Dating a still-married man

On life and love after 50 eNewsletter

Like a rubber ball (bouncy, bouncy)

October 14, 2022

By Columnist Tom Blake

Dating a still-married man, while enjoying the domestic side of life (bouncy/bouncy)

Let’s say you’re 60 or older and single again. You might be divorced or in the process of getting a divorce. Or perhaps you’re a widow, or a widower. You admit you are a bit lonely, so you’ve decided to put yourself out there into the dating world in hopes of meeting a compatible mate.

You are committed to getting off the couch and out of the house to focus on interacting with friends and meeting new friends. Perhaps you are considering online dating.

You don’t want marriage, just someone you’d enjoy being with. Someone who shares your values and interests. You’ve managed to have a few dates, but no one has clicked yet.

And then someone comes along who adds a little spark to your life. You think that perhaps a relationship could evolve. It’s hard because you find yourself comparing that new person to your ex and they don’t have all of the qualities that your former partner had.

Dating a still-married man

You’ve had some interesting conversations with the person, which have revealed a small red flag or two. Take, for example, Jane (not her true name, changed by request), who emailed, “Four months ago, I met Bill (not his true name either) online. He’s been separated for two years from his wife of 26 years.

“On our first date, the hours flew by. We had fun conversation and seemed to connect. Afterward, he emailed saying he had a great time, and our interests were similar.

“I wrote back expressing two concerns based on our discussion. One being that he is from Canada (his company transferred him to the USA) and his family lives 16 hours away by car. What would happen if he got homesick and wanted to move back there to live?

“And second, his marital status: I would be dating a still-married man, separated for two years. What is really going on there?”

These two issues trouble me a bit but he and I discussed them.

“He assured me that he’s here to stay, that his family is in full support of his being here and his divorce is pending because he owes his attorney money and that was all that was needed to get the ball rolling.” Hence, I’d be dating a still-married man.

While Jane mentioned that she intended to proceed slowly with Bill, she rationalized that she too was once in the same position: separated, heart ready to move on, but a legal system that can take a long time to finalize a divorce.

Jane added, “I have seen his divorce papers, so I know he’s working on the final stuff, and he was truthful with me. I gave him a chance because I had someone take a chance on me while waiting for my divorce to be final. So that concern has been eased a bit.

“We’ve had an awesome four months together. He helped me with remodeling my townhouse and he met my family. We spent a weekend away exploring galleries and hiking. We enjoy our downtime after work and making dinner together—enjoying the domestic side of life.

You bounce my heart around

“Then, suddenly, the rug was pulled out from under my feet. Now he’s telling me that his head says one thing but his heart another, that there is a wall up. Apparently, he was hurt as a teenager by a relationship and again when he arrived in the states. It’s taken him six months to get over his latest heartbreak. He thinks if people must work at a relationship, it’s not the real thing.”

Jane rationalized again, stating: “He is bewildered and confused by his feelings, due in part to a lack of senior dating experience. This guy hasn’t ‘found’ himself yet.

“I must let time take care of things. I like him, but only he can find himself. He feels bad that he hurt me. His being in my life has been a positive thing; I experienced how wonderful it is to have someone REALLY treat me like a woman, which I haven’t experienced in a very long time.”

I hear what Jane says, but Bill didn’t treat her like a woman for long. She feels he backed off because of “a lack of senior dating experience.” What the heck does that have to do with it?

Rather, her situation reminds me of the 2004 book “he’s just not that into you.”

Seniors who choose to date again need to trust their instincts and keep their expectations in check. I think Jane needs to get on with her life.

Remember the Bobby Vee hit song “Rubber Ball” that was popular 61 years ago in 1961? Jane fits that mold. Perhaps if he finds himself and bounces back into her life, she’ll avoid becoming a rubber ball by ensuring he is only true to one woman (she).

Here’s the second verse:

“I’m like a rubber ball.

“Baby that’s all I am to you (bouncy, bouncy) (bouncy, bouncy)

“Just a rubber ball

“Cause you think you can be true to two (bouncy, bouncy) (bouncy, bouncy)

“You bounce my heart around (you don’t even put her down)

“And like a rubber ball, I keep bouncing back to you.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=rubber+ball+song+1961&view=detail&mid=8D216B6F768D19ACD98B8D216B6F768D19ACD98B&FORM=VIRE0&ru=%2fsearch%3fq%3drubber%2bball%2bsong%2b1961%26qs%3dUT%26pq%3drubber%2bball%2bsong%26sk%3dAS1MT1%26sc%3d10-16%26cvid%3d4FB1FE07EB77432F8FC2BB34149EE72A%26FORM%3dQBRE%26sp%3d3″

Popular 2004 book, “he’s just not that into you”

Widowed people’s dilemma: remove deceased spouse’s pictures?

   On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – April 9, 2021

by Columnist Tom Blake

There are two parts to today’s eNewsletter. Both parts have been edited for length and clarity

  Part One  –  Widowed people’s dilemma: remove deceased spouse’s pictures?

A couple of weeks ago I asked Champs for opinions on widows or widowers who date and also have pictures of their deceased spouses their homes. Here are some responses.

Ben, a widower, wrote, “It’s been two years since my wife’s passing. My girlfriend has brought up the issue of pictures of my late wife in the house. I am gradually taking them down and moving on in life. Empathy, patience, and love are how I deal with change in my life.”

Cheryl emailed, “I had a boyfriend who constantly suggested that I take down the photos of my late husband. He felt that if I thought it was necessary to have those photos prominently displayed, it meant that I still loved and thought about my husband all the time, and therefore I couldn’t put my whole heart into loving him. 

“Eventually, I broke up with him due to his extreme jealousy and possessiveness.” 

Kim said, “I will never date another widow because one compared me to the deceased and I was always trying to measure up to a ‘legend,’ at least he was in her mind. Who wants to date someone who can’t heal and move ahead?”

Old photos around the house everywhere
                                                               
         (Photo by Tom- Ireland 2019)

Alicia shared, “Seven years ago, my brother lost his wife of 30 years after a happy marriage. Four years later, he remarried. He still misses his deceased wife. His present wife was divorced for several years and her husband died as well. Both of them freely speak about their deceased spouses. 

“I have learned from them that even though you find someone new who you now love, the past life does not need to be buried. It was a large part of your life and why should you sweep it under the rug?”

Curtis, “I had a sister who married a widower. They were much in love and had pictures of both their former spouses around. They talked with each other about adventures they had with their previous families. When my sister died, she was buried with her previous husband, and when the widower dies, he will be buried with his first wife. In the meantime, they enjoyed each other’s company. Both families accepted the other and were glad they had been happy again.” 

Sherrill, “My guy Matt loved his deceased wife dearly, and until we met, he believed he would never love again.

“When I moved in with him, Matt asked if I would object to him putting some pictures of his ex-wife on the refrigerator along with my pictures of my kids and grandkids. I had no objection. I felt secure in our relationship and his love for me, did not feel threatened; I admired his loving devotion to his wife.

“He inadvertently put pictures of her directly in my line of sight so I saw them every time I opened the refrigerator door. Initially, this didn’t bother me, but eventually, it did! I asked him if he would move the pictures to a different location on the refrigerator, which he willingly did. He has pictures of his wife and me in his office.

“This is a complicated issue for which there is no simple or right answer.  As seniors, we all bring baggage into a new relationship.” 

Bill, a widower, emailed, “What matters in the conduct of a new relationship is the acceptance by a new spouse of the nature and profundity of the widow or widower’s prior relationship.

“Confidence is best created when the widow or widower provides an atmosphere that enhances the strength, convictions, and independence of their new loves. Removing doubt and fostering self-confidence minimizes any propensity for rivalry with departed spirits.”

Lynne wrote, “Don’t expect the surviving spouse to ever give up loving the deceased spouse. If not for death, they would still be together. Someone who wants a relationship with a surviving spouse is going to have to realize that there is memory lingering there, and be comfortable with that.”

Hopefully, these sensitive replies will help widows and widowers who face this understandable dilemma.

                                   Part 2  An open-minded and realistic Champ

I think Cynthia’s situation, described below, is similar to many of our Champs’ situations: they are living alone and have wonderful, positive attitudes.

Cynthia in Kansas, “I am amused, entertained, and enlightened by your eNewsletter.

“I’ve been a widow for six years and the pain of losing my husband of 18 years has finally softened and I’ve accepted where God has placed me now. Yes, I too would like to slow dance with a man, go out to dinner occasionally, have a man to talk or text with. However, the pandemic has put the kibosh on that. 

“I am not disappointed as I have a full life with my routine and the fact that my mother is 96 and I am at her house helping her every few days.

“I am 74 and in good shape as I walk four miles almost every day in my neighborhood. I always smile when I meet other people and I’m open, but I noticed that people nowadays are really afraid to smile back or stop and talk.  People are too afraid to have even a casual interaction. I will continue doing the same and as Champ Gina mentioned two weeks ago, I will perhaps meet someone who would like to walk and talk too!” 

Tom’s Response: “Cynthia, you are doing everything right. There could be no higher priority than continuing to help your mom. My sisters and I did that with our mom, who lived 500 miles away from me. I traveled to see her as often as possible. She passed two months before her 99th birthday. She had a blessed life and was healthy for the most part. She proudly proclaimed at 95 that she took no medications. She passed 11 years ago; my sisters and I still miss her.

“Also, walking is a great thing to do as well. So, hopefully, as time goes on, this pandemic will ease enough so we can get back to more normal lives and people will talk more with strangers. Who knows? A guy you encounter might even enjoy a partner. We all need more social interaction.  I have sent your column to a couple of my friends here who are also widows and they enjoy your column also.

“By the way, we can send our eNewsletter directly to your two widow friends. They can email me and I will add them to our mailing list, or they can sign up at www.findingloveafter50.com. on the home page.”

Five Songs

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter –  October 30, 2020

By Columnist Tom Blake

                                                 Five Songs

One of the offshoots of the pandemic is that Champs are tapping into their personal reservoirs of creativity.

Several Champs have mentioned they are working on creative projects. Perhaps it’s because they have more free time than usual. Or, they are reflecting on their lives and what’s really important to them. It’s interesting that several men are working on writing projects such as autobiographies, blogs, or books. Women are painting, gardening, and exercising more.

Patrick Hynes, a native of Australia, is writing a postcard blog that he emails to his friends. It’s titled, “Patrick’s Brief Encounters…Snippets of my life in America.” Working as the Public Relations Director for the Anaheim Hilton Hotel years ago, he met many famous people. Each weekly postcard contains a photo and about 150 concise words. Patrick’s first postcard was about meeting Muhammad Ali. Here’s the photo of him and Ali:


Patrick’s first postcard (July 20, 2020) photo (courtesy of Patrick Hynes)

Other postcards have featured President Reagan, Madonna, Buzz Aldrin, Joe Dimaggio, Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch, Sean Connery (James Bond), and Kobe Bryant.

Champ Pam Peters, San Diego, has created more than 100 paintings during the pandemic. She has created boxes of gift cards that feature her paintings. (By the way, Pam happens to be my sister; she’s the creative one in the family). Here’s one of the 100 she’s created during this pandemic.


                  Come for dinner – Shrimp Provencal

Champ Sandy,
 Sonoma County, California, also paints, “I have been painting more and creating cards from it…just a lot of fun. I’ve been dormant on writing but have started writing in my head again..and I can feel it about to jump out.”

Champ Rick O. is writing about his career as a former professional baseball player. His writing project is temporarily on hold while dealing with several serious family-health issues, which, understandably, take a higher priority than the writing.

Champ Teresa has been creative in a different way, one that has taken time and patience but is changing her life. In the August 21 eNewsletter, I wrote about refinancing my home. Teresa capitalized on the information. How so?

