Ginny’s story! Could LAT-M (Living Apart Together Married’ become another senior dating term introduced to the world by our Champs?

I smile at the reason Ginny and Harry are getting married. Intimacy–better late than never–bless them, both. Update on Ginny and Harry: They married in September and a NY Times’ “Wedding columnist” Tammy LaGorce attended and is doing an article on them

There are three primary reasons why these unconventional LAT-type relationships are gaining popularity among seniors:

1. Avoiding being a full-time caregiver (one of the biggest and most often stated reasons)
2. Wanting a companion while keeping one’s home
3. Maintaining independence while enjoying intimacy (perhaps), love, and sharing.
More senior women than men tell me they prefer a LAT relationship.
With these four options, LAT, LCT, CR, and LAT-M, no wonder senior dating is confusing. 
Online dating question from Yolanda:“I am a widow of 11 years, looking for dating opportunities. I saw in an eNewsletter that you mentioned Cupid k 2 or Cupid two. Can you guide me to it?”

Tom’s answer to Yolanda: “I think the dating website you are looking for is OK Cupid. Their basic package is free. But there are some upgrades that could be helpful that will cost a small amount.
However, if you are beginning to go online with your dating, please be very careful because there are all kinds of scammers out there who try to take advantage of lonely women. Especially widows. NEVER send money to a stranger. If a person claims to be working overseas, that’s a red flag. Do not reveal your home address.

If you come across someone who might be interesting for you, have a background check done on that person. If he sends pictures, verify that the pictures are his via a Facebook or other account.I can’t stress enough to be leery of people you meet online. That being said, the Internet can be a good place to meet people, just be very aware. If you have doubts, feel free to contact me with details.

We can always post your situation in the eNewsletter and let Champs give you their opinions. I assure you, our Champs will leave no stone unturned–they’ve walked the walk and are a wealth of caring and loving information. Good luck. Keep us posted, Yolanda.
Tom's new book coverBook update. The first copy of the paperback version arrived yesterday at 4:20 p.m. I am pleased. It’s 365 pages.Thanks to Champs who have contacted me and purchased a paperback version for $23.97, including shipping, about $7 less than if you purchase on Amazon. Simply send me an email if you would like a personalized copy. The Kindle/ebook version is available now on Amazon Link to “Tutor & Spunky’s Deli. A Dana Point Landmark page on

Tom Publishes “Tutor & Spunky’s Deli. A Dana Point Landmark” On life and love after 50 eNewsletter July 23, 2021

(The article today has been edited for length and clarity)
Tom has published a memoir titled “Tutor & Spunky’s Deli. A Dana Point Landmark.”
CARMELO COVERChamp Carmelo Lodise’s new memoir is available in Paperback on and soon in the Kindle/Ebook format.Tom's new book coverTom’s newly released memoir is available in Paperback or Kindle/Ebook format on

This week’s news from Champs
Joanne, a Champ for more than 10 years, has moved into her new apartment on the West side of Albuquerque, New Mexico, after spending time at a friend’s place in Reno while her ABQ place was being renovated. She said, “I swore I’d never move again.” (But she did).

Larry, whose significant other lives in the Philippines Islands, had to postpone his travels to be with her for the 7th time due to the pandemic. Larry said, “The Philippines are still not open for tourist visas due to raging Covid-19 there. I will try to book my 8th return flight schedule for late September, but I feel no optimism.”

Putting a positive spin on his frustration, Larry, an avid University of Alabama alumni (Roll Tide), added, “At least, I’ll be able to catch some college football!”

Beth emailed, “After reading your column about me in last week’s eNewsletter, I have made up my mind to not move to where my ex-boyfriend lives. I thought with my heart, and not with my brain when it came to him and maybe I was living in the past. My guess is this will be the last stop between us.”

Carmen – Champs will remember Carmen (Carm) Lodise, my high school classmate, who lives in Barra de Navidad, Mexico. Two months ago, Carm emailed that he would likely be visiting Northern Italy this summer or autumn. About five minutes after his email arrived, I received another email, which was from Annalisa, who lives in Milan, Italy.

In her email, Annalisa said she wanted to meet an American citizen as a potential mate. Although Annalisa doesn’t speak English, she uses a translation app to communicate in English. I introduced Carm and Annalisa via email and she invited him to visit her in Milan this summer and stay at her place.

