Senior long-distance relationship

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter

January 28, 2022

2022 eNewsletter #4

by Tom Blake

Senior long-distance relationship: By overthinking her senior long-distance relationship, a single senior woman is jeopardizing it.

The perils of a senior long-distance relationship. 

Last October (2021), a woman named Sharon emailed, “I have been in a long-distance relationship for 1 ½ years. I’m 66 and live in Georgia. My boyfriend is 68 and lives in California. We don’t seem to mind. Our love for each other will work out.

“However, he has some ‘issues.’ It’s too complicated to just send an email. Perhaps I can share with you over the phone? It won’t take but a 10-minute conversation.”

I responded, “The phone won’t work for me. I must have written proof of stories that people submit to me for possible use in my newspapers and weekly eNewsletters. I do not want to get into a situation where someone says to me, “That’s not what I told you over the phone.”

“So, in writing articles, I must have written documentation. Please feel free to email me regarding your situation; I’d love to hear what you have on your mind.

“Besides, if I talked on the phone to all the people who would like to chat about their situations, I wouldn’t have time to eat or sleep! Please understand. I hope you’ll write me.”

I didn’t hear back from her—until this January 16, 2022, when Sharon wrote: “We may have communicated before.”

I was surprised she didn’t remember contacting me just three months before. I remembered and I hear from nearly 1,000 people each month.

She wrote: “I have a boyfriend who lives in California, and I live in Georgia. We’ve had a long-distance relationship for 1.8 years.

“We love each other, and he is dragging his feet when it comes to moving forward with the relationship. He is not in a place in his life where he can do that.

“He thinks because of the distance and because I have kids and grandkids (who I’m close to), and because he doesn’t know what he’ll be doing after he sells his house, that the circumstances warrant a big problem for us.

“He doesn’t see how to ‘advance’ the relationship and has even put things on hold while he tries to complete architectural drafting, and building this home project he needs to do so he can sell his house and move on and enjoy his retirement.

“He still likes to travel and vacation with me and things are wonderful when we meet. He calls me twice a week, sends texts almost daily, and still sends me gifts.

“I just sent him a letter to let him know this situation of being in ‘limbo’ is not good for my mental or emotional health. I wrote that I was taking a month with no contact to pray and heal my emotions. I wonder what step to take next.

“I love this man and find it hard to concentrate on dating others, as he said he wouldn’t want to hold me back from a casual golf outing, etc., with a guy if I wanted to.”

I responded: I received your email Sunday, Jan 16. Yes, we communicated before on October 12 when you wanted to talk on the phone, and I explained to you why I didn’t want to do that (see the email above).

Questions: You’ve dated the CA guy for 1.8 years. How did you first meet? Online? Have you been together in person a few times? How many times for you to fall in love with him?

You wrote Sunday “He is not in a place in his life where he can do that,” meaning move the relationship forward. 

You wrote to him saying being in “limbo” isn’t good for your emotional or mental health.

What do you want him to do? Who would move? Him to GA? Or, you to CA (away from your kids and grandkids). 

Perhaps you should get on with your life and back off. Give him time to think. Yes, I know it is hard mentally but that appears to be your only option since you say he can’t move it forward at this stage.

How would you get together during this Covid pandemic? Hard to do when 3,000 miles apart.

A senior dating ultimatum

Sharon responded again: “I have given each of us some time ‘to process’ the relationship: One month no contact. I stated in my letter that I was happy and secure the first year. Communication was consistent, trips were planned every 2-3 months, etc.

“Since August, we haven’t made any concrete plans, and communication has trailed off, I have felt much less that I am even IN a relationship at all! I understand his project, and the stress he is under. I didn’t feel that his home-improvement project was a good enough reason to put our relationship on hold.

“I want to make sure he really FEELS the love and wants to continue our relationship. Not being able to and not wanting to are two different things. I sense a connection is being lost. We are already losing our connection physically. (Covid has nothing to do with our being away from each other, although he did get it one time).

“During the first year, even though there were all KINDS of hindrances to our seeing each other in person (flu, his sister’s death), I felt his steadfast love and care. Anyway, in a few weeks perhaps he will share his thoughts on the ‘no-contact’ period and what if any conclusions he came to during it. I am preparing myself either way. I wish I had given him a heads-up about the no-contact period, but I didn’t know any better.

“It never occurred to me. I basically made it about ME, that I needed time away to think, heal, etc… and that after the month was up, I welcome him to contact me. So, yes, there is the question of what he can do? He can include me in some things to show that I am still important in his life.

