How soon to date after losing a mate?

Also, Seniors how soon to online date after losing a mate?

By Tom Blake – Senior dating specialist and columnist

(The above picture of Gloria and Peter courtesy of Gloria P)

Eleven years ago, I corresponded with Champ Gloria in Florida who told me about her meeting a man who lived an hour and a half away from her. His name was Peter. They became a long-distance relationship couple and about two years later they moved in together.

Gloria sent me photos of them together in 2014—a very handsome couple (see photo above). I did a column on their relationship and in the column, I named Peter “The Italian Stallion.” Gloria would occasionally keep me posted on their relationship. In the last couple of years, she mentioned that Peter was having some health issues, about which she was concerned.

A few days ago, Gloria emailed news that shocked and saddened me: “I’m 70. I lost my partner of 11 years on January 12, 2023. I realize that you lost Greta in October. I know you have joined two online dating sites. I need your advice. Is it too early for me to start online dating? Please comment on your senior online dating experience.”

I replied to Gloria. “Two months ago, I was in my Dana Point home on a Saturday night, feeling empty, lost, and missing Greta terribly. Loneliness is awful. I thought I cannot continue feeling like this. I need hope. I need a woman to talk to. And maybe even a hug. Yes, I’ve met a few nice women, but there hasn’t been a relationship connection yet.

“So, I took a deep breath and joined, and another site called Zoosk, which a Champ Bruce in Ohio had recommended to me. After seeing the first few profiles and faces of potential mates, I felt new hope in my life.

“Since then, I’ve learned a lot about senior online dating. I’ve learned through my own experience that there are scammers on all sites. The most important thing is: What one sees in a profile may not be what you see when you meet in person. Pictures are often outdated, perhaps taken years ago. People may not be as available as they claim they are.

“A few women 20-years-younger+ have raved at my profile. I’d be in disbelief, even feel amazed. And then, at some point, their true motivation revealed itself. Some might have had their eyes on my modest assets, not on me.

“I have met some wonderful women both online and out socially.

“Have I had online dating success? Let’s just say I’m a work in progress. Navigating a road, I never envisioned I’d be on. There is a lot of baggage out there, including my senior dating baggage. I’m thinking about opening a senior dating baggage resale store.

I’ve heard a lot of this: ‘I want to be just friends.’

        (see picture below)

“So, Gloria, when is it time for you to try online dating? Probably when you decide that loneliness sucks. And then, as I did, you need to become more assertive in meeting potential mates.

“So, a senior question, when to online date? A senior must decide whether online dating is right for her or him, and the timing of when to begin is strictly up to each person. There is no right or wrong answer. Online dating can be a valuable item in the senior dating-again marketing toolbox.”

“Some people will be critical of you and of me for both venturing out into the online dating world so soon after losing our mates. I guess they want us to stay home, mope, and be depressed.

“However, they haven’t walked in our shoes (as Elvis once said). A couple of months ago I wrote that Johnny Cash had said that. My Champ buddy, Michael, who knew Elvis personally, corrected me on that slight error.

“And tonight, I’ll raise a glass of Chianti Classico in honor of the “The Italian Stallion” and a glass of Chardonnay in honor of Greta. Does that make me a two-fisted drinker? Probably so, those two wonderful people both deserve a toast.

“Keep the faith, Gloria. Don’t overthink your situation. Just let it be and let us know when you choose to decide to go online.”

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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