Holy cow, a possible romance hatched via our eNewsletter and email. An eNewsletter column was written about Carmen and Annalisa and what might happen. That column linked to Andy Williams’s version of the song Where Do I Begin? the theme from Love Story.

However, Carm, similar to me, was busy finishing a memoir, a book titled, “Carmelo. The Adventures of a Smalltime Instigator.” (Pictured above on left). I understand how writing and publishing a book requires total dedication of time and effort to bring the project to the finish line. So, I understood why he wasn’t giving Annalisa the attention she craved.

Annalisa felt Carm wasn’t communicating enough with her so she became frustrated. Plans for the visit became iffy. And then the knockout punch landed. Even though they live in different countries, they are so politically divided that the trip was canceled. I won’t go into details, but as we Champs have discovered with this country’s political divide, that alone can be a relationship deal-breaker.

How fortunate Annalisa and Carm discovered they weren’t politically compatible before he traveled 5,000 miles and appeared at her front door.

Their story reminded me why I’m not a matchmaker. Similar to my book, Carmen Lodise’s book is on in paperback. I ordered and used Carmen’s book as a formatting guide in finishing my book. He will publish the eBook version on Amazon any day now.

Another Jackson High School (Jackson, Michigan) classmate, Rick Lenz (Rick has authored several books and is always working on a new one. Why are three classmates from the same year and the same high school writing books? We had an incredible English Literature teacher named Harriett Pitts who inspired us and taught us well is the best answer. 

Jackie emailed, “Congratulations on finishing your book. I’ve said so many times over the years how I could write a book with my juicy story! LOL. But, I’d have to change all the names and either be anonymous or change my name. Or, get a ghostwriter. I’m not sure I could stay focused long enough to write a book. “I’ve sold my home in Illinois and moved to Georgia. For the time being, I will be staying at a friend’s house. She and her family will be traveling for the first two weeks in August so I’ll have her home to myself.

“Maybe, I’ll travel to Dana Point this fall and attend another Meet and Greet at Tutor & Spunky’s with my sister, when you get them going again.” 

Tom, “As mentioned above, I finished my memoir “Tutor & Spunky’s Deli: A Dana Point Landmark” this week. Both paperback and Kindle/eBook versions are available on Of the five printed books I’ve published, it was the most demanding, timewise and effort-wise. It’s 365 pages with more than 100 photos. The book covers 28 years—1987 to 2015–and mentions 535 people who were directly or indirectly involved with the deli, including employees, customers, and celebrities, such as Johnny Cash, Abba, and Mick Fleetwood. 

One thing that surprised me and Carmen about the paperback versions of our books is that Amazon determines the minimum price, based on the number of pages and number of photos. An author can’t demand a less expensive price if using Amazon. My paperback price is $24.52 plus shipping, except people with Amazon Prime get free shipping.

My eBook price is $8.99. If Champs want an autographed copy of my paperback version, I will personally mail that. The cost would be $23.97, including shipping. Email me if you would prefer a signed paperback copy and I will invoice you via Paypal at that price. The paperback version will be available in a week or so; the eBook version can be downloaded today. The link to my page is in the blue space below.

Next week’s eNewsletter topic will be Living Apart Together (LAT) and how various issues can influence this type of relationship, including caregiving, health, money, independence, and other considerations. I’d love to hear your opinions.
Tom’s book on

“Stay.” 7 reasons why she should not relocate to be with old beau

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter July 16, 2021

by Tom Blake – Columnist

Stay: 7 reasons why she should not relocate to be with old beau.

One of my readers named Beth emailed, “I need advice on a long-ago love from the 1990 years. We met through a singles ad in a local newspaper. We had great magic (chemistry) between us.

“We have kept in contact off and on for more than 20 years, with ups and downs. I live in Virginia; he lives in Connecticut, 500 miles apart. I am 79; he is 76.

“He has no children. My children are grown with families of their own. He wants me in his life again and wants me to live with him. I can’t seem to move away from my family. He will not visit me.

“He was in a biking accident three years ago and can’t travel a long distance even for a visit to see if we could make a go of it again. I don’t know what to do.”

My response: “From what you described you would be making all the sacrifices. He would be making none. That’s ridiculous! What if you moved there and he got sick or passed away? What would you be left with?

“Why didn’t it work out years ago?”

Beth said, “I want him, and I want my family. I want him to come for a visit, just to see if that magic is still there.

“He was getting over an ex-partner, and I was going through some things also when we met. I had to walk on eggshells at times with him. I think he had a trust issue with women, and he was a lawyer and saw the mean side of people all the time.

“I made the first contact this time after not hearing from him in over a year.

“No one since has made me feel the way he did and I don’t know what to do, he was special and I don’t want to lose him again, this might be the last stop for us.”

My response: “Beth, I don’t usually advise people on what to do. But here are seven questions to ponder.

7 Questions

  1. He can’t travel long distances because of a bike accident three years ago. He can’t even take a bus or a train? Or, is it, he doesn’t want to bother to travel?
  • You hadn’t heard from him for more than a year. You contacted him. That doesn’t sound like a man who is interested in you.
  • The same magic, or chemistry that was between you two 20+ years before will not be the same. Age takes its toll on chemistry and senior sex. Also, if he is so debilitated from the bike accident, do you think he would have the same physical capabilities he had back then? And how about you? Would you still be like you were in that category?
  • Why, if you had to walk on eggshells with him before, do you think that would be different now?
  • You are 79. Do you think you’d want to relocate to be with a man you barely know and leave your family behind? Don’t you think that would be risky?
  • What if you moved and then got sick? At 79, it could happen. If he can’t ride on a train, how would he be able to care for you? And would he want to?
  • You say you don’t want to lose him again. As it is, you don’t have him.

I hope the above seven questions will clear the air for you. For a new senior relationship to work, both people need to be on the same page. It appears you two are not. You aren’t even in the same book or the same state. As Bob Seger sings, “Turn the Page.”

Speaking of music, you may or may not know that the song I culled the name “Champs” from is “Stay. The Load Out” by Jackson Browne.

Take heed from those lyrics: Stay where you are.

(Link to “Stay” is listed below. See if you can hear where Browne says “Champs.”)

The back nine of life

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – July 9 2021

                          The Back Nine of Life

By Tom P Blake – Columnist

Most Champs—except newcomers–know that I write a bi-weekly column for Picket Fence Media, a syndicate that publishes the Dana Point Times, the San Clemente Times, and The Capistrano Dispatch (San Juan).

Newspaper readers sometimes respond to those articles, providing me with information that I think will be helpful to our Champs. Often, the people who respond live in cities and areas other than the three cities mentioned above. Such was the case this week.

For example, take Laurie of nearby Laguna Niguel, California. She emailed, “While reading your article, ‘Senior Singles can benefit from having an open mind,’ in the June 25 issue of the Dana Point Times, it got me to thinking about my sister, who is 61, widowed after only being married for four months in 2013, and she has not dated since.

“I checked out the link to your website and ta-da! There are so many things I could say about it. I watched your Today Show video and the last video you posted about the two ladies. Your advice is so spot on.

“I’m turning 68 this month. My friends and I tell ourselves we are on the ‘back nine’ now (the back nine in golf is the second half of a golf game). I’m not sure which hole in the back nine we’re on.

“I mentioned this to a 77-year-old surgeon I know and he chuckled and said in his Whales accent, ‘Well dahling, if you are on the back nine, I must be in the clubhouse having my martini.’

“My closest friends and I want our lives to be filled with quality time and friends and people who have value to us. Most of us are quite spontaneous, feeling as we get older to ‘try something new’ because we never know what the outcome could be. I loved your website article about who should pay for the date. The perspectives you presented were so interesting and varied.

“I am sharing your website information with several friends who could benefit from your insight. Do you still own Tutor & Spunky’s deli in Dana Point?

“I live in Laguna Niguel, up Pacific Island Drive, and am a frequent visitor to Dana Point.”

My response to Laurie: “I sold Tutor & Spunky’s five years ago, but still drop in for a sandwich to visit with some employees who worked with me. I am proud that the deli is in its 32year.

“I’ve been busy in my back nine of life. I am finishing a memoir about my 25 years opening, running, managing a Dana Point Deli. The book is titled, ‘Tutor & Spunky’s Deli. A Dana Point Landmark.’ It should be published around July 17 (it is live on both as a Kindle eBook and a Paperbook version.

Tutor & Spunky's Deli. A Dana Point Landmark
book cover by author Tom Blake
Tom Blake’s memoir finished July 17 2021

“At age 68, you and your friends may be on the back nine, as you describe it, but probably only on the 10th or 11th hole. You have lots left to do and enjoy.

