Senior dating success stories

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – October 1, 2021

by Tom Blake

Senior Success Stories and other comments

Champ George, San Francisco, emailed: “Today – September 27, 2021 – Mareah and I met 14 years ago at Celia’s by-the-beach Mexican restaurant and cantina on Judah Street, Sunset District, San Francisco, so that’s 14 years ago. Our romance matured into a forever friendship…! I’m 81; she’s 62.”

Tom’s comment: George was a newsletter subscriber long before he met Mareah. Their relationship shows that an age difference doesn’t necessarily matter in a relationship.

The picture was provided by George of he and Mareah on a Princess cruise which was an 80th birthday present from Mareah to him.

Mareah and George

Remember Ginny and Harry from our April 27 eNewsletter? She’s 80; he’s 87. They knew each other as kids. He was married 59 years and then widowed. They re-met at a PA Senior Center in a room where men shot pool. She volunteered at the center. He asked her out but made it clear to her that he wanted neither wanted to remarry or even no live together, just someone to pal around with. That was eight years ago.

This May, Ginny emailed that Harry had changed his mind. He decided he wanted to get married this November. And then, a month later, Ginny emailed an update: Harry changed his mind again. They’d be married in September.
One of our Champs, Tammy Lagorce, a NY Times “Weddings columnist,” became interested in Ginny’s and Harry’s story. Tammy asked me for permission to contact Ginny.

Ginny emailed this week. “Well, we did it (got married). It was a lovely day. It was so nice to meet Weddings columnist Tammy (Lagorce) and photographer Michelle (both from the NY Times). Our local paper featured our story Sunday. Tammy told us that our story will appear in the NY Times sometime in November.”

Tom’s comment: Kudos to Ginny. She made this event happen by first alerting us to her story with Harry and being cooperative by keeping us and Tammy Lagorce informed. Lesson learned: Regardless of age, never give up. And think about it: one of our Champs married at 80 and her story is being featured in the NY Times.

Diane emailed: “Three years ago after a man broke up with me after 7 1/2 years—because he didn’t think he could spend the rest of his life with me–I was crushed. It turns to have been the best thing that ever happened to me.
“Six months later, I set out to meet Mr. Right. I joined five dating sites and met three men a week at a coffee shop. I met lots of great guys, but Mr. Right was #57. We laugh about it today. I’m 76; my guy is 71.

“I kept notes on all the dates and have great stories to tell. I never met a bad guy and could have had a second date with many but only did with a couple of them. I decided I wasn’t going to settle for less than what I wanted.

“He came along, and we’ve been enjoying life, laughter, travel and so much fun ever since. I kinda made it a challenge and thought the process would make a fun book. That’s what kept me going.

“I made sure the men all lived within 45 minutes and if I had a second date with a man, I Googled him to make sure he was legit. There are some wonderful men out there looking for the right gal. It takes work and can be fun.”
Tom’s comment: Diane’s story also has valuable relationship lessons for older singles. A crushing breakup can be a blessing, although it’s hard to understand and accept at the time it happens.

Diane conducted her search as if she were trying to find the right job or career for herself. To meet the right mate, singles need to cast their net far and wide and put their best foot forward. Be tenacious.

Since Diane kept notes about her dates, and she said it would be a fun (and positive) book, I suggested Diane write a book about her multiple dates. She sounds like she’d put a positive spin on her experience.

In 2009, when I had received from my readers 50 senior dating success stories, I included them in a book titled “How 50 Couples Found Love after 50.” Each couple’s story has valuable lessons learned from how they met. You can read about that book (pictured below) in my online bookstore (link below).

Charles, my Navy roommate aboard the USS Noble, APA 218, during the Viet Nam war, checked in this week. His family founded and has owned the Boardwalk Amusement Park in Santa Cruz, California, since the early 1900s. Charlie and his wife Betty lost their home to the fire north of Santa Cruz last year.

Charles emailed, “The Boardwalk ended the summer strong, but it just about killed everyone because of our lack of getting employees. I, at age 81, was running rides on some big days, which was fun but hard on someone my age.
“Betty and I finally bought a house last month but won’t be able to move in until November 1. It has a small guest house, so you and Greta need to plan a trip this way.”

Tom’s comment: Charlie and I have been friends since 1963. That’s 58 years. Our ship was based in Subic Bay, Philippines Islands, and carried 3,000 battle-ready marines.

If you visit The Boardwalk in Santa Cruz and see an 81-year-old dude helping on the Big Dipper roller coaster or some other ride, introduce yourself and thank him for being a veteran, a Champ, and for contributing to today’s eNewsletter. And tell him his old Navy buddy, “Old T.P,” as he calls me, says hello.

Champ Norm, San Clemente, emailed. “You and I met at your former deli two years ago at a senior Meet and Greet. That night you advised me to immediately latch on to a ‘winner” woman attending, but she had already arranged with another guy to take her home.

“Not a problem. I’ve had several dates, mostly from online dating and that is difficult. Frustrating way to go. But never just the right chemistry. Finally, three months ago, I connected with a genuine, wonderful woman.”

We have a fabulous relationship and so much in common. I’m 87. She’s 77, very active, and smart. And, she has no problem sharing expenses. In fact, she goes overboard. Very loving and has a great sense of humor. We are so busy going and doing.

“I’ve been widowed 3 ½ years, after a 63-year marriage, and she’s been widowed eight years, after a 44-year marriage. We are so happy and it’s a match made in heaven. We both consider ourselves to be very lucky indeed!”

Tom’s comments: Think about this: Norm and his woman-friend have a combined 107 years of marriage experience under their belts. How blessed they are to have found each other. They each know a good thing when they each see it. I’m not suggesting marriage, but if that thought ever arises, I’ll bet “Weddings columnist” Tammy Lagorce would likely reach out to Norm and his woman friend.

Champ Pat emailed: “I can’t believe I’ve been following your writing for 20+ years. I stumbled onto you when I was a young widow at age 50 and am now 72 and still single. I am happy the way I am but do occasionally wish for a mate.
“I moved from the East Coast to the West Coast and met new friends through your suggestion to check out groups. I thank you for that because I had never heard of Meetup before. So glad I did.”

Tom’s comment: Pat, thanks for being a reader for so long. I think I started calling people Champs about 10 years ago. My first newspaper column was July 7, 1994, and appeared in the Dana Point News. It was titled, “Home alone with only the dogs for company.”

Since then, when combining newspaper columns and eNewsletters, the total is now more than 4,200 articles written. I’m blessed and I’ll keep writing as long as Champs keep sending in their information, as so many did this week.

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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