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:


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.

Stuck in a senior relationship

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – May 9, 2019 – Is this woman stuck in a senior relationship with an unappreciative man?

by Tom Blake Columnist

There are two parts to this week’s e-Newsletter

Part One – A week ago, one of the Finding Love After 50 Facebook group members posted her frustration with her relationship on Facebook, which meant any of the 519 members could read it and comment.

The Finding Love After 50 Facebook group is a “closed” group, meaning I must approve of anyone who wants to join. I screen applicants thoroughly to protect our members from people with evil intentions or people who reveal nothing about themselves.

The woman member posted this message, saying she just needed to vent:

“Will I ever find love with a nice guy? A guy who cares about me as much as he does by impressing other women.

“I’ve been with a man for a while, who every time he goes outside to ‘work in the yard,’ ends up instead chatting for super long periods of time with the single female neighbors. He never cleans inside the house. That’s not his job, you see.”

She added a few more details about his chatting up neighborhood women. I condensed her comments for the sake of brevity.

Several group members responded. Here are a few snippets of what was said:

Lisa, “Don’t waste any more time with him. Time to move on…”

Michelle, “Stop wasting time on this loser and work on your self-respect.”

David, “…I do not know what the arrangements are for mortgage, rental monthly payments but this man is what I would call ‘slippery Slime’…I would not trust him…I would bid him goodbye…”

Robbie, “He feels he is more superior than you…the word is impertinent. You need to get some Cajones and MOVE ON.”

Brenda, “Typical loser.”

Carol, “…I was married to someone like that. Time to hit the road…We always think they will get better, but they seldom do. We are wasting precious time and energy.”

David (again), “…You are wasting your time on this child…time for you to make a change in your life ASAP…”

John, “Agree with David. No one deserves to live with such a person…”

Jeanie, “Loser is not worth your time…”

                       Tom’s thoughts on this woman’s situation

I don’t get too involved in the Finding Love after 50 Facebook group. I prefer to let the members interact and comment back and forth with each other. If I see a post that I think is not pertinent to the group, or a blatant promotion, I delete it. I also delete posts when a group member posts incessantly (when someone does that, he or she needs their own personal Facebook page).

But, in this situation, I felt I didn’t know enough about the living arrangement, relationship details, and understanding between the woman and the man. “I’ve been with this guy for a while,” didn’t tell us for how long.

So, I posted, “What is the living arrangement with this man? Is it your home, his home, or a shared rental property? Who pays for what? I ask, wondering if you are stuck in a senior relationship situation and moving on would be financially a burden or not even possible. That doesn’t make his behavior acceptable. What are your options?”

                                    And then the plot thickened

She posted, “We both own the home, but I am currently out of work and have some disabilities that have made it difficult. However, I am looking for a full-time job. I have no income; therefore, I am reliant on him. It’s not acceptable. I’m working on moving on.”

I posted, “What happens if one wants to sell and one doesn’t?”

She posted, “I have broached that subject several times. We are at a stalemate. My feeling is, I would move out and he would buy me out. You can’t buy a house in our town for less than $500,000. And he is older. I love our house. Just not living with him this way.”

Bottom line: I don’t know enough about this situation to truly understand what is going on. Maybe she will post more information that might clarify things. I think she is aimed in the right direction by going back to work, but, if she’s been with this guy for 11 years (as I think she has, having found an email from her from then), and there have been problems all along, I don’t see her able to bail out anytime soon.

And we don’t know about him, other than what she reported. He may be a really decent guy–perhaps feeling he’s stuck in a senior relationship. Who knows?

Let’s hope she gets a full-time job and can sell her portion of the home to him. Then, maybe she can move on. But, now, she’s 59. It’s tougher at that age to start over. Let’s hope she keeps us informed and God bless her and good luck.

                           Message for younger people from Tom

Most of our Champs are in their 50s-80s. A few readers are in their 40s. There is a message in today’s article that might be worth sharing with the younger generation—the children or grand children of Champs.

The lesson to share with younger people: Particularly for women, starting as early as their 30s and 40s, they’ve got to take steps to set themselves up financially, to position themselves for the later years. That becomes very difficult for stay-at-home moms who rely on a spouse’s or a mate’s income.

Waiting until you’re 50 or 60 to start getting your later-years finances in order may be too late.

Questions to ask the kids might include, “Do you have enough hours of working to qualify for Social Security?” If not, get to work. This is critical for the later years, when getting a job may not be easy.

