Widower gives widower dating advice to senior women

March 6, 2020
by Columnist Tom Blake
Widower gives widower dating advice to senior women
Lately, I’ve been receiving some terrific emails from men, discussing what they’ve learned in their dating experiences. Most of the men are widowers. Over the next few weeks, I plan to share a few of the widower emails with you.

What has been refreshing–in almost all the emails–is the men have expressed understanding, empathy and respect for single women and what the women go through.

Today, Randy, 73, Fort Lauderdale, reflects on senior dating:

Randy wrote: ”Although I haven’t been on the dating scene for a while–due to finding and marrying my life partner–I feel I have a slightly different perspective on senior dating compared to what other people have posted.

“During my 15 years of dating as a widower, I was on nearly every popular dating website there is and dated multiple women. A significant number of them had some very creative, misleading and sometimes false data or pictures in their profiles. I also had some false information in mine.

“Although I used current pictures, I initially put my age down as 3-4 years younger than actual. Having guilt problems with this, I attempted to change it but, as another Champ stated in a recent eNewsletter, the primary dating website I was using did not allow that. I ended up deleting this profile and generating an ‘honest’ one!

“With all this dating and the associated creative profiles, I never had one bad date and developed several great friendships that exist even to this day.

“Why? I never went on a date with a long-term relationship primarily in mind. I went with the object of meeting a new and interesting person, who, regardless of chemistry, would make my life a little fuller and more interesting (besides, I hate to eat alone!).

“Nearly everybody on the dating scene can tell if that magic chemistry is there within the first five minutes. If chemistry is not there, I suggest attempting to draw the person in, to find if there are some common areas of interests–be it vocation, advocation, family, and yes, even politics.

“Everyone likes to talk about themselves and you might be surprised at how many times this results in a catalyst for that magical chemistry. If not, perhaps you’ve instead made a new friend!

“Bottom line: don’t treat a first meeting as an interview for a life partner, rather treat it as a chance to add a new and interesting facet to your life.”

Tom’s comment: In last week’s eNewsletter, Susie, Virginia, was quoted: “I have been tempted to put down a younger age. I just turned 78 and look years younger and act it too, but I feel my age is holding me back to meet men.

“I have always dated and married men that were five to 10 years younger than I, but now it seems men are not interested in a woman my age. What give’s Tom?”

In referring to Susie’s question, Randy stated, “A suggestion for Susie and those ladies in her circumstance: Many men like to date younger women or at least, those very near their own age and thus ‘screen’ potential dates accordingly.

“A man 75 will probably search for his preference between 60 and maybe 75. Not 75 to 80. Since someone like you, Susie, might be excluded, I found that many ‘young-feeling’ women do indeed put their mental age down in the profile, BUT, they admit the truth in the wording of the profile.

For example, ‘All my friends and acquaintances remark on how active I am and tell me I look and act like I’m 65, not my actual age of 78!’

“I found this to not only be acceptable, but it piqued my personal interest.

“I did not meet my new young bride (seven-years younger) on a dating site. She was a very distant acquaintance who just called me up and invited me on a date. Two years later, she agreed to be my wife and we celebrated our second anniversary last October!

“Advice to women: don’t be afraid to take the initiative!

“The past dating scene seems much like the present dating scene. I still maintain friendships with several of my previous special ladies and along with my bride’s friends, my bride and I hear the woes of dating often. We empathize and sympathize with them and wish there were both more and better male candidates. Unfortunately, it is what it is!

“Among my single male friends, I find a declining dating interest even in those who are still out there. The financial issue is one factor. I have at least two friends who have confided that they just can’t afford the high cost of dating. Also, I guess as testosterone levels go down, they just don’t feel dating is worth the effort.”

Tom’s comment: A declining interest in dating by older men can make the ratio of single women compared to single men even greater than statistics indicate it to be. To women, some of those men might be perceived as non-relationship material.

Randy concluded: “What I suggest to the ladies: invite your friend of interest over for a home-cooked dinner. Bachelors get tired of eating out. If a first date, include another couple for safety which should also keep the conversation going.”

Randy’s email and advice reminded me of a photo I took from a bus, in Edinburgh, Scotland, last September. It’s not a romantic waterfall, or a romantic walk on the beach, but a simple, warm message that reminds us to treat everybody with dignity and respect, even if they aren’t going to become a mate:

Love All, Serve All @ the HardRock Cafe in Edinburgh. Among all of the history in this incredible city, the message above the windows touched Greta and me the most.                                                    Photo by Tom Blake

Where the single senior men are

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – May 17, 2019 – Where the single senior men are
by Columnist Tom Blake

In 1961, Connie Francis had a popular song called, “Where the Boys Are,” which was the song track for a movie of the same name. In the song, she sang, “…Where the boys are, my true love will be. He’s walkin’ down some street in town and I know he’s lookin’ there for me…”

Connie Francis “Where The Boys Are” Album Cover

Thirty-three years later, in 1994, my first column was published, inspired by a surprise divorce. By then, those boys Connie sang about were men, and women started asking me “Where are the single senior men?” And there were times back then when I wondered where the women near my age were.

As readers have aged along with me during the ensuring quarter century, “Where are the men?” remains the most frequently asked question I hear. If anything, I hear it more often now and there’s a reason for that. The ratio of single women to single men keeps getting larger.

Where are the men? She’s looked everywhere (including under a pile of rocks)

For years, I’ve written and stated that the ratio was in the neighborhood of two-to-three to one.

When I saw this week that the Census Bureau recently published some new statistics on the 65-and-older population, I decided to see if I could get an accurate updated ratio of single women to single men.

The study was conducted in 2016 with a sample size of 3.5 million households across the USA and Puerto Rico. Every county in the nation was included. The numbers listed were estimates based on the sample size.

I analyzed the 25-page report to see if it provided information that would be of interest or helpful to our Champs.

First off, there were 49.2 million people in 2016, age 65 and older.

Women outnumbered men, 27.4 million to 21.8 million. The survey broke down the information into three age groups: 65 to 74; 75 to 84; and, 85 and older.

In the 85 and older group, there were just 6.3 million people, which included 2.2 million men, about a million of whom were single.

The survey revealed that widows outnumbered widowers by three to one, although in the 85 and older category, the ratio is two to one. It’s hard for a widow to find a widower to date at that older age.

Let’s look at the number of non-married senior women and men in the USA in each age category and the ratio of women to men.

65 to 74 – 6.8 million non-married women, 3.8 million men = ratio 1.8 to one

75 to 84 – 4.9 million non-married women, 1.8 million men = ratio 2.7 to one

85 & up  – 3.5 million non-married women, 1.0 million men = ratio 3.5 to one

Those ratios don’t seem as bad as I thought. However, when you consider that many of those men included are in a relationship, or don’t want to be in a relationship, or never married, or aren’t “relationship material,” as some women point out, the realistic ratios are much larger. So, how many eligible guys are left? It’s Slim Pickins! And, the older people get, the slimmer the pickins’ become.

By age 85, 72 percent of the women were widowed.

So, when women say to me, “What’s wrong with me? I can’t meet a nice man.” The answer simply is, “There is nothing wrong with you, numbers don’t lie. There just aren’t that many older men available.

Other tidbits from the study

1 Labor Force – For 65 and older, 22 percent of men and 14 percent of women were in the labor force. Trends showed the number of people 65+ in the workforce is increasing, especially in the 65 to 74 age category. For 85 and older, 3.7 percent of men and 1.5 percent of the women are still working.

Women worked more in the service and sales and office sectors. Men worked more in production, transportation, construction and maintenance sectors.

2 Caregiving – The study revealed a surprising number of older grandparents (27 percent for people in age 65-74 category) who provided care for their co-resident grandchildren. This can also affect the dating situation. Many caregivers don’t have time to date and possible mates might be reluctant to get involved.

3 Disabilities – can affect dating. The study states, “The proportion of the older population with some disability increased with age.” Heck, we all know that.

Forty-eight percent of people 85 and above have serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs, so single level residences become more important to them.

4 Income – The study stated, “The most common type of household income received in the past 12 months (2016) among the 65 and older population was Social Security (90 percent).

So, it’s not just stats, ratios and numbers that reveal why dating as we age is tough. Other factors described above figured in. But, let us not forget that there still are many, many couples who meet and become committed after age 50 and 60.

Keep in mind that these stats and numbers were estimates from the 2016 survey, but, as they say, they are close enough for government work.

Too bad, 58 years after Connie Francis sang “Where the Boys Are,” we can’t get her to sing a new song: “Where the Men Are.”  She is 80 years old; her song would be an inspiration to many of our Champs.

Link to Where The Boys Are:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41_jI3vsuyE

A reminder : there will be a Meet and Greet at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli, 34085 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point, this coming Wednesday, May 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. Greta and I will be there to say hello. Complimentary appetizers and $3 wine and beer. Telephone 949 248-9008.