This week, she emailed, ‘Wanted to thank you for the referral to your broker Vanessa Schwartz. My refinance/loan closes Tuesday, a day after my 64th birthday. Yea! I am really jazzed as my monthly payment will be about $300 less than before, allowing me to stay in my home for a few more years after I retire at 70, probably (Italics by Tom). My neighbor refinanced with Vanessa as well. We are both grateful for this opportunity to lower our interest rate and payment. 

“I’m doing a little ‘happy dance’ right now, in honor of your willingness to help a stranger.”

In a coincidence, Teresa and I (and Patrick Hynes) worked for the Victoria Station restaurant chain, eons ago, but we didn’t know each other.

I’ve been friends with Rick Lenz for merely 65 years—we were classmates at Jackson High School, in Jackson, Michigan in the 1950s. Rick is a retired successful actor (played opposite Ingrid Bergman, John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Walter Matthau, and Peter Sellers among others). He has written several books, including his latest novel, which will be published early next year.

Here is my favorite piece of art that Rick has created. This painting hangs on my wall.


                  Old Friend by Rick Lenz

   Check out this creative man at http://www.ricklenz.com (Lots of wonderful art like this)

Another high school classmate is Carmen (Carm to me), who lives in Barra de Navidad, Mexico. Carm was featured in our May 29 eNewsletter which is posted on the FindingLoveAfter50.com website. Carm is writing an autobiography. He and Patrick Hynes often send me rough drafts of their work for my comments.

Last Friday, Carm sent a draft of Chapter 10, titled, “My Life with Karen.” Carm was a friend of Karen and her husband Charlie, and when Charlie died, Carm spent time ensuring she was doing okay. The relationship grew and they had five special years together before she passed away on August 1, 2019.

As I was perusing Carm’s Chapter 10, I noticed he included a cluster of four pictures of Karen and him. The caption under the photos reads:

Loving her was easier than anything I’ll ever do again.  –-Kris Kristofferson 

That caption blew me away. You’ll see why in a minute.

During Greta’s and my 23 years together, I’ve occasionally mentioned to her that when I pass away, I don’t want a funeral. An upbeat, fun, small, positive, memory-celebration is ok, but only if five songs that express how I’ve felt about her, are played on a video for the people attending. I wrote down the titles of the five songs on an old, tattered, envelope for her to keep in her files.

Three weeks ago, Greta left that envelope on my desk with a written request to put those songs into a word document, so she could access them on her computer desktop (I don’t know why she made that request, perhaps Greta knows something I don’t know!). 

Here are Tom’s five songs (and the links to each)

1) Loving her was easier than anything I will ever do again (written and sung by Kris Kristofferson)

Note from Tom: That’s the same song Carm used in the caption under Karen’s pictures. That’s why I was blown away. I found it hard to believe that a guy I’ve known for 65 years and I picked the same song to honor our partners.

                         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCgnbRWVvU8

2) If Tomorrow Never Comes (written by Garth Brooks and Kent Blazy, sung by Garth Brooks)

3) Sunday Morning Coming Down (written by Kris K, sung by Johnny Cash) 

4) Dreaming My Dreams (written by Allen Reynolds, sung by Waylon Jennings)

5) Dry Your Eyes (co-written and sung by Neil Diamond)  

Note from Tom: This Neil Diamond video I took on my phone at one of Neil Diamond’s last concerts, August 2017, at the Forum in Los Angeles. It’s not a perfect video as I didn’t zoom in until later in the video. But the sound is terrific. Note the trumpet player solo near the end. He is spectacular. It’s nearly impossible to find videos of Diamond performing this song–he rarely played it in concerts. It was originally written honoring Martin Luther King after he was assassinated. 

Do you have a song that has special meaning to you or to a loved one? Are you working on a creative project?  If so, please share it with us and tell us why it’s special.

Have you been Catfished?

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – August 2, 2019

by Columnist Tom Blake

Have you been Catfished?


OK – so this is not a catfish, it’s a trout, but you get the idea (Photo by Tom)

Catfished–a relatively new senior dating term.

Last September, Champ Rabecca emailed, “Have you ever written about ghosting or being ghosted?”