“My point was that life will always have ‘big projects’ and stressors, and we can put things on hold, but not people and relationships.

“P.S. If you are wondering where the question is in all this, it is: Who should call who after the no-contact period is up? What should he or I say? I didn’t give any ultimatums or ask any questions, just told him I was going to get some quiet to heal myself and my emotions and pray about God’s direction for my life.

“I made it clear that I was hoping he is the man God has for me and that we would pair our gifts together to be used for ‘His service’ so he should get a clear idea that this no-contact period was not meant to break us up or lead up to it.”

I responded again to Sharon: “Long-distance relationships are difficult, even more difficult during Covid. You and your ‘boyfriend’ have been together only four times in two years. Not enough time to know each other well enough to consider having one of you relocate across the country.

“When you emailed in October, you wrote, ‘We don’t seem to mind’ (Being apart). Apparently, you changed your mind by the time January rolled around.”

I didn’t hear from her again. Perhaps she was using the same no-contact-for-a-month ploy on me that she used on him.

Her boyfriend won’t listen to her

Tom’s conclusion

She’s way over-thinking this relationship. Her self-imposed ‘no-contact’ month is a form of an ultimatum that may be the nail in the relationship coffin. With her excessive twaddle, she may have turned him off. Who should call? she asked. She should, of course. But he may not pick up the phone.

With all the details she wrote, it’s apparent that a phone call from her to me would have taken nearly an hour. That’s another reason why I don’t agree to have people telephone me. Now, if they want a paid consulting session, that’s another story, but she didn’t offer that.

Senior dating tips. Four ways for seniors to meet a potential mate during the pandemic

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter January 21, 2022

2022 eNewsletter #3

by Tom Blake Columnist

Senior Dating tips. Four ways for seniors to meet a potential mate during the pandemic

Champ Sonia (see her picture above) emailed that she wants to date someone her age or younger. She wrote, “I’ve read your eNewsletters for several years and I love them. I am 63 and would like to date someone my age or some years younger. 

“You are so far away from me, but I would love to participate in one of your Meet and Greet sessions but I don’t know how to do it because of the distance and now the situation with the new covid.”

Tom replied, “Thanks for writing, and thank you for being a Champ for several years. I understand your frustration with the Covid situation, which is affecting senior singles not only in PA, where you live but across the world.

At 63, you should normally be able to meet eligible men within your dating age range (even younger), but Covid has thrown the proverbial monkey wrench into the search.

Even the Meet and Greet sessions you refer to at Tutor & Spunky’s, my former deli in Dana Point, California, have been on hold for two years now. So, don’t get on a plane or a train to come to the Meet & Greets—all you could meet would be meat—as in a pastrami sandwich–for example.

So, you’d be wiser to try to meet someone closer to you in PA or adjacent states, someone who would be within reasonable driving distance. How to do that during the pandemic? In four ways:

1 Try senior online dating. You won’t even need to wear a mask while you’re online. Our November 19 eNewsletter was titled, “Which online dating site is best for seniors?” I’m not an internet dating expert. So, I quoted our Champ Christine Baumgartner, an expert dating and relationship coach. Christine lives in Orange County, California, and calls her business “The Perfect Catch.”

Here’s what I wrote on November 19, 2021 in an eNewsletter, which is on this website.

“When Christine is asked by a client which dating site is the best one, her reply is, ‘This may surprise you. They’re generally all the same.”

To read more about senior online dating, go to Christine’s Facebook page. She’s got great material on there. Or to her website (the link is listed below). Use a site that caters to seniors such as Silver Singles or OurTime (owned by Most sites will charge a monthly fee. POF (Plenty of Fish) doesn’t unless you upgrade, but it has a reputation for having scammers.

And speaking of scammers, be careful no matter what online site you choose. There are scammers on every site. They prey on lonely seniors, primarily widows, so there is a risk in online dating. But, by going online, you’d be able to establish a reasonable search radius, say within 50 miles of where you live in PA

2 Get off the couch and out of the house when the pandemic eases. Still take precautions—wear a mask, meet people outside when possible, keep social distancing. If you see a man who appears to be single—no wedding ring, for example—and he appeals to you, be assertive by saying hello or ask him a question like, “Which wine goes best with this salad?”

Be assertive, but not aggressive. When senior singles venture out and embark on a new activity, their chances of meeting a potential mate increase. Here’s a story I heard this week, while on my Stand Up Paddleboard in Dana Point Harbor, of all places.

