|On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter |
September 29, 2022
by Tom Blake Columnist
A widow says, “I’m okay without a spouse”
This week, we share responses to last week’s eNewsletter, which featured Dee, a recent widow. Dee hoped that Champs would comment about what she should do with her wedding rings now that her husband is gone.
As the responses poured in, they reminded me of the poignant words from the song “Graceland,” a song written by singer/songwriter Paul Simon and released in November 1986 on the album of the same name.
The Graceland album won a 1988 Grammy for Album of the Year. Fifteen million albums were sold. The Graceland song is Simon’s favorite of all the songs he has written. The poignant words:
“Losing love is like a window in your heart. Everybody sees you’re blown apart. Everybody sees the wind blow.”
(A link to the song Graceland is at the end of today’s column)
I think those words are some of the greatest love-lost-pain words in history. You’ll understand why the following sage responses from Champs made me think of them.
Vickey emailed, “Dee, you have my sympathy. To love deeply is to grieve deeply.
“I am a widow of 20 years. My advice is to not second guess your decisions about the ring. Wear it or not, it’s ok. I have traveled many miles since being widowed by losing my one and only husband. I do have a companion who in every way makes me complete.”
Kaitte, “Re the widow wedding ring issue, Dee, you need to do YOU for YOU. There is no law that says you can’t wear your rings till you are no longer here, and if anyone says something, simply walk away. They aren’t worth a comment unless you want to add, ‘Just widowed,’ and walk away. Same with the pictures. Don’t ALLOW anyone to tell you differently.”
Susie, “Dee’s letter was very sad. I was thinking that anyone who is going through anything at this stage of one’s life should exchange emails and get a group together and talk out some of our feelings; we might be able to help each other, what do you think of that Tom?”
Tom’s comment to Susie. There are many widow and widower groups in existence across the country. It would be easier, I think, to search online for those and join one near where you live. If a Champ wants to start a new one, I suggest that person start a Facebook page. If someone does that, I will be happy to mention it in a future column.
Also, one of our Champs is Christine Baumgartner, who is a relationship counselor and a widow. She is aware of several widow and widower groups. Her email address is email@example.com if you’d care to reach out to her.
Dr. John (a family doctor), emailed, “Dee poses some interesting questions. Here’s my advice:
– Dee says she never wants to date again – well, maybe. She’s still grieving, it’s way too early to be sure. Also, quick ‘rebound romances’ tend to be a bad idea.
– Most men view widows favorably. After all, one of men’s’ biggest worries is divorce, which in the USA is mostly initiated by wives. Widowhood means the wife stayed with the husband to the end. I had a patient two months ago who lost his job AND his wife (who divorced him), when he came down with cancer, which he beat. But then he got heart disease from one of the chemotherapy drugs he was given. She ‘didn’t want to be his nurse.’ That goes to show why men have a legitimate fear of women divorcing them.
– I’d suggest re: the widow wedding ring issue, she wear the wedding ring until/if she decides she’s ready for a new relationship.”
Virginia, “Life is short. Dee might benefit if she would consider going to some counseling sessions to help her put her feelings into perspective. While it’s normal to take time to grieve, sometimes a snag like an emotional quagmire can ruin the rest of a person’s life and she or he might need a little help to move on.
Dee is a survivor and has years ahead to enjoy the rest of her life. Maybe someone can suggest a good counselor or psychologist who could gently help her move on, so she doesn’t get bogged down with this and ruin her life.
“There are also some well-written self-help books on the stages of grief and how to recognize what she is going through that might help her.” (See Tom’s comment below for a book suggestion).
Joanie, “Dee should move the ring first to her right hand. Then to a nice chain with the ring on it to wear around the neck. Eventually, she might put the ring into a jewelry box.”
Carm, “Dee’s story reminded me of my Karen’s comment that the nearly five years we spent together were the happiest days of her life. Pancreatic cancer: Only an 8 or 9% survival rate. “It also reminded me of the puzzlement I went through with our rings: I eventually taped them to the big mirror in my bedroom.”
Cynthia, “I just reread your newsletter about Dee the new widow. I feel her pain after she met Ron and her thinking it was her final marriage. I’ve been a widow for 7 1/2 years and I still have pictures of my husband all over my house because I enjoy seeing them and that brings me comfort. I don’t have any intention of moving them out!