“We in Dana Point appreciate your visiting us from Laguna Niguel. In 1989, I lived in Laguna Niguel. One night I went to sleep there and woke up the next morning in Dana Point. I promise I had not been drinking. I hadn’t even left my house.

“That was just before Dana Point became a city on January 1, 1990, and the boundaries of Dana Point were expanded to include the Ritz Carlton and Monarch Beach Areas, as well as Capistrano Beach. So, I understand the city of Laguna Niguel, from where you are coming.

“Now that the pandemic has eased, and you and your friends are willing to try something new, three things are important to keep in mind. These three suggestions apply to singles anywhere in the world, not just Southern Orange County.

Three things single seniors should do

“First, get the body moving. Walking helps. Try tai chi, yoga, water aerobics, dancing, standup paddleboarding—whatever is of interest. Just, get it going.

“Second, get off the couch and out of the house and involved in activities you enjoy. Senior centers offer a multitude of activities. For your widowed sister, there are widow and widower clubs. Many people she’ll meet there will be able to relate to what she has gone through. They would be good places for her to gradually reenter the social world.

“Third, aim to maximize social interaction. People need to be among people—laughing, talking, caring, sharing, and hugging—all of those social interactions are good for a person’s health. Meeting new people is healthy

“Those three things are key for senior singles. Pursuing them will keep seniors from finishing the back nine and entering the clubhouse too soon, unless, like your 77-year old surgeon friend, you’re into martinis.”

Have a good weekend.

Senior Marriage in their 70s

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – July 2, 2021

by Columnist Tom Blake

Senior Marriage in their 70s

I wrote about Cheryl and Matt in the Valentine’s Day eNewsletter this year. Why mention them so soon again? They have updated news that surprised me, and which I felt would be interesting to our Champs. A little background information will be hopeful.

Cheryl and Matt met online on OK Cupid in April, 2016. Cheryl said, ““Matt and I are blessed to have found love in our 70s.  However, we do take some credit for our success and don’t believe it was just luck. We were honest when we wrote our profiles and answered hundreds of questions on OK Cupid, and we were honest with each other in our communications from the onset.”

They knew they were meant for each other. There was just one issue. Cheryl had lived in Ohio for 58 years; Matt lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan—600 miles away. A senior, long-distance relationship was established. Six months later, Cheryl moved to Michigan to live with Matt.

Five years later

Cheryl said, “In April, 2021, we moved to Ohio, arriving at my daughter’s home. On April 24, we moved into a 35-foot RV we are renting while our house is being built. Moving out of Matt’s 2,600 square foot house has been an adjustment, especially with a 105-pound dog and a cat!

So, I thought that was their news: A couple in their mid-70s, relocating and building a home. But there was more news.

Cheryl said, “Even though neither of us expected to marry again when we first made a ‘rest of the journey’ commitment to each other, after being together for nearly five years, we were married on June 12. We were married in the church I had attended for years while living in Ohio prior to moving to Michigan. Getting married just felt good.

“And there were some financial advantages as well, although that wasn’t the main factor in our decision.

“We had fun with the ceremony, as both of us shared poems we had written previously to each other. The minister read Matt’s poem, ‘How to stay in love.” I wrote ‘wedding’ lyrics to Leonard Cohen’s ‘ ‘Hallelujah,’ which I sang to Matt at the end of the ceremony.

“The lyrics included: ‘I met you on the Internet, I took a chance, I made a bet that we would together forever be, yah.’ There were four verses total.

“We celebrated afterward with dinner with the family at my daughter and son in law’s home. My daughter made the cake. She did a very professional-looking job. And it was yummy, too!

Matt and Cheryl

” When I was four years younger and divorced, I never would have expected to find someone to spend the rest of my life with, let alone marry. And I never expected to move to Michigan (particularly, to the Upper Peninsula), and then to move back to Ohio, and be building a house at the age of 74.

“One benefit of pursuing a relationship at our age (70s) is that we know ourselves well enough to recognize what we need and want based on our emotions and practical objective considerations. We are not as likely to simply get ‘swept off our feet’ and make a decision prematurely or based solely on emotion.

“There is still plenty of life to live in our senior years, and I echo your advice to remain open to new and different possibilities. We are never too old to fall in love!”