As I was paddling from shore, a guy on his board yelled, “Hey Tom, I attended several of your Meet & Greets and enjoyed them.”I said, “Did you find a mate there?”“No,” he said, “but I learned from what you often said to us–to get involved in activities we enjoy. So, I took ukulele lessons and met my partner there. We have a lot in common. Thanks for the advice and for having those events.”
I never thought I’d hear a success story like that on a paddleboard! Also, volunteering is a wonderful way to meet people and to pay it forward as well.

3 Network. Ask your friends, co-workers, and acquaintances if they know of someone who is near your age and single and who might be a nice mate for you. And don’t stop asking because as we age, people’s lives change. Some become widows or widowers, and others have relationships end.

4 Attend outdoor classes (when the weather is warmer) such as tai chi, yoga, pickleball, ukulele (or other instruments), and on and on.Bottom line: Make yourself as visible as possible and work on your appearance through exercising and eating right to help you stay healthy. Keep your expectations in check. Don’t go out with the express purpose of meeting a mate.

Instead, go out to enrich your life. Be friendly, have a positive attitude, make yourself likable. Don’t give up hope. We are all in the pandemic challenge together. Be very careful with exposure to Covid and be leery of scammers. I hope we are all vaccinated and boosted.

Keep the emails and questions coming. We have some interesting upcoming eNewsletter topics, including how to deal with a long-distance relationship during the pandemic and even details of a conversation I had with Johnny Cash regarding words Johnny said to me after we left his recording studio together in 1976.

I had co-produced a record album with him at the studio. So, stay tuned, stay safe, and keep on truckin.’

Sonia shared her photos with us today. If male Champs would like to contact her in PA, email me and I will forward your email to her. You never know, you just might have interests in common with this nice woman.

Seniors love the oldies

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter

January 14, 2022 eNewsletter #2

by Tom Blake author

Seniors love the oldies. Responses to DOO WOP quiz

(Edited for length and clarity)

“It was fun,” were the most popular words shared by Champs who responded to last week’s 30-question doo-wop topic.

Champs said the quiz triggered lots of precious memories and gave them something else to think about instead of the negative pandemic and world news.

Today: Of the 53 Champs who responded, 22 are quoted (I apologize that I couldn’t include everybody). Here’s what was said:

Francesca: “21 right! I’m going to send the test to some of my oldies friends to see how they do. A lot of fun!” 

Sandy, Austin, Tx: “This was fun–and challenging–to recall songs from 60 to 70 years ago! I got 22 correct. I also loved the music from the 40s. These are challenging times.”

Wayne, Orange Co, Ca: “Fun quiz. I got 24.”

John, Florida, “28 right; missed Puppy Love. I was a DJ in the 70s and 80s and later filled in on a doo-wop program, so I knew most of these. DJ in Lewistown, PA for 2 years and then DuBois, PA after that. This was fun.

Terry, Thailand, “The Doo Wop Test brought back memories of talking to Alan Freed on the telephone during my early high school days. He would take requests on his radio show in New York City, and I learned how to be the numbered caller that he stated from his radio show.

“I was told that sometimes he beat his hand on a big New York City phone book, keeping in time with the beat of the music. As a young boy, those were fun times. Thanks for the memories!”

Larry, “Enjoyed this issue, though my musical taste was atypical for the 50s. (perhaps because my mother was a classical pianist?)

“I enjoyed all classical music including Beethoven’s 1st Piano, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Mozart’s 5th. Also, Hugo Winterhalter’s Canadian Sunset, Ray Anthony and The Dorsey Brothers.”

Beckie, “Ray and I graduated high school in 1967 so some of the earlier 50s songs were not quite so easy. When I was in junior high, we had a cheer routine to Rock around the Clock. I still remember some of those moves from nearly 60 years ago! 

“Where I grew up in Rifle, Colorado, we could only listen to ‘our music’ at nighttime when we could get ‘50,000 watts of power, singing at you every hour’ on KOMA in Oklahoma City, OK.” 

“Thanks for the diversion. With all of the bad news swirling through our daily lives, it’s good to have our minds enjoying pleasanter thoughts!”

Andree, “I loved your newsletter as always. This one was great. I got 18. Great memories for me as well. I don’t play an instrument, but this gal has loved music and been a dancer from way back when. At 72, I still love rock and roll and all the oldies.

“When I got home from kindergarten, I would watch Dick Clark on American Bandstand. I also would fall asleep at 8 years old with my transistor radio playing Rock & Roll until I got caught by my mother and had to turn it off. I’ve been a lover of Rock and Roll since I was 5. And one of my first records was ‘Kookie Kookie Lend Me Your Comb.’ Rock and Roll will never die!”

