Widow Happy in Brooklyn not dating

 On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – October 4, 2019

by Columnist Tom Blake

                                     Widow Happy in Brooklyn not dating

Champ Michele wrote, “I enjoy reading the On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter on dating, but I don’t participate much because I live in Brooklyn, NY. I have been widowed for 18 years (at age 49) and still miss my husband. I tried online dating but almost got scammed my first time. The few people that contacted me were beyond bizarre. I gave up on that.

“I have been to some dances, but the men seemed to ask the women to dance who were dressed very provocatively and that’s not me. I would leave the dances saying what is wrong with me. It was depressing. No one seems to know anyone. So, I gave up on that.

“Most single functions end up with the women far outnumbering the men. So, if a man, by some remote chance, asks you to dance, he acts like you should be so grateful that he chose you to ask over these other women. It’s like a meat market.

“I enjoy being with my friends and going on vacation. My attitude is, as my mom used to say, ‘If it’s meant to be it will be.’”

My answer to Michele

I’ve been writing about age 50-plus dating for 26 years, since 1994. My first few years’ articles focused on the challenges of dating later in life for both men and women. At that time, the ratio of single women to single men in their early 50s was approximately one-to-one.

As the years passed, that ratio slowly changed. More and more women contacted me, asking “Where are the men?” The single women to single men ratio drew closer to two-to-one for mid-60s people.

Men rarely wrote me. Either they had found somebody or became too inactive to participate in the dating game. Some men, me included, were still looking for a mate.

Some women said the ratio gap was even larger because many single senior men aren’t relationship material. I could see that finding a potential mate was becoming more difficult for women because fewer desirable men were available. But, good guys were and are still out there.

I remember the Dr. Ruth Westheimer response to a woman at an AARP convention who asked her, “Where are the men?” Dr. Ruth said, “The ratio is a fact of life. But, if you have a nice appearance and a positive attitude, and are willing to get out and socialize, you can effectively shrink that ratio.”

And then another phenomenon happened: A thing called the Internet emerged and online dating got its wake-up call. Women were drawn to it because they could reach out beyond their city and local boundaries to find men. A Brooklyn woman, such as Michele, could reach out to all the boroughs of New York City, which are nearby. Potential mates could meet without driving, by using the subways.

   My partner Greta walking the Brooklyn Bridge, from the Manhattan side

It didn’t take long for senior romance scammers to figure out that lots of women online were lonely and vulnerable, especially widows. The romance scammers saw a fertile environment in which to rip off women.

Granted, lots of couples were formed as a result of the Internet but senior romance scams also bloomed. We try to educate the women about the scams.

Now, we find ourselves in our 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90s. That ratio has reached almost four-to-one by age 75. Women, such as Michele, share their stories of the lack of men at singles functions. Greta and I see it at our monthly Meet and Greet gatherings in Dana Point.

Saturday night, Greta and I were at the Greek Festival in nearby San Juan Capistrano. One of our woman Champs saw us and introduced herself. She even made the comment about the lack of single men at singles events. I found myself trying to explain the shortage of men to her, as I am to Michele today.

So, what can I say to Michele, who is “Happy in Brooklyn” spending time with her friends and traveling. She has given up on internet dating, singles dances, and singles functions. She is accepting her mom’s advice: “If it’s meant to be, it will be.”

Michele, I say, don’t give up on Senior Romance, keep your eyes open for opportunities to meet a potential mate.

Be assertive, not aggressive. By that I mean if you see a man when you are out and about, and he appeals to you (age close to yours, no wedding ring, no soup on his shirt, combed hair, no odor, no spinach in his teeth), make a friendly comment, such as: “Nice jacket, nice car, nice dog, what’s the dog’s name? Where do you buy your spinach?”

Or, if you see him in the food mart, say: “Is this a good wine?” or, “Is this watermelon ripe?”

In the Post office, “Boy, these lines are long?”

On a cruise ship: “Where’s the dining room?”

At the California DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles): “How many hours have you been here?”

Anything spontaneous. He may be hoping to meet someone but he’s shy. Be ready to pop the question: “Want to have coffee?” Be ready to pay for the coffee (his and yours). If he’s worth his salt, he’ll offer at the least to go Dutch. Better yet, he’ll offer to pay the tab. If this makes you feel uncomfortable, at least smile and/or even wink. Have a positive attitude.

That’s where we are now, 26 years later.

I hope Michele doesn’t give up on Internet dating but if she does, I understand. Traveling by subway to meet blind dates would be scary now. But local New Yorkers could travel by subway to Brooklyn to see her. As I recall Brooklyn Heights has some nice cafes

There are so many Internet dating sites online I can’t believe it. Everyday, there is a new advertisement in my email inbox. I can’t imagine the ratios are any better on those sites when compared to singles functions.

Continue to get out and enjoy life and your women friends as best you can. But above all, don’t give up on Senior Romance. You are still a young pup and deserve happiness.

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

Meeting single 70-year-old men is so difficult

Why meeting eligible men age 70-plus is so difficult. Senior romance (or lack thereof) 

Many of you have asked why women Champs are so much more active and visible in this e-Newsletter than male Champs.

The most obvious answer is simple: At age 70, there are approximately three to four times more single women than men in the USA. And our newsletter subscriber list reflects that. Without doing an actual count, I predict that 75% of our Champs are women.

