Senior Dating – Make A List – Divorced or Widowed

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter
 February 10, 2023
Make A List By Columnist Tom Blake 
Make A List – Senior Dating Divorced or Widowed

A senior single woman doesn’t want to be compared to a deceased wife

Joan (not her real name) emailed this week, “I have been a reader of your column for years.”

I was curious how long Joan had been an eNewsletter (I call my readers Champ). I found emails in the archives that she sent in 2011 and 2012.
So, yes, she’s been reading my articles for at least 11 years.

Joan continued, “I recently joined a dating site and am 77 and find that most widowed men seem to start out telling you something like this: ‘I lost the love of my life after a blah blah number of years. We were so happy but now she is gone, and I am looking for someone else.’

“As a woman, am I wrong in taking this to mean they are looking for a replacement for this deceased wife, and will I be compared to how she was?
“What should I think? I’m not sure I want to be in a relationship being compared. I suppose that would be the case also with someone being divorced, right?

“What is your take, Tom, am I being overly sensitive?”

Tom’s answer to Joan:

I think you are caught up in semantics. Widowers and divorced men are not looking for a replacement. That’s not the right word. Rather, they are looking for a new mate, a new opportunity, and a new beginning. Someone to break the loneliness spell that descends upon people—men and women—who have suffered a loss.

They are filling a void and an emptiness that has entered their lives. Note that I said, and women. All are trying to move forward, not replace, and they mean no disrespect to their deceased partner. 

Will these widowers and/or divorced men compare you to their ex’s? Perhaps somewhat, that is only natural. If they didn’t have the pain, their former relationship probably wasn’t a positive one and there would be no comparison. Reminder: this applies to widows and divorced women as well, not just to men. 

Sometimes, widowed people match up because they understand what each other has gone through and can openly talk about their deceased spouses to each other without jealousy–as long as, they don’t keep bringing up an ex-partner excessively. If they do, they either aren’t ready to date or don’t place a high enough priority on the new person. Divorced or widowed, both grieve.

How does one not compare, if only slightly, a new person to a former mate of a relationship that endured for up to 40 years or more? Instead of being concerned about a person you meet trying to replace a former love or comparing you to his deceased wife, I recommend you make a written list of 10-12 characteristics that you seek in a new relationship/mate and focus on that. 

Tom’s Suggested List (you will likely change the order) 

1. He makes me his top priority and treats me with respect 
2. I am physically attracted to him. And, he must be to me 
3. We must enjoy being with each other. And feel comfortable 
4. He must not smoke or take recreational drugs 
5. He must be financially self-sufficient and willing to share expenses 
6. He takes care of his health 
7. He must be available to see me three or four times a week or whatever amount of time I desire, but not every day, and not 24/7 
8. He must be kind and considerate to others 
9. We don’t have to have similar interests, but we do need to have similar core values. We must be somewhat in agreement on politics and religion. Don’t screw up a potentially great relationship over these two items.
10. He must be open to having a new relationship enter his life. And we must be able to talk about our former spouses and mates freely to each other.

 And then, at the end of your list, remind yourself, as a knowledgeable good friend of mine says, “There is no perfect.” Your new potential love will not score a perfect 10 on every list item, or perhaps not on any item, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be a great partner for you. 

If you are too worried about being compared to an ex, get over it, and don’t be too judgmental, you might miss an opportunity with Mr. Right for you. So, yes, Joan, I feel you are being a bit too sensitive.

Sit down, make that characteristics-wanted list, and see how a potential mate matches up with the items on your list. Focus on the list, and not on being compared to an ex-spouse. Happy Valentine’s Day to all Champs. 

Shortage of single senior men

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – August 3, 2018

Shortage of single senior men 

If I had a magic wand, I’d create single senior men and introduce them to single senior women (who often tell me they’d like to have a male companion).

I often receive comments in person or via emails from women regarding the lack of senior single men.

One woman emailed, “I read your article and thought of my mom, an incredible widow, 62, active, fit, positive, outgoing, fun-loving, an accountant for a large church, one of the most sincere and honest people I know.

My dad died of cancer 12 years ago and while she has dated a little and would like to meet someone, I’ve yet to talk her into internet dating and she insists it will just happen, kind of like the story you tell of meeting Greta. But where are the men?

After I checked your Finding Love after 50 website, I thought maybe you knew someone in a similar boat who wanted to be set up. I know it’s kinda crazy but the thought came to me, so I had to chase it!”

Lynn emailed: “Being 68 years YOUNG now, and three marriages later, I found you by mistake, as I googled San Clemente apartments and was lead to the San Clemente Times newspaper. The headlines of your 24 years of writing on love and life after 50, grabbed my attention!

I am a firm believer in the adage, ‘There are no coincidences.’ And, once again, reading your articles proved it.

My relocation from Washington state has not been easy. Reading many of your posts has lightened my heart and renewed my faith in ‘anything is possible at any age.’ Where do the men hang out?”

Mirtha emailed, “I am a single senior woman, a widow, who lives nearby and decided it was time to try meeting a male friend with whom to go dancing or watch a movie. But, I’m not seeking a boyfriend or husband.

I frequently attend public places. I go to all dances in local senior facilities. I attend all shows at the Cabrillo Play House and the Laguna Play House. I am not sitting at home waiting to meet a new friend, but the result is always the same: Senior couples, senior couples, senior couples, or senior ladies. Where are the senior single men?”

Tom’s 7 thoughts on the shortage of single senior men and meeting senior single men:

While each single senior woman has a different situation, I wanted to comment in general on the shortage of senior single men:

1. Understand that finding good men in the later years is difficult, so don’t beat yourself up if you’re not meeting men. It’s not your fault. By age 70, senior single women outnumber senior single men by approximately three-or-four-to-one. Plus, women tell me that many of the men are not “dating material” or simply don’t date, so the ratio, is, in effect, even greater.

Last Saturday, Greta and I were invited to a 50th wedding anniversary party in a nearby neighborhood. More than 100 guests filed in and out. Most were 70-80+ While I could be wrong, I saw only one single man, maybe early 50s, and he was there with his teenage daughter. There were several very fine widows there. I wish I had a magic wand to introduce them all to nice men

2. Consider online dating, especially if you live in a remote area, or small town. The internet can expand your reach beyond city limits and state lines, putting your name in front of thousands of men. However, I am not a big fan of online dating for seniors–too many flakes and kooks out there. Seniors are vulnerable to scams. It’s hard to know whom to trust. Follow your instincts.

But, online dating can be a tool for you to use to try to meet a potential mate. But, be careful

3. Get off the couch, out of the house, and involved in activities you enjoy. Check out to find activities in your area

4. Attitude is critical. In meeting people, be positive, friendly and smile. You never know when someone for you will enter your life. Always put your best foot forward

5. Make as many new friends as you can

6. People’s situations change. A married man could get divorced or become a widower. Of course, we hope that never happens. But it does; it’s life. And you might be the person who is a gift from above, or a shoulder tap, who gives renewed hope, and love, and companionship to a person who has a huge hole in his heart

7. Remember being alone and single is far better than being with someone who makes you miserable

If only I had a magic wand, I would create more senior single men and introduce them to senior single women.

flaf spy glass cover

        Where are those single senior men?