And how about being covered by health insurance? Especially if children are part of the mix.

Don’t get stuck, as I assume the woman in today’s story is, from what she told us about her not earning an income. I’m guessing she has no leverage with this man and perhaps he feels he can do what he wants.

I hope for her that things will improve, that the guy will change. In a way, he is helping her (she has a roof over her head), but he sounds self-absorbed.

If younger people think that starting to build financial security in one’s 40s is difficult, it only gets harder once age 50 and beyond is reached.

Part 2 – Meet and Greet at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli in Dana Point CA May 22

A reminder to Champs who live in Southern California. On Wednesday, May 22, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., the new, enthusiastic owners of Tutor And Spunky’s are going to resurrect the Senior Singles Meet and Greets that were so popular five – seven years ago. Greta and I are honored that new owners Samantha and Elena have asked us to host the event.

Meet and Greet at Tutor and Spunky’s a few years back

However, this event isn’t going to be for single seniors only. We’d like all Champs…single, married or in relationships…whatever… to join us.

There is no charge. Appetizers will be served, and beer and wine will be only three bucks a pop.

It will be fun to put faces with names. We’ll take photos for the e-Newsletter. Email me if you think you might attend.

Tutor and Spunky’s Deli is located at 34085 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point, 92629. Telephone: 949 248-9008.

Senior online dating challenges

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – June 22, 2018

Today’s eNewsletter has 3 parts

Part 1 – Is Barb being too fussy in dating men?
Part 2 – Information on the Finding Love After 50 Facebook page
Part 3 – An upbeat, update from a West Texas Champ

Part 1 – Is Barb being too fussy in dating men?

I admit that I don’t spend much time viewing the Finding Love After 50 Facebook group posts. I prefer to let members do their thing and have discussions among each other. But I do monitor it from time to time. This Facebook group is a closed group, which means I approve of anyone who wants to join. In this way, I try to keep the riff-raff out of the membership.

As of Wednesday, there were 501 members. I do review the posts from time to time and remove some posts that I feel aren’t appropriate to our group. Occasionally, a member will post too many cutesy little signs or sayings as if the site were his or her own personal site, so I remove the posts. Such has been the case recently where a member posts something every day, which can be a big turnoff to others.

Sometimes, I will see a post that stimulates discussion among the members. That happened a few days ago when Barb stated that she was thinking of giving up on senior online dating. She based her comment on experiences she’s had with four men while senior online dating, which she shared. She asked if she was being too fussy.

Senior Online Dating Challenges

Barb wrote, “I have been off and on dating sites since I was 60 and now I’m 79. One man I met online was an hour and a half away, we dated two months.

He wanted me to move in with him. I was in the middle of moving in with him, when he found out his daughter was getting divorced. He decided it was not a good idea for me to move in, because he was going to remodel his house and have his daughter and her two daughters move into his house.

Plus, he didn’t like television so he wanted me to wear earphones when I had my television on. Well, that was the end of that relationship.

The second guy I met invited me out New Year’s Eve to a dance. He had a funny little step in his dance that was hard for me to catch onto. He kept telling me all night how well his ex-wife and he could dance together.

While walking me to my door, he put gum in his mouth, and in a minute, he said, “Oh my God, I just lost one of my teeth.” Well that was the end of that man. I just saw him recently, which was a year later, and the tooth is still missing.

The third guy I met seemed nice and we had fun together. My sister lived near me. When her husband was dying, I went to be with her the night her husband was passing and this guy got upset and told everybody I gave him up for my sister. So that was the end of him.

A couple of weeks ago, I met a fourth man online. We exchanged messages. He asked for my email address, so we could email instead of being on the dating site.

But I couldn’t get to know him as all he talked about was that he had lost his wife five years ago to cancer. He wanted to meet a woman who would make his house a home and be his special woman. He wanted me to forsake all others to be only with him.

I tried to talk about the future and what it would be like if we got together. It always went right back to the kind of woman he was looking for and how he wanted her to be his own and love only him.

So now, I’m giving up on trying to find someone. It’s too hard. I think I would rather go it alone. it seems like I can’t find anybody. I don’t know maybe I’m too fussy. What do you think?”

I share what some other members said in response to Barb’s post.

8 Facebook members’ responses to Barb’s Facebook post:

Joel said, “Dating and Mating is just plain hard, usually a long series of meeting people who don’t work out. That’s as good as it gets in my experience and it can lead to a constructive, loving relationship. Each person you meet is a learning experience about yourself and the others who are available.

The population of those still alone late in life contains a high percentage of dysfunction – that’s why we are alone.

It’s like shoes, you just keep trying until you get someone you like, that fits and is comfortable. You don’t quit just because you try on shoes that don’t fit.

I spent 12 years starting at age 54 rejecting and being rejected. I finally realized I had to change, and did, and have been in a wonderful relationship for 5+ years that gets better every day. I have a friend who found love at age 80.

Whenever I hear a story from someone who is discouraged, I suggest they look in the mirror because that’s where the solution is.

I love this part of the Serenity Prayer: May I have the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can and the wisdom to know which one that is.”

Cheryl: “With or without a man, isolating yourself and becoming a couch potato isn’t fulfilling unless you really enjoy that. I find there are enjoyable things to do every day that I want to do (plenty of activities at the community center; movies; classes; visiting people; taking walks on the boardwalk, etc.). At home I have stacks of good books to read, music, and my favorite tv shows. Being without a man isn’t a punishment – there’s still life all around us!”

Cheryl added: “It sounds like you need a dating coach to help you select a man of your caliber.”

Karla: “I’ve stopped looking. I wasted 7 years of my life with a man who turned out to be a pathological liar, a sex addict, a porn addict, and was bisexual. I never saw any of it…he was that good (at hiding the behavior). He died a year and a half ago. I cared for him, doing what a Visiting Angel would have done for $80/day. I don’t trust my instincts any more. Today, I’m venturing out to a luncheon with women. I have isolated myself and became a couch potato.”

Tricia: “Barb, my experiences are similar to yours: I have been trying to meet someone for 10 years – it’s been that long since my last long-term relationship ended. I took a part-time job last year – in addition to my full-time job at a local home improvement company – hoping to meet someone with no results.

I am active on a couple of volunteer boards, I have joined some groups. I feel as though the men I’ve met are just looking for sex and I am not going to just jump into bed with someone.

I’ve met a few widowers who are just looking for someone to ‘make them happy again’ – I’ve met an ex- convict, I’ve met a few who are not healthy, a lot who have no money and a lot who are looking for someplace to live.

I will be 60 at the end of this month. I am not sure there’s anyone out there for me but that’s ok – I have a good life and look forward to planning my retirement in the next couple of years.”

Phyllis: “I don’t know that I could ever move in with someone after knowing them for only 2 months– I might want to — but I know how bad my judgement (can be).”

Jeanie, “Keep on keeping on! One day you’ll have a good story to tell. These men are just part of the old story – create a new one with you as the center, standing strong for what you want.”

Carolyn: “Please don’t give up! However, do continue to make new friends (men and women), join clubs and enjoy ‘me’ time. You don’t have to settle, just enjoy life! If you had sat home alone during the past few years, you would not have such an illustrious story to share with us.”

Curtis: “Not too fussy, sounds like what I am finding in looking for a woman. I list I am outdoors, walking hiking & traveling around the area, the woman that contacted me has allergies and can’t be outside, or can’t hike or walk any distances, so why contact me, and then complain I am too active? Why am I not home more? I know what’s at home, nothing.”

Part 2 – More about our Finding Love After 50 Facebook Group

The name of our Facebook group is Finding Love After 50. If you want to join, you can apply on that Facebook page and I review your information. I need to know a bit about the people who want to join, to protect our 501 members from adding people who have ulterior motives that wouldn’t be beneficial to the group.

Part 3 – An upbeat, Champ update

Last year, we published a column about Larry Coats, a West Texas, gentleman, rancher, and retired US Army Major. He had looked for love online, hoping to find a woman who’d be willing to leave the big city, bright-lights world, to move to be with him on his ranch.

Yesterday, Larry sent an update: “Thought I would just drop a note to let you know that Ellen and I are approaching our one-year wedding anniversary (13 July) and can safely say that we are both very, very happy.

I was initially afraid that she would have trouble adjusting from big city life to life in a small town, but that was never a problem. Anyway, guess things have a way of working out–provided both sides know that it still takes patience and honesty.”

                              Ellen, 53, and Larry, 65, met on Farmersonly.com. 

To read the entire August 18, 2017, article about Ellen and Larry, follow this link: