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”

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.

Where are single senior men?

    On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter –  May 15, 2020
Where are single senior men? The answer is easier now

by Tom Blake Columnist

The most frequently asked question I’ve received in the 26 years of writing about finding love after 50 has come from women. In the first few years of writing, the question was: “Where can I meet single senior men in their 50s?”

Around 2005, the question changed: “Where can I meet single men in their 60s?”

In 2014, when I sold my Dana Point deli and retired, the question had become: “Where can I meet single men in my 70s?”

In February, 2020, a question was: “Where/How to meet Prof Men?” That question did not come from a Champ, it came from a woman named Judy who contacted me via the FindingLoveafter50.com website.

When Judy asked that question, she volunteered other information: “I’m a financially secure gal who cannot find local men to date. I joined Match.com only to have Match notify me that four of the men they sent me were frauds.

“Also, Match.com recommended a university professor, age 75, who is still working full time and has cancer. This seems to be my luck!”

“What on earth? Where can I meet a nice man on my same level in life? At my age, I sure don’t want to drive two hours, which is also what I found on Match.com. I feel I am classy, attractive, enjoy sports, a golfer and have a nice outgoing personality. Please advise.”

About 10 days after receiving Judy’s email, reports of COVID-19 started to surface. Any advice I could offer her became out-of-date, not usable.

How do I give someone dating advice and in the same breath advise them “to quarantine at home?”

Under normal circumstances, I would have suggested to Judy what I’ve said to all women who have asked that question over the years “Get off the couch, out of the house, and involved in activities you enjoy. Adopt a positive attitude. Smile. Put your best self out there. Staying at home doesn’t hack it.”

It was hard to get more specific with Judy because she didn’t reveal what’s she’s doing to meet men, other than flail away on Match.com.

I suggested she become a Champ, but to my knowledge, that didn’t happen.

Also, I would have added this to Judy’s advice, “Since you are a golfer, pursue that option. Lots of men golf and go to driving ranges. And they often have an adult-beverage after a round of golf in the 19th hole bar and grill at the clubhouse. Make yourself visible, smile, have fun, and above all, keep your eye on the ball. You know, the golf ball.”

For now, until this virus subsides, and hopefully disappears all together, I can’t give advice to her other than to online date. However, she has a bitter taste in her mouth toward online dating because of her experience with Match.com. And that shows through in her comments.

I would have recommended—had she become a Champ–that she read our eNewsletter from two weeks ago in which Champ Christine Baumgarten, a dating and relationship coach, talked about “Why now is the PERFECT TIME to date.” I’ve posted that eNewsletter with Christine’s comments on my FindingLoveAfter50.com website.

To access that issue, once on the website home page, note that the ribbon across the top of the page shows an eNewsletters category. That’s a drop-down menu. Click on it and again on Tom’s 2020 and 2019 eNewsletters. The most recent eNewsletter posted is the one with Christine’s advice. It’s the first one you will come to.

What I’ve found during these stay-at-home times is that I’m connecting with many old friends, with whom I haven’t talked in a long time. In some cases, years. That eases loneliness and who knows, for our single Champs, a connection with an old friend might lead to something more? It would have to be a remote connection for now.

And while remote, we still can see people via Facetime on our phones or Zoom or with our computer cameras.

So now, in May, 2020, that 26-year-old question, “Where do I meet men?” hasn’t gone away. But it’s easier to answer now, because the choices that I can suggest are so few. And they are almost all virtual.

Maybe the answer to where to meet men is in the picture of the woman on the cover of my ebook below: Getting a magnifying glass and looking under rocks.  By the way, for the next two weeks, I’ve dropped the price of this ebook to $0.99 (99 cents) on Smashwords for our Champs. It’s normally $3.99. To order a book on Smashwords.com, a person will need to get a personal account with Smashwords. It’s simple, just provide your email address and password. Write down your password for the next time you go to Smashwords. Here’s the link to order: https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Tom+Blake . When that page opens, you will see six book covers, click on the one hat looks like this.

Hang in there, Champs. When socializing resumes, I look forward to hearing some positive stories of single seniors meeting online during this crisis, and how these senior singles finally got to meet face-to-face.

FOR NEXT WEEK: Let’s do a column on senior dating sites. Share your opinions, and experiences. I am getting questions that ask what are the best sites for our age group. So, help me write that column by emailing me (tompblake@gmail.com)

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.

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.

5 Incredible Men Champs

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – January 4, 2019
by Columnist Tom Blake
Our Incredible Men Champs
For our first “On Life and Love After 50” e-Newsletter of 2019, we feature five of our men Champs. 
David Southworth lives five miles north of Clare, Michigan, has been a Champ for more than 10 years. He emailed:

“For me, this Christmas was the best Christmas in 17 years. However, one of my Christmas gifts was delivered by my new Internal doctor and I quote, “The results of your blood test tells me you have Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), albeit minor, early stages. CLL usually grows slowly…you should outgrow it.

“I advised the doctor I had been planning to live to 103. God and I have taken charge.

“In October, I started story boarding a book I have wanted to write for several years, tied into my book, “A Lifetime In Seven Years.” The title of my new book is “A Journey To Me.”

“Now I have several new chapters to write for my book.

“I cherish our friendship and your endless counsel. Let’s make 2019 the best year possible.”

Tom’s Comment: I asked David for permission to use his very personal information. He responded:

“I talked with my children, several grandchildren and, my significant lady. They all agreed if it would provide a more meaningful impact to use my name, we all agreed the information and subject of CLL is so important.

“If it helps just one ‘On Love and Love after 50’ eNewsletter Champ, it would be OK to provide the CLL process, progress, and treatment status.

“I met Marjorie through friends. She is 70 years old, widowed with 4 children, lots of grandchildren. She is a thoughtful, giving, loving woman. She is an antique nut like me. She is always happy and laughing.”

Note from Tom: Dave’s poem, The Sands of Time, is on the Finding Love After 50 website:

https://www.findingloveafter50.com/widower-poem-by-david-southworth

Larry Leach, Ann Arbor, Michigan – Larry and I graduated from Jackson High School,

Jackson, Michigan. He graduated two years ahead of me, in my brother’s class. I didn’t know him well, other than he was a heck of a golfer. Later, he won a varsity letter at UM for golf. He is one of the most avid University of Michigan sports fans on earth.

Here is a photo of Tom, Larry and Greta at a Michigan tailgate party in 2017.


Tom, Larry Leach, and Greta at a UM tailgate party before Air Force Academy game in 2017 

Larry emailed: “My hat is off to Champs, Chris and Tina, whom you mentioned last week, for their trip to Africa. With love all things are possible.

“I have three friends who are about 94.  One goes to UM basketball and football games and acts like an 18-year-old.  Another has been to Paris, Las Vegas, Chicago and much more this year. The third is a real live-wire now in Scottsdale, Arizona.  If they can do it, the two champs (Chris and Tina) you mentioned have many more trips in store for them.

“Congratulations to them and to you for your super thinking that goes into your weekly newsletter. I know it is Friday morning when I see an email from Tom Blake.”

MARK FLANNERY – Fullerton, California

You will recall that three weeks ago Greta and I visited Mark’s parents’ grave sites in Pago Pago, American Samoa. He had never been to the cemetery, and I had only met Mark and Donna, his significant other, once in Tutor and Spunky’s deli years ago.

On New Year’s Eve. Mark and Donna, came to Dana Point and spent time with Greta and me. They met on Match.com. Donna still teaches.


Front: Mark and Donna. Back: Tom and Greta at Harpoon Henry’s in Dana Point on New Year’s Eve

There was one other aspect of our American Samoa story that I hadn’t shared with Mark. When Greta and I arrived at the grave sites, there was a lava rock perched on his father’s grave. I carried it back from Pago Pago and gave it to him Monday.

TED EVERINGHAM, Attorney at law, Grosse Point Park, Michigan

Note from Tom: Ted and I graduated from Jackson High School, Jackson, Michigan, in the class of 1957. At our 2017 class reunion, we got to chat face-to-face at dinner.

Ted emailed a story titled: A CHRISTMAS MEMORY:

“My Christmas Eve was cold and snowy in 1960. It was a Saturday evening, and I was working at the local radio station in Albion, Michigan, reading top-of-the-hour newscasts and running the control board for Late Date, a popular weekly radio show targeting teenage listeners.

“The program ran from 10 p.m. until Midnight. The show’s host—a senior at the high school in nearby Marshall named Marcia, chose to close her program that Christmas Eve with a bit of verse. It didn’t rise to the dignity of a ‘poem,’ but it expressed in rhyme an important idea, in simple, homespun language appropriate to the time and place.

“I heard the first line or two through my headset, and then for a reason that I have forgotten (if I ever knew), I turned to look at the host through the glass that separated the control room from the studio where she sat. I discovered, to my surprise, that she was not reading the verse, but reciting it from memory, and she was speaking directly to me through that glass.

“Here is her Christmas wish to me that long-ago evening:

If I could do whate’er I want to do,
To make complete your gladsome Christmas Day,
I would not bring a single thing to you,
But I would come and take some things away:
I’d take away all trouble from your heart,
Each pain and sorrow I would have relieved;
And every pain that caused a single smart,
And every hour through which you sorely grieved.
I’d have them all be gone — forever gone —
Forgotten, like the things that cannot be;
And then each hour would be a joyful one,
For only good things would be left you see.
“Eight months later, the host and I were married, and the rest (59 years) is history. Merry Christmas!”Note from Tom: Ted and Marcia wanted Champs to know that her words to Ted on Christmas Eve 1960 were not written by her. She had seen them and memorized them. Research by them has not revealed the original writer. So, we have to say anonymous. This fact does not lessen the beauty of that moment when Marcia spoke to him through the glass at an Albion, Michigan, radio station in 1960.

John Johnson – Hagerstown, Maryland (80 miles northwest of Washington, D.C.). John commutes about an hour toward Baltimore and works for Northrop Grumman; he has been a Champ for longer than I can remember and has contributed often to newsletters.

On December 23, John posted a wonderful message on the Finding Love After 50 Facebook page. It is too long to include in the newsletter, but the topic is: dragging old baggage into a new, fresh relationship. His words demonstrate that the men in our group are very introspective, warm and giving.

His wrap-up words: “How 2019 plays out is up to you and this is a chance for a new transition within you even when everything else remains the same. Make it a good one and start with an inner smile that flows to your lips to share with others.”

Happy New Year. I feel blessed to have you all as friends.

Dating when a spouse has advanced Alzheimer’s Disease

On Life and Love after 50 e-Newsletter – November 23, 2018

by Tom P Blake

Dating when a spouse has Alzheimer’s Disease

Larry, 76, Toronto, emailed, “Re last week’s eNewsletter about dating a deceased friend’s spouse, I’m in a similar  situation. My wife has advanced Alzheimer’s disease, and no longer knows me. She’s been in a nursing home the past few years, and so I’m living a single life.

I’ve reached a point, where I’m ready for a new relationship. I’m really missing female companionship, in all its forms, and need that to change. I’ve started reaching out (with the full blessings/support of family, friends, and professionals), and have dated several women, all of whom are aware of and ok with my situation.

By the same token, I’ve also been rejected by several other women who are uncomfortable with the situation. So, as the article concludes – there is no right or wrong answer. Each individual caregiver needs to do what feels right to him/her.

Tom’s response: On the Finding Love After 50 Website, there are three articles I previously published on this topic under the article categories. It’s the first category listed. Here is the link to those articles:

https://www.findingloveafter50.com/alzheimer-s-dating-when-a-spouse-is

Larry: “Great! I’m off to visit my wife in the nursing home, and will check the articles later this afternoon.”

And then later, Larry wrote: “I just finished reading the three articles, and what struck me immediately, is that I can relate to most of the content in all of them!

“To give you some context, my wife and I have been together for 29 years, and until she went into long term care more than two years ago, we had never spent one night apart. As a matter of fact, we were rarely apart at all, as we worked together. What was our work you might ask? We were relationship counselors, helping couples deal with relationship issues. So, believe me, I can fully understand the issues facing the people in these situations.

“The bottom line for me (and I know my wife would agree), is that one must be true to self, and do or not do what he/she believes to be right. Although input from friends, family, professionals, clergy, etc., may be welcomed, and of some use, ultimately, the decision rests with the individual(s)/couple.

“In my case, I do have the full support of family, friends, and professionals, to reach out/date/socialize, etc., and if I do find another ‘special one,’ then, a committed romantic relationship would be welcome. That new relationship would not preclude my love for my wife, nor impinge on my visiting her regularly.

“If Champs want to contact me, my email is anoldnorthender@gmail.com.”

Comments from Champs (readers) to this article on November 30, 2018

Last week’s topic, dating when a spouse has Alzheimer’s, was/is a controversial topic.

I am aware of that. A small number of Champs responded in horror that someone would venture out despite a spouse being in advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. They are sticking by their wedding vows forever. End of story. Regardless of what happens.

One person who feels that way was critical of others who feel differently.

Others, particularly, those who have experienced a similar situation, or are currently experiencing it now, take a much more understanding and empathetic point of view.

My thoughts: This is a topic that couples (not just married couples, but, any committed couple) might want to discuss “what if?” while they are both lucid, clear thinking, and far before the issue presents itself. What each couple decides is right for them is exactly that: right for them.

 

Daughter wants widowed mom to remarry

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – July 20, 2018

Daughter wants widowed mom to remarry

Reggie the Lab arrives at his new home 

Three Champs share wisdom

                                          Daughter wants mom to remarry

During the summer months, I always get a boost in the number of inquiries I receive about people wanting to meet potential mates. Often, they do not say where they are located or provide enough details for me to be of much help to them, unless they include more information in a follow-up email.

Many of the emails originate on my Finding Love After 50 website. Anybody, any where in the world, can send me a message from that site.

For example, an email from Stephanie arrived this week. I could tell Stephanie was most likely not from the United States or Canada because she used the word “mum,” where we in North America would usually use the word “mom.”

Stephanie emailed, “I really want my mum, 50, to remarry; it’s eight years after my father passed away. I want her to get married to a man who is well-to-do and can take very good care of her the way she deserves to be taken care of. She is loving, caring, kind and affectionate. She is pretty as well.”

I replied, “Nice of you to write with the message about your mum. She is fortunate to have a daughter who cares about her. Some children don’t want their parents to remarry because no one can replace dad, or they are worried about losing their inheritance to a parent’s new love interest.

Is mum dating? Is she out meeting new people? Does she have email? I ask because every Friday I send out a no-cost eNewsletter titled, “On Life and Love after 50,” which is emailed to more than 2,000 people around the globe. She can sign up for that on the home page of the www.findingloveafter50.com website. That would be a good first step to help her to meet new people and for ideas on how to do it. Where is mum located? (I asked that because it’s important for people to know in case their interest in mum is piqued).

Your wish for her to marry ‘a man who is well-to-do so he can take care of her the way she deserves to be taken care of’ is an interesting thought, which I classify as a giant red flag. If that requirement is posted in an online dating profile, every man in the world who would read it would likely run and hide. It’s not a man’s (or woman’s) job to take care of someone in the way that person deserves to be taken care of.

What would be more important, and the first order of business, would be for her to find a man who has similar qualities as she. You described those qualities as loving, caring, kind, affectionate.

Being attractive—handsome or pretty–is the frosting on the cake. Often handsome and wealthy people are nice people, but sometimes they aren’t nice people. Some feel their beauty entitles them to not put forth the effort a relationship requires. .

And then there is the issue of remarriage. As people reach the age 50 and 60 mark, many of them don’t want to remarry. Does your mom want to remarry? Or, is that what you want for her, so that you can feel she is going to be secure?

Or, would she be happy initially just meeting a good man and hanging out with him without marriage?

People who want to remarry above all else often scare off nice potential mates.

If mum wants to email me, have her do that. Does she work? We need to know more about her to help her. At age 50, she’s young. Are there children still at home?

More information would be helpful. Thanks for caring about her.

                                       Stephanie responds

Stephanie clarified a few things when she wrote: “We are Nigerians, she’s self-employed and yes she wants to remarry.

She has kids and I am the last, I’m 20 so her getting married won’t be a problem, if the man is well-to-do it’s okay, he doesn’t have to be so wealthy and so handsome.

“Yes, she is ready to meet new people and she has an email address.”

Tom responded, “Sign her up for the Friday eNewsletter. It’s free and she can read it when she gets time. Go to the homepage and enter her name and email address.

I commend you, at age 20, for looking out for your mom. Keep me posted.

                      Comment on the http://www.FindingLoveafter50.com website

People often ask me how to view previous newsletters. About 5 years of recent ones are on the website along with lots of other material. To view previous newsletters, place your cursor on the green bar across the top of the home page where it says eNewsletters. You don’t need to click on it, just hover the cursor over it.  A drop down menu will show Tom’s 2018 eNewsletters. Click on that. To the right side, you will see the recent ones listed. And, under Archives you can see them listed by each month in 2018.

To see many former columns listed under various categories, you can alsoclick on that same eNewsletters tab. Sounds complicated but it’s really simple.

You can repeat the process to view 2017, 2016-2013 newsletters. You can also see in the drop down box videos of interviews I did on the Today Show and Good Morning America. Email me if you have questions.

                                4 Champs: one woman,  2 men share their thoughts

Champ Pam, who is involved in the San Diego Orchid Society, emailed, “Just thinking about how people can meet–especially for the So Cal Champs, there are (floral) societies.  In San Diego, the orchid, cactus and succulent, and bromeliad societies’ memberships have more men members than women.  They host floral exhibitions, classes, and educational programs.

There are societies for bonsai, epiphyllum, plumeria, fern, palm, geraniums, herbs, arthropod, beekeeping, camellia, dahlia, Masters Gardner’s rose, shell, tropical fish, turtle, ikebana, rare fruit growers, California native plants. etc.

So if champs have an interest in a particular horticultural area, more than likely they will find a local society related to those plants.  (Reference:  website –   sdbgf.org  member societies.  I know there are societies in Newport Beach, Saddleback, Palos Verdes, etc.)

“Also, our junior college offers a number of adult ed classes from ceramics, watercolor, computer classes, etc.”

                                       And the two men  

1 Joel, responding to last week’s eNewsletter: “Get a dog…” LOL!  I’ve heard this more times than I can count and bless your heart if that companionship makes you happy. I observe many people give up on human love because it’s difficult. You have to compromise. Some turn to grandchildren, some to pets. Fine.  However, please remember to mention the latest cute thing your “love” did once, and only once, in conversation lest you become a tedious, tiresome bore.”

And speaking of dogs, remember last week the picture of the liter of Labs with Reggie the chocolate Lab on the left. Well, Tracy and Hawk picked him up in Phoenix and brought him to his new home in California.


   Reggie is getting used to his new surroundings

And this next email, surprised me, in a pleasant and positive way. Kevin, Publisher, Mature Focus newspaper, emailed, “I just wanted to let you know that your comment about you not writing in any Iowa papers isn’t exactly true. I run your column in our paper, Mature Focus. We are located in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. It’s very likely that Marcey read your column in our publication while in Iowa.”

Kevin is right, I do write for them. Mature Focus is a mighty fine publication. Laid out beautifully, interesting articles, nice color scheme. Kevin’s column is on page 4, my column is on page 40. Check it out.

Mature Focus website

Senior dating advice from senior singles

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – July 13, 2018 Tom’s readers offer senior dating advice

Each week, I receive emails from Champs. Most of your emails land in my inbox on Fridays, after the eNewsletter is published earlier that day. A few more arrive on Saturdays and Sundays. The rest of the week, a few still trickle in.

Most emails contain comments that pertain to that week’s newsletter topic. But not always. There are times when a Champ just wants to vent. It could be about a relationship issue, or how hard it is at our age to meet someone compatible, or any number of topics that pertain to senior dating and relationships. Often, Champs seek advice or want opinions from other Champs. And sometimes senior dating advice from senior singles is given as well.

I try to respond to every email, but occasionally one falls through the cracks, which is why on occasion I review older emails, to see what I overlooked. This week I reviewed comments that have come in over the last three months. There were some interesting ones that I decided to share with you today.

So, in effect, it’s the Champs who are writing today’s newsletter; I’m just the editor (and I do add a comment or two). As I’ve often said, I am impressed with our Champs’ intelligence, experience, sensitivity and caring for other people.

 3 responses to the “Home alone with only dogs for company” newsletter

Helen wrote, “I was home alone with two cats before Phil came into my life. Now, there is an old dog and a bratty cat in our small family. The dog’s name is Rowdy! He’s a rescue from 2007, black and white, long-hair Chihuahua. but looks like a Papillion other than he has the short legs. And he lives up to his name!

“Thank goodness Phil is an animal lover. Otherwise he would not have been my ‘match.’”

Christine Baumgartner: “I think I started reading your column from the beginning. And I only sent you nice letters.”

Tom’s comment: Christine was referring to the women who asked, after reading my first column, “Who is this sniveling puke?” and “Get the boy a crying towel.”

Christine is right, she only sent nice letters; that’s the type of person she is and why she is such an accomplished relationship counselor. She has great empathy for people and has always contributed helpful, positive advice in a nice manner.

Gordon, an avid flyfisherman: “Enjoyed your newsletter this morning (“Home alone with only dogs for company”) and thought I would send you one impression of another writer; although I am not a writer for publication.

During the last two years of life with my wife, I too turned to writing as a therapy and escape from the burdens and emotions of care taking a loved one during her end of life. As I progress through the later years of life and evolve to being single, seeking a life-long partner, retired, and living alone, I have found some comfort at times to again write.

I continue to write letters, stories and journal entries of what life is and to later read them to see my emotions and feelings at that time. Not for publication, but for release from ill feeling, voicing joy of good times, and lessons to be learned.

For me, this is and has become therapy and lessons to learn by. As I look back and read what I was feeling at another time I can see how I was wrong, right, happy, or what made me not so happy.

“Yes, writing is therapy and continues today.”

Comment to Gordon: As a writer, I could not have said it better. By writing things down, you can look back and see—and understand—what and why you were feeling the way you were feeling at that time, and how your thinking has changed since then. Yes, writing is therapy.

                   3 Champs comment on downsizing

Jack of All Trades, “Pat’s letter (Pat Buttress column from two weeks ago) and her mother’s letter were very touching. Thanks for sharing them. An even bigger thanks to you for broaching the subject of senior downsizing. I can’t tell you how much distress this topic has caused me, and I am NOT downsizing.

The mere mention of the word (‘Have you thought of downsizing?’) implies that I am not living right and strikes me as critical. (Usually the people commenting have not downsized either).

My reasons for not wanting to downsize include that I can’t think of anything more depressing. I live in my house, struggle with arranging all the maintenance tasks that come up. I have no kids. And you know what? This house is my HOME and contains many reminders of good times. I have a close guy-friend, since being widowed— and he’s NOT trying to get me to ‘downsize.’

“Good to get this off my chest.”

Comment from Tom: I agree, senior downsizing may not be for everyone. But, I hope people who don’t want to downsize at least clean out the clutter. In Dana Point, there was a famous local writer named Doris Walker. In her later years, she acquired so much writing clutter, that the firemen were unable to save her and her husband from their burning home because of all the clutter in the way.

Bill, Dallas, Texas, “Regarding senior downsizing: I have found that if I take one section of the house at a time, I am better off than trying to do a lot at one time. For instance, it took me a week to clean out the garage and throw away boxes full of memories I had saved. I try to break up the process to give myself an emotional re-charge before starting on another section of the house. This is a time-consuming effort, besides being an emotional effort.”

Comment from Tom: Bill is a senior swimmer for the Masters of South Texas swim club, located in San Antonio. Bill went to a swim meet at Texas A&M last weekend. He said, “Had a pretty good meet. Won 4 individual events (50, 100, 200 and 400-meter freestyle) plus was on three winning relays. About the only good thing about being 81 is the lack of competition. The meet was in a 50-meter pool in College Station, Texas.”


 Members of the Masters of South Texas swim club. Tom’s brother Bill is in back row, right of center, next to tall guy, yellow t-shirt, just below Texas state flag. This is one of most accomplished seniors swim clubs in the world. Photo courtesy of Masters of South Texas

Bill and his relay teammates hold many world records for their age bracket. How do I know all this? Bill is my brother.

Terry and Daeng, “After 10 years together traveling back and forth twice a year between Thailand and the USA, we are downsizing and moving totally to Thailand. It is a very emotional time as we are going from a house I have lived in for over 20 years down to four suitcases. Well, maybe five suitcases and a 4″ shipping tube for some oil paintings that we are taking off the wood frames. I think what is helping is the old Amish teaching of “Less is better.”

                                      Where to look for love?

Where can I go to meet someone is the most difficult question I have no answer for (especially in Iowa)

Marcey emailed, “I just read a column you wrote in an Iowa magazine for over 50. I’m in Iowa for the summer, live in Florida, a widow for five years, 70, and thinking about enjoying a companion! Where do I start?”

Tom’s comment: I’m puzzled. I’m wondering how my column appeared in an Iowa magazine? I don’t write for any Iowa magazines. And then, there’s the Iowa part of Marcey’s question. I mean no disrespect for Iowa but have two recollections about the state of Iowa I wanted to share.

I remember when Andy Rooney did a CBS TV special, on April 20, 1976, called, “Andy Rooney Goes to Dinner,” which featured the finest restaurants across America. He added humor to his comments. In the special, Rooney said he included Iowa in his search for great restaurants, but, it ended up being a non-stop trip across the state. So, seeking a mate in fine-dining restaurants in Iowa isn’t recommended.

In the mid-1980s, I was selling specialized computer hardware and tendency-analysis software to athletic departments of major universities. I was fortunate to get appointments at both Iowa State University, located at Ames, and the University of Iowa, located in Iowa City. I got these appointments because of contacts I had within the Athletic Department at the University of Michigan, my alma mater.

I drove between Ames and Iowa City, 137 miles; it took a little over two hours. Driving those two hours, I was able to hear Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard sing “Poncho and Lefty” on the car radio 18 times by flipping around all the country stations on the dial. I didn’t listen to any talk show hosts discussing how to meet men on that trip because nearly all the stations were country.

So, I don’t know what to tell Marcey regarding where to meet a senior companion in Iowa. Maybe she should resume her search when she returns to Florida in the autumn, where there are a lot more, older single men than in Iowa. But, the problem is: there are also many, many more, older single women in Florida, so the ratio of single women to single men is very large there. What a dilemma: finding love in Iowa or finding love in Florida?

If Marcey is willing to get out and meet new people in Iowa, she just might meet a companion. Her chances may be better there than meeting a man in Florida. We never know where or when we’re going to find love. Be yourself, smile, have fun and Go Hawkeyes and Go Cyclones.

And to tie today’s eNewsletter together, we finish with Champ Doug, who ends today’s eNewsletter with comments and advice:

“I can’t thank you enough for your unstinting efforts to bring life and love after 50 to the 50-and-over set. I look forward to your message every week.

I’m closing in on my 80th birthday without a Serious Romance in the last twenty years or so, but I’m still enjoying the hunt and whatever other joys life may bring.

“For anyone out there who thinks they’re missing out on love, I have one bit of advice: Get a dog!”

Tom’s comment: In an amazing moment of timing, at the end of editing the newsletter, as I was reading Doug’s last sentence yesterday morning, a text arrived on my phone at that exact moment. It was from a friend of mine and his wife, both of whom I’ve known for 25 years. Tomorrow, they pick up their new dog in Arizona, a chocolate Lab. He sent me a photo of the litter; their dog, “Reggie the chocolate Lab,” is on the left. This picture will melt your heart. It did mine.


            Reggie is on the left. My friends Hawk and Tracy pick him up tomorrow

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:

https://www.findingloveafter50.com/single-post/2017/08/18/Finding-love-in-a-rural-area