That’s not to say that we don’t have some great male Champs who often contribute. Guys like Art in Florida, Sid in Florida, Jon in Olympia, Washington, Carm in Mexico, Ken and Les in Orange County, Calif., and Mark in Palm Springs to name a few right off the top of my head. Art, Jon and Carm each have a significant other and are already taken.

And, by the way, Sid in Florida was just selected to be inducted into the DePauw University Athletic Hall of Fame for his swimming accomplishments in the 1960s. Way to go Champ.

Finding a match for single 70-year-old men isn’t easy – the sagas of Mr. Nope and Harry Shoe

Why don’t I try to fix up single male Champs with our women Champs? After all, we’ve got an estimated 300 single men 65+ on our mailing list. But, I’m not a match maker, it’s generally a no-win endeavor. Let me give you a couple of examples why.

One guy in Orange County, California, where I live–I will call him Mr. Nope–contacted me a year ago. He wanted to meet in person to talk about me fiximg him up with single women.

When we met, he explained that the women had to live within five miles of his home. When I suggested that he should expand his geographical reach—that it would improve his chances of meeting a nice woman–he said, “Nope, I don’t want to drive that far.”

Then, I told him that my partner Greta and I had met an attractive, outgoing and friendly Asian woman, who lived in his city, whom he might really enjoy, he said, “Nope, I’m not attracted to Asian or Hispanic women.”

I looked at him in disbelief and thought to myself, in California? You must be kidding. How closed-minded is that? And speaking of missed opportunities.

“I can’t help you,” I said to Mr. Nope. And that is the one and only time I met him.

In another case, I introduced, by email, a man (I will call him Harry Shoe) and a woman who live not too far from each other in the same Eastern state. He had contacted me. He was a new widower and was hoping to make a connection with a nice woman. They met and started dating.

She wrote me a few months later: “Just an update on Harry Shoe and myself. After six months of his juggling his work schedule, helping his deceased wife’s elderly in-laws, plus the memory of his wife, I had to let him go.

He was a sweet man but had not even stopped long enough to address his wife’s death. I was at his home twice and things were the same with his wife’s things still in the same spot. I had to move her purse on the kitchen table to have coffee, her clothes were in her bathroom, toothbrush still in its holder.

It was impossible to be even remotely romantic with her things around; he didn’t understand, so he never invited me back. I wished him well and moved on. I will probably never date a widower again–unless it’s been years, instead of months–since his spouse’s death.”

In both cases, nobody benefited from my match making. As I said, match making is pretty much a no-win endeavor.

Another reason why meeting senior single men is hard: some 70-year-old men just don’t want a relationship

Another guy (we’ll call him Amy’s man) said, “I adopted Amy, a rescue dog, eight months ago–three years into my search for a woman partner–and Amy’s here by my side every day to remind me I’m capable and deserving of love (even if I am a geezer!).

“Amy’s also a bit of a ‘chick magnet,’ but, so far, that hasn’t helped me attract the woman I’m looking for.”

Amy the chick magnet being unladylike in Rotterdam in 2012 (photo by Greta)

I wrote Amy’s man and asked if I could include his comments, and the picture he had sent of him walking Amy, in the newsletter. Not as a personal ad, but just as a human-interest story of a single man in his 70s, who would make a pleasant mate.

I even offered to include his email address in the newsletter so women could readily email him.

Here was the response from Amy’s man: “I’ve shied away from any involvement or prospects of women living more than 25 miles from my home. My position’s not as limiting as it might appear, with a major metropolitan area (Washington, D.C.) within the radius.

Candidly, I’d have to say my continued solo existence is due as much to lofty expectations as it is to a lack of opportunity. Thus, remaining the hard head I’ve been for 70-plus years, I think I’ve gotta decline your kind offer.

I am writing this to you today while thinking about Amy, as she stared devotedly into my eyes from beside me on the bed this morning, when I looked up from the newspaper.”

His comments give us an idea of how one single man thinks about putting himself out there. I couldn’t do anything about his “lofty expectations,” but I could have done something about his “lack of opportunity.” After three years of him searching for the right woman, I thought he’d be game.

But, he’s not interested and that is that. His position is similar to so many other men I know. They say they’d like to meet a nice mate, but when it comes down to it, do they really mean it? Would they be willing to make a commitment? No wonder meeting a 70-year-old guy (or older) is so difficult.

Deep down inside, instead of a nice woman, they’d rather have rover instead.

Just curious. Do any of our age 70+ single men have anything to add? Would love to hear it.

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: 

Link to How 50 Couples Found Love After 50

Tom Blake's "How 50 Couples Found Love After 50"
58 stories of senior dating and senior romance. How seniors over age 50 found love

Seniors living together and finances

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – March 9, 2018

Senior Cohabitation: Living together and finances

The two most recent columns—regarding Sally’s man-friend wanting to move in, and the 35 responses  by Champs to Sally’s situation–brought to light issues senior couples should consider when it comes to finances and living together.

Kathy emailed, “I’ve been remarried to my X-husband for three years. Concerning money: Having our money completely separated except for one household account that we both put money into each month has changed everything. We still buy things for each other but when I buy clothes or other non-essential items, I have no guilt and neither of us can blame the other for spending all the money.

“It has changed my life, I make at least twice as much as my husband and at the end of our marriage last time, he had me believing that I spent all the money, that he had nothing because of me and, I would never make it without him. I was very relieved to find that I had plenty of money to live on and share with others without any of his contribution.

“He found he could not make it on his income and had to start working again, which is good for both of us. Always learning.”

Lisa said, “I have been where Sally is now (a man-friend wanting to move-in), and made the foolish decision to have my younger lover move in.

“It was great for a while, but since the house wasn’t his and he wasn’t used to the additional responsibilities of maintenance, it caused friction in the relationship. There was, of course, more than that which let down the relationship.

“I just turned 70, am still working, and am a homeowner with a mortgage. I am planning to sell my Burbank (California) home and move to Arizona where I can buy something nice for cash with the equity I have built.

“I will hopefully find new friends and some sort of relationship there.”

Senior Cohabitation: So you want to move in with me here on my yacht? You’ll have to pay $83.00 a month rent. And, you’ll have to take out the trash and walk the dog.
(Photo by Tom taken in Istanbul in January, 2004)

Mary Lou, “My cousin allowed a financially insecure man into her life after her husband of 30 years died, leaving her very well off financially. This new man convinced her to marry him, ran through her money, and left her with a mountain of debt, which she is still dealing with.

“My cousin had her reasons for wanting to be married that were a bit unique: She was raising two of her grown daughter’s children alone, as her daughter was an addict and on the streets.

“The new man pretended to be a family man wanting to help raise the kids. There were red flags up the ying yang – my cousin’s sister even ran a check on the guy and his bankruptcies came up.

“My cousin’s reaction when her sister told her this? She still isn’t speaking to the sister all these years later, even though the warning was spot on.

“Today my cousin at the age of 72 has one of the grandkids still at home – the boy is 14 and my cousin is a fabulous mom to him. But she is broke, living in a small apartment, and still having to work.

“And the guy she married? They divorced when my cousin’s money ran out, and the guy is living back east and married to another financially well-off woman.

“I am so skeptical of a guy less financially well off who is the one wanting to move in with the financially secure woman. Of course, he does! He’ll have it made. I predict if he moves in, the next thing that will happen is he will get ‘sick’ or have a ‘disability,’ stop working, collect Social Security disability, and she will be stuck with him.

“She has nothing to gain financially by him moving in, and he has everything to gain. I vote NO!”

Gordon, “Sally seemed to be very concerned about financial stability and SHE SHOULD!  At her age, financials are more important than ever. She says she has more than he has; if he moved in with her, it would be a windfall for him in that he no longer has a housing cost.”

Tom’s thoughts: Not discounting what has been stated above, let me say that not all live-together relationships have to be financial disasters. In fact, living together can be financially beneficial to both parties.

When couples share expenses, such as groceries, utilities, and other household expenses, including rent or mortgage payments, in a way that is agreed upon ahead of time and fair to both, the financial benefits can be significant. Please note, I am not advocating mixing finances, just sharing expenses.

Let’s say, by sharing, each person benefits by $600 per month or $7,200 a year. And they stay together for 10 years. That would benefit each by $72,000. That amount could be helpful in the retirement years. Or, what if they are together for 20 years, the amount could reach $144,000 each. Of course, if the monthly savings is greater than $600, the numbers will be even larger.

I don’t think the primary motivation for moving-in together should be financial benefit. But if the other important reasons are already present, such as loving each other, and wanting to be together every day, then the financial pluses are the frosting on the cake.

Again, I strongly advocate both people keeping their finances separate. They can do that and still share expenses and chores. Senior cohabitation has its challenges, but when done carefully, it can work.

More on senior cohabitation, finances and moving-in together. A March 10, 2018, response from a reader:

Allen: “I read your response to Sally regarding letting her 56-year-old male friend move in with her, I’m assuming that it was his suggestion to move in to her paid for house.
She mentioned that he had also lived with one or more other women. Sally is a well-educated retired school teacher, what level of education does her male friend have, does he own a home or has he always rented?

“Sally also mentioned that her friend has two sisters and an 86-year-old mother, I would venture to say that he is probably a ‘mommy’s boy’ and that he wants women to take care of him.

“I’m 83, a married male of 49 years with one grown son. I’m nine years older than my wife, which is normal; it is not normal for a male 56 to be dating a woman age 69, he wants what she has worked hard for. I know this guy, not this particular individual, but I know his type.

“Sally, my advise is to RUN, don’t Walk away from this guy, because if you don’t I’m afraid that you are setting your self up for a lot of heart ache. Check out his credit history, how much does he earn, does he have a retirement that equals your teacher’s retirement, does he owe money on credit cards?

“Sally, I don’t know you but I’ve seen other women hurt by his type, so do yourself a favor and find someone else, he’s out there.”

Tom Blake <tompblake@gmail.com>

7:27 AM (35 minutes ago)

to Allen

Thank you for writing. I will pass your advice on to her. You make some very valid points. Just curious, do you reside in South Orange County?
Interesting also that you know this type of guy. Also good point about his credit history and credit card balances.
Again, thank you Allen.

Senior romance at the Bargain Box Thrift Store in San Clemente, California

Tom Blake On Life and Love after 50 column Feb 22-March 1, 2018

Romance at the Bargain Box Thrift Shop in San Clemente

The Bargain Box Thrift Shop at 526 North El Camino Real in San Clemente is a wonderful place. It’s run by volunteers from the Assistance League of Capistrano Valley. All proceeds from sales there are put back into the local community.

The funds are used to provide new school clothing to families who need assistance in the Capistrano Unified School District. Also funded: New school clothing and toddler clothing giveaways at Camp Pendleton.

The Thrift Shop is the main source of income for the Assistance League of Capistrano Valley philanthropies.

Working at the Thrift Shop, volunteers Nancy Cormier and Donna ODonnell meet a lot of interesting people; they had no idea that their shop was also a place for senior romance. Until two weeks ago.

That is when a couple named Craig and Ilda Kendall came in to their Thrift Shop to do some serious shopping. Craig told Nancy and Donna, “The Bargain Box Thrift Shop has special meaning to us. That’s why we stop here whenever we are near San Clemente.”

The two women were curious, particularly because Craig and Ilda said they live in Calimesa, near Big Bear Lake, not exactly in the South County area. The women wanted to know more about this attractive couple.

Craig said, “Your Thrift Store was the perfect place for me to propose to Ilda. You see we both love antiques, nice clothes and jewelry. Our families both spent time on the beach in San Clemente when we were kids. We are amazed that San Clemente has retained its friendly, beach-town atmosphere.

“In 2010, when Ilda and I were here, it just hit me, and I asked her to marry me right in the shop.”

“Eight years ago?” Donna said, thinking Craig and Ilda probably married shortly after that.

Ilda said, “To celebrate our wedding, and to ‘pay it forward’ to others less fortunate than us, we stopped here today. As always, when here, the volunteers are so friendly and kind. It is obvious you love working here.”

“So, when did you tie the knot?” Donna asked.

“Three weeks ago,” Ilda replied.

Donna and Nancy were dumbfounded. They looked at each other and said this is a story for Tom Blake’s On Life and Love after 50 Column in the newspaper.

Craig gave Donna and Nancy their email address and telephone number, and then Nancy took a photo of them as they left the Thrift Shop.

ILAD and Craig Kendall at Thrift Shop

Craig and Ilda Kendall at the Bargain Box Thrift Shop in San Clemente, California (photo courtesy of Nancy Cormier)

The two women sent me an email. My challenge was to contact Craig and Ilda, to gather a little more information and since my partner Greta and I were going to Palm Springs on Valentine’s Day for a week, time was of the essence.

As Greta and I were driving on Palm Canyon Drive into Palm Springs, my cell phone rang. It was Craig and Ilda. I explained where we were, and Craig said, “That is an amazing coincidence!”

He and Ilda were on their way to Palm Springs as well. We thought about meeting for dinner, but it was Valentine’s Day and the restaurants were already booked, and they’d be so busy it would be hard for us to hear their story in a crowded place.

Greta and I just happened to have some wine with us, and we ended up meeting Craig and Ilda at the Palm Springs Tennis Club where we were staying. We popped the corks and got to know them in person.

Craig is 72; Ilda is 67. They knew each other in 1962 when living in Riverside. It was apparent from the conversation that Craig had had a keen eye for Ilda since then, although both had married and gone their separate ways.

After Craig was divorced and Ilda was widowed, they reconnected on Match.com and had their first date at the Five Crowns Restaurant in Corona Del Mar in 2010. At that time, Craig lived in Running Springs and Ilda lived in Crestline, near Big Bear.

Greta and I could not believe that a senior romance that began at the Bargain Box Thrift Shop in San Clemente eight years before, led to a totally impromptu meeting with Craig and Ilda at the Palm Springs Tennis Club on Valentine’s Day, 2018.

Never give up on senior love; you just never know where or when it’s going to happen.

35 Responses to: Should Sally let man-friend move in? Senior Cohabitation

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – February 24, 2018

You Champs did it!  You set a record. You were simply incredible.

I am almost speechless (Hard to believe, I know). Why? In last week’s eNewsletter, Sally of San Diego, a widow and retired teacher, was hoping a few Champs would respond about her situation, which she described in detail. The main issue: Should she let “D,” her 13-years-younger man-friend of eight months, move in?

Where else but in this eNewsletter can a senior receive such sage and valuable advice from such an intelligent group of people, at no cost?

Thirty-five of you (including 10 men, almost 30 percent) took the time to help Sally by responding. That is astounding. In the 24 years, of writing 3,800 + newspaper columns and newsletters, that is a record number of responses. I’m proud of you and thank you.

At the end of the 35 comments, I attempt to do a short summary of your advice to Sally.

Granted today’s article is long, really long, close to 5,000 words. You can choose to not read it all, but all comments are important. I will also post it to my Finding Love After 50 website in its entirety so you could reread it anytime.

Not only will your responses help Sally, they could help any senior who finds themselves in a similar situation—woman or man.

35 Responses to the February, 23, 2018, eNewsletter (in the order received, not in the order of importance–they are all important):

1 – Dr. John: “Sally likes D, and has mixed feelings about him moving in. I would suggest she have several serious talks with D, lay out ALL her reservations about him moving in – put all her cards on the table – the reasons she’d like him to move in, and the reasons she’s hesitant – and see how he responds.

“My sad experience is that all too often, women have an ‘If he really loved me he’d know what I want’ mentality, and men are NOT mind readers. Let me be repetitive – spell out for D EXACTLY WHAT SHE WANTS AND DOES NOT WANT.

“Maybe even draw up a written contract – this is becoming more and more common with couples – it can spell out everything from who takes out the garbage to how often they are intimate.

“Ask, deep, probing questions about her concerns, such as the fact that D has never married. Yes, this may be uncomfortable, and it’s the opposite of planning on ‘living happily ever after,’ but it will be one hundred times less unpleasant than an acrimonious split several years down the road, especially if finances have become co-mingled.

