Why I don’t play Cupid for senior singles

  On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – January 29,2021

By Thomas P. Blake columnist

                        Why I don’t play Cupid for senior singles

Why I’ not a matchmaker

A woman Champ suggested this week that I add playing cupid to my job description.

Cheryl emailed, “Because you know a lot of single men and women, you would be a great person to introduce them. For me, it may not work because I live in L.A. County near LAX, about an hour’s drive from South Orange County. As you have previously mentioned, senior singles are not interested in driving long distances – especially at night.

“I’m not saying you should become a full-blown matchmaker – that would take a lot of work and responsibility. But there are other ways you could become a ‘go-between.’ 

“How about allowing your readers to sign up on an ‘eligible-list’ page on your http://www.findingloveafter50.com website, and perhaps have them include the general area where they live, their status (divorced, widowed, for example), and a photo? 

An ‘eligible-list’ with a mini-profile of each person? While Cheryl’s intentions are honorable, she is in effect suggesting I become a matchmaker.

Cheryl added, “I’m sure there’s a great guy in my area who is looking for me!”

Cheryl, I know where there’s a single guy. But you’d have to travel to Dingle, Ireland to meet him
                                                                                 photo by Tom Blake

In 27 years of column writing, I’ve encountered hundreds of seniors who’ve found love, and thousands who haven’t. And I’ve tried to introduce some of them including widowers, widows, never-married and divorced people, particularly when they live within 25 miles of each other. Some have become couples, but in most cases, no match was made. I heard the words, “We just weren’t right for each other,” often.

Some people who had asked me to find them a mate were annoyed that I wasted their time, even though they were the ones who approached me in the first place. Older singles, who are set in their ways, can be very picky and hard to please. It’s often a no-win situation. For example:

A woman who asked me to introduce her said, “You didn’t tell me he drinks bourbon, gambles on football, talks too much, and snores.”

Me: “Sorry, I didn’t know that.”

Another reason I won’t match-make is there are more single women seeking love at age 65 compared to men of the same age; the ratio of single women to single men is about four-to-one. At age 75, that ratio increases to approximately five-to-one.

A similar ratio would exist on an eligible list website page. Men who are out there wouldn’t post to it. And then I’d hear the all-too-familiar cry: “Where are the men?” Imagine, having an eligible page that listed only women? It’d be a flopper-rue of a page.

Would including an “eligible” page on my website as Cheryl suggests yield successful matchups? Perhaps a few, if men participated. However, the time, effort, and cost to create and update a list would be prohibitive.

Nearly every day during the pandemic, an email arrives in my inbox promoting new dating and/or matchmaking sites. One matchmaker included these words:

“Local matchmaker has more older women and needs more men to match with female clients.”

The same site said its workers do their best to find that person and introduce you.

“Do their best?” Wow, matchmakers who often charge between $700 and $25,000 are only as good as the clients they have in their dating pool.

Will I add a “fixer-upper” list to my website? No thanks. However, when I sense that two people might make a match–similar ages or the same city or similar interests–I will mention to each one about the other one. If they both agree, I will share an email address but I must have permission from both of them. I’ve done it many times through the years. 

When the pandemic is under control, my partner Greta and I will resume the monthly senior singles meet and greet gatherings at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli in Dana Point. Many people met their mates there. But I didn’t fix them up. They did it themselves by being willing to get off their couches and out of their houses.

And with some of those successful couples, I was amazed when they got together. I wouldn’t have thought to introduce them, thinking their interests were too different. Hence, I would have been wrong.

So, Cheryl, Tom Blake will remain a columnist and leave the matchmaking to the dating sites and matchmakers. They are the so-called “pros” and the only thing they lack: single men.  

Here’s the website link again. Tell me where on the site the page you suggest would go: http://www.findingloveafter50.com


A quick mention of thanks to so many of you who sent me your condolences regarding the death of my brother. I was surprised at the number of you who’ve had similar losses. 

Stop looking for a mate. Finding Senior Love

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter –  Issue 6, February 7, 2020

Finding Senior Love

by Thomas P Blake columnist for 25 years

There are three parts to this week’s eNewsletter. Parts 1 and 2 were inspired by emails from two Champs.

        Part 1 –  Stop looking for a mate. Start living life to find a mate

A woman Champ from the East Coast asked, “What are the chances of a woman 57 meeting a man that she is compatible with and having a great relationship? I’m tired of looking….”

My comment to her: “What are your chances at age 57 of meeting a compatible man? I cannot provide you with a mathematical number because there are too many variables that can affect the chances.

“However, at age 57, you’re still young. The ratio of single women to single men at your age is close to one-to-one. Perhaps 1.5-to-one. Your chances now, vs.–let’s say at age 67–are excellent. The ratio by 67 is close to three-to-one, which makes meeting single men more difficult.

“But, your comment, ‘I’m tired of looking,’ is a red flag for two reasons:

‘First reason: When people look too hard for a mate, they often come off as desperate and people can sense that. It’s a turnoff. Might you have been looking too hard?

“Second reason, ‘tired of looking’ sounds like you are giving up on finding a mate. Don’t do that. As we pass ages 50 or 55, romance doesn’t come looking for us. We have to be proactive. We don’t need to be out there ‘looking for love,’ but we do need to be out there ‘living life.’

“And by ‘living life,’ I mean, we need to ensure we have a positive attitude. We need to greet people with a smile. We need to be active with people. We need to be off the couch and out of the house, involved in activities we enjoy. We need to be physically active, exercise and keep the body moving. We need to walk with a spring in our step, regardless of our health restrictions.

Simply being positive and friendly can improve one’s chances of meeting new people. And when we meet new people, we just might meet a compatible mate.

“We also need to help people. A good way to do that is to volunteer.

“So, my advice to you: ‘Stop looking. Begin living.’”

By the way, I published a book about finding senior love. It’s called “How 50 Couples Found Love After 50.” It’s actually about how 58 couples found senior love. Available at my Tom’s 50 Couples book  and Amazon.com.

50 couples cover

                                  Part 2 – More on Senior Loneliness

The second item came from Champ Kenny, who resides in British Columbia. Kenny sent a link to an Ask Amy article from the Toronto Sun newspaper.

Here is the article from the newspaper. I am enclosing it word-for-word to demonstrate how singles all over the world have similar issues as our Champs, and how Dear Amy’s answer to the woman is similar advice we’ve often given in our eNewsletters:

From the Toronto Sun newspaper:

“Dear Amy: I am a 70-year-old active woman who is semi-retired. I’ve been divorced for more than 20 years.

My adult children live out of state, and I have only a few social outlets.

I hate being alone and often feel lonely, even with work, volunteering, and seeing my one good friend.

I was excited to meet one older man at church but his entire conversation over brunch was about (you guessed it) sex. I was mortified. I haven’t interacted with him again.

Online dating seems so scary to me. I am only interested in companionship and honestly have no interest in having a sexual relationship.

I am out and about all the time, volunteer, go to the gym, go to work, go to church … and still no male interest. What’s wrong with me? Can you give any advice about how to either be the best alone (and lonely) older woman, or try again? How do I do that?

— Lonely”

And the Ask Amy response in the Toronto Sun newspaper:

“Dear Lonely: You should consider cohabiting with another woman. Would your good friend consider giving this a try?

“Otherwise, you should try to build up your friendship pool, with both men and women. In terms of meeting new people, Meetup.com is a great place to start. You will find local meetup groups ranging from square dancing to ‘over 50’ game nights.”

About the above newspaper comments, Champ Kenny said, “A 70-year-old divorcee wanting ‘companionship’ meets some fellow at church…and all he talks about is sex? Go figure?”

I think Kenny is saying, when women want only companionship, with no hugs, many men–not all–will go elsewhere.

                                  Part 3 – Meet and Greet

The next Senior Meet and Greet will be Thursday, February 27, 2020, at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli, 34085 PCH, Dana Point, California, from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission free, appetizers free, beer and wine per glass $6.

One of our Champs wrote, regarding Dave’s comment last week about having Meet and Greets in other cities:

“I like your suggestion to Dave that perhaps small groups can be formed if Champ’s are interested in their local areas. Anybody in the Bellevue, WA area? I would organize.”

Email me if you live near Bellevue; I will forward your email to her. Maybe we’ll have a M and G there. Wonder if Kenny from BC would attend?

Senior Movin’ Out is harder than Movin’ in

     On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter –  July 12, 2019

by Thomas P Blake columnist for 25 years

Senior Movin’ Out is harder than Movin’ in. Where are those five sewing machines?

Movin’ Out (from the Broadway musical, featuring the music of Billy Joel) link to song Movin’ Out at end of today’s column

Last August, I received the following email from Stacey, “After 35 years of marriage, I was widowed in 2008. My husband died as a result of injuries received as a Marine in Vietnam Nam; I will not marry again in order to maintain my benefits.

“Since he passed away, I’ve had two significant relationships. The first lasted two years, but ended when his middle-aged adult children, most blatantly the daughters, did not accept me, and at times were passively, aggressively rude.

                                   Seniors Living Together

“In the second relationship, I met Roger in 2013 on Match.com. It was his first relationship since his wife passed the year before. He begged me for two years to move in with him. I have been living in his home for the past two years. (I still own my own home which my daughter and her husband are renting from me). I’m 67; Roger is 73.

“He promised to make an arrangement through a lawyer, that if something happens to him, I will be able to stay in his home long enough, at least a couple months, in order to make other living arrangements and move, as his children will inherit his house and will sell it immediately.

“He still has not made that arrangement. We’ve had ups and downs. Other than not making the arrangement although he promised, we seem to be on fairly steady ground with one exception. As was the case in my first relationship mentioned above, middle-aged daughters are causing the problem.

“I feel Roger’s intent is to let me know that I am not, and never will be, part of their family, or even considered a friend of the family.

“Here’s why I feel that way: family group texts include everyone but me, invitations arrive with only Roger’s name on them, Christmas gift cards and Christmas cards come with his name only, to name two examples.

“We both sign invitations, cards and gifts to them, but I have NEVER been thanked or acknowledged. I feel his children call the shots and are worried that I may ‘get something that should be theirs.’

“All the while Roger continues to sing their praises and brag about his children.

“I worry about being locked out of his home should something suddenly happen to him. I have brought it up several times, to no avail.

“His children, mid-40s, are very vocal and openly discuss what they will get when he dies. Roger avoids any conversation about the problems with them when they occur, even though he sees it and knows it’s happening.

“The only time he addressed it was when he took his entire family, kids and grandkids, and me on vacation (he pays for their family vacation every year, and I pay for my family vacation every year). On that vacation, his daughter ignored me the entire week.

“He noticed and knew she ignored me; he told me ‘that’s just how she is.’ The following year, I would not go with them because it’s too uncomfortable for me to be ignored all week, actually, all the time by her.

“After my refusing to go along and forcing the issue, he did tell her to knock it off. She now says hello and goodbye to me…unbelievable.

“We love to travel and do things. I am trying to ignore the negative and enjoy life. Not feeling warmth and acceptance from his side is a huge turn off that I am forced to intermittently work through when stuff happens.

“For now, I am continuing in the relationship, but it gets difficult at times. Your newsletters inform me that there are fewer older single men, and it’s so hard to start over again. I am thinking that sometimes even though it’s not perfect, it can still be good.”

                           Tom responded to Stacey last August:

“Roger would have to put the living-in-his-house provision in his will to keep you there for x period of time. My estate planner says it takes a minimum of six months to get a property to market and sell. You should ask for and insist on it.

“Are you financially comfortable? Do you have the financial ability to leave? Do not stay in this relationship only because there is a lack of senior men.”

A woman friend also gave Stacey the same advice: get something legal in writing.

                   This week, Tom heard from Stacey with an update

Stacey wrote, “Over this past 11 months, I have pressed for what you and my friend suggested, with no response or positive action towards securing my staying in Roger’s home for six months if something happens to him, i.e. death or a nursing home.

“I finally made a request that he at least have something prepared stating that I will be able to get my belongings out of his home and won’t be locked out by his kids if something happens to him. I have five industrial sewing machines and equipment. Fabric, notions, in a makeshift workshop in his basement. I am a lifelong seamstress and it’s my main hobby since I retired.

“My 34-year profession was a paralegal and I’ve seen that happen more than once. Still no action. Finally, I pressed, it got heated, he told me to get the f… out, so I did.

 Where are those five sewing machines?

“Six weeks ago, I moved back into my home, the day after Roger said that to me, with my daughter, her husband and my two grandsons.

“Financially I am ok. We are making our living accommodations work for now, and my son-in-law moved the rest of my belongings, including my sewing machines, this past weekend.

“In hindsight, what a waste of my time, and all love was lost for him when he began disrespecting me. So, it was not a difficult decision in the end. It was not a real relationship.”

                                Tom’s response to Stacey in July, 2019:

Good to hear you got out with your five sewing machines and other equipment. When respect is lost in a relationship, it’s just no good.

I’m surprised at how he treated you. A waste of time? Not really, consider it a life experience that didn’t work.

    Moving-in together lessons stemming from today’s story for Champs

1. If you own property, keep it, in case you need to go back to it

2. Before moving in with someone, have a written guarantee in a will or estate plan that you will be able to stay there for at least six months–or however long you’d need–to make other arrangements. This is particularly true when the man is older than the woman, as there is a more likely a chance something will happen medically to him first

3. Do not move in with someone, if you sense there will problems created by his or her adult children, because they feel threatened or whatever. Don’t wait until after you have moved in to figure out how adult children are going to act toward you. Relationships are difficult enough, without that added baggage

4. Don’t stay in a relationship because there is a lack of men in the dating world

5. Don’t stay in a relationship where you aren’t respected

6. Always have an escape plan—in case things don’t work out

Link to Billy Joel song, “Movin’ Out”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJtL8vWNZ4o

Dry Your Eyes and other senior dating topics

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – July 5, 2019
Thomas P Blake  columnist for 25 years

There are three parts to today’s eNewsletter 

I call it “Dry Your Eyes” and “Senior dating topics”

Part One – Someone tell me why people who send long emails don’t respond when I answer?

As a journalist, I admit, I’m sometimes baffled. Here’s why:

An email arrives in my inbox. It could be from a Champ, but not necessarily. It could be from someone who isn’t on our eNewsletter mailing list. Perhaps, she or he did a Google search about relationships and my Finding Love After 50 website popped up. Through the website, the sender contacted me.

If the topic pertains to what I write about in this eNewsletter—relationships, dating most likely, or relevant senior issues–I’m all ears. Because I’ve done this drill for 25 years, I can generally tell in a sentence or two if the material has column potential.

The email is often long: one, two, or three full pages–1,000 or even 2,000 words. It likely took an hour, probably more, to write. Sometimes, more often than not, there are no paragraph breaks. So, I separate the material into paragraphs. The email usually ends with the sender asking for advice or comments.

As a courtesy, I attempt to respond immediately, simply to let the sender know I received the email and that I will reply in detail when I have time.

Later, after I’ve had a chance to assimilate and perhaps dissect what was written, I will respond with questions or comments to clarify any confusion with what’s written. If I feel the information is column-worthy, I will ask for permission to publish what was sent, even though at this point I’m not sure I will use it.

By column-worthy, I mean, information that Champs will find interesting, entertaining, or helpful.

I don’t charge for my time. I figure my payment is being able to use the information that was sent to me. In that way, these weekly eNewsletters can always be fresh. New information flows in. It’s a system I’ve used for years and it works.

But here’s what baffles me.

Often, not always, even though I’ve responded, I hear nothing more from the sender. Why did the sender put his or her valuable time into writing me, and then not follow up?

Was she just venting to make herself feel better? Did she figure out the answers on her own? Did she get sick, or, heaven forbid, pass away?

When I hear nothing more, I assume that I’ve received permission to use the information, since the sender asked for my comments, but I change the name so the chances of the person being identified are remote.

Such was the case last week with Judy, age 78, the woman who was never married. She was the one conflicted about moving to the boonies to be with her boyfriend of two years. She felt she and he were too different. Her email was around 1,000 words. Not a peep back from her after I responded to her twice.

And I checked Mail Chimp, the email marketing platform that I use to publish the eNewsletters, which shows who opened each eNewsletter, and who didn’t. She didn’t even bother to open last Friday’s eNewsletter, the one that exclusively featured her story and the sage advice tailored to her situation.

Someone please tell me why this happens.

Part 2 – Neil Diamond Broadway Musical (I hope he includes the song, “Dry Your Eyes”
It was announced this week that a Broadway musical about the life and music of Neil Diamond is being written by New Zealander, three-time Academy Award nominee, Anthony McCarten. He is best known for writing the smash movie musical “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

I think most of you are aware how much I love Diamond’s song, “Dry Your Eyes.” I tried to suggest to McCarten on Facebook that he include that song in the musical. Couldn’t find a good Facebook page for him.

But, I saw that Neil Diamond posted on his own Facebook page a response to the announcement news of the upcoming musical production. Diamond wrote, “So good, so good.” And most of us know that is from Diamond’s song, “Sweet Caroline,” where the audience, all together, chants out those words.

So I put my “Dry Your Eyes” suggestion on Diamond’s Facebook page. I think he’s got like 1.5 million followers so there’s about a 99.9 percent chance he won’t see my suggestion. If “Dry Your Eyes” is included in the musical, I will take Greta to New York to see it (I probably will take her to NYC to see it even if “Dry Your Eyes” doesn’t make the cut).

I provided the link to my YouTube video of him singing that song two weeks ago. And included it at the column end again today.

Part 3 – Why senior singles need to get out and interact with people

I realize that most of our Champs can’t attend the monthly Meet and Greets at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli in Dana Point. It’s just not geographically feasible. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t get out and about and interact socially with people near where they live across the USA and Canada, and in a few other countries.

It’s important to socialize. You never know what might happen; you might meet someone new. The perfect example was last week in Dana Point. When I first saw Jim and Beverly at the May Meet and Greet, Jim (in the red shirt with his back to the photo) was seated at a table with his buddy. Beverly was seated at a table with four other women (to the left of Jim’s table). The chances of them meeting seemed remote to me–they weren’t mingling.

Women and men at separate tables in the early moments of the May 22 Meet and Greet (photo by Tom Blake)

Apparently, Beverly didn’t find this “women-only-at-one-table and men-only-at-another table” arrangement acceptable. She took the initiative to be assertive by moving to Jim’s table and introduced herself. And guess what? A month later at the June Meet and Greet, they attended together. Might it become a relationship? Who knows? But, new friends were made.

Beverly and Jim: What a difference a month makes (photo by Tom Blake)

This would never have happened if they hadn’t gotten off the couch and out of the house. Goes to show…if it can happen in little old Dana Point, it can happen anywhere else where singles find themselves.

Another example of making it happen were Don and Edie. They attended. They met on Match.com in May, 2018. Handsome couple, don’t you think?

Don and Edie – met on Match.com in May, 2018

Link to Neil Diamond singing Dry Your Eyes at LA Forum, August, 2017: