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!
” 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!”