“As far as her wedding ring, after a couple of years, I moved my wedding ring and my husband’s wedding band to my right hand. I wear his band all the time but when I’m going out, then sometimes I’ll add my diamond engagement ring. I enjoy wearing it and I don’t want to give it up so I understand Dee’s feelings totally.
“I think everybody has to figure out what works best for them and I know it’s really soon after his passing but I pray that Dee will take it slow.”
Sharon, “I have been a champ for 14+ years after my husband David passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2008. Dee’s story touched my heart about her wedding rings.
“What worked for me is that I took David’s wedding band and my wedding band and had a jeweler link them together. I bought a very nice gold chain and wore them around my neck for many years. Like Dee, wearing my wedding rings after David died felt different.
“I struggled with the fact that I wasn’t married anymore and those rings were a reminder of the 31-1/2 wonderful years that were now gone. I emphasize gone because I loved my life, being David’s wife, and the life, we had together.
“I did date for a couple of years after his death, but it was difficult because David and I had an autistic son who was 18 when David died. It was hard for me because I think I was looking for someone who would be family and most of the men I dated wanted a companion, not a grown child. I was a ‘packaged deal.’
“I didn’t like bringing different people into my son’s life. It was a challenging time for both he and I. It seemed so easy when I met David and trying online dating was hard for me. I finally decided about seven years ago that I didn’t really want to try dating anymore.
“I have a full life, job, family, good friends, our son Philip, and Special Olympics, and I just prayed that I would be content with the full life that I had. Sure, there are still times, that I wish I had a special someone, but I am so thankful that I am okay without a spouse.
“I joke with my friends, that my husband was such a good husband, father, and man, he made it impossible for someone to compete with that! Except now I have two dogs, and they are special!
“I hope Dee in time finds her way. Trust me, I know how hard it is to lose a spouse, but I take each day one at a time and try to remember each day how grateful I am.”
S, wrote: “To Dee: I wore my wedding ring for seven years after my divorce. Just didn’t feel right without it.”
Wayne, emailed, “The only problem I see with a woman wearing her late spouse’s wedding ring on her left hand is that it indicates she’s still married. Wearing it on her right hand is fine.
“I wear an old wedding ring on my right hand sometimes as it’s an attractive ring. I’ve asked a few women if that bothers them, and they’ve said it was fine. I respect a woman that isn’t afraid to occasionally mention her late husband in a loving way… he was a big part of her life and I see it as a sign of respect.
“Pictures around the house are fine; I prefer they be part of a family photo.”
Thanks, Champs. Not only have you helped Dee, but others–women and men–who are also dealing with being widowed or losing a significant other.
Category: Senior love
The Living Desert Palm Springs Zoo
|Ticket stubs featuring the new rhinos at the Palm Desert zoo|
|On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – November 25, 2021|
by Tom Blake Columnist
HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2021
On Monday evening of this Thanksgiving week, Greta and I were sitting on the patio of our Palm Springs, California, vacation home. We were facing west, looking at the magnificent Mount San Jacinto Peak (10,804 feet). I told her how blessed we were to be able to enjoy our time out here.
“However,” I said. “Lately, I’ve been reflecting on our Champs and friends who have lost partners, and others whose health is failing. Plus, the news is depressing with mass shootings and cars driving through crowds, road rage running rampant, and saber-rattling by countries threatening other countries. Not to mention Covid-19. It’s a downer and sad.”
Greta said, “Yes, there is a lot of sadness in the world. If we dwell on those sad things too much, it will drag us down. But we must remember how fortunate we are, at our age, to have lived such good lives. We need to focus on the positive and enjoy the time we have left together.”
I had a glass of chardonnay; she had a margarita. We toasted each other. In Palm Springs, we try to relax, exercise, and enjoy ourselves. We are thankful that fate led us to Palm Springs three years ago.
Greta added, “Think about last Wednesday when you asked me out on a date, which I thought was cute. You said you wanted to show me something. We had some spare time, so we drove out to Palm Desert to visit the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. It was wonderful.”
I had read that there are two new black rhinos at the zoo. We hoped to get a glimpse of them. The animals are magnificent out there. The zoo is another thing for which to be thankful. The picture on the ticket stubs reflects the new rhinos (black rhinos are gray, not black). The rhinos were camera shy. We did get a glimpse of Nia (pronounced Nye-A) who was across the grass in the new Rhino Savannah four-acre area resting in the shade. We were told that Jaali (pronounced Jolly) was in a barn.