Ted, Grosse Pointe Farms, Mi: “I was working the sign-on/morning drive shift at WALM in Albion (Michigan) when the Bobby Holly story broke (it was my sophomore year at Albion College), and I recall reading the wire service news copy about the plane crash the night before — the day the music died.”

Nancy: “Love your newsletter this week. Perfect timing for a little mental gymnastics on a very winter day. As a ‘60’s grad, I remember most of these songs. Brought back interesting memories. I got 21, not bad for a soon-to-be 80-year-old.

Tom’s response: “You are just a spring chicken. Great job on 21.”

Nancy: “Don’t know about the spring chicken but am in great health, worked until I was 70, just sold my townhouse last year. Always dreamed of living ‘on the water,’ found a log cabin on Lake Ontario in northern New York. Totally renovated and am living my dream.

“Met my partner on 10 years ago. Have been reading your newsletter for many years…keep them coming!”

Diane: “I got 25. I too love doo-wop and rock and roll from the 50s-70s. Still love it today. I can hear a tune start and know what song will come on. Usually, get it right! Thanks for sharing this.”

Bonnie, a former Victoria Station restaurant chain employee in San Francisco, now living in So Cal: “Got 13.”

My response to Bonnie, (I was also a former Victoria Station employee): “Bonnie, perhaps you didn’t listen enough to the jukebox at Victoria Station! In 1971, our president asked me to ensure the songs on our restaurant jukeboxes were the most popular. He wanted to know the most popular song ever. I researched it. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel, at least at that time.

Bonnie’s response #2: “I was too busy flirting with my waiter, Wayne. He moved to southern CA for law school, and I followed. That is why I live here now!”

Liping, Washington state (Did not live in USA in the 60s or 70s): “I do not know anything about the old music 50s 60s, 70s (or today’s) but I tried to answer the first 15 questions – 8 out of 15. Later got 4 out of the other 15.  

Very fun!”

Barb, “I must either love good old music or be old…as I got 24. A couple were guesses.” 

Marty: “I’m so upset, I missed one. Thought the Monotone’s was fake, but I knew the other groups had other records. Oh Well, learn something new every day. I always enjoy your eNewsletters, and I read one of your books. I’ll get the newest one eventually.”

Tom’s response: Oh Marty, don’t be upset, 29 is amazing. You are the highest so far that I’ve heard from.” 

Donna, “I missed four, mostly the background ones. I only missed the one about the cat and the seafood store Fun!

Tom’s response: Loved that Bill Haley song (Shake, Rattle and Roll). “I’m like a one-eyed cat peepin’ in a sea food store. I can look at you ’til you don’t love me no more.”

Leslie (Santa Rosa, Ca): “That was fun, especially since I taught the ‘50s and ‘60s R&R to 6th graders for 25 years! I bet they would do well on the quiz, too, even after all these years. It always amazed me how they loved early rock ‘n roll and knew all the words to the songs. Like you, I also missed #1 (and 4 others). Thanks for the Friday fun. 

“I so enjoy reading your columns each Friday and thank you for all. I’m happily single and not at all interested in a relationship because I LOVE living alone. I’ve gotten used to it after 19 years of ‘widow-ship.’”

Carmen, “20 with no lucky guesses.”

Dee #1, Orange Co, Ca: I got 18. It was sad though to read about the crash and it reminded me of the movie about Richie Valens with Lou Diamond Phillips. 

Dee #2, Laguna Niguel Ca: “I only got 14.”

Tom’s response: “Only 14? Perhaps because your roommates are from a younger generation!”

MS. Terry: “Fun test. Used to blow them away in college trivia games (early ’70’s). Still got 25, not too shabby! Listen to oldies on the local college station Saturday mornings.

Diane: “I used to live in Mission Viejo but 1 1/2 years ago I moved to Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. I’ve followed you from the time you had a “Middle Age Dating” column in the OC Register. I was a caregiver at the time.

“Then, when I became a widow, you had written a book. I went to one of your book signings at Barnes and Nobel in Aliso Viejo. I didn’t meet you after your talk. I was a new, young widow, early 50’s, and the room was full of, you guessed it, women! And they surrounded you! LOL. There were maybe 4 guys there.”

Tom’s Response: “Even the single-women-to-single-men ratio was difficult back then. Not much has changed in 2022. However, the response ratio from last week’s quiz was one-to-one.”

Note to the quiz is below.

Thanks for all the fun comments. I’m sorry I couldn’t squeeze everybody in. A reminder, while we are on the music topic, our term ‘Champs’ was adopted from Jackson Browne’s song, “The Load Out/Stay,” an incredible piece of music. 

Winter Dance Party – a quiz for seniors

day the music died
Surf Ballroom poster announcing Buddy Holly Concert dated Feb. 2, 1959. The day the music died was Feb. 3
On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – January 7, 2022

2022 eNewsletter #1

Winter Dance Party – a Doo Wop Quiz for Seniors

Columnist Tom Blake

On Wednesday at about 6:30 a.m., I was sitting in front of my computer pondering what to write about in this week’s eNewsletter. The senior dating news from Champs has been a little slow with the uptick of the Omicron variance.

Events are being canceled and older singles are “sheltering in place,” trying to avoid getting Covid. Not to mention the horrendous weather that has hit the USA since Christmas. Dating and trying to meet a mate isn’t a top priority now. 

I checked my inbox. I had an email from one of our most devoted Champs, Larry Leach, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. If his name and city sound familiar, it’s because Larry and his wife Bonnie have been featured or mentioned in our newsletter previously.

They’ve been married for 61+ years. Larry is a couple of years older than I, and was a classmate of my brother Bill in Jackson, Michigan, “a long, long time ago” (opening words to the song American Pie). Larry’s email subject line got my attention: Doo Wop Test. 

The test included in his email has 30 multiple-choice trivia questions about the 1950s – 1970s music. And the email also stated: “Answers at the bottom, don’t cheat!” Larry wrote: “I got 9 of these 30 questions right. Give it a try.”

My curiosity took over. I’m pretty darn good at identifying oldies songs from the 1950s – 1970s. The test that Larry sent was taken from the St. Louis Park School (Minnesota) Class of 1958 website (link listed below). With a cup of morning coffee on my desk, I decided to take the “Doo Wop” Test. I grabbed a pen and a blank sheet of paper to write down my answers.

It was fun and boy did the questions bring back memories. They will probably bring back memories for many of you as well. So, I decided to include the test in today’s edition. I hope today’s eNewsletter doesn’t bore our younger (70 and below) Champs.

My brother Bill loved music. His love of music rubbed off on me. I’m an oldies nut.  I remember listening on the radio on Saturday mornings, often with brother Bill, to the Marty McNeeley Morning Music Hall Show on WJR, Detroit, which was a top-10 countdown program.

Plus, McNeeley would play new songs on the show that had just come out. I heard a new song previewed one morning. Bill hadn’t been listening. I walked into his room and said, “I just heard a song that I predict is going to be a huge hit.” Bill said, “Who sings it?” I said, “A guy named Elvis Presley.” What’s the name of the song?” “Heartbreak Hotel.” I was right; it went quickly to the top of the charts.  

Sometimes, Greta plays YouTube music and I nail most of the 50s, 60s, and 70s on the first couple of notes. For example, Tuesday night, I drove her crazy identifying songs. Included were: Heart of Gold – Neil Young. Turn The Page – Bob Seger. Carol – Paul Anka. American Pie – Don McClean (see postcard above). Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond. Bolero – Andre Rieu Orchestra.

Speaking of oldies history, one of the first radio stations in the states to play Bill Haley and His Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock” was WIBM in Jackson, Michigan. The overnight D.J. used it as his theme song before it became popular. That’s the same station where Jack Parr got his start. 

I got to see Bill Haley in person perform that song at the Atlanta Underground in 1968.You can take the test in one of two ways. By scrolling down this page. All of the questions and answers are listed here.Or, just click on the link. Again, the test that Larry sent was taken from the St. Louis Park School (Minnesota) Class of 1958 (Minnesota) website, so credit to them.

Here is the link: 

Remember, just scroll down, don’t sneak a peek at the answers until the end. Count your tally. If you wish, let me know how you did. I share my score at the end of today’s eNewsletter.

Here are the first 3 Doo Wop questions and the answers follow: 
1. When did ”Little Suzie” finally wake up?
(a) The movie’s over, it’s 2 o’clock
(b) The movie’s over, it’s 3 o’clock
(c) The movie’s over, it’s 4 o’clock

2. ”Rock Around The Clock” was used in what movie?
(a) Rebel Without A Cause
(b) Blackboard Jungle
(c) The Wild Ones

3. What’s missing from a Rock & Roll standpoint?
Earth _____(a) Angel(b) Mother(c) Worm

Answers to the first three questions :
1. (c) The movie’s over, it’s 4 o’clock
2. (b) Blackboard Jungle
3. (a) Angel
I missed the first question, “What time did little Susie wake up?” But, I nailed 25 of the 30, which included a couple of lucky guesses. How did you score on the test?