Senior couples enjoy life despite pandemic

Jackie Hammond at car show Champ Jackie and her new friend Ken at car show in Georgia. Ken’s 1931 model A Deluxe Roadster, shown on the right won the gold medal, which Ken is holding.ken 1931 fordKen’s Ken’s 1931 Ford Model A Deluxe Roadster won gold. It’s in mint condition.
For details, see couple # 4’s story below
On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletterDecember 10, 2021
by Tom Blake  author and columnist

Four senior couples enjoying life in spite of the pandemic

 1   Champ Art says is not just for singles
 Art, 83, Margate, Florida, emailed, “I hope that as hospitalizations for Covid continue to go down, the senior single scene will increase. groups are active and becoming more popular, and not just for singles. “I belong to a Meetup group called Single Events and Partys 45 Plus. Recently, about 30 of us went to a large restaurant for a twin lobster dinner for $30.00. I brought my lady friend Jyude; we all had a fun evening. 

“A week ago Wednesday, 20 members of the group celebrated their birthdays together at a local Benihana and a few weeks earlier 50 members of the group went on a Caribbean cruise. “Meetup groups are a great way for all seniors—not just singles–to meet for activities ranging from hiking, visiting museums, and a host of other activities.

 “The group I belong to started 14 years ago, and most of the members range from their 60’s and 70’s to a few members in their early 80’s. I’m 83.” 

2   Andy, 87, San Clemente, Ca, finds online success 

Andy (name changed by request) shared, “I have had several dates mostly via online dating services and that’s difficult—a frustrating way to go. Never just the right chemistry. “However, six months ago, I connected online using the dating site OurTime, with a genuine, wonderful woman.“We have a fabulous relationship and so much in common. She’s 77 and very active and smart. And, she has no problem sharing expenses! 

“In fact, she goes overboard. Very loving and a great sense of humor. We are so busy going and doing. “I’ve been a widower for four years (after a 63-year marriage) and she’s been widowed eight years (after a 44-year marriage). We are so happy and it’s a match made in heaven.“We both consider ourselves to be very lucky indeed!” 

3   Update from Ginny, 80, and Harry, 87, (Pennsylvania) our NY Times couple, who married in September but still live apart (LAT relationship)

After last week’s column about the status of senior dating as 2022 approaches, newlywed Ginny wrote, “Harry and I are doing great. Our LAT-M (Living Apart Together while married) arrangement is working out very well. 

“We had been so wrapped up in our wedding plans this year that I was unaware of how challenging the year had been for other singles. Your newsletter reminded me of how fortunate we are. 

“I am on the council of our local senior center. Our holiday party is today. Because Harry must take his son for tests, he can’t be with me at the event, so I will get a taste of what it is like to go ‘single.’ I think it will make me more empathetic toward those women without dates. I will look around for a ‘lonely looking face’ and try to make that person feel special.” 

4   Jackie, Georgia, ventures online and meets a nice gentleman and credits her deceased husband 

Jackie emailed a month ago, “I don’t like online dating, but I found a file in my deceased husband’s) filing cabinet after Randy died in 2017. The file was from 2006, nine years before he and I met. It was a nice profile of a lady on the website Christian Café (Randy never threw anything away!). I don’t know if he reached out to her, but I liked what she had written and put it back thinking IF I ever get on a service, I’ll follow her example of sharing. 

“Recently, one lonely day I went online to check out a free one-week trial on that same Christian Café website. I didn’t continue after the week but later received offers for a free day or two. I went online and noticed a man named Ken who lives about 25 miles from me here in Georgia, to where I have just relocated. 

“I mentioned to Ken that I hadn’t been able to give any of my info to him because I wasn’t a paid Christian Café member. And said if he was interested, he could write me. It wasn’t until my next free day online that I saw he had written me four times and now I had his email. 

“We have been seeing each other several times a week and have been going to church together since Sept. 12. Time will tell if it’s to be something more.  “I don’t know why I feel funny when people ask how we met. I only knew about this site after finding that file–in Randy’s old file cabinet.  

“I’ve said that many things about my life are all because of Randy’s kindness! Meeting Ken is because of Randy.  “I attended a car show where Ken’s 1931 Ford Model A Deluxe Roadster won first place. It’s been interesting to see that our paths have had the same journey with a divorce and now having lost our special mates. 

“It’s been almost five years since my Randy passed; he and I met at our 50th class reunion. This latest encounter will be interesting to see if there will be a third time for both Ken and me.” 

Tom’s comment: Thanks Champs for the nice stories. The pandemic has slowed us, but not stopped us from (carefully) getting out and about.

Lat (Living Apart Together) Relationships

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – July 30, 2021
By: Tom Blake – Columnist

Senior dating: Identifying the types of senior living relationships can be confusing

Lately, I’ve been receiving an increasing number of questions from Champs and single seniors regarding the various types of relationship living arrangements they are choosing or considering. The different acronyms can boggle the mind.

The most popular: LAT (living apart together) 

In checking my columns-written archives, I first mentioned LAT relationships in eNewsletters during March 2018. The LAT designation was applied to Champs who were in unconventional relationships. Some stated they were committed, loving, intimate relationships, and yet, they lived under separate roofs.

This week, I searched online but couldn’t find any articles– other than ours–that had been published anywhere in the world earlier than 2019 on the LAT relationship topic. Our Champs blazed a trial in senior dating relationship definitions.

In the three and a half years since that 2018 article mention, the single senior living arrangement topic has mushroomed among people who write about senior relationships. And I sure hear more about the topic.

The primary reason why LAT relationships will not become the norm for seniors is financial. Two separate households are more expensive to occupy vs. when two people share expenses under the same roof. For some, a LAT isn’t affordable. And for some, it’s not even a desirable way to live.

For example, Mary Ann emailed: “To me, if a couple doesn’t live together there is no ‘US.’ The pluses appear to be having their own space, privacy, and daily routines. But living this way does not bring them closer and committed enough. I call this a compromised relationship (CR).” I’ve been in a few of those myself.

Champ Mark sent me a link to an online New York Times article dated July 16, 2021, titled, “Older Singles Have Found a New Way to Partner Up: Living Apart,” written by Francine Russo.

In the article, Russo mentions a widow named Linda Randall, who lives in Chicago and was widowed in 2016. Randall is now 81 and has a romantic, intimate, relationship with a widower, age 87, who lives across the alley from her and spends most nights at her apartment.

When the widower asked Randall if he could move in with her, Randall said no because she liked where she lived and felt they were different in how they lived.

Plus, a big factor was that Randall didn’t want to become a full-time caregiver. Living apart but nearby, Randall and the widower remain intimate.
Russo also wrote in the article, “In Europe, the data clearly shows that later-life LAT relationships are on the rise. And Russo quoted a Canadian sociology professor who said, “LAT is now a ‘popular option’ in the United States and Canada.”

Champ Joel, emailed this week: “I saw this term, which was new to me: ‘living celibate together.’ When I entered that as a Google search, a lot of articles showed up.”

I responded to Joel, “So now we have LCT (living celibate together) senior relationships? I don’t want to be in one of those.”
Joel answered, “Nor I, an 

LCT doesn’t float my boat either.”

Another Champ, Ginny, whom we wrote about in April, a widow, age 80, has had a seven-year relationship with Harry, 87, a widower. They live three walking minutes apart.

Harry was the guy who didn’t want to remarry (he had been married 59 years). In April, Harry changed his mind and a November wedding was planned.

Now, Ginny says, they are planning to marry in September.

I asked her why they are getting married after seven years.
Ginny said, “I visit Harry nearly every evening. But I return home the same night. Because of our faith, we agreed years ago to abstain from sex unless married. It was difficult. After we marry, instead of coming home each night, I will come home the next morning. We can finally have sex.”

Ginny added, “Still, we will have a LAT marriage.”

“Why the LAT marriage?” I asked.

“We will have a prenup. We both have children and grandchildren. Our money stays separate as do our homes. I like my home. It’s a short walk. Why not?”

Tom’s comment 

I love Ginny’s story! Could LAT-M (Living Apart Together Married’ become another senior dating term introduced to the world by our Champs?

I smile at the reason Ginny and Harry are getting married. Intimacy–better late than never–bless them, both. Update on Ginny and Harry: They married in September and a NY Times’ “Wedding columnist” Tammy LaGorce attended and is doing an article on them

There are three primary reasons why these unconventional LAT-type relationships are gaining popularity among seniors:

1. Avoiding being a full-time caregiver (one of the biggest and most often stated reasons)
2. Wanting a companion while keeping one’s home
3. Maintaining independence while enjoying intimacy (perhaps), love, and sharing.
More senior women than men tell me they prefer a LAT relationship.
With these four options, LAT, LCT, CR, and LAT-M, no wonder senior dating is confusing. 
Online dating question from Yolanda:“I am a widow of 11 years, looking for dating opportunities. I saw in an eNewsletter that you mentioned Cupid k 2 or Cupid two. Can you guide me to it?”

Tom’s answer to Yolanda: “I think the dating website you are looking for is OK Cupid. Their basic package is free. But there are some upgrades that could be helpful that will cost a small amount.
However, if you are beginning to go online with your dating, please be very careful because there are all kinds of scammers out there who try to take advantage of lonely women. Especially widows. NEVER send money to a stranger. If a person claims to be working overseas, that’s a red flag. Do not reveal your home address.

If you come across someone who might be interesting for you, have a background check done on that person. If he sends pictures, verify that the pictures are his via a Facebook or other account.I can’t stress enough to be leery of people you meet online. That being said, the Internet can be a good place to meet people, just be very aware. If you have doubts, feel free to contact me with details.

We can always post your situation in the eNewsletter and let Champs give you their opinions. I assure you, our Champs will leave no stone unturned–they’ve walked the walk and are a wealth of caring and loving information. Good luck. Keep us posted, Yolanda.
Tom's new book coverBook update. The first copy of the paperback version arrived yesterday at 4:20 p.m. I am pleased. It’s 365 pages.Thanks to Champs who have contacted me and purchased a paperback version for $23.97, including shipping, about $7 less than if you purchase on Amazon. Simply send me an email if you would like a personalized copy. The Kindle/ebook version is available now on Amazon Link to “Tutor & Spunky’s Deli. A Dana Point Landmark page on

28 Responses to “Do women 65+ not want to live with a man?”

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter –January 1, 2021                          

        28 responses to “Do women 65+ plus not want to live with a man?

Thanks, Champs for responding to the eNewsletter sent two weeks ago regarding: Do women 65+ not want to live with a man? I selected 28 responses (22 from women, six from men). All the responses included below were sent via email, except for two telephone conversations I had with Les and Dave, men friends of mine.

This article is long and thorough. I may publish it as an electronic book.

In reading today’s eNewsletter, please remember, these are quotes from Champs and not opinions of mine. Many quotes are edited for length and clarity by me. Each person’s idea regarding people 65-plus living alone or with someone is unique. Most people are enlightened; others are a tad angry or bitter. There is no right or wrong response.

In the end, I will pick a new moniker for women in the age 65+ group. I’ve narrowed it down to “The Independent Generation” or “The Contented Generation.” Of course, this will be an unofficial-tongue-in-cheek designation, and for fun only.

What women said

Terry, “We are in our 60’s and older. I don’t know many friends who are interested in marriage or even excited about their existing marriage. Many new relationships come with lots of baggage. Going through that is easier if households are not co-mingled.

“Humans at our age are set in their ways. Sex is nice but not necessary (at least for women), separation of incomes is tricky, and sharing of living space–unless the space is huge—would be difficult”

Laurie Jo, “I have mixed feelings regarding being a couple under the same roof. My boyfriend of five years is a lovely man, but he is younger, with a career and a son still at home. He loves his home. We live 90 minutes away; that commute is unreasonable for him.

“But I am still lonely a lot of the time. Living together is not an option for us; cohabitation is likely not in the cards. I have decided that for now, going back and forth for each of us on alternating weekends is ok.

“How every relationship plays out is different.”

Mary Ann, “After living alone for some time, people start to like having space, and not sharing or compromising with a partner. Many men don’t want to commit; they feel free and happy.”

Elizabeth, “I know many older women who want companionship but are worried about living together or getting married because they may lose some independence. Many are afraid of taking on household chores or losing financial independence.”

Carissa, “Women like myself who’ve spent years eating the right foods and taking good care of our bodies want to spend our retirement enjoying life, not being a nursemaid to a man who mistreated his body, and now wants his own, private caregiver in exchange for room and board.

“Financially secure women don’t need a man at this point in their lives unless he shares their values about good health and retirement.”

Kaitte, “I’m a very independent senior woman, most men can’t handle that—not needing a man to take care of me. Some men are afraid that I will drain them of their money.”

Sandra, “My guy and I are both Champs; we married in 2014. This is not a male or female issue. Many men now of retirement age, focused on their work and traditional male division of duties at home while women worked and assumed traditional roles at home. Retirement requires transition and often a new division of duties.

“I do not want to live alone; my husband and I are negotiating the learning curve now.”

Where do you choose to live after age 65?

Susan, “I have been in a 12-year relationship with a man who has been trying to complete a divorce throughout our relationship. We have had a LAT relationship. He declared this past week that he doesn’t want to continue.

“I have no interest in marriage and I love having my own place. I am 78, live in San Francisco. I am wondering if I could ever start another relationship. I have been told to only find widowers instead of divorced people. Widowers are sad, not mad.”

Deanne, 67, “I was happily married for 30 years, lost my husband six years ago to leukemia. I want to live with a partner, to enjoy making a home together. I’m better as a partner than as a solo act.

“My widow group (international and private) is filled mainly with women who dream of finding someone and intimacy again. They don’t like living alone. Widows long for a partner to live with while divorcees want freedom.”

Carol, 78, a songwriter. “Older men are afraid to take a chance on someone who has a life, interests, talent, and self-assurance. If they know I’m a songwriter, they don’t want to end up in a song like one I wrote, “So Many Women, So Little Time.”

One verse from my song: “You troll the waters both day and night, looking for a woman, you can excite! A nurse with a purse, housekeeper, and cook, they are all out there, all you need to do is look.”

Speaking of waters, some want to live on a yacht but the Pilgrim sunk in Dana Point Harbor in 2020
                                                                              Photo by Ron Cohen

Pony Lady, “I know that ‘chore wars’ is alive and well in a couple of over-65 households that I know personally (long-term married couples). They want a more equal sharing of the chores…she says he won’t do anything and he doesn’t care.”

Christine, Relationship Coach, “Regarding, most women who tell me they don’t want to live with a man again because they did too much labor in their marriage, part of my coaching is to show them how to ‘ask for help’ and stop overdoing.

“Once they perfect this they’re more open to getting into another relationship. Plus, most men are happy to do their part in the ‘chores’ around the house.

“I’ve learned when we take responsibility for our happiness within a relationship it’s better to be partnered than single.”

Hamila, Texas, “I was married for 42 wonderful years and was a caregiver for the last six years of my husband’s life. I have no desire to live with another man. I do enjoy male company and all that might entail, but I do not want to share my home with another man. I enjoy doing what I want when I want. I enjoy my male friends but have no desire for them to take up residence.

“A couple of my widow friends agree with me. They are senior women content living alone.”

Gail, “I would live with a man for a couple of days each week, plus on trips and adventures. But full-time? No thank you. I am too independent and happy in my skin. I don’t need anyone giving me unwanted advice and don’t want to do that to anyone. I keep hoping to meet a good man who is available and interested.”

Lisa, “I moved last year from Southern California to the Tucson area. While I would like to find a partner, the LAT describes my preference now.

“I have furnished my home to my taste. If someone moved in, where would we put his stuff? If he didn’t have furnishings, that would be a red flag.

“I had a good relationship with a man in my neighborhood who entertained me mostly at his home. I enjoyed his company. However, he always had a TV on somewhere in his house, even if he wasn’t watching it, including one in the bedroom to watch the “Tonight” show, on a timer so he could go to sleep with it on.

“I’d like to find someone to do activities with, share meals, in or out sometimes, and have sleepovers and what they entail, but I want my freedom and independence too. “

Arlene, “It’s a trade-off! We get a roof; they get a slave. My ex never cleaned his toilet. He never cleaned anything except his car every Sunday morning, which prevented him from churching with me.

“Men want someone to clean house and lauder their stinky clothes. Not fun. Of course, they want a sex partner. The last three men I’ve known can’t perform due to diabetes. Yawn.

“Then we can watch them watch “the game” on tv while drinking beers. Stay upwind of the farts. Another yawn.”

Kathy, 59, “I remarried my husband of 20 years six years ago. I knew what I was getting back into. We live together.  To say he does not clean up after himself is an extreme understatement; it can not only be exhausting but embarrassing.

“I take care of the yard, but the rest of his stuff is everywhere…most of it behind the RV gate, or I move it back there after a few days if it’s left out front. We look like the Beverly Hillbillies.”

Kathleen, 60, “I would like having a male companion to spend time with, especially seeing concerts, plays, book readings, or even going out with for a meal, but seniors living together, no thanks!”

Dianne, “No. Once is enough. It’s like the New Yorker cartoon where the man is proposing and the woman says, ‘Oh, so you want to offer me a life where nothing changes for you and my whole life does for me (not the exact caption but it captures the essence.)

“Can’t see how any man over 60, especially with children, could offer anything that made it worth moving in. And it’s not that I haven’t been pursued.”

Bonnie, “Better solo or better with your partner? While a man’s companionship is wonderful, being solo is also wonderful. Such an individual thing.”

Alicia, 68, “I stay busy with my hobbies. I would love to share a home with a man. If I meet a man and we fall in love, I think having a conversation about our lifestyles and talking about what’s important to each of us would make the transition of living together easier. I would hope the man would likewise have his hobbies, interests, and friends.”

Mary Lou, 75, “I can’t imagine living with someone today. I have turned into an independent senior woman, and I like my routine. I have made lots of friends in Denver since moving here three years ago.  Since the pandemic, I Zoom twice a month with a group of fabulous senior women in a movie club. And once a month in a book club.

“I take occasional online classes with Senior Planet. I live a mile from my son and family. I still tutor students for bar exams and have 11 assigned to me now. I have a rich, full life, and am resigned to not having my great later-in-life love connection.”

Brenda, 59, “Women 65+…the independent generation. You should research more in-depth through history if thinking of using that label. Women have always been independent. In my opinion, it’s the men who have been dependent on women and have tried to make women dependent on them through laws and legal discrimination.

“I have known countless older and younger independent strong women. Your ‘label’ is nothing new. We’ve always been independent.

                                           What men said

Army, “Most women want their independence and freedom. If you want to go dancing, they will drive themselves to meet you there; they don’t need or want a man in their lives.”

Les, 94, WWII vet, (by telephone) is living in an Orange County, California, assisted living facility. He doesn’t like being there. He isn’t looking for a mate. Instead, he’d rather purchase a single-level home with an attached two-car garage. In Southern Orange County, homes like that are hard to come by.

Dave, 80, Laguna Niguel, California, (by telephone) widower of six months, wishes senior centers and older singles clubs were open so he could make some new friends. He doesn’t want marriage, but a compatible pal would be nice to have.   

Lawrence, “Most men need the emotional, financial and physical support from a woman. Why? Since WWII, families have become dependent on two incomes. The two-income program developed independence for women…Now, women want dominance over men. That’s why many men have opted out of committed relationships with women.”

Jim, humor columnist for Desert Exposure Magazine (Las Cruces, New Mexico) ( “Your ‘Independent Generation” moniker reminds me of an 1855 poem, by Martha Ford titled “The Nantucket Girls Song.”

It’s too long for this column so I’m including the link. Here is the first sentence, “I have made up my mind now to be a Sailors wife, to have a purse full of money and a very easy life…


Mark, who alerted me to this article from the LA Times about a widower, age 84, who is lonely in the nursing home where he resides. It’s a gripping story.

                                           Tom’s summary

After reading these responses, I’m sticking with “The Independent Generation,” as it applies to single women age 65+ and their living-arrangement preference. Some want to live with a man; many don’t There’s no right or wrong answer. But, it reveals how our generation feels about cohabitation.

Do women 65+ not want to live with a man?

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – December 18, 2020

Columnist Tom Blake

Do women 65+ not want to live with a man? Senior cohabitation

The Globe and Mail is a highly respected Toronto, Ontario, Canada, newspaper.

On November 26, 2019, that newspaper published an article written by Jayme Gershen titled, “The new reality of dating over 65: Men want to live together; women don’t.” It was about Canadian singles.

One of our Champs, Marillee, forwarded the article to me with this message: “Long but interesting article to which I can relate. I enjoy my independence!”

Gershen begins the article with a story about a man, Antonio D’Alfonso, 66, of Montreal, who has been married three times. He has been dating a Toronto widow for more than 10 years and has proposed to her five times; each time she said “no.”

The article states, “The two see each other every couple of months…The older woman refused to live with him because she wanted to travel and be free.

“The pair took a two-year hiatus, during which D’Alfonso tried dating other senior-age women only to find that they, too, were reluctant to share a home–this even as D’Alfonso said, he cooks and keeps a tidy house.”

D’Alfonso was quoted, ‘“I believe that women no longer need men, whatsoever. I’m irrelevant.”’

The article also stated, “D’Alfonso’s push-and-pull with his partners reflects a rift emerging between single women older than 65 and the men they date.

“Increasingly, these men are encountering resistance from older women who want their own lives, not a full-time relationship. While many in this generation of heterosexual, divorced, or widowed women want male companionship, they don’t necessarily relish the thought of moving in with a man.

“Today…more older women are rejecting the downsides of the live-in relationship: the co-dependence, the daily tension within close quarters and the sacrifices made keeping a home, caregiving and doing the emotional legwork to keep their unions humming.

“Some of these women completely forego dating while others opt for ‘living apart together’ (LAT) arrangements, in which partners in committed relationships choose to keep separate residences.”

The article referenced a 2017 study that said that 72 percent of senior-aged women were highly satisfied living on their own…”This reticence to co-habitate is driving a wedge between the sexes.”

                                    Tom’s comments:

-Poor old D’Alfonso, he and his widow friend were only seeing each other every couple of months. That’s not much of a relationship.

-Is there truly an emerging rift between men and women that is driving a wedge between them? I think that comment is an exaggeration.

I think these next four paragraphs made some questionable assumptions:

1 “For a generation of older men, traditional, live-in relationships remain important because female partners meet so many of their social, emotional, health and domestic needs, said Sharon Hyman, a Montreal filmmaker who’s interviewed hundreds of couples for her upcoming documentary called Apartners: Living Happily Ever Apart. ‘Women have wider circles of friends. Men don’t so they are relying on women for more,’ Hyman said. ‘For men, often we hear it’s not as easy for them to be on their own.’

2 “A number of social factors have sent women 65-plus hurtling toward independent lives, chief among them financial independence, said David Cravit, author of The New Old: How the Boomers Are Changing Everything…Again. ‘They’ve had careers, they’re liberated and they’re not dependent on the guy,’ Cravit said. ‘When they hit this age, they’re not going to revert back to being their mothers and their grandmothers.'”

3 “Many women resist moving in with men because they remember previous marriages and the unequal division of labour at home, said Bella DePaulo, author of How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century. Having a place of their own, she said, offers senior-age women time to rest, think and pursue their interests, instead of feeling exhausted by the chore wars.”

Poor Sandy. A victim of the “senior chore wars?” Probably not. A victim of a strict boss at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli. She was, and still is, an incredible employee

‘They want to have their own place, in their own way,’ said DePaulo, an academic associate in social psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.”

4 “…Many senior-age men struggle living alone, growing lonely because they’d over-relied on their spouse ‘to be their best friend and their social co-ordinator,’ DePaulo said.

Tom’s comment: Hurtling toward independent lives? What? That makes it sound like this is happening at great speed in a wildly uncontrolled manner.

The chore wars? That’s a bit much.

Tom’s summary: The article paints a picture of most men saying, “Woe is me, women don’t want to live with men anymore.”

But what I’ve heard and seen from primarily American women, that assumption isn’t true. I think the article was based on a very limited sample and was quite biased. After all, D’Alfonso, is just one man. Not many men I know will propose five times. 

Maybe what the article professes is more true in Canada than in the USA. Most women I hear from would love to live with a man. And most of the men I know have no aversion to pushing a vacuum cleaner around the house or cleaning the bathrooms.

And lots of them (me included) do much of the cooking. And when the wife or significant other gets sick, they are right there to be the caregiver. My friend, Dave, took care of his wife for 23 years and never bitched once about it to me.

My brother is also the caregiver in his household.

I see nothing wrong with senior women or men wanting to live alone. But to infer that for the women it’s because of their prior unfavorable experience with men is a stretch. One thing this 2020 pandemic year has taught most of us is: we all need our space, we need time alone. But it’s still mighty nice to come home to that welcome hug from our mate. 

I think the article made too many assumptions about the poor, needy, men. Not every man is the same.

Let’s hear what Champs have to say. Do women 65+ not want to live with a man?

Widow and widower LAT relationship

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – March 20, 2020
by Columnist Tom Blake
Widow and widower LAT relationship (living apart together)
Nearly half our Champs are widowed. They tell me they’d prefer meeting another widowed person because they’d both be able to relate to what the other has been through.
Today’s story is about a widow and a widower who reside in a small Midwestern city. They did not meet online; they met at a gathering.

As a member of our “Finding Love After 50” Facebook group, our Champ had read about and decided to try to initiate a new social life in his own town. He joined a group that had dinner together once a week.

At his first dinner, he saw a woman of interest to him, but she left before he could talk to her. She had also noticed him. A week later, she emailed him to see how he was getting along. But, several weeks went by; she didn’t attend another dinner.

He decided to email her and found that she had been away at her summer home.

It took them a few months to get together. When they first met in person, it wasn’t on a date. They met to discuss starting a widower and widow group in their city. Soon, they took an interest in each other. They found they loved many of the same things, such as being outdoors and enjoying nature.

They’ve been a couple for four years.

Today, how they approach their relationship
Gordon wrote, “My lady and I are in a LAT (Living Apart Together) relationship.

“We live less than 10 miles apart, we both own our homes, no mortgages, we have our own retirement/pension funds, and healthcare. We both have one grown, married child and each of us lost our spouses at a young age, after long illnesses and caring for them.

“Robin, (not her true name), my partner, is 10-years-younger than I and our previous lifestyles were much different. We have found that each of us has much to contribute to the other and can enhance each of our lives.

“She was married to a faculty member of a large university and I retired from a small community college, after 23 years in the Navy. We love being around the water and swimming.

“What makes it work for us is that each of us has embraced the other’s background and experience.

“I like to kayak, fish on a trout stream, hike and she has embraced that and now we both enjoy kayaking, boating, hikes, and being out of doors. She says she might even go fishing with me. I have taken up photography and editing photographs, her interests, and we take frequent trips to photograph and enjoy the out of doors.

“We do not agree on everything–such as politics. One is conservative, the other is liberal. We believe that our relationship is much more important than debating or arguing our political viewpoints.

“We want to live life to the fullest every day with a smile–in the time we have. Friends and family tell us that we are always doing something and comment they wish they would live as we do.

“We enjoy the smallest of things as well as the bigger adventures and never fail to stop smiling or take a single day for granted.

“One of our greatest claims to life since meeting is that we have never laughed so hard that tears flowed and our stomachs ache. We define love as happiness.

“Re: living together. As long as we are in good health, and, can do so, we will likely not live under the same roof; although, we periodically do when we go to her summer house for a week or two, travel to different places for vacations, or on overnight trips.

“We both enjoy our ‘days off,’ as we call them, to just rest up at our own homes for a day or two, enjoy our own space, and spend time the way each of us chooses independently. We also have household chores to get done.

“We see each other five to six days a week; those could be the entire day or as little as meeting at the gym in the morning.”

“We also go out for a cocktail, a music event, community activities, and take frequent car rides in the area in which we live and love.

“Robin has numerous girl friends that she periodically gets together with and I have hobbies including RC airplane building and flying, fishing, and other things I do on my own or with the few men friends I have.

“I dated numerous ladies prior to meeting Robin. She waited over two years after her husband’s death to begin dating. I was her first date after losing her husband.

“One thing that became very important and refreshing with Robin and I was the immediate understanding that our previous marriages were real (mine 41 years, hers 38 years) and would never go away. That the love we had then was lasting; although, we both learned very quickly that our new relationship was equally as good, different, and strong.

“We both understood our previous lives could not be forgotten and would not be relived. Yes, we both brought our share of baggage to the relationship and it had to be sorted and discarded.

“I have spent time with her husband’s family and she with mine. My son, soon after meeting Robin, announced to her that they really liked her and welcomed her into the fold. Her daughter was much slower to understand that her mother could have another relationship, but with time she is beginning to do so.”

Tom’s comment: A LAT relationship isn’t for all senior couples. A big issue: affordability. In a LAT, each will have an assortment of household expenses. Whereas, when couples live together, they will likely share or divvy up household expenses, including mortgage payments, property taxes and utilities, reducing the cost to each person.

The decision to live together should not be made solely because it’s more affordable. All the values we always considered important still are the first and most important considerations. Saving money can be the frosting on the cake.

Part 2
Reminder: No Meet and Greet this month in Dana Point.

On Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day, my usual Stand Up Paddle Boarding buddy and I went paddling. It was a beautiful day and we made it a point to be six-feet away from each other.  I felt it was safe to leave the house. He wore this St. Patrick’s Day outfit. Lots of pictures were taken of him by people walking the sidewalks while we paddled. One young child was with her parents. She yelled to him, “What’s your name?”

My New Zealand paddling buddy, Russell Kerr, on St. Patrick’s Day

He replied, “St. Patrick.” The young child responded happily. So, thanks, Russell, for putting so many smiles on people’s faces during this somber time.

Also, because many people are self-quarantined, it can get lonely. Call your pals and have phone conversations. That can help. Encouraging news: A Trader Joe’s employee told me they will not run out of wine. Hurray!

Senior cruising: people you meet on board

On Life and Love after 50 e-Newsletter October 12, 2018

Senior Cruising: People you meet on board

by Columnist Tom Blake

My partner Greta and I are on day 13 of an 82-day Grand Asia & Pacific cruise. There are approximately 855 passengers and a crew of 700 the ms Amsterdam, a Holland America Line ship.

I estimate that 70 percent of the passengers are age 60+. Most are retired, some are married or traveling with a significant other. Many are single but traveling with a friend. During the first two weeks, we’ve met many interesting people.

If you ask passengers what they enjoy most about cruising, many will tell you it’s the ports they visit. Our first two ports were Dutch Harbor, Alaska and Petropavlovsk, Russia; there are 30 more to go.

Other passengers will say it’s the amenities: you don’t have to prepare meals, or take the dirty dishes to the sink, or even make your bed, those things are all done for you on a cruise.

But some passengers–Greta and I included–consider a cruise’s highlight to be the people you meet on board.

Greta and I prefer what’s called open-seating at dinner. You dine with different people most every night. You have time to talk to them over dinner and get to learn a bit about them.

Almost always, the first question when meeting new people: “Where are you from?”

The first couple we met were from San Antonio, Texas. They boarded the ship in Seattle, before it came to Los Angeles.

At dinner the second night, we dined with a California couple who live in Camarillo, California, but own onion farms in the vast Central Valley north of Los Angeles. They explained how hard it is to make a living at farming because of the lack of irrigation water coming from the California Delta area.

The man said, “The situation could be fixed by the authorities simply turning the pumps back on.”
A woman named Elena, originally from Romania, now residing in Canada, also was at our table. She explained that her husband was too busy to travel so she was a married woman traveling alone.

On the third day, we met eight new people, four at a small gathering in one of the ship’s lounges: a woman from Dallas, another woman named Barbara from New Orleans, and a married couple from Colorado.

The other four we met at dinner. Two of them said they were traveling together. I guess you could consider them to be a LAT relationship (living apart together) couple.

The man, Clyde, from Gulfport, Mississippi, had worked with Corrine’s husband before the husband had passed away. Corrine lives in Washington, D.C.

At the same table, there was another couple from Mississippi, who had driven four days to Los Angeles to save on airfare. However, they had parked their car for 82 nights in a nearby lot, which cost them $750.00. Plus, they stayed in hotels going to the ship and returning home. Flying might have been cheaper.

A couple of days later, we met another couple living in a LAT relationship. Frank, a former Department of Defense employee, who resides in Macon, Georgia, and Linda, who lives in Victoria, British Columbia. They met by coincidence on a previous cruise. He had purchased a vacation condo in Florida. His realtor had a client who wanted a winter, “snow bird” rental. Frank rented it, came on the cruise, and met Linda.
He was a character with multiple entertaining stories about his top-secret DOD life.

The other two at the table were women in their late 70s who met on a cruise eight years before. One was from Vienna, Austria, and her friend was from Florida. They said they enjoy traveling together.

Greta met a woman named Gillian at a seminar who said she was originally from Liverpool, England. Greta said, “Oh, did you grow up watching the Beatles?”

Gillian said, “No. I’m only 60; the Beatles were before my time.”

Later, I sat next to Gillian and her husband Jim while watching an NFL game on TV in the sports bar. Gillian was wearing a Green Bay Packers jersey.

I said, “Green Bay fan, eh Gillian?”

“Of course,” she said, “We are cheese heads; we live in Wisconsin.”

One morning at breakfast I saw a guy who looked so much like Johnny Cash I about fell over. I worked with and knew Johnny well in the 1970s. The next time I saw him, I introduced myself and told him how much he resembled Johnny. He said his name was Alex and he was honored and suggested we get together for dinner with he and his wife. He grew up in England and his wife in Germany and now they live near Vancouver, British Columbia.

Turns out, Alex and Kirsten were dance instructors on the ship.

Johnny Cash look a like
Alex (Johnny Cash look-a-like)  & Kirsten and Tom and Greta in the dining room of ms Amsterdam

Here is a picture of me, my sister Pam, and Johnny Cash in 1993. Doesn’t Alex look like him? Same height, same facial structure, and same smile.

Johnny Cash with Tom and Tom's sister Pam Peters in 1993
Tom, Johnny Cash, and Tom’s sister, Pam Peters, in 1993.Photo taken in 1993 at Humphrey’s By The Sea in San Diego

Another night, we had dinner with an intriguing couple. The man was 6’ 2” and his wife was 5’ 1”. He was also from a small town in Germany and she was originally from South America. They met while working for the same high-tech company. They now live in Carson City, Nevada.

The other couple eating with us that night were Diane and John from South Carolina, near Charlotte, North Carolina. They are retired and said they’ve taken several world cruises.

A couple of mornings ago at breakfast, a guy wearing a bright red tee-shirt with “Alabama Football” emblazoned across the front asked if he could sit at the table where I was having coffee.

I said, “Of course, but it’s about that tee-shirt you’re wearing.” He laughed and asked who I followed in college football.

“I’m a Wolverine,” I said. He laughed and said, “Poor guy, Michigan just can’t win the big games.” We exchanged friendly football barbs.

At a table near us, we both heard I guy mention Alabama. The guy at my table tapped the other guy on the shoulder and pointed to his tee-shirt.

“Roll Tide,” the other guy said, which is what all proud followers of Alabama football say.

Barbara, the woman from Louisiana we had met at the small cocktail party a few days earlier, sat down at our table next to the swimming pool. She said her son had studied computer programming at LSU and worked for Twitter in Silicon Valley. He had previously worked at Google.

She said she was dumbfounded that her son and his wife had just purchased a fixer-upper home in Mountain View, California, south of San Jose, in the heart of Silicon Valley, for $1.8 million.

She told them they could buy a home in Louisiana for $80,000. “But, it’s an investment, Grandma,” he said. (My partner Greta could relate; he grandson Andre and his wife Lindsay just purchased their first house in Los Angeles for about $1.3 million.

And finally, yesterday at breakfast, we sat with two women who said they were recently widowed. The have known each since they were age 14 and enjoy taking trips together. They are from Norway. One of the women said her son is the President of Holland America Line.

I said, “Wow, I bet you have a nice stateroom.” She laughed and said, “Well, it is on the seventh deck.” (the deck with all of the luxury suites.)

So, you can understand why Greta and I enjoy meeting the other passengers on board the ship. Everybody has a story to tell. And it always amazes us the diversity of areas from which the people come.

Senior Disgruntled Woman Blames Men

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – August 17, 2018

A Senior Disgruntled Woman Blames Men for Lack of Dating Success

In the January 11, 2018, eNewsletter, I wrote about LAT (living apart together) relationships. In the article, I quoted a male reader who said the 1976 song, “I’d Really Like to See You Tonight,” by England Dan and John Ford Coley described his relationship with his woman friend perfectly.

A woman Champ, age 69—now a former Champ–emailed a response to the man’s comment. I will not name her other than to give her the title, “Disgruntled.”

Disgruntled wrote, “The older and wiser I become, the more I understand how it’s been a man’s world, and that song you referred to, “I’d Really Like to See You Tonight,” started irritating me, when I realized it was about a non-committal,friend-with-benefits arrangement, which men are always looking for. It’s the same for senior men as young men.

“Somewhere in their middle ages, men are able to commit and settle into a real relationship, albeit many cheat even when committed. Then after the divorce, which they usually blame the wife for, they go back to their youth when it was all about ‘getting laid’ with no commitment.

“I’ve spent the last couple of years dumping guys (in their 60’s) who made it clear that’s all they want. It has made me feel I am not worthy of a man’s true love and commitment.
“The LAT relationship (living apart together) is perfect for men. They can do whatever they want when you’re apart. The woman may be sitting in her own house, painting pictures, but I doubt if the man is doing that; he’s probably on the dating sites checking out the candy store (as men have told me they see it), especially now when there are so many single old ladies to single old men. I am not cynical, just realistic.”

Note from Tom: Regarding LAT relationships, more senior women than men tell me they prefer a LAT-relationship arrangement.

Disgruntled continued, “I have nice male friends who still are old-fashioned enough to want a traditional relationship, and that’s what I would like.

“If you’re going to spend most of your time with someone anyway, why not have the financial benefits of sharing expenses and the legal benefits of having the doctors consult your significant other in an emergency?

“I don’t see why two people can’t live together and still have their separate interests and separate rooms, etc. To each his own, but personally I want someone I can go to sleep with every night and wake up with every morning, and not wonder if it’s ok to call them because they might be busy doing whatever.

“I don’t blame men for their wandering eye because it’s biologically programmed in them to spread their seed and produce children so the urge to mate is very strong. What I’ve seen is that a woman needs to keep a man close to her and be available because, as the Stephen Stills song says, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”

“I interpret those lyrics to mean that men need to be near the one they love, or their eye wanders, a natural thing, but it’s behavior that can ultimately break up the relationship.

“With every man I meet, there is always something ‘wrong,’ and I’m just getting lonelier and more independent. The last one I recently met at one of the places I go to dance. It was the first time in four-five years I felt a real connection with someone, and he was so into me.

“After a couple of days of dancing and some long phone conversations, he found out I am four years older than he, and he said he needs to have someone in their 50’s. I am 69 and he is 65. I couldn’t believe it! So, life goes on…”

Remember, that email from Disgruntled was sent in January.

Last week, she emailed, “I have removed myself from all dating sites (including this newsletter) and decided I’m over the whole thing of trying to find a man; all of them have been crazy in one way or another.”

 “You have to EARN friends-with-benefits status”

(photo courtesy of

Comment from Tom: When people blame others for their lack of dating success, the first action they need to take is to look in the mirror.

Champ Fred responded to last week’s article about Jody who is in the “friend zone” with her ex. And since Disgruntled commented in her email above about some men wanting only “friends-with-benefits,” I include Fred’s comment: “Tom, you’re a pro. Jody says she is fun and ‘young’ for her age. By whose account? If Jody’s friend has benefits, I’d say he is in good shape. Poor Jody.”

And one final comment: I think it is time for an updated column on internet dating at our age. If you have any recent online dating experiences, please share them with us by emailing me. Thanks.

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

Observations on life, love and LAT (Living Apart Together)

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – January 19, 2018

Tom P Blake

Often, sage comments made by Champs in response to a newsletter provide the content for the next newsletter. Such is the case this week. I couldn’t put these articles together without you.

Today: observations on life, love, and LAT (Living Apart Together) relationships. Two California Champs and one Michigan Champ share their opinions.

Maria, Cloverdale, California, wrote: “If I ever was lucky enough to get into a romantic relationship again, I would go for a LAT (Living Apart Together).

“The older I get, I see the whole romantic relationship thing in a different light. I cherish my own space and yes, I’d probably drive another person crazy with my erratic life style – like painting in my art room at 2 am because a particular painting is calling me awake, so I have to go paint!

“The LAT would be ideal for me because you are still sharing a friendship, a love, a partner, fun times, good conversation, affection and support–and sharing in the best of both individual worlds in our own living spaces.

“I’ve been alone for a long time and I’ve developed my sacred spaces in my home, my sanctuary. I am willing to share it, but I would also want times alone in my space. Can a man in a romantic partnership agree with that? Looks like some do, which is nice to hear.”

Tom’s comment: As we age, I think most of our Champs—both men and women—agree for the need for time alone in one’s space. For couples, to be around each other or face-to-face 24/7, won’t work too well. Just like these two train engines I photographed in 2007, at the Montpellier, France, Sant Roch train station:

 Trains, like couples, work better when they aren’t butting heads or constantly face-to-face

Seniors need to get out of the house and involved in activities. They need air to breathe. Social interaction is critical for seniors.

Maria continued, “I’ve come to think that if more older men and women were open to be just friends, most of us wouldn’t feel so lonely at times. I’ve tried to do the friendship thing with men, but I haven’t found a man yet to be interested here in California.

“I love good conversation and sharing of ideas written or face-to-face. I’ve struck up some email friendships with men, but they always end the same way–they ultimately stop responding without a word.

“What are your thoughts on men and women friendships (platonic) and the potential for easing loneliness? When I lived back East, I had romantic men partners as well as platonic friendships with men (I was also a lot younger–is that the difference?). It was a nice mix. Even though I’ve been in CA for 21 years, I just can’t get a handle on how CA men think.

Tom’s comment: Yes, senior friendships can ease loneliness. What is it about older, single, California men? I’m a California man, but I don’t have an answer for how they think; it’s such an individual thing. My guess is most of them want a romantic relationship, but without drama. So, if they think an email relationship isn’t going anywhere, they move on. That’s not exclusive to California men. Men everywhere may feel the same.

Maria ended with: “The older I get, the more I find peace with being alone and developing who I am in my 70’s. What I’d like is a better balance of male and female energy of friendships–frankly, I don’t want the “all women” groups, I want the mixed groups.  A nice mix of friendships is ideal!”
Joanie, Torrance, California, “LAT couples in later life make a lot of sense. If one has been single a long time (like me), certain patterns and habits develop that are hard to change. Also, when each one is secure financially in a paid-off house/condo etc., it’s hard to give that financial security up and take a chance on emotional feelings.

Tom’s comment: To enjoy emotional feelings, older singles should not give up financial security. If someone wants a part of your finances, in exchange for love, then, it’s not love. Don’t ever give up your security, you have no time remaining to re-earn it. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t share financial security—just protect yourself and know what you are doing, and with whom you are sharing.

Joanie continued, “So, keeping each’s financial security in this world is important…and not being there every minute sort of keeps the relationship romantic.

“If one is of an age where he or she is looking for a caregiver, that is a big challenge. We ‘oldies’ should have a place we can afford to go when we are at the point of needing professional caregivers. We should not hope to marry one or have one come live with us.”

Tom’s comment: Well said, Joanie.
Gordon, Traverse City, Michigan

Enjoyed both newsletters pertaining to Living Apart Together (LAT) relationships and wanted to add a couple of positive aspects, that may not be as apparent as the negatives some Champs give.

“LAT admittedly is not for all; however, it has improved my life and relationship in this late-in-life journey many of us are now taking. It is truly an adventure and is better now than ever.

“I have been in a LAT relationship (living in our own homes – seven miles apart) for over two years and found it to be very rewarding and our relationship continues to mature and be even more fun the longer we are together. Here are few reasons:

– “A LAT is a relationship based on the CHOICES we make each day and not on a legal contract and consequences based on that contract

– “There are no financial obligations or liabilities to one another. We share all. This is a very good thing for seniors (not so for young people) in that as we grow older we have increased individual liabilities affecting our partners including catastrophic health issues that often destroy both the husband and wife financially for the remainder of their days

– “Whereas, the LAT remains economically separated from those costs, bankruptcies, etc. The latest stat I read is that 65% of bankruptcies are due to health cost

– “Each time we get together, the excitement and anticipation is always present. No obligation to do so other than we want to be together. Yes, there are days when we simply prefer to stay home.

– “Taking each other for granted does not exist. Consideration for the other is paramount. Therefore, we take particular care to insure we appreciate each other every day.

“A LAT relationship does require a high level of openness and trust between the couple. The love aspect is defined (by me) as mutual happiness we both desire being together.

– “Yes, there are some negatives. How many times have people said to you and your partner: “When are you getting married?”

“Also, we can’t get a joint Sam’s Club or COSTCO membership card (both of us for the price of one) because we don’t live together.”

Tom’s comment: When someone asks, “When are you and Greta getting married?” (20 years together, not married), I take out the paper towel from my back pocket, and dab my eyes, saying, “Greta won’t marry me.” That usually causes them to quickly change the subject.

Gordon ended with: “Our theme song that seems always to fit perfectly is: “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight.”

Tom’s comment: Ah, the England Dan and John Ford Coley 1976 song, “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight,” from the album “Nights Are Forever.” If you think about the words, it could be the original LAT song.

“I’m not talking about movin’ in
And I don’t want to change your life
But there’s a warm wind blowin’ the stars around
And I’d really love to see you tonight ”

The link follows (click on skip ad when ad appears):

Keep your comments, questions, and observations coming. They are what make our locomotive run.