“As for the senior age difference, that is nobody’s business but Sally’s and D’s.”

2. Carol: “Yikes, and NO!! Enjoy the relationship, but do not have thoughts about moving in together.

Marriage? Why? Are you planning at age 69 to have more children? Of course not! What True feelings your share for one another will not change with a piece of paper.

“If anything, it will put all you have worked for at risk. I write this from the exact place you are in, owning my own home, financially secure, attractive, with many varied interests including being a professional musician.

“The men I meet, want me to be the wives or girlfriends they no longer have or believe they should have at this age. Enjoy what you have together, let time evolve and develop this long term. If, after several years, you both are still as happy as you are at this time, perhaps address it again.

3. Inez“If his desire to move in is greater than hers and she feels comfortable living apart, I wouldn’t change anything. Something sounds a little off to me. I’d be tempted to talk to one of his exes.

“Once the move is made, if things don’t work out, its going to be a messy breakup after the fact. Who has more to gain if he makes the move?”

4. Mike, “My thoughts on moving in is no. She does not know what to expect.

5. Jackie: “Don’t do it! If she is having to ask the question, that means she has warning bells in her heart or her head or her gut. If she were sure, she wouldn’t ask. Trust your gut instincts.”

6. E.H. (woman): “My vote is no. Perhaps he never married because he is devoted to his mother and he is looking for another mother.”

7. Wayne, “This is a tough one. A senior never married at age 56 is a big warning sign (but, not necessarily a red flag). He may either (a) have not found a soul mate, or, (b) be a victim of commitment phobia. My advice to Sally is to take the yellow flag and proceed with caution. Travel together, spend weekends together but maintain your separate residences and reassess down the road.

8. Lynne, “I would advise caution on living together. I’m not opposed to it but concerned that it might make the relationship seem deeper than it is. There is an adjustment period even when you live together that takes time and commitment, and there is no way to know how long it will take to adjust to each other.

“The red flag for me is he’s had a few lengthy relationships. Might be a lack of deep commitment. Be Careful, moving in is easy, breaking up and moving out is hard.

“I’ve had numerous family and friends move in with me. I also moved in with an older man, he was retired but working part-time. We had some great years until his health started to fail.

“I stayed with him and took care of him 24/7 for years, because he had loved and cared for me, I could do no less for him. Be careful and thoughtful, it can be great or terrible.

“I’m almost 74 and look younger and am pretty healthy. I still appeal to men and they appeal to me. I’m more cautious now, after someone fooled me, he was a user hiding in sheep’s clothing.

9. John: “A story that might be related to Sally’s situation, only tangentially: I have a friend I used to teach with. Friend ‘L’ was a music teacher and played various side-jobs evenings and weekends–in dance bands, a symphony orchestra, etc.

“After a gig, some of the band members would hang out at a bar or restaurant, and chat. One time, when L and I were together, he told me he wished he could get along with and have as much fun with his wife/wives as he did with his band-member cohorts at these after-gig gatherings. (This was during his third of four marriages.)

“I suggested to L that if he had to go home and live with these friends, things might be a whole lot different–not mostly ‘cool’ and ‘hip’–when all the ‘warts’ started to appear while in close contact over extended periods. L replied, ‘I hadn’t thought of that.’ Hence his four marriages?

10. Margaret: “I have five male buddies that were never married, and in their 50s. Two got married in their 50s and the other three are still unmarried (in their 60s now), though one of them has a long-term, live-in girlfriend. I’ve known these men for 20+ years.

“Here is my opinion simply based on these five gentlemen whom I love dearly as friends. (A few of them I dated for a short period of time until I decided a romantic relationship with them was not for me–but we remained friends). Each one has wonderful qualities but I’m not sure they are ‘husband’ material.

“The two that got married were divorced after several years of miserable marriages. I think when someone has been single for 50+ years (man or woman), they become set in their ways and it is difficult to incorporate another person 24/7 into their lives. But, there are always exceptions to any rule!”

11. Joanie: “Eight months into a relationship is still the ‘wonderful time.’ There is about a year and a half or two years when a relationship is new, exciting and still romantic. (Nature makes it that way). After that, the two people begin to be comfortable with each other and let down certain guards.

“And that is when they can see if they are really compatible–how do they handle sharing, anger, disappointment, helping, giving at times more than they get, how do they handle distraction in you?

“D can always stay with Sally for weekends and a few days at a time for them both to see how it feels. I would say: 1) wait awhile before you let him officially move in and/or 2) keep it romantic forever by both of you staying with your own current living arrangements.”

12. Kaitte: “Oh man, I have mixed feelings about Sally’s situation. Lots to say. The age difference doesn’t hamper anything, after all he’s in his 50s. Done a little living. Supports himself but doing what?”

13. Jon: “I would suggest short-term, live-ins of a week or so to see if it works before an outright move-in.

“I find it advantageous to have been married just once. In my singles group, there were a few never-marrieds and they were always looked at suspiciously, probably justifiably so. It is a yellow flag but not a red one.”

14. Kenny: “In Sally’s own words: ‘I like the way our relationship is now.’

“Mr. ‘D’ has two options: compromise or not to compromise. If Sally chooses to continue with ‘D,’ their current LAT (Living apart together) relationship is by far the best scenario for Sally. There is certainly way more ‘upside’ than ‘downside’ for Sally being in a LAT relationship

1. She’s already been in an apparently successful long-term marriage, so she hasn’t missed out on the ‘marriage’ experience in her 69 years.

2. She does not have to mix her finances or her paid-for home with someone who ‘is not as financially secure as she’ and, ‘he still works full time.’

3. At this stage of her life, she does not have (or need) the ‘legal’ hassles of co-habitating…and that is a very big consideration even with a ‘can-always-be-contested’ pre-nup or cohabitation agreement.

“If she can temporarily (difficult, I know) take the emotional “Eight-month honeymoon effect’ out of the equation, and let common sense dictate her decisions, the status quo is perfect for her.

“I also feel if ‘D’ doesn’t compromise and/or agree to continue with their current relationship ‘style,’ that Sally doesn’t have to give up on finding another relationship.

“A financially secure, healthy, fit and attractive woman should be a pretty appealing catch for those more-than-enough available men closer to her own age.”

15. Vic: “I would be very leery of a guy who was neither married nor been in a long-term relationship (i.e., more than ‘a few years’) by the age of 56! Sally is right to worry.

“She does not mention whether she ever actually ASKED him why he never married or why those live-in relationships never went anywhere. It’s possible there are valid reasons and maybe he just did not meet anyone compatible who clicked with him.

“But such a conversation would give her a chance to see whether there is a pattern to his relationships: Is he simply commitment-shy?  Does he have some quirk that gets in the way of a full-time relationship? Is there some hidden flaw that manifests itself after time (e.g.: Does he have an abusive streak, is he bi-polar, etc.)? Does he have a roving eye or can’t keep it in his pants? The possibilities are endless.

“Then there is the possibility that he is a slick con artist who is slowly but steadily working his way into her life. Let’s hope not, but has Sally done a thorough search and/or investigation of him?  What does she know factually about his past — beyond just what he has told her?

“Of course, it’s also possible that he’s the real deal. But then, how stable will the relationship be in the long run, when he has never shared a house or a life?

“I’m not saying Sally should not let him move, but I am saying she should do her homework and due diligence before!”

16. Stella, “While I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with a man who’s in his 50’s and never been married, I do say give it a little more time. Time not only heals everything; it reveals everything. If there are any ulterior motives in his desire to move in, they will, in time, surface.

“The 13-year senior age difference also speaks volumes. While 5-7 years either way is typical and shouldn’t raise concerns, this is definitely a reach.

17. Althea: “Going by my past experiences, I see some BIG red flags that are waving at her frantically, trying to get her attention! Because I’ve been there, I am also age 69, and had a long, on-again, off-again, serious relationship with a man who was 14-years younger, similar to Sally’s guy who is 13-years younger. I was 53 and he was 39 at the time, divorced with two small kids. In the long run, age does matter.

“I would suggest to Sally, strongly, that she not let this man move in. (She even wrote that she always felt she would never marry again or live with a man…she should go with her gut).

“She’s only known him for eight months, (not enough time knowing someone to invite them to live in your home- especially at her age and with their big lifestyle differences), he lives 34 miles away from her and works Monday through Friday so she’s only seen him on weekends and the one trip they took together to visit his mother and sister. That’s plenty of time for him to be on his best behavior when they are together.

“Judging by the facts of his past, that for one, he is 56 and has never married … to me that means he has never fully committed himself to any woman… and that he has had live-in relationships of ‘a few years a few times.’ Also a sign of non-commitment. She might become another live-in relationship that only lasts a few years. Is that what she wants?

“Has she been to his home? Does he own or rent? Do they spend time there? What is his work? Has he been working at his job for many years or does he move from job to job? Does he make a steady income? Is he good with money? Does he pay his bills on time, or is he behind in bills? And I pray he has never asked her for money and she has never offered/given him money…

“There are a LOT of questions like that she should be asking him if she hasn’t already. She wrote, ‘He wants to move in.’  Not that he wants her to move in with him. I see a red flag there. To me I see that as another red flag because…he wants to be in her home that he knows is secure. He could be telling her that he wants to move in to her place instead of the other way around, because he wants her to feel secure and happy in her own house and not have to move…  A good ploy by a lot of men.

“Sally should be doing several things…listening to her gut instinct, asking him a lot of important questions, and continuing to live by herself. She could have one of those together-living-apart relationships. At least wait until she’s been dating him for a good 2-3 years before she thinks about having him live with her, or vice versa. I know women who have sold their house, moved in with a guy and then when it ended a few yrs. later the woman had no place to live, no home to go back to.

“If Sally would like to ask me about my 14 year difference relationship, you can give her my email address. I’ll be happy to tell her, and hopefully help her make a good decision.”

18. Mary Ann: “I don’t think it’s normal at age 69 a woman to be involved in a relationship with so much a younger man. If they met earlier in life, and spent many years building memories together, I would understand. Then, they would have had time to get to know each other and make a special relationship, so at a later age, they almost wouldn’t feel the age difference. I know a few happy couples like that. In Sally’s situation, I would be very suspicious to this man.

“To me he is interested in her financial situation. Nine months is a very short time to know all about the person with whom you are involved.”

19. Marillee, “You said you like the way your relationship is now, a LAT? He’s not as financially secure as you are, you own a nice, large, mortgage-free home, and he wants to move in?

“Hmm, could be a red flag! Why not continue to enjoy each other weekends and travel, assuming he can afford to pay his way? Quite frankly, you now have what I consider an ideal situation! You found a special person with whom you can share a committed relationship and see each other on the weekends. He sounds like a great guy, but remain true to yourself, keep your independence, and protect your assets!”

20. Esther: “Sally seems to have a very wonderful relationship with D as it is right now. Why rock the boat? Moving in may ruin a perfectly lovely relationship.

“It isn’t fair to cast all unmarried men over 50 as undesirable. D seems fun, pleasant and willing to work in a relationship. There are plenty of men over fifty who are married and not so desirable. D should be considered on his own merits and not labeled as part of a bad group.

“The issue does not revolve around being over fifty and never married. The issue Sally must face is if moving in together will enhance the good relationship Sally has already established.”

21. Orchid: “Why spoil a good and working relationship? Sally’s situation mirrors mine in some respect. I am in a committed relationship with a younger, highly respectable man with a great job but who will be retiring soon. He is going on 60, has never married and likely the reason is, he is the only child and family of his mother who is 90 and lives on the East Coast. He had relationships before, but that is his past.

“We enjoy and care for each other tenderly and generously. He has his own house and I have my own apartment.

“I have my own life, travel and enjoy my family and friends without him. This is our set up and it works wonderfully well.

“Sally, enjoy your own life and enjoy both of your lives with D.

22. Susan: “NO. Sally should not let him move in. It can take years for the ‘real’ D to come out. He is on good behavior now. If it is right, she will know without asking. If there is one tiny doubt, the answer should be no. She can spend time with “D” but still have her independence.

“Short story. My friend lived with her love for three years. Not a problem. But when they got married he almost beat her to death. I know that is an unusual situation, but Sally needs to be careful.”

23. Christine: “I love how you met D. As a widow, you were staying active, doing what you love, and then—there he was. And it sounds like the LAT is working well for you.

“You mentioned that ‘he wants to move in.’ That lets us know how D feels. I’m curious about you? How do you feel about it? It’s always a balance in every relationship to take into consideration how each person feels.

“Also, I’d be curious about why his other relationships ended. Has that come up in discussions? What part does he think was his responsibility in each of these? The success and failure of every relationship involves two people.

“I believe one of the most important parts of a successful relationship is when each person takes responsibility for what hasn’t worked in the past and what they’ve done to ensure they won’t do that again in the future. So, I believe having this open and honest conversation would be very important for your successful future together.”

24. Jack of all trades (a woman): “D. Sounds very nice and you sound very happy with him. That’s great. But exactly why does he want to move into your mortgage-free house with you? I would hang onto that house as the sole owner, at all cost.

“I see no reason that he needs to move in. It’s a bad idea. You two aren’t married. You have more to lose than he does. Stick with the status quo.”

25. Elizabeth: “I think that keeping this as a LAT relationship is the best way to go for now. If you both expressed feelings of being in love, then maybe it would be okay to entertain the thought of living together. But if it is working the way it is, there does not seem to be a need to live under the same roof, unless both of you absolutely want that.

“Until that point, I’d say to just enjoy the companionship for now and then see where it goes from there. To me, that’s more important than even the age difference, which could be an issue, depending on the feelings involved.”

26. Karla: “To me, the age difference is a red flag. A second red flag is that he’s never been married. The third would be his wanting to move in with her.

“I dated a man a few times who had never been married, although he said he had once been in a long-term relationship. There was something ‘off’ about him. He was very needy.

“He’s in his 70s now and is still a player. I was in a ‘relationship’ with another man for seven years, and I came to find out (shortly before he died) he had lived with woman after woman, and he also had a stable of women on the side, all in secret. I cared a lot for him before knowing what a POS (piece of s…)he was, but I wouldn’t have considered living with him. I value my quiet time too much to live with someone.”

27. Arlene: “After a long relationship ends, we want to recreate what we had. When the next ‘replacement” comes long, we sometimes jump in too quickly.

“One can either throw caution to the wind and rationalize they might not get another chance at love, so best to jump in now. Or one can be more cautious and slow it down.

“Eight months is not that long. I would wait a year or more to co-habitate with someone who has been single his entire life. That would be a red flag to me. I dated a guy for three years who had never been married. He was in his 60s. It ended when he passed on.

“He did not want to ever be married because he ‘never wanted to end up hating someone.’ Such pessimism! Proceed with caution!”

28. Sue: “My thoughts are: It’s sooo hard to find someone that you can get along with, much less, as well as they seem to- so what if he’s at a certain age and not married? He never met the right girl…yet.

“She should go with her heart. If she feels good about him–then bless her! Don’t worry about who makes what at this point…plenty of time for that if things get that serious…and she feels the need/fear for that to be an issue.

“It probably won’t; he seems genuine. Being able to work out issues and keep moving along is a good sign. If she said they never argued, I’d be a little more hesitant and think that they were both holding all in–that’s not good either.”

29. Elisa: “I have been enjoying and “eves dropping” on  your most enjoyable and informative site for many years now. I had an unusual experience when I read Sally’s comments.

“I felt a strong sense that if she allows D to move in, the dynamics of their relationship would change.

“Considering her comments about his relationship with his mother and sisters, as well as never having been married, and his younger age, it all seems to lead to a mother-and-son relationship in the making.

“I feel sure that Sally wants an adult-to-adult relationship from her comments, but the new proposed changes do not seem to encourage this given his background. I may be wrong, and I hope so, but I would caution Sally to trust her instincts as she is the one with all the facts.

30. BD (woman), “Sally, it could be interesting to ask yourself some questions: If you were 69 years of age and living in a modest rental property while still working full time, would the relationship have flourished?

“If your male companion, at age 56, was retired with a large, mortgage-free home, would your relationship have flourished? By simply reversing each of your circumstances, it frees you to explore all kinds of thoughts on this issue.

Moving-in is a big deal. It taps into emotions, finances, spirituality, safety and security. You did not mention if you and your late husband had children. If yes, would their future inheritance be solid and secure from any outside interference?

“Very importantly, why has he only experienced relationships of a couple years throughout his whole adult life? How is this relationship different? If your relationship is also short term, could you manage its end emotionally?

The most important thing that I read from your letter was that you are enjoying the circumstances that you share now–living separately but sharing a committed relationship, which leads me to believe that your male companion is the one wanting this change. And it seems like there would be many advantages in his favor to do so.

“No matter what you ultimately decide, take the time to trust your gut, and then you will have peace with your decision.”

31. Chris (male): “I see red flags for this lady. I know three guys who could be this Mr. “D.” All are over 50, never married and have had multiple live-in situations. The live ins last between five and seven years.

“It takes about that long for the lady (who always seems to be the one with the house) to realize she is with a loser. I would tell her, if this relationship is going so smooth, then don’t try to fix it. Time will tell her what to do, and this just isn’t the time.”

32. Gordon: “Sally, I empathize with you and your dilemma in that I am a widower of 41 years; although, your situation is full of ‘amber flags’ if not red flags. I have been in a LAT relationship for two-plus years, after dating a number of years, and find it tremendously rewarding, fun and liberating.

“Just think…you are retired, have good health, and financial stability. You have obtained ‘The Three-Legged Stool’ of Health, Time, and Money to enjoy your senior years.  Guard that wisely.

1. Age difference and the lesser fact he never married, is not necessarily a red flag, but it is out of the ordinary and does ask the question why. What do you gain by having a live-in partner or boy-friend rather than a LAT relationship with this person. There is risk to every new relationship but let us enter wisely.
2.  What would make your relationship better by living together? That anticipation of meeting and the thrill each time you meet would be tempered greatly. The newness you feel each time you are together would also likely diminish. If those things are not so important and you would prefer a full-time-together relationship, living together may be good.

“Compare what you had in your previous good marriage and what this new ‘live in’ relationship could add that makes your life better.

“It is not insensitive to say that your next relationship should be better than your first because you have learned much and experienced a good relationship with your husband and you know what could be better. I would encourage you to seek more and not settle for what you had in your marriage because that is not attainable. A new person means new experiences and new adventures in life. You are beginning to learn of those now on your own. Will this person, living with you, add or detract from that?

3.  You say he has had three past live in relationships that failed. Could it be that the three different women he had the relationship with were the reason they failed or was he, the same man (the common factor), the problem?

4.  You seemed to be very concerned about financial stability and YOU SHOULD!  At your age financials are more important than ever.  You say you have more than him and the fact is if he moved in with you it would be a windfall for him in that he no longer has a housing cost.

His life style takes a leap forward, but does yours?  What will he contribute to complete a partnership?  In a LAT relationship the answer can be as simple as happiness.

“I am in a LAT relationship and one of the concerns of both of us is that we keep our financials separate. In my relationship, we are both concerned that health issues could financially destroy the other. We both lost our spouse after long and expensive health care.

“We want our money to go to our children and we want to be financially independent. A true relationship later in life should include independent financial stability that promotes a very happy relationship. You earned that. What will the new live in contribute to promote that?

5. Another concern is that once he moves in, you will lose some of your independence including coming and going as you please. Are you willing to do so?

A LAT relationship can have all the benefits of a marriage plus a loving relationship. Why does cohabitation have to exist at our age?  You can spend nights together, travel together, do everything together and still have a loving relationship without cohabitation while retaining your individual independence.  You have earned that.

33. Becky: “Three huge red flags.  I have one word and that is RUN!    We must always be diligent about our personal safety.”

34. Jeanne: “I think you should give the relationship more time before deciding whether to live or not to live together. I know one relationship where the man who has never been married moved in with the woman who has been married, and the difference between them is that she has the money and the house.

“There is definitely love there but she does not want to get married and he does.  They live in her house and right now it is working well for both of them.  But the future is unclear – for her.  Take your time!”

35. Curtis: “I am 66 and never been married. When I was in my 50’s, I knew five guys in their 50’s who had never been married. Four found a relationship with women over 50, who had been divorced. All got married, and are still married in a loving relationship.

“At over 60, I find it surprising to find a woman interested in a relationship. Most have been hurt in past relationships and not interested in having a guy in their life. How many times have I heard when asking someone out, ‘If I want to have fun, I’ll call my girl friends.'”

Tom’s humble summary:

– Not one of you recommended that Sally allow D to move in. Number 28 (Sue), said Sally should go with her heart, which is kind-of an “it’s okay if she allows him move in.”

– I am very impressed with how so many of you are familiar with the term LAT (Living Apart Together) relationship and how you use the term so knowingly and comfortably. And, how so many of you love being in one (vs. being under the same roof 24/7)

– My guess is—from your comments—Sally knows what course of action to take or not to take

– Most important advice, Sally needs to take her time in making this decision

– Hopefully, this co-operative effort by Champs will lead to other people stepping forward with senior relationship questions and issues on other topics