5 tips for overcoming heartbreak

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – May 20, 2022

by Tom Blake – Columnist

A New You – 5 Tips for overcoming heartbreak (Love will find a way)

Growing old has many rewards: retirement, playing lots of golf, exercising at will, children are grown and usually married and grandchildren for you to enjoy. No more 9-to-5 working pressures. The list is endless.

However, as we age, we also experience loss. We lose loved ones through divorce, breakups, misunderstandings, and death. It’s not just losing a partner. We lose parents, siblings, and dear friends. We are dealt personal hardships. Perhaps we’ve been diagnosed and are dealing with a serious illness.

It’s life, it’s inevitable and it’s hard. When these things happen, we face a new challenge: overcoming our heartbreak and finding a new direction.

How do we do that? How do we become “The new you?”

In writing about senior dating and relationships for 28 years, here are five tips I’ve learned from readers on how to overcome heartbreak. One of the main themes of songs is heartbreak, and how to overcome it. Today, I’m including three songs that I feel can be helpful to get people through tough times and give them hope.

5 tips for overcoming heartbreak

1. It’s understandable and ok to be sad. It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to be alone (for a time, but not for too long). One of my favorite songs from the 1970s was REM’s “Everybody Hurts.” In a nutshell, that song’s message is: “Everybody hurts sometimes. Hold on.” It’s a powerful song of hope and overcoming adversity. Link at end.

2. Remind yourself that healing takes time. It will sting for a while. In an interview April 21, 2022, on Good Morning America, Robin Roberts asked Magic Johnson (the photo above is of Magic Johnson with Greta Cohn and Tom Blake at Tom’s deli, Tutor and Spunky’s Deli in Dana Point, California, in 2009) how he overcame the news in 1991 that he had HIV. Magic said, “You realize you aren’t alone.” Being aware of this helped him become “A new you.”

The Bee Gees, the 1970s popular singing group was made up of three close-knit brothers. They had many hits, including, “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?” I saw an interview on TV recently with Barry Gibb, about that song and how he dealt with the loss of his three younger brothers, who died years apart. Maurice and Robin were members of the Bee Gees and Andy was much younger but not in the group.

Gibb was devastated. He said, “I moped around for months, there were highs and lows.”

My sisters and I lost my brother Bill a year ago January, it’s taken that long to not think about him every day. I’ve healed, I guess because I no longer daily reach for my phone to call him as I did for months after he passed. Again, healing takes time. And we will never forget.

3. Don’t try to go it alone. Have a support group, if only one or two people. Confide in them and talk to friends; be out socially, if possible. Try not to isolate yourself. Be around people by attending church, volunteering, and going to senior centers. Don’t be afraid to admit your pain.

4. Remind yourself that everything is going to be all right in due time. It may not seem like it when adversity happens. Be as positive as you can. In 1976, Neil Diamond co-wrote and sang live one time the song “Dry Your Eyes,” in response to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King because so many people were mourning. The song was on the “Beautiful Noise” album. He did not sing it live again until 2017, after the terrorist bombing at an Aria Grande concert in Manchester, England.

Greta and I attended one of his last concerts at the Forum in L.A. in 2018. At least, he unexpectedly (to me) sang “Dry Your Eyes.” I filmed a video of it, which is linked below.

5. Look for a seed of opportunity that often sprouts from adversity. When I was dealt an unexpected divorce in 1994, I started a journal just to gather and organize my thoughts. Six months later, using the words from that journal, I became a newspaper columnist. A seed of opportunity came along, and I grabbed it. I’m still writing 28 years later.

Another song about overcoming heartbreak is by the singing group Pablo Cruise who had a 1978 hit titled “Love Will Find A Way.” Words from that song include:

“Oh, but it’s all right (all right)
Once you get past the pain
(Past the pain)
You’ll learn to find your love again
So keep your heart open
‘Cause love will find a way”

Remember Magic’s words, “You aren’t alone.”

The music:

Here are links to the four songs mentioned.

REM’s Everybody Hurts:  


The Bee Gee’s How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?

Neil Diamond Dry Your Eyes (note the trumpet player beginning at the 1:34 mark; he’s incredible

Pablo Cruise’s Love Will Find A Way

Dry Your Eyes and other senior dating topics

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – July 5, 2019
Thomas P Blake  columnist for 25 years

There are three parts to today’s eNewsletter 

I call it “Dry Your Eyes” and “Senior dating topics”

Part One – Someone tell me why people who send long emails don’t respond when I answer?

As a journalist, I admit, I’m sometimes baffled. Here’s why:

An email arrives in my inbox. It could be from a Champ, but not necessarily. It could be from someone who isn’t on our eNewsletter mailing list. Perhaps, she or he did a Google search about relationships and my Finding Love After 50 website popped up. Through the website, the sender contacted me.

If the topic pertains to what I write about in this eNewsletter—relationships, dating most likely, or relevant senior issues–I’m all ears. Because I’ve done this drill for 25 years, I can generally tell in a sentence or two if the material has column potential.

The email is often long: one, two, or three full pages–1,000 or even 2,000 words. It likely took an hour, probably more, to write. Sometimes, more often than not, there are no paragraph breaks. So, I separate the material into paragraphs. The email usually ends with the sender asking for advice or comments.

As a courtesy, I attempt to respond immediately, simply to let the sender know I received the email and that I will reply in detail when I have time.

Later, after I’ve had a chance to assimilate and perhaps dissect what was written, I will respond with questions or comments to clarify any confusion with what’s written. If I feel the information is column-worthy, I will ask for permission to publish what was sent, even though at this point I’m not sure I will use it.

By column-worthy, I mean, information that Champs will find interesting, entertaining, or helpful.

I don’t charge for my time. I figure my payment is being able to use the information that was sent to me. In that way, these weekly eNewsletters can always be fresh. New information flows in. It’s a system I’ve used for years and it works.

But here’s what baffles me.

Often, not always, even though I’ve responded, I hear nothing more from the sender. Why did the sender put his or her valuable time into writing me, and then not follow up?

Was she just venting to make herself feel better? Did she figure out the answers on her own? Did she get sick, or, heaven forbid, pass away?

When I hear nothing more, I assume that I’ve received permission to use the information, since the sender asked for my comments, but I change the name so the chances of the person being identified are remote.

Such was the case last week with Judy, age 78, the woman who was never married. She was the one conflicted about moving to the boonies to be with her boyfriend of two years. She felt she and he were too different. Her email was around 1,000 words. Not a peep back from her after I responded to her twice.

And I checked Mail Chimp, the email marketing platform that I use to publish the eNewsletters, which shows who opened each eNewsletter, and who didn’t. She didn’t even bother to open last Friday’s eNewsletter, the one that exclusively featured her story and the sage advice tailored to her situation.

Someone please tell me why this happens.

Part 2 – Neil Diamond Broadway Musical (I hope he includes the song, “Dry Your Eyes”
It was announced this week that a Broadway musical about the life and music of Neil Diamond is being written by New Zealander, three-time Academy Award nominee, Anthony McCarten. He is best known for writing the smash movie musical “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

I think most of you are aware how much I love Diamond’s song, “Dry Your Eyes.” I tried to suggest to McCarten on Facebook that he include that song in the musical. Couldn’t find a good Facebook page for him.

But, I saw that Neil Diamond posted on his own Facebook page a response to the announcement news of the upcoming musical production. Diamond wrote, “So good, so good.” And most of us know that is from Diamond’s song, “Sweet Caroline,” where the audience, all together, chants out those words.

So I put my “Dry Your Eyes” suggestion on Diamond’s Facebook page. I think he’s got like 1.5 million followers so there’s about a 99.9 percent chance he won’t see my suggestion. If “Dry Your Eyes” is included in the musical, I will take Greta to New York to see it (I probably will take her to NYC to see it even if “Dry Your Eyes” doesn’t make the cut).

I provided the link to my YouTube video of him singing that song two weeks ago. And included it at the column end again today.

Part 3 – Why senior singles need to get out and interact with people

I realize that most of our Champs can’t attend the monthly Meet and Greets at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli in Dana Point. It’s just not geographically feasible. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t get out and about and interact socially with people near where they live across the USA and Canada, and in a few other countries.

It’s important to socialize. You never know what might happen; you might meet someone new. The perfect example was last week in Dana Point. When I first saw Jim and Beverly at the May Meet and Greet, Jim (in the red shirt with his back to the photo) was seated at a table with his buddy. Beverly was seated at a table with four other women (to the left of Jim’s table). The chances of them meeting seemed remote to me–they weren’t mingling.

Women and men at separate tables in the early moments of the May 22 Meet and Greet (photo by Tom Blake)

Apparently, Beverly didn’t find this “women-only-at-one-table and men-only-at-another table” arrangement acceptable. She took the initiative to be assertive by moving to Jim’s table and introduced herself. And guess what? A month later at the June Meet and Greet, they attended together. Might it become a relationship? Who knows? But, new friends were made.

Beverly and Jim: What a difference a month makes (photo by Tom Blake)

This would never have happened if they hadn’t gotten off the couch and out of the house. Goes to show…if it can happen in little old Dana Point, it can happen anywhere else where singles find themselves.

Another example of making it happen were Don and Edie. They attended. They met on Match.com in May, 2018. Handsome couple, don’t you think?

Don and Edie – met on Match.com in May, 2018

Link to Neil Diamond singing Dry Your Eyes at LA Forum, August, 2017: