Age is just a number

Age is just a number
On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter

June 18, 2021
by Tom Blake columnist

(The article today has been edited for length and clarity)
marjorie and hans
Senior dating at 80+ Marjorie & Hans – Love across the pond
Marjorie, 87, (photo above on left) emailed this week about her senior long-distance romance with a man from Amsterdam, “My motto: be interested and interesting. My passion is traveling and enjoying the visual arts.

“My Amsterdam relationship began in 1998 when my engineer companion and I did a house exchange with Hans and his wife, who lived in Amsterdam.
“Hans’s wife died in 2014. He came to California in 2015. We took a trip together and discovered we were meant to travel together. We have crossed the Atlantic six times traveling in Europe and the USA.

The pandemic has limited us to daily Skypes. Will we travel again at our age? I’m not sure. Hans is 84.” The photo of us above was taken in my 90-year-old artist friend’s home (she is in the middle).

More on senior love

Two weeks ago, the June 4 eNewsletter featured three independent women, Paula, Kathy, and Leslie. Champ Art, Margate, Florida, commented about each woman’s situation. 

But first, a reminder about Paula, age 75, who moves to a new city every two years or so, and renovates homes, and then flips them. We included a picture of her two Bassett Hounds in that June 4 issue. Paula said, “The only way I can do what I do is to be single.”

Art said, “It’s interesting that Paula has not grown roots, and still has that wanderlust feeling about herself. I’m 82 and find meeting (potential mates) very easy, but I would not want to become interested in a woman who has not found a man to call a keeper or a place to call home by the time she is 75.

And Art said this about Kathy: “Her issue, being allergic to most animals, could never work for me. I love animals and have two cats at home.”

Regarding Leslie, age 80, who met her fiance four years ago, Art said, “I congratulate Leslie on her engagement. Her independence is a trait I admire if not carried too far. Leslie has found her way to thrive in a singles world.”

Art added, “When my wife passed in 2007 I thought that I would never know love again, but by learning how to use POF (Plenty of Fish) and putting a lot of thought into my writing, I have been blessed beyond my expectations.

“I am currently dating a 79-year-old woman who lives about a half-hour from my house. We are both vegetarians, both of us love live theater, and we each find the other attractive and fun to be with.”

Even more on senior love

One of our Champs is Tammy La Gorce, the New York Times “Weddings” columnist. This week Tammy shared a column she wrote about two 95-year-olds who just got married.

She thought I’d like the last two sentences from her article, which are quoted below:
“Nobody starts life at 95,” Ms. Morrow-Nulton said. “But we did.”

“I’m not lonely anymore,” Mr. Shults said. Better still, “I don’t think we’ll get sick of each other.”

 Here is a link to Tammy’s story:

P.S. You may be asked to subscribe to the Times’s online edition, for a very reasonable rate.

Part 2 – Champ Larry on Lake Michigan
Grand Haven Sunset Larry
Larry and his daughter on Lake Michigan during sunset
Grand Haven Lake Michigan Sunset – June 2021

Last year, Champ Larry, (above, with his daughter a week ago), contacted me, saying he would be in the Dana Point area and asked if we could meet for lunch. He mentioned that he was retired, single, widowed, living in Florida, and spent summers in a beach city on Lake Michigan.

Having grown up in Michigan, I asked, “Where in Michigan?”
Larry said, “Grand Haven.” I was amazed. I told him that my mom had grown up in Grand Haven and our family had rented a cottage there for a month during several different summers.

“What was your mom’s maiden name?” Larry asked.

“Frances Pardee.”

Larry said, “I knew a man named George Pardee. He hired me for my first job in Grand Haven. He worked for the Peerless Novelty Company.”

I was even more amazed. George Pardee was my uncle. Turns out, Larry was the City Manager of Grand Haven for years, before moving to Florida where he was a City Manager in a beach city there. He and my uncle became good friends.

Larry and I met for lunch and found we had even more in common.
Two weeks ago, he was visiting South Orange County again (his daughter lives here) and we met for coffee for a couple of hours. So, Larry is another Champ who has become a special friend.

Is he single? Well, yes, but let’s put it this way. He seems to have met some nice potential mates in Florida. I’m certain he will keep me posted on what happens in that regard.

Thanks to Larry for sending the photo. I encourage other Champs to do the same thing, along with some biographical information.

Senior Online Dating – Plenty of Fish

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – October 18, 2019

Part One -Senior Online Dating – Plenty of Fish – The good and the ugly

by Columnist Tom Blake

The Good about Plenty of Fish

Champ Cheryl, “I just read the 10 responses to the Brooklyn widow who has given up on dating. I thought all the responses/suggestions were valuable, especially Ginny’s.

I’ve written you previously about the success that my partner, Matt, and I had with online dating and just wanted to comment briefly again. It continues to surprise me that so many seniors report being unsuccessful and/or intimidated, that is, afraid of online dating.

“It seemed the main thread running through the 10 comments was the idea that you have to ‘put yourself out there’ in order to be successful finding a partner, and that is certainly true of online dating.

“It’s also true that to be successful, one must be willing to be open and honest about oneself and what he or she wants in a relationship.

“I found when I approached online dating it was important for me to actively think/decide what qualities were important/crucial to me in looking for a partner.

“And during the process of exploring online dating, I also was able to ‘fine-tune’ what my essential needs were and what issues were not as important. That’s not to say that it’s ok to be really ‘picky’–that doesn’t work either.

“Is it important that his favorite color is red and mine is blue? Of course not. The structure of the online dating site is really important. Matt and I met on OK Cupid, where there were literally thousands of questions that could be answered, covering every imaginable subject with the ability to add comments to every answer.

“By the time Matt and I started communicating, he had answered over 400 questions and I had answered over 600, and both of us had added comments to nearly all our answers.

“We both were honest with our answers and willing to answer some questions that might be considered intimate or personal, especially about sex.

“With online dating one must be brave, open, and honest. If you are, online dating can work.

“Getting involved with local activities can work as well, I’m sure, but sometimes there are either limited opportunities (I was living in a rural area of Ohio; Matt was in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan—600 miles away) or maybe all the opportunities have been explored without success.

“Yes, there are scammers online, but one can be deceived by someone locally as well, and when you meet someone locally, you have no idea initially who he or she truly is, unless someone you know, knows them. There are risks meeting someone locally as well as with online dating.

“Again, I would encourage seniors to get involved with online dating but with a site that provides ample opportunities to get to know someone very well before meeting in person. And there is always the option of doing background checks, which I did a couple of times.

“Matt and I are a wonderful match and found love with each other, which neither of us would have found without online dating.

“I like the comment Champ Jim made last week: Sometimes you have to ‘make your own luck.’ Very true!”

Obviously, Cheryl and Matt put a great deal of effort into meeting each other online. And that’s what successful senior dating—online and otherwise–usually requires. A willingness to put forth an effort. It can take time, money, patience, and a bit of luck.

For some seniors, online dating may be the only option remaining to meet a potential mate. It can work. There are endless success stories, such as Cheryl’s and Matt’s.

However, there can be an ugly side to online dating. Here’s an example:

                                     An Ugly POF story

A Champ wrote: “I’ve been on POF for over 10 years. Here is my POF encounter, 10 days duration, Oct 4-14, in a chopped, quickie, writing format:

“UBER driver, 70, who lives nearby, was from a town near where I’m from back East.
favorite saying, “anyhowzers”
talked 100 mph non-stop, wound too tight
invited him to a dance
went to his friend’s party
went to pool 2 times
did “Taco Tuesday”
Went to a Halloween party, he brought his own bourbon and drank it ALL! (hic)
expected me do drive then; I could not as I had forgotten my glasses
danced at a nearby bar to 70s oldies
he played grab-ass with me on the dance floor!
Went to city to see art galleries,
he only put 24 minutes on meter to walk around, had to rush back to meter to put more $ in (duh)
Drove past galleries, straight to another bar, another beer.

I don’t drink anything except sparkling water at a bar
He ordered one snack plate and split it with me! (cheap, cheap, cheap)
Told me off on way home
End of POF encounter.”

Comments from Tom

Online dating isn’t for all seniors. Plus, there are potential downsides, as described above, to senior online dating: fake profiles, fake sites, romance scammers lurking, trying to take advantage of vulnerable, lonely, people and their emotions. And, there are endless other issues.

Before you sign up for any site, read what the one-star and two-star reviewers write. Even reviews can be bogus. Use only established regular dating sites such as OK Cupid, Our Time, Match, Eharmony, to name just a few. People use these sites for seeking friendship, a pen pal, or a long-term relationship.

Avoid what are known as “Hook up” sites. “Hook up sites” are pretty much for sex only,

                                        Other places to meet men

A suggestion from an animal lover: Get a dog. Besides the health benefits of exercise when walking your dog, you meet other neighborhood dog-lovers. Even better, get an unusual looking dog. That may bring other people over to talk to you. Take your dog to a dog park.

Champ Mark added, “About an hour after reading last week’s column, Donna and I had breakfast at the Strawberry Farms golf course in Irvine. Seated on the patio in front of the driving range, I couldn’t help but notice the ratio of men-to-women was about 25-1.”

Add golf driving ranges as places where more men than woman can be found.