I replied, “What the heck is ghosting?”

Rabecca said, “It’s a term used in dating.”

Her question led to the creation of two eNewsletters. The first, dated September 14, 2018, was titled “Ghosting” and the next week, September 21, the second–as a follow up–was titled, “Who hasn’t been ghosted?”

All previous eNewsletters, including those two, are archived on the Finding Love after 50 website. if you’d like to read or reread them, see the link at the end of today’s issue.

The Urban Dictionary defines ghosting as: “The practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.”

At least 25 Champs responded to the first eNewsletter and most of those responses were featured in the second one. Most everyone has been involved in ghosting—on one or both sides of the coin.

                          And now another new term (at least for me)

Recently, Champ Joel Blackwell brought attention to another new term, at least to me, and, Joel said, to him as well, “catfished.” Joel posted a comment on our Finding Love after 50 Facebook group page that resulted in responses from people who are members of that closed group. As of today, there are 522 members.

(A “closed” group means to join, people must request permission from me, the founder of that Facebook group. I keep it closed to keep intruders with evil intentions from getting into that group to protect our members.)

Joel provided the definition of “catfished” as stated in The Urban Dictionary. It’s luring someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona. He saw the term “catfished” in a New York Times Modern Love article, titled, “When a Dating Dare Leads to Months of Soul Searching,” by Andrew Lee. The link to the article is also provided at the end of today’s Finding Love After 50 eNewsletter.

Facebook member Marilyn wrote, “I was ‘catfished’ while on Match.com. He was charming and intelligent and said all the things I wanted to hear to open the lines of communication.

“He claimed to be a widower, well-traveled, ready to retire, etc., First red flag: there was always an excuse why he couldn’t meet in person, although he claimed to live locally.

“Second red flag: after a dozen or so emails and phone conversations, he started suggesting I join him on an incredible European investment deal, but he needed to use my name and bank account info to hold some funds for him. Hah!

“A little online research revealed this man (from Nigeria) used the same profile pics, verbiage and tactics on all his contacts and I was only one of many selected. It was eerie how he used the very same lines on each of the women. Even when confronted, he claimed I had misunderstood his intentions!”

“Catfish lessons learned: if the topic of money or finances comes up after a short acquaintance, Run! If he says all the right things, Run! If he finds reasons not to meet with you, Run!”

The story in that New York Times Modern Love article is well written, informative and interesting. I won’t tell you how it ends. You can read it yourself. Joel provided the link to it:

New York Times Dating Dare article

So, there you have it, another online dating term to add to your vocabulary. If someone is “catfishing” you, i.e., using fictional online persona, that person is up to no good as Marilyn explained with her online experience. It’s often the precursor to an attempted scam.

“Ghosting” and “Catfishing.” Two ugly dating terms, although not exclusively applicable to seniors. “Ghosting is mainly being inconsiderate, the chicken way to move on from someone.

Catfishing is posting bogus information and being dishonest. Being catfished can lead to more serious issues, like losing money or putting oneself in danger.

Just be aware. It’s a complicated dating world out there.

The link to all 2019 and 2018 eNewsletters is:

https://www.findingloveafter50.com/copy-of-2013-2016-enewsletters

Once there, go to the right-hand column and under Archives, click on September 2018 to read the “Ghosting” and “Who hasn’t been ghosted?” eNewsletters.

Meet and Greet information for Dana Point, California area for August:

Monday, August 19, 5 to 7 p.m. The city of Dana Point Recreation Department is starting a mixer called Active Lifestyle Connections for 50+; Dana Point Community Center – Garden Cafe 34502 Del Obispo. Light refreshments (no alcohol). For information, call Monique 949 248-3507. No cost.

Thursday, August 22, 5 to 7 p.m. Meet and Greet for 50+, Tutor and Spunky’s, 34185 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point. This is our usual 4th Thursday event. Greta and I will be out of town, so Maria Olamendi, has offered to act as hostess. Food complimentary. Beer and Wine $5 each. Greta and I will be at the September event. Details on where we will be in August will be in next week’s eNewsletter.