We strolled through the zoo, seeing several other animals. If you would like to read about our brief visit to the zoo, and see a few animal pictures, click on the link below to our travel website, www.travelafter55.com.
On the home page, the visit to the zoo opens first automatically. In total, there are approximately 189 of our trips posted to that site. Greta and I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and hope that the pictures of the beautiful animals will lift your spirits and remind you of the positive things you have in your life.
Happy Thanksgiving, God bless you all. We are thankful for you Champs. Love, Tom and Greta
P.S. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments, questions, and experiences. They help other Champs who are dealing with similar situations.
|HAPPY THANKSGIVING CHAMPS!|
Seniors have the right to love again
On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – August 27, 2021
by Columnist Tom Blake
Seniors have the right to love again
Champ Nancy emailed: “I had been friends with my neighbors for eight years. She and I were never close. She died last December and I developed a relationship with her husband. Did I violate a girl code by dating him?
“We found out she’d been cheating on him. Although her husband and I got to be friends before she died, we never were involved in anything other than that.
Am I wrong for dating him?”
Tom’s reply to Nancy: “What the heck is a girl code? Also, “You say, ‘we’ found out she’d been cheating on him. Who is we? And, how did you find out?”
“Her cheating on him has nothing to do with your dating him now. She is gone: he will need to move forward with his life.
“May I ask your approximate ages?”
Nancy’s reply: “Girl code is you don’t mess with a friend’s man.
“The guy she cheated with called their home after she passed not knowing she had died. He told her husband she told him she was a widow and said he was her current boyfriend. “I’m 65 and he’s 55.”
Tom’s second reply to Nancy: “You say, ‘Girl code is you don’t mess with a friend’s man.’ Does that code apply after the woman or man has passed away? I don’t think so. “
Can married women and men and people in committed relationships be platonic friends with members of the opposite sex?
“Yes, it’s healthy for us as we age to have friends of the same sex and the opposite sex. Recent studies during the pandemic by health officials reveal that loneliness and social isolation are unhealthy. We all need friends.
“Of course, knowing and respecting what is acceptable and not stepping over the relationship line are important. Trust and fidelity are essential in a marriage or committed relationship.
“Your friend’s wife wasn’t your friend, and you say your relationship with him was platonic. So, I don’t think your girl code applies here. The man probably needs and appreciates your friendship with him now. Your question made me think of a song sung by Jerry Vale in 1970, titled, ‘To Love Again.’
“Vale sang words that have stuck with me all these years:
‘No heart should refuse love
‘And if we should lose love, we have the right to love again.
‘Don’t live in the past dear. For you and me the die is cast dear. But if love won’t last dear, we have the right to love again.’ (The link to this song by Jerry Vale is below)
“I think all people have the right to pursue happiness after a loved one is gone. Of course, it’s a personal decision; there is no right or wrong. “We’ve all heard endless times where the dying spouse has unselfishly said to the spouse left behind, ‘I want you to find a nice mate.’
“Regarding the phone call from the man who called the house. How could he be dating a woman and not know that she still lived with her husband and wasn’t a widow? That sounds like a stretch of the truth and he was probably cheating with her.
“I feel the widower (and you as well Nancy) have the right to love again. Without guilt. Link to “To Love Again” by Jerry Vale
Seniors should never give up on love
On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – April 23, 2021
by columnist Tom Blake
Senior Dating: Seniors should never give up on love (and intimacy)
(marriage in their 80s?)
After last week’s eNewsletter was published, Ginny, Delaware County, PA emailed, “I wrote to you two years ago to encourage single senior women to ‘Get out there, have fun, and not give up looking for a good man.’ I’m doing that again today!
“I met my boyfriend Harry seven years ago. In the first few years, when I or others occasionally brought up the subject of marriage to him, he reminded me and them that he had told me early on to he wasn’t going to remarry. So, I, like some of your readers (Champs), had a big decision to make based partly on the availability-of-men statistics: Stay or leave?”
Ginny decided to stay. She continued: “I fell for him (had seen him in church while we were both married). I left that church.
“Fifteen years later, both of us having recently lost our spouses, we met at the senior center and started dating right away. “We are active, fun-loving, and healthy, Christians who are very much in love and are looking forward to having a ‘complete’ relationship.
“Life is full of surprises! Now, at ages 80 (me) and 87 (Harry), he has changed his mind and wants to marry me. We live three minutes apart. We are both widowed after long marriages; he was happily married, me not happily married.
“To further encourage us to marry, my brother, 74, a widower of eight years, is also ‘tying the knot’ this year with a lovely woman age 69, whom he met two years ago on the Match website.”
I responded to Ginny: “Why do you think he changed his anti-marriage stance at age 87? Why get married now? The decision ‘to stay or go’ you made, worked out for you. I’m happy you didn’t leave him. “Who will move? What does a complete relationship mean? “A senior center is a good place for seniors to find a mate.”
Ginny replied, “I plan on asking him soon why he changed his mind. We are going to have a LAT marriage. I go visit him almost every evening now. After we marry, instead of coming home each night, I will come home the next morning. When I originally suggested this, years ago, he said ‘No way.’ I suspect he wasn’t ready.
“Harry had been married to his high school sweetheart for 59 years when she died of cancer, after being diagnosed five years before.
“We will have a senior prenup also. We both have children and grandchildren. Our money will stay separate.
“What I mean by a senior complete relationship is that now we will be able to have sex. Because of our faith, we agreed years ago to abstain unless married. It was difficult.
“Eight years ago, at age 72, I was widowed. I decided I wasn’t going to just join women’s groups, so I found the local senior center. It is a ‘happening place.’ I am now on the council there. I first spotted Harry shooting pool. He recognized me right away.
“Several times later, I checked out the pool room where the men hung out. They were very welcoming to me, and there was Harry. Within a short time of our meeting, he asked me out. He told me many times that he was only looking for someone to have fun with, and I was it. The rest is history.”
Tom’s ending thoughts: I love Ginny’s story! And wow, a new term for our Champs: ‘A Living Apart Together Marriage!’ (a LAT-M). I hadn’t heard that one before and yet I get it. And I smile at their reason for marrying. Bless you, both.
I hope you like the new Constant Contact format. Thanks for being a Champ. If friends want to be added to our eNewsletter list, they can easily sign up on the home page of my website:
Finding senior love in Los Angeles isn’t easy – California Dreamin’
You’d think, for seniors, finding love in Los Angeles–the second most populated city in the United States with 4,000,000 people (New York is first)–would be easier than in most cities. With its warm climate (despite being one of the coldest Februarys on record), sunshine, beaches, and Hollywood appeal, it seems L.A. would be teeming with single senior men (available).
Not so, says a woman Champ, who lives in L.A. We’ll call her Cass. She and I exchanged emails this week about her dating experiences in Los Angeles.
Cass wrote, “I’ve been widowed 15 years, and unfortunately, am still single. I am online, attend meetup groups, am still attractive and keep myself in excellent shape, and I have an approachable, bubbly personality. But there are things in L.A. that continually work against me.
3. I limit myself to men who are Jewish
4. Most men won’t consider a long-distance relationship. I let them know I’m willing to relocate
5. I meet many jaded men who have been divorced, kicked out of the house, and other things that have cost them dearly, so, they are bitter and say they will NEVER be in a monogamous, live-in relationship again. A lot are looking only for friends-with-benefits and have no intention of becoming vulnerable by opening their hearts
6. Some of the men I’ve gone out with haven’t been on a date for 40 years, and have no idea how to date, how to treat a woman, or even how to display social graces.
“I am not discouraged, as I know there are some terrific men out there too. I’m happy to meet them halfway geographically. I’m amenable to a LAT relationship. I attend classes and lectures and am taking a hosted singles cruise in July.
Tom responded: “Let’s review what you’ve written:
“Your point about Los Angeles traffic and freeway congestion is eye-opening. Hadn’t thought of that before. The not-driving-at-night thing I get. Greta and I often take Lyft or Uber after dark. This not-wanting-to-drive-in-L.A. eliminates many L.A. men from consideration. Hence, the pool of available men shrinks.
“Also, you live in California, not a politically conservative state. You say 80 percent of the men you’ve been in touch with say that’s a deal breaker. Think about that. Before there is even a date, 80 percent of the men you encounter are eliminated.
“You limit yourself to men who are Jewish. That further restricts the available men.
Have you tried the dating site J-Date?”
“And there are the jaded men, as you call them. They get eliminated (understandably).
The primary reason, as I see it, that you are having trouble meeting men is: you’ve eliminated more than 90 percent of the men you encounter just by the six factors you’ve listed above.
“Try to schedule an in-person meeting with the Palmdale man. Check out his background and talk to him on the phone before meeting. He asked if you’d consider living in Palmdale? That question at least shows an interest.
“Your singles cruise in June sounds fun. Hopefully, you’ll meet some available prospects within your age requirement on board.
“Keep at it. Don’t get discouraged. And thanks for sharing with us.”
Cass’s response: “Yes, I have tried JDate and found it to be the worst site ever. I barely ever received a response. I’m not sure why, but I have heard that it has a low membership. It’s been years now; maybe I’ll look at it again. I belong to another Jewish site too, and, get emails from older men in Israel or New York.
“I could give you enough stories about men not wanting to drive in L.A. for you to write a comedy. A woman practically must live next door to the man. One man, an attorney in Century City, said that my city, where I live, is way too far. (It’s 20-30 minutes).
“One man said he doesn’t drive at all, so I’d have to always drive on our dates. I believe the men are opposed to spending money on Uber.
“A handful of men have flown in from other states to meet me, but, when they didn’t get a roll-in-the-hay, they went back to the airport – one didn’t even say good-bye! We’d made plans for the whole weekend, and when I called his hotel on Saturday morning, he had checked out!
“And since my late husband was the epitome of kind and a total gentleman, I wasn’t prepared for this lewd, self-centered, ‘one-thing-on-his-mind’ population.
“Dances are the place to meet tons of men (I am a good dancer and attend dances, but for some reason, older Jewish men don’t go). I’m considering dating non-Jewish men, just to be friends, nothing more. And I look forward to the cruise in July, although chances are there won’t be many from California on it.”
Tom’s final comment: “You say you are considering dating non-Jewish men for friendship only, nothing more. Friends-first in a budding relationship is important. However, almost all older men, regardless of religion, aren’t interested in a friend’s-only relationship. I don’t know of one. We just aren’t built that way. We may be old, but we still want the hugs and physical contact in addition to companionship.
“So, yes, a willingness to date non-Jewish men would enlarge the pool of available single men, but at the same time, your friend’s-only requirement would eliminate almost all those men.
“I’m not trying to be negative, but here is what I think: you’re eliminating almost all available men even before you meet them. You aren’t giving them a chance with your rigid, up-front, requirements. Sounds like dating in L.A. won’t be California Dreamin’ any time soon. But, that can change, if you’re willing to as well.”
Today’s discussion, reminds me of The Mama’s and The Papa’s song, California Dreamin.’
Link to California Dreamin’:
Part 2 – Two weeks ago, I included a link to an article that DatingNews.com did based on an interview with me. This week, a sister site, DatingAdvice.com, also did an article based on a different interview. Both of the sites are loaded with dating information and advice. Both will be able to be reached via a link on the home page of my Finding Love After 50 website.
Here is the link to this week’s article posted to the DatingAdvice.com
In Search of That Special Someone
I don’t want to talk about a dozen red roses here, a box of chocolates there, a romantic dinner in some five-star restaurant, or cuddling in front of a fireplace. For people in committed relationships, they already know that’s the drill on V-Day.
But for many singles without a partner, Valentine’s Day can’t end soon enough. They have other things on their mind. As an example, last week, a very nice single woman sent this email:
She wrote, “I am new to your e-Newsletter and enjoying it. I’m 62, divorced twice and live in Orange County (California). You are my inspiration that there is that special someone out there for me!
“I also heard that you have a Facebook group that might be a good idea for me. I’m also wondering from your years of dealing with the subject if you have some very specific recommendations for dating sites. There are so many out there and I’d rather use a reliable and successful one rather than waste my time and money.”
My reply: “Our Facebook group is called Finding Love After 50. It’s a “closed” group; people must request to join. I keep it closed because there are many people lurking on the Internet and Facebook who have evil intentions, or ulterior motives that would not be beneficial to our group members.
“For example, they might want to promote a cause or a business that benefits only them, or establish contact with our members, only to eventually hurt, defraud, or cheat them. I cannot allow that to happen. I must keep the site safe.
(“Occasionally, a member will post too much drivel, so, I delete those posts. If over-posting continues, I will remove that member from the group–after a friendly warning, of course.)
“I prescreen everyone who requests to join the group. I check out each person’s Facebook page to see what they post, who their friends are, and try to get a feel for, ‘Yup, they’d fit in and contribute to our group.’ If they have no personal information that reveals who they are, I don’t let them in the door.
“You’d be amazed at what’s on people’s Facebook pages. Guns, violence, perversion, distasteful sexual content, extreme political views, and membership in hundreds of other groups, which indicates that the people have no actual interest in what our group stands for.
“You asked about recommendations for dating sites. Let me say this up front. What I said about Facebook misfits also applies to dating websites. Don’t get me wrong, online dating is a great tool for mature singles. It allows you to reach out across city limits, county and state borders and even into other countries. It dramatically increases your chances of meeting ‘that someone special,’ to which you refer.
“Still, you must be very careful and leery when dipping your toes into online dating. There are bad apples looking for vulnerable people age 50-plus and older. Trust your instincts. If something seems ‘not right,’ then it isn’t. Wednesday night, Greta and I saw a TV interview with a woman who got scammed out of her $30,000 of life savings (of which $20,000 was borrowed from neighbors), by a guy she had never met in person. Sounds foolish and very stupid, but it was also sad.
“If you do meet in person, do so in a public place, tell your friends with whom you are meeting, check the person out carefully beforehand, and consider doing a background check.
“Of course, never send or give money to a stranger.
“What sites are best? Match.com still ranks high, in my opinion, but not perfect. I met a neighbor this week who lives a few houses away. He and his woman friend met on Match.
“Our Time is for older people, and again not perfect. Those are two suggestions. I’m sure our Champs will mention other sites as well. Meeting that someone special can happen, however, on any dating site. This book, features the stories of 58 couples who met after age 50 (the title says 50 couples, but it’s indeed 58, which is another story). A few of our Champs are included in the book.
“A woman named Christine Baumgartner is an Orange County relationship coach who is a part of our group. She is a wonderful person and has helped many people in their search for love. She often posts to our Finding Love After 50 group site. Her email is Christine@theperfectcatch.com. Website: www.theperfectcatch.com.
“Christine is leading a panel discussion on Feb 26, 5:30-8:30 p.m., of a woman’s group called WomanSage. I will be on that panel. It will be held at the Center Club, in Costa Mesa, adjacent to the Segerstrom Theatre. That would be a good event for you to attend. For details, go to the website below. Details of the event are on the home page where you see the roses and bottle of champagne. You do not have to be a member of WomanSage to purchase a ticket (www.womansage.org)
“Stay in touch and we’ll help in your search for that special someone.”
I realize that not all of our Champs live close enough to Orange County to attend that evening but people in Southern California would enjoy it.
However, this woman’s situation is similar to millions of other singles across North America. The key to meeting new people, and possibly finding that special someone, is to get out and join new groups. Making women friends is a good way to begin.
The List of 21: advice for living a good life as we age
Note from Tom: This List of 21 (my name for it) has been emailed to me more than once. I searched the Internet to find the author’s name, to no avail. I do not take credit for this list. I don’t the like the title: “Between 65 (or 70, or 75) and …” So, I took the word out and inserted the “… “I would prefer a title like this, “Tips for Senior Living beyond 65,” or something similar. I add The List of 21 to this Finding Love After 50 website so readers can peruse the entire list of 21 items.
A reminder. I am not the author of this list. The words below are not mine.
Between 65, 70, or 75 and …
Many of us are between 65 and the end of our life. An old friend sent me this excellent list for aging, and, I have to agree it’s good advice to follow….
- It’s time to use the money you saved up. Use it and enjoy it. Don’t just keep it for those who may have no notion of the sacrifices you made to get it. Remember there is nothing more dangerous than a son or daughter-in-law with big ideas for your hard-earned capital. Warning: This is also a bad time for investments, even if it seems wonderful or fool-proof. They only bring problems and worries. This is a time for you to enjoy some peace and quiet.
- Stop worrying about the financial situation of your children and grandchildren, and don’t feel bad spending your money on yourself. You’ve taken care of them for many years, and you’ve taught them what you could. You gave them an education, food, shelter and support. The responsibility is now theirs to earn their own money.
- Keep a healthy life, without great physical effort. Do moderate exercise (like walking every day), eat well and get your sleep. It’s easy to become sick, and it gets harder to remain healthy. That is why you need to keep yourself in good shape and be aware of your medical and physical needs. Keep in touch with your doctor, do tests even when you’re feeling well. Stay informed.
- Always buy the best, most beautiful items for your significant other. The key goal is to enjoy your money with your partner. One day one of you will miss the other, and the money will not provide any comfort then, enjoy it together.
- Don’t stress over the little things. You’ve already overcome so much in your life. You have good memories and bad ones, but the important thing is the present. Don’t let the past drag you down and don’t let the future frighten you. Feel good in the now. Small issues will soon be forgotten.
- Regardless of age, always keep love alive. Senior Love. Love your partner, love life, love your family, love your neighbor and remember: “A man is not old as long as he has intelligence and affection.”
- Be proud, both inside and out. Don’t stop going to your hair salon or barber, do your nails, go to the dermatologist and the dentist, keep your perfumes and creams well stocked. When you are well-maintained on the outside, it seeps in, making you feel proud and strong.
- Don’t lose sight of fashion trends for your age, but keep your own sense of style. There’s nothing worse than an older person trying to wear the current fashion among youngsters. You’ve developed your own sense of what looks good on you – keep it and be proud of it. It’s part of who you are.
- ALWAYS stay up-to-date. Read newspapers, watch the news. Go online and read what people are saying. Make sure you have an active email account and try to use some of those social networks. You’ll be surprised what old friends you’ll meet. Keeping in touch with what is going on and with the people you know is important at any age.
- Respect the younger generation and their opinions. They may not have the same ideals as you, but they are the future, and will take the world in their direction. Give advice, not criticism, and try to remind them that yesterday’s wisdom still applies today.
- Never use the phrase: “In my time.” Your time is now. As long as you’re alive, you are part of this time. You may have been younger, but you are still you now, having fun and enjoying life.
- Some people embrace their golden years, while others become bitter and surly. Life is too short to waste your days on the latter. Spend your time with positive, cheerful people, it’ll rub off on you and your days will seem that much better. Spending your time with bitter people will make you older and harder to be around.
- Do not surrender to the temptation of living with your children or grandchildren (if you have a financial choice, that is). Sure, being surrounded by family sounds great, but we all need our privacy. They need theirs and you need yours. If you’ve lost your partner (our deepest condolences), then find a person to move in with you and help out. Even then, do so only if you feel you really need the help or do not want to live alone.
- Don’t abandon your hobbies. If you don’t have any, make new ones. You can travel, hike, cook, read, dance. You can adopt a cat or a dog, grow a garden, play cards, checkers, chess, dominoes, golf. You can paint, volunteer or just collect certain items. Find something you like and spend some real time having fun with it.
- Even if you don’t feel like it, try to accept invitations. Baptisms, graduations, birthdays, weddings, conferences. Try to go. Get out of the house, meet people you haven’t seen in a while, experience something new (or something old). Senior social interaction. But don’t get upset when you’re not invited. Some events are limited by resources, and not everyone can be hosted. The important thing is to leave the house from time to time. Go to museums, go walk through a field. Get out there.
- Be a conversationalist. Talk less and listen more. Some people go on and on about the past, not caring if their listeners are really interested. That’s a great way of reducing their desire to speak with you. Listen first and answer questions, but don’t go off into long stories unless asked to. Speak in courteous tones and try not to complain or criticize too much unless you really need to. Try to accept situations as they are. Everyone is going through the same things, and people have a low tolerance for hearing complaints. Always find some good things to say as well.
- Pain and discomfort go hand in hand with getting older. Try not to dwell on them but accept them as a part of the cycle of life we’re all going through. Try to minimize them in your mind. They are not who you are, they are something that life added to you. If they become your entire focus, you lose sight of the person you used to be.
- If you’ve been offended by someone – forgive them. If you’ve offended someone – apologize. Don’t drag around resentment with you. It only serves to make you sad and bitter. It doesn’t matter who was right. Someone once said: “Holding a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Don’t take that poison. Forgive, forget and move on with your life.
- If you have a strong belief, savor it. But don’t waste your time trying to convince others. They will make their own choices no matter what you tell them, and it will only bring you frustration. Live your faith and set an example. Live true to your beliefs and let that memory sway them.
- Laugh. Laugh A LOT. Laugh at everything. Remember, you are one of the lucky ones. You managed to have a life, a long one. Many never get to this age, never get to experience a full life. But you did. So what’s not to laugh about? Find the humor in your situation.
- Take no notice of what others say about you and even less notice of what they might be thinking. They’ll do it anyway, and you should have pride in yourself and what you’ve achieved. Let them talk and don’t worry. They have no idea about your history, your memories and the life you’ve lived so far. There’s still much to be written, so get busy writing and don’t waste time thinking about what others might think. Now is the time to be at rest, at peace and as happy as you can be!
AND, REMEMBER: “Life is too short to drink bad wine!!”
Senior love on the back of a Harley
Senior Romance on the back of a Harley. Why not?
In a November, 2007, Finding Love after 50 newsletter, I included a quote from a woman who lived in San Luis Obispo, California. She emailed, “I have been on Match.com off and on for several years, but I am not attracting the type of person I want. Twenty-five percent of the responses are from bikers, so I must have something in my profile that attracts them.”
In the same newsletter, I responded to her: “You are likely attracting bikers because they like to drive there and would enjoy having someone to party with while ‘in town.’ For some reason, I picture those two buffoons in the movie Sideways, which was filmed near there.”
A Champ, (before you were called Champs) Patricia, was disappointed in my response to that woman: “I live in San Luis Obispo County (Paso Robles) and I actually live in the town where they filmed a lot of Sideways. Many ‘bikers’ live and work in the area and aren’t just passing through to party with someone.
“I was also on Match, Yahoo, eHarmony and other sites, had quite a few dates and a couple of short-term relationships over a five-year period.
“Two years ago, when I was 52, I read a profile of a man, 53, whose road name is Cowboy, that said: ‘Don’t let the biker thing scare you off. We are not a bad group; you might want to meet me before you make a judgment. A lot of us are real nice men.”
Turns out, Patricia had a first date with biker Cowboy for coffee. A couple of days later, they had a second date: “We went for a motorcycle ride down to Morro Bay on Saturday, he bought me two dozen roses on Sunday and we have been together ever since,” Patricia said. Now that is a nice way to begin senior dating in a relationship.
In 2009, when How 50 Couples Found Love after 50 was published, Patricia’s and Cowboy’s story was included (Chapter 12, Love on the Back of a Harley). At the end of each chapter, there is a brief Lessons Learned section. One of the lessons from their story was: “When searching for a mate later in life, expand your horizons, your reach, and, even your thinking. Open your mind to new adventures and new activities.”
This week, Patricia sent an update on their relationship: “My husband, ‘Cowboy,’ and I are still together after 12 years (married for over 10 years).
“Life is good and older singles should not give up on finding that someone special. My advice: Broaden your mind and consider the unexpected. I never expected to be some biker’s “Old Lady”, but I’ve never been happier and more in love.
“We both still work at a military installation and are starting to think about and plan our retirement together. We are taking a 10-day cruise to Alaska in September. This has been on my ‘bucket list’ for years so I’m very excited!
“Here are photos from when we first met, and from now, just for fun.
Patricia and Cowboy – 2005
Patricia and Cowboy – 2017
As a coincidence, along the same line, Champ Stella recently emailed, “A good man is hard to find, and so, apparently is a good woman. The few gems out there are quickly snapped up. So, always cast your net into the waters for you never know when there will be fish.”
Older singles can improve their chances of meeting a potential mate by jettisoning old stereotypes and beliefs, which can mean being open to people of different religious beliefs, ethnicities, income levels and family situations. I am in no way suggesting that people settle for less than they desire.
As Patricia discovered, if a nice biker man enters your life, give him a chance, you never know where you might end up, it could be on the back of a Harley holding two dozen roses.
Note from Tom: My book, “How 50 Couples Found Love after 50,” is about senior dating, senior romance and senior love of 58 couples. The book was to have 50 couples featured. But, just before it was printed, eight fun and wonderful senior love stories were sent to me. So, I included them as a bonus.
For seniors wondering how to meet a mate, this book has 58 suggestions.
The book is available on Amazon, in hard cover or ebook format: