On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter Apil 21, 2023
By Senior Dating Columnist Tom Blake
Editor’s note: there are three parts to today’s eNewsletter
Part 1 – Senior Online Dating in Palm Springs
I’ve been staying at my Palm Springs vacation home for nearly two weeks. I hesitated to mention in recent eNewsletters that I was going to be in Palm Springs because I have four friends who read the columns and who live in the area. They might wonder why I didn’t contact them on this short visit.
The answer is simple. I’ve had several home maintenance items to tackle before my next tenant arrives in a week. That tenant will be at my home for only two weeks and then I will return to PS and contact my buddies who live out here at that time.
Also, I knew I’d be occupied with trying to meet some local women online. Being out here without Greta for the first time in five years is brutally lonely. Meeting some new people helps ease the pain and can give one hope. Many people online are in a similar situation. They have lost their mates also; so, many of us have that in common who are using online dating sites, and yet we are still grieving.
I wondered if my initial month-long senior online dating effort which had previously focused on my Dana Point zip code perimeter of 25 miles was wasted by my coming to Palm Springs. The answer is no. I’ve met some wonderful women in the Dana Point area. Just no lasting connection yet.
But I wondered how would I meet women within a 35-mile radius of Palm Springs while staying out here.
I learned that it’s very simple to search the Coachella Valley area by just switching to my Palm Springs zip code on both Match.com and Zoosk dating site, the two sites I use. Presto, women within a half-hour drive and closer suddenly appeared. Besides them living in Palm Springs, other cities pop up such as Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, La Quinta, Cathedral City, Indian Wells, Indio, and even Beaumont and Banning. It’s been an adventure and learning experience for me.
Women in the Coachella Valley are extremely talented. They play pickle ball, golf, swim, do water aerobics, paint, hike, and ride horses.
Part 2 – Painting benches and picnic tables for the city of Palm Springs
This past Saturday, while on Match.com, I was chatting with a Palm Springs realtor. She asked where I attended college. I said The University of Michigan. The realtor said she knows a woman named Diane Morgan in Palm Springs who also graduated from The University of Michigan and is a talented painter and has worked on some painting projects for the city of Palm Springs.
The realtor said Diane was having a bench she painted in Demuth Park Palm Springs, an expansive park in the heart of Palm Springs, dedicated that very evening and suggested I go see it and say hello to Diane.
I had nothing to do so I went to Demuth Park and met Diane there. We had time to chat. Her freshly painted bench with the Hummingbird on it was dedicated to the city that night, is pictured above. Diane said she was told the Mayor would show up and say a few words about the new bench. I didn’t stick around for that.
The point of this story is that positive things can happen when seniors use online dating sites. The people you connect with might not be a match, but they might know of other people who could be.
And those other people might not be online. Diane wasn’t online, but she was great for me to meet.
Diane also mentioned she had been commissioned by the city of Palm Springs in the past to paint two benches on Palm Canyon Drive, near the famous Sonny Bono statue (many Champs have sent pictures of themselves posing with the Sonny statue). One bench is 10 yards south of the statue and the other one is across the street from that first bench in front of the Birkenstock Store. The latter bench is dedicated to “Saving the Bees.” (Photo below by me).
In addition, Diane mentioned that she hired the artist who designed a unique fountain called The Rainmaker, which is located at the intersection of North Palm Canyon Drive and Alejo Road, a couple of blocks north of Diane’s benches.
OK, OK, I know you Champs are wondering, was there a relationship connection with Diane? No, but Diane and I became friends; she’s already in a relationship. However, It was the experience of meeting an interesting new person that was so enriching.
One thing that made me chuckle about senior online dating hair color. I’ve usually dated brunettes. And then I realized that the women aged 65+ on Match.com and Zoosk are almost all blondes. I’m guessing that blonde hair more easily covers the gray hair most of us have as we age. Some, of course, show their true gray hair. I might want to take a lesson from them regarding my ultra-white hair. At 80+, it is what it is.
Another thing that brings a smile is the unique name some women post to their profile on the front page. Here are a few examples:
BabyGrand – Why? She owns and plays a Baby Grand piano.
AlwaysBhappySim – She claims to be the world’s best parallel car parker.
CheerfullyTough – I guess her name means don’t mess with her.
Aaliwood,71 – Perhaps she spends her off season in Hollywood.
BJZ,76 – Anyone’s guess.
Papillion, 73–Is she seeking Steve McQueen or Dustin Hoffman from the Papillon movie?
TuscanyDawn – She must love Italy, at least in the morning.
Carpe diem, 73 – She must like seizing the day.
Part 3 – Champ Jane decides to begin online dating after 15 years
Champ Jane emailed this week, “Thank you for your newsletter. I have been reading it for a long time. I even came to one of your singles nights at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli in Dana Point many years ago. I now live in Eugene, Oregon.
“I have not done any online dating for at least 15 years. But I’m ready to put that toe in the water again. So, I have really enjoyed the current online-dating thread in your eNewsletter. Tips and all.
“I find it very odd when women say they will only date a man taller than them. My sister has been married to one of my favorite men in the entire world for 50 years. They have an incredibly wonderful relationship. He is at least two inches shorter than her. How much they would have both missed if something like height had kept them from that initial date.
Height-wise, I am 5’8”. I have dated two men who were shorter than I am. Truthfully, it kind of turns me on when a shorter man flirts with me. It makes me think he has a healthy self-image.
“I am in Southern California and will be back in Oregon at the end of May. That is when I will post my profile.
Tom’s question: “Jane, What made you decide to put your toe into the dating water again after 15 years?”
Jane replied: “I had two short-term relationships with two very nice men, but the connection wasn’t there. Plus, I have dated a bit here and there. Then there was Covid.
“And then on Labor Day, 2020, my house and all my possessions perished in a fire. That was sobering.
“I purchased a home that needed a lot of work. Much more than I thought. That was also sobering.
“I am trying to make a new life in Eugene. I do love the thought of a companion. But the difference is that now I feel worthy of a relationship. I feel that I have a lot to give. However, it must be the right person. What that means is someone I’m attracted to; someone I can laugh with. Someone caring and kind.
“Meanwhile, I’m doing some art, taking classes, and getting my dancing shoes out of the closet (now that venues are open to dance again). I’m trying to get out in nature, and I am enjoying my life.
“I now don’t feel at all desperate. I have a very full life. If I find that certain someone, it will be the icing on the cake. So, here is to living life at its fullest and remaining grateful for my blessings.”
Thanks, Champs. It would be rewarding to hear why other Champs have also decided to resume senior online dating. Fill us in.
On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – April 7, 2023
by Senior Dating Columnist Tom Blake
Slack-jawed with dismay and amazement over senior sex and chemistry
Admitted right up front. The picture is of a couple who aren’t seniors yet. Greta and I met them at the Grand Prix de Monaco. They were a couple of love birds, but not senior love birds. They were from two different foreign countries.
An open discussion about senior datingchemistry
Many Champs aired their opinions after reading last week’s “Senior Dating Follies” eNewsletter. Quickly, it became obvious to me that you’d enjoy hearing what some Champs had to say, and my responses to them. Don’t let your jaw drop. Here we go:
Janet, “Your humor really helps. I am afraid of online sites but, just staying home isn’t getting me anywhere.”
Tom, Yes, Janet, sitting at home won’t get the searching-for-a-mate job done. Social interaction is a must. Getting out with friends, volunteering, or other things can improve one’s chances of meeting a potential mate. Online sites are fraught with scammers and other issues, but they still can help, once you learn the ropes and what the potholes look like.
An anonymous (by request) woman Champ, “I’m dating and still looking for someone with whom to have a senior physical relationship, or senior sex if you will, as well as friendship and companionship. The two men I’m dating are not physically attractive to me. They are intellectually stimulating, and both are gentlemen. So, I’m still open to finding a gentleman with whom I’d also have a senior sex physical connection, but it won’t be either of them.”
Tom’s comment: “This importance of senior chemistry topics keeps surfacing among our Champs. For some women, senior physical attraction is not near the top of their qualities-wanted list. For others, senior sex ranked higher.
In my brief time sampling online dating, I’m surprised by the number of women who state on their profiles that they are warm, affectionate, passionate, and ready for love. But, then they insist on being just friends first, for weeks or even months before intimacy. At our age, what guy is going to wait around for months? Some thumbnail photos on the front page of women’s profiles reveal very sexy photos showing nice bodies and deep cleavage. And yet, they get upset when a man comments about the picture.
And, what happens if the senior intimacy isn’t good between them? Do they both move on, having invested lots of precious time waiting?
I know how I’m built. I like the warmth of a senior hug, the chemicals released in the brain from a kiss, and the electricity of holding hands. Most of the older single guys I know feel the same way.
But, let me be perfectly clear here. If a woman insists on waiting, the guy should honor her wishes and not pressure her or make her feel uncomfortable. He must be willing to wait, so in effect, the ball is in her court. If he doesn’t want to wait that long, he must be prepared to move on.
An online website called Healthline has this to say about kissing: “The rush of oxytocin released when you kiss causes feelings of affection and attachment. Kissing your partner can improve relationship satisfaction and be especially important in long-term relationships.” (link to the Healthline website is below). Senior kissing is healthy.
Carolyn, “I agreed to a meetup with a gentleman from Match.com. We planned to meet outside a lovely restaurant. He explained during dinner that he always asks potential dates to wait outside so he can see how they look in person. He said that if they don’t look like their photos, he simply drives away and ghosts them. I find this to be most cruel.
“Oh, he did say I looked rather beautiful and passed his inspection. However, I didn’t go out with him again.
“Continue living your very best life, Tom. You always inspire us to do just that!”
Tom’s comment, “A guy who does that is a total jerk. Selfish, mean, cruel, inconsiderate, and egotistical. Carolyn, you did the right thing by not going out with him again.”
Barbara, “My husband entered the hospital two years ago and died last July. A couple of months after his passing, I was texting with a gentleman who lives in the same apartment building as I do. Before I agreed to meet him, I talked with my deceased husband’s daughter. I told her what was going on and asked for her approval.
“She said, ‘Dad has been gone from your home for two years. You’re not that young, and I’m sure Dad wouldn’t want you to be alone. I give you, my blessing. I hope things work out,’ and she gave me a hug and a kiss and told me she loved me. Such relief, I felt, not having to worry anymore.
“My husband was 84 when he died. I am now 75. Good luck to you, Tom.”
Christine Baumgartner, a Champ, and a highly respected dating and relationship coach emailed, “Regarding Dyana’s comment about chemistry last week, physical attraction is the ‘natural first’ for men. If they aren’t physically attracted, the relationship probably won’t grow.
“This can be very different for women. If they’re not physically attracted initially, and instead, really like how he thinks and makes them feel, how he acts towards her and others, and has morals, then the physical can develop. This is what happened between my late husband Tony and me.
“Conversely, if a woman feels a lot of physical attraction in the beginning with a man she’ll often not ask the important questions about ‘who he is as a person’ and ignore many potential/real red flags. As you know I agree with your suggestion to her about creating a list of the traits that are important to her.”
Tom’s two cents: Christine is correct. If a man or woman has senior physical attraction atop their list of wants, that doesn’t mean senior sex is the first thing they do. It’s simply near the top of their needs, and will likely become a recurring event after some time has passed being together. Christine can be reached at
Champ Althea thinks differently about chemistry. She said, “Physical attraction is number one on my list. Unless you plan on having only a friendship with a man—a brother-sister type of relationship, being attracted to them/feeling the desire to kiss and have sex with them is very important. I don’t think senior physical attraction grows with time. It’s either there at the beginning or not. You can grow to love the person, but ‘being in love’ is a whole ‘nother’ ball game.”
John was vehement: “Last week’s eNewsletter left me slack-jawed with dismay and amazement. Why? Senior sex and chemistry are bullshit. There I said it. Women learn it’s crucial from romance novels. Did you know that long term, people in marriages that were arranged by their parents when the people were children have the same level of marital happiness as people who married for love and chemistry?”
Tom’s response: Gee, John, I’m curious to know where you learned the above fact. It must have been from a survey or research project. I don’t think anyone in our group has ever said that because there is initial chemistry between two people, that chemistry would guarantee long-term relationship happiness. So many other factors such as communication, trust, honesty, living arrangement (together or in separate homes), and respect come into play over the ensuing years that will affect the success or demise of a relationship.
Senior sex and intimacy and/or senior chemistry and affection, in my opinion, sure can launch a couple off on the right foot. And I don’t think that’s b.s., I think it’s a magical and tingling initial feeling. People still need to work on the relationship as the years pass to keep things fresh and on the right track.
Happy Easter, Champs. May you all have a wonderful holiday. Give a senior hug to your favorite Easter bunny.
On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter March 31, 2023
Senior Dating Columnist Tom Blake
I was amazed at how many Champs responded to last week’s “Mom’s Books” eNewsletter, in which Victoria, a former neighbor, helped me downsize by finding homes for my mom’s books. Like Victoria, many of you are book lovers. And a few of you mentioned how the article inspired you to put other downsizing projects near the top of your to-do lists.
Today’s topic: Senior Dating Follies
Today we focus on the realities of senior dating. It’s one of those “spraying to all fields,” articles, as the incomparable San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen used to describe articles that covered a plethora of different topics all in the same column. Caen, of course, was referring to a baseball batter who could spray hits to right field, center field, or left field–scattered all over the place.
Champ Dyana emailed, “I was happy to find your Findingloveafter50.com website because dating at my age can be daunting. I have a profile on Match.com and am starting to meet a few people.
“The struggle within myself now is wondering how much, and how important is physical attraction (senior chemistry). Can it grow if it’s not there at the start? I hear tales of that happening. Of course, aside from that, attraction for a person’s character, mind, and values are imperative.”
Tom’s response: “I suggest, Dyana, that you make your own priority list of characteristics wanted in a mate. If physical attraction is a lower priority for you, move it down your list. Perhaps “availability” and “geographic location” are more important. From your photo, I see you have a wonderful smile. That’s an important asset in the senior dating world. For me, physical attraction tops my list. Sort of frightening, at my 80+ age, but that’s how I’m built.
Francine emailed, “Senior dating online is not for the faint-hearted. I’ve been doing it on and off for 10 years. My favorite husband (#3) passed away 11 years ago and then eight months later I met Bob on Match.com. We dated for five years until his untimely death. Both men were in their late 60s.
Tom’s comment: Francine’s losses made me think about a grief-sharing workshop I attended last Monday night. At the suggestion of a woman Champ, I attended a session of senior grief counseling at a local church. I had no idea what to expect. I went there to try to help ease the pain of losing Greta. There were eight women and two men “grievers” there, plus two very savvy, caring, and empathetic women counselors.
I was astounded at what the other grievers are going through. Losing children, spouses, lovers, and often more than one loss at about the same time. Their stories helped me understand what I am dealing with. I learned how grieving can affect one’s life such as trying to accomplish too many projects at once, not sleeping enough, and not eating right.
Back to Francine’s comments: She added, “Senior dating is not easy, but I’ve been lucky. I’m 76, look 60, and have the energy of a 40-year-old. How come? I work at it. I refuse to get ‘old.’ I still work out and live my life. We live every day. We only ‘die’ once.
“No one should ever judge what’s right or wrong with a griever’s behavior who is trying to move forward in life. That applies to judging Tom as well. If volunteering is your thing, do it. If dating is your thing, do it. Being oneself is the only way to go. I’ve met men online, in supermarket lines, banks, trains, planes, buses, etc. There are many ways to meet people. Perhaps take a course at a local school—a great way to meet people for both men and women.
“How soon after a loss to put oneself out there? Everybody’s different. As was mentioned last week, don’t be critical of someone’s actions if you haven’t walked in that person’s shoes.”
This week, I interviewed Kathryn Coduto, a Boston University assistant professor who has done recent research focused on dating apps technology. She said, “Only 28% of people ages 55 or older feel they can find a soulmate using dating apps.
“Americans doubt dating apps are the best way to find a successful relationship and certainly don’t trust them—but they’re apparently unwilling to give up on apps like Match, Tinder, and Hinge in the search for their true soulmates.”
I’m certain Ms. Coduto will share more sage thoughts for us going forward. Oh my, there is so much to learn in senior and online dating.
Champ Cheryl said, “It takes courage and perseverance to find a loving partner online, but certainly the chances of success are much greater than waiting for the goose ‘to lay the golden egg in our yard!” Cheryl is saying put yourself out there. Don’t sit around at home.
And finally, from Mary Lou, “Men sign up for sites like Our Time and Zoosk but never respond to my profile/photo beyond the initial ‘like.’ They often take selfies in their bathroom, are heavily bearded, and want to play golf as an introductory activity. Why does a man even put himself out there as it is a waste of my time to even respond? What am I not getting?”
Tom’s response: “Isn’t senior online dating a hoot? If a guy’s photo shows him in a bathrobe or bathroom and with a heavy beard, he’s a quick delete. And play golf as a first date? What a joke. It’s bad enough to have a coffee date that is a bust for maybe 30 minutes. But playing golf, even nine holes could take an hour and a half. That could be brutal if you can’t stand each other. What if he tries to kiss you in the golf cart? You might fall out trying to escape! Write those dudes off.
I am new to this senior online dating world. I am shocked by the bogus photo trick. Guys tell me they see some women’s pictures and then meet them and think they are with the mothers of the pictured women. My pics aren’t a day at the beach, but all are current except one. The two below don’t count.
Try finding a mate when you’re in your 80s. How does one make chicken salad out of chicken manure? Just chalk it up to this senior dating game.
Send me a short bio and a photo. Who knows? We might meet for golf on a first date, as long as it’s at a miniature golf course and there’s a cocktail lounge near the first tee.
I mentioned that today’s article might be “spraying to all fields.” It did, but it was fun, and written with a smile. And thank you, Herb Caen.
Senior dating issues and senior dating advice and senior love
Last week’s “Online Deal Breakers and Deal Makers” eNewsletter elicited a wealth of comments from our Champs. Today, we include several of those responses.
Gloria emailed, “I found my love on Match.com three-plus years ago. He is turning 85 and I am almost 82. It truly is never too late. We lived 45 minutes apart when we met. We are now living full-time together in Palm Desert (near Palm Springs).”
Cheri, “Your beloved has been gone five months and here you are on a quest for another relationship already? That is quite disheartening to me.”
Tom’s response to Cheri’s comment comes from the above-pictured quote attributed to Elvis Presley, which is in a caption under a photo of Johhny Cash and Elvis on my wall at home:
“Don’t criticize what you don’t understand, son. You never walked in that man’s shoes.”
Often, with older couples who have been together for years, they tell each other that when one passes first, the other should attempt to find a nice mate to help get through the difficult times of grief ahead. It’s kind of a green light each person gives the other. It’s an unselfish thing to do.
Greta and I did that. Does that mean you love your deceased mate less? Hell no; it means you need to make the best of the remaining years remaining. You need to attempt to move forward.
And if any reader thinks writing about this has been easy for me, they’ve got another guess coming. I’m just trying to help.
Larry, a Champ and long-time friend of mine wrote this week, “At our age, you and I may not have three years to let the dust settle. Who knows? No time to wait.”
And Champ Jean commented, “Tom, you are a great guy, and you get it. You deserve a nice, supportive, fun-loving woman. Don’t settle for mediocre. Good luck in your quest for companionship.”
Wayne, “I know how much you loved Greta and the last few months must have been difficult and lonely. On the brighter side, we only have so many years left and there are many nice women who would love your companionship. You are a catch!”
Thyrza, “Everything you stated in last week’s newsletter happened to me. One romance scammer who lived nearby posted a photo of himself that was 20 years old. When we met in person, he looked like he had walked across the Sahara Desert. We met for coffee but weren’t a match.
“There were other negative experiences as well. It takes patience and smartness not to get into a tricky situation. I did not give up until I met my current man.”
Cheryl, “Matt and I met on OK Cupid. What I really liked about that site was the availability of thousands of questions that can be answered. The answers are multiple-choice, but each answer has a space where you can write a comment/explanation of your answer.
“Matt had answered over 400 questions, most of which included an explanation, and I had answered over 600 questions with explanations when we started communicating. So, we already knew much about each other before our initial contact.
“When I was ‘surfing’ the site, I found it very helpful to be able to read responses from guys on certain issues I was concerned about. I could determine ‘deal breakers’ easily and not contact that person. One guy, for example, responded that he likes dogs but ‘not in my house.’ My dogs have always been in my house, so that was an immediate deal-breaker for me.
“No scammer is going to go to the trouble of answering hundreds of questions! They all seem to follow basically the same format of answering a few similar questions typically written in very poor English!”
“I’m glad you’ve decided to jump into online dating. I think the age issue is extremely variable in terms of impact. Some people are old at 50 and others are still young at 80. Our physical status impacts us but so does our attitude!
“Take good care, and I hope you find a loving partner for ‘the rest of the journey.’”
Mary, a woman I started going steady with on January 9, 1955 (68 years ago), set me straight by writing, “After reading through your assessment of dating-meeting websites, I can think of no reason why you would continue. Get out: volunteer. You know the drill.”
Tom’s response to Mary’s comment. After all these years, she’s still trying to set me straight! (said with a grin). I agree that volunteering and other forms of face-to-face activities are important in one’s quest to meet a mate. However, the process of meeting someone in that way can take a great deal of time. And I don’t have time to waste. So sure, do some of those things but cast a wide net. And consider adding internet dating to your repertoire!
One positive of internet dating is that you can reach out to a multitude of people in minutes who fit your criteria (Of course, some or many of them will likely be scammers).
Terri, “I wondered how long it would take you to dive into the dating pool. I wish you the very best of luck, you may well be on the adventure of a lifetime! I hope you share some of those adventures with your Champs.
“I spent six years on dating sites after my divorce (33 years of marriage). It took me from my mid-60s into my 70s. I met some real doozies. I also met several nice men who I still consider to be great friends. I have not been on a dating site for two years. I have a steady date who is wonderful and loyal, and a couple of lovely men who still call me to see if their luck might have changed.
“Match.com is a good place to start and still the best place that we have to meet other singles and potential friends. Good luck and my best to you.”
Barb, “I gave up on online dating. One guy I met professed to be Catholic and fully following the teachings. After we communicated for several months, I spent most of the day visiting him. He picked me up at the airport. After getting into his vehicle, his first words were, ‘I went to the VA to get tested, and I’m clean, good to go.”
“I responded, ‘If that’s your idea of a first date, you can take me back to the airport. After the air was cleared, we had an enjoyable day. No romantic connection, but we are still texting friends.”
Althea, “From your newsletter last week, I can see that your loneliness is getting to you. So, you joined Match.com. Welcome to frustration and disappointment. I think the biggest red flags and the people to stay away from are the ones who are over the top and obsessed on any subject…politics, religion, looks, weight, age, exes, their family, and pets…run fast.
“I bet your next honey will be the woman you bump into at the supermarket or park or walking down the street…maybe paddle boarding? Or a friend says, ‘I have someone I want you to meet.’”
Judith, “Five years after my husband of 45 good years passed, I was ready for a new guy. We met on Match and after months of dates and talks, we became a couple. We’ve been together for five years and share good times. We both have our own homes but spend nights together. Thanks for your words of wisdom.”
Laurie Jo, “Regarding online dating, I never found a match and I dated like it was a job. Had up to three coffee dates a day. Kept notes.
“I was the target of a scam that wasn’t obvious at first. This person invested a lot of time on the phone with me. But it all became clear when he was ‘stuck in UAE due to customs taking his gemstones’ and he needed $2,000.
“I said, ‘Not my problem’ and he never called again.”
Elenute emailed, “I’vebeen on dating sites for six years. SilverSingles is a terrible site: over 90% of what I’ve received are scams. I’m getting pretty good at sorting them out. I’m ready to cancel the two dating sites I’m on when my subscriptions run out.”
Tom’s ending remarks: From the comments above, there is little doubt that online dating for people 50-plus is a huge challenge. All sites have scammers. Profile pictures often aren’t current. I noticed that some women make an honest effort to put “date picture taken” captions under their photos. I wrote to some of those women and thanked them for being honest about their pictures.
Which senior dating sites are the best? I found an article dated March 3, 2023, in a San Francisco Bay area local newsletter called The Daily. The article is titled, “10 Best Senior Dating Sites for Mature Singles Over 40.”
That article does a thorough job of ranking the sites. Perhaps read it and study the reviews. Here’s the link:
After sitting at home alone for five months after losing, Greta, my partner of 25 years, with the exception of having had a few casual coffee dates, two meals out, and attending some social events, I decided I needed to do more reaching out to meet other senior singles. I had grown weary of listening to Collin Raye’s March 1994 song “Little Rock,” which is one of the most powerful loneliness songs I’ve ever listened to. (see link at the end of today’s article).
I’ve heard from many seniors who say they’ve met a new partner using online dating sites. On one particularly lonely Monday night, I decided to join Match.com. Here’s what I’ve learned after one week.
There are a plethora of quality senior women on Match. From scanning their profiles, here are a few facts that I consider to be deal makers or deal breakers.
A person’s listed age. It doesn’t mean the age listed is accurate. Someone who posted their profile a few years ago may have subsequently changed their birth date so that the posted age next to their picture is lower than their true age. However, I think most ages listed are accurate. At my age, 80+, lots of people will pass me by for a younger version.
Photos. This is huge. Often, but not with everyone, the thumbnail photo on the home page was taken 5-10+ years earlier. So, be ware of outdated thumbnail photos.
One needs to scroll through all the photos posted by that person (some people post 10 to 20 photos and more recent photos reveal how a person has aged). You must almost become a detective doing your sleuthing to determine what a person looks like currently. Boy-oh-boy, people can age quickly. I think of Rod Stewart’s song Maggie May, when he sings, “The morning sun when it’s in your face really shows your age.”
Also, some people don’t put captions under their photos that reveal when their photos were taken. They just leave the captions blank. Or they include a caption, for example, that says, “Summer of 2016.” Then you have to say to yourself, ok, add seven years to envision how the person looks in 2023.
Some people post pictures of flowers or of them in restaurants with a bunch of friends with a caption that might say, “Here I am with my women friends in a restaurant in Rome in 2010.” Or they post photos of themselves wearing hats so large their faces are so dark you can’t see what they look like. Many don’t show full-body pictures, so you have no idea of what their bodies look like.
Not to mention. They post pictures of themselves holding their dog or dogs. Or, pictures of the dog by itself. Senior daters aren’t looking to date a dog; they want to date a real-life human being.
The next item I look for is political party affiliation. I like to see “Moderate” or “No party affiliation” listed. I don’t want to match up with a screaming conservative or a screaming liberal. I’ve seen profiles that state, “All politicians are corrupt.” Party affiliation might not be a deal breaker in a relationship but two people would need to judge that for themselves.
An important consideration is how far away a person lives from where I live. Long-distance relationships are challenging. If a person lives more than a half hour away by car it will be difficult to see each other often enough. I don’t look at a profile if a person lives far in the Los Angeles area. If I ever get into another committed relationship, I’d hope to be with that person four to six nights a week.
One thing I discovered is by widening my search radius by 10-30 miles, I am getting posts from people in the Palm Springs area. That’s important to me as I will be spending a lot of time at my vacation home out there. It would be nice to meet a new friend who lives in the Coachella Valley instead of hanging out in an Agua Caliente Casino looking senior love or for luck.
Many women have pets, particularly dogs, and then cats. Some have horses. I don’t have a problem with that. However, if every picture posted shows them with their animals, that can be a turnoff.
Online dating for seniors isn’t a picnic or a candy store. It takes effort, time, energy, honesty, decency, patience, and creativity. One needs thick skin because rejection is part of the game.
Senior online daters need to remember the adage: “All it takes is one.” And that’s what most senior singles are looking for.
As time goes on, I’ll try to keep you posted on my online dating adventure. Until then, here’s the link to that Collin Raye song. Get your hankies out.
Comment from Tom: Today’s eNewsletter features 36 responses from Champs, the most responses in a newsletter since my writing career began. It has been edited for brevity (believe it or not), clarity, discretion, and grammar. It’s long, featuring 28 responses from women and eight from men. Some other responses are not included but will be in future eNewsletters as they are relevant to the senior dating scene.
Here’s what 28 women said
Linda #1, “The best way to describe my experience with a lot of men is they go from zero to the topic of sex very fast. I say to these men: ‘Let a woman feel safe and comfortable with you. We will get there. Just not on the first date.’ “I had a man show up to our first date in his motor home. He assumed we would ‘hang out’ in it after dinner in the restaurant parking lot. Didn’t happen.”
Kaitte, “I gotta get to KNOW you and be in a relationship. It’s the one GIFT I’ve got–you can’t buy, rob, or steal it from me. If you have an issue with that, hit the door. I haven’t had sex in 14 years. I have to feel something and the man has to be deserving.”
Tasia, “I completely agree with you Tom – I never want to be made to feel cheap or used. I want to be able to look in the mirror and feel good about myself. I’ve known a few women who jump right into bed with the new guy, and, after a few times, they find out he’s ghosted them or is in some type of committed relationship. No thanks!
“Those few women I referred to were all in their late 40s/ early 50s. I don’t know if that makes a difference when compared to women in their late 50s and older.”
Christine, “Your advice was so wonderful! I consistently give men and women this very same advice in my relationship counseling. I have nothing to add except my hearty endorsement.”
Virginia, “I have been a reader of your column for 23 years, and in my humble opinion, your response in this week’s newsletter is by far the very best one ever!
“Succinct, and all-encompassing, I can’t imagine what more could be added even by the wise and the few jaded CHAMPS in our group.
“Thanks for conquering and clarifying this sticky subject and putting it out there in black and white for seniors who may be a tad too lonely: ‘To thine own self be true.’ Bravo, well written! I wish this response could be published in every senior newsletter nationwide.”
Althea, “I agree 100% with you! I don’t have any additional comments on the subject of having sex on a first date with a STRANGER, because you said everything I would have.”
Annette, “I’m 62. The last time I had sex on a 1st date I got a skin infection.
My answer is ‘no’ unless that’s all you are looking for.
“Times have changed but men have not. At my age, unless it’s a committed relationship, there’s more to life than a one-night stand.
“I would have to check their feet, under their fingernails, and their home first (for cleanliness). What is unseen is not worth it. Glad I was cured.”
Mary Lou: “There’s something about Diane that just didn’t ring true – got my spidey sense working. Nine out of ten women wanting first-date sex? That’s hard to believe.
“You handled the advice perfectly. A very informative column, especially the caution about STD’s. Good God, how humiliating to get one of those at our age.
“Love Garth’s song The Dance. He is married to one of my favorite country stars – Trisha Yearwood.”
Linda, “Your answer was perfect. You don’t need to ‘dance’ right away to figure out if you like someone well enough. Remember what you told your daughters when they first started dating? It still applies.”
Joanie, “I agree with Tom. As a senior – no sex until you have a relationship established. Being ‘used’ and then ‘ghosted’ or worse left with an STD is too hard to deal with for a lonely senior.
“A DECENT man will wait. For most seniors, ‘companionship’ is more important than the sexual aspect of a relationship…no woman should give before she gets what she wants! Tom is correct.”
Sandy, “Classy answer! Returning to dating through online connection has its share of strange elements. No wonder people flounder and need reality checks. Your answer was grounded and mature, thanks!”
Gail, “My first reaction to your question is, ‘Oh, hell no!’ I’m old-fashioned when it comes to dating, and intimacy, I love it. BUT I must have a connection, a trust with my partner. I must know him well.
“Sure, I have had sex on a first date with someone. I did it once and it was fun but didn’t last, he was a player.
“For me, on a regular first date with someone, sex will not happen. I would feel pressured. I have had numerous first dates when I did not have sex and never heard from them again. In a fact that is very telling, they were not interested in anything else. Good-bye, user.”
Norma, “I am like Diane, I look forward to your newsletters on Friday. I like people and enjoy hearing stories of their lives, as it is real, not just some movie.
“I am not involved with anyone, so this had not crossed my mind. I just wanted to tell you, it is a wonderful article, very well written and needed to be said. People need to be reminded of the dangers you pointed out.”
Pat, “I thoroughly enjoyed the first-date subject. I agree with you entirely. If you want to ‘Dance’ and thoroughly understand the ramifications you outlined, then go for it. However, it wouldn’t be my choice.”
Teresa, “Great topic — ‘The Dance.’ I suggest that Diane look at her online profile again to see if there is anything there that indicates she is primarily interested in ‘dancing.’ Years ago, I tried online dating and ladies kept answering my post. I’m heterosexual so couldn’t figure out why I was attracting women.
“As it turns out, somewhere in my profile I had inadvertently checked the box that said I was interested in same-gender partners. Go figure! In her case, Diane’s friend, and son (who set up her profile) might have accidentally checked a box or implied that Diane is looking for a ‘dancing partner.’
“Also, three out of four guys that I met with just wanted sex. I don’t understand why they go to online dating for that. Is it because sex is free that way? I am certain that all men know they can go to a massage parlor, go online, or go to almost any bar (from a dive to the most upscale) and there are ladies working there who will instantly provide sex if men are willing to open their wallets. It baffles me that someone would go through the torture of online dating just for a roll in the hay. Sorry if this topic made you uncomfortable. ‘Men are from Mars.’”
Laurie Jo, “I signed up on a lot of online dating sites after my divorce. I had been married for 30 years. I went on many dates of all types. Met for coffee, drinks, dinner, etc.
Not ONCE did anybody ask me to come over for sex. I think I am attractive and self-sufficient and own my own home. So, I’d like to think that perhaps I was fortunate that the people I dated were polite gentlemen.
“I met, dated, and still have a relationship with my boyfriend. And I didn’t let him do anything but kiss and hug me until he declared his love for me and wanted to be exclusive.
“If I’m ‘old-fashioned, that’s fine. We have been together living apart for six years and it seems to work well for us. Don’t dirty dance until YOU are comfortable with a person!”
S, “No. I have to love the person I’m lovin.’”
Thyrza, “So dance is the euphemism for sex? Huh! I am with you; Dance is for the youngsters who don’t know any better. For an over-60 woman, that’s being irresponsible and reckless. Leave ‘the dance’ to the kids who do not know any better. I suggest she see her gynecologist first.”
Barb, “Re, ‘The dance’ person. I had decided to stop in Chicago on my way back from visiting my son and spend the day with a man. We had been in contact and had had several phone conversations. About two minutes after I got in his car, he said; ‘I just got my results from the VA, and I’m clean.’ It took me a minute, and then it hit me. I said, ‘If you’re thinking that’s what we’re doing you can take me back to the airport NOW!
“He said, ‘No, we’ll find other things to do. We did. I got a tour of the city, Lake Michigan, etc., and best of all a miracle healing. YUP. I had been on crutches and in a cast for about 12 years due to nerve damage from severe osteomyelitis and many surgeries.
“I got my cast off the next day, at my doctor’s appointment, the leg color was normal I put the crutches away, put a shoe on, and was walking. Something I was told I’d never do again.
“We had visited a place where I later learned miracles had occurred! He and I still email, message, and chat weekly.”
Jackie, “I would never give a guy a second moment if he only had one thing on his mind. I want to be made special, not an object for sex. Love says wait, lust says I want it now. I go a bit farther. Wait until you’re married. There is so much intimacy in getting to know a person.
Sue, “Interesting that men are calling women after a first date to come over for sex. Years ago, it was come over and see my ‘new car,’ ‘record collection,’ ‘paintings,’ or ‘etchings.’
“Now the wording is just more explicit. There will always be lots of decisions to make in relationships”.
Crislinn, “Wow! I’m surprised that nine out of ten women would say it’s okay to have sex on the first date. Your suggested reply to those requests was perfect!”
Ticia, “I know for me deep down it would be nice to enjoy life with another person but for now, I am content with my singleness. I may go back to online dating but for now, I am going it alone with just me and my sweet dogs.”
Mo, “I am that one in 10 women who says NO to sex on a first date. I agree with all the reasons you state. I want to get to know someone first. I don’t want an STD. I want to see if we are compatible in other areas: do we have common interests, values?
“Are we both looking for the same thing in a relationship? Only sex? (then go for it!). Just friendship? A travel buddy? Companion? A long-term commitment (then wait at least for a couple of dates for sex).
“A man who is interested in you and not just for sex, will want to get to know you also and respect your decision and boundaries.”
Joanne, “This newsletter is pushing my memories to great lengths – Coming from Michigan, I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii. When I went the first time it was incredible. The marriage wasn’t a good one so when I got to Hawaii, I thought I had died and gone to Heaven. I met Don Ho and was impressed – except I didn’t want to sleep with him or anyone else I had just met.
“Since I’ve always been very fair, I’m sure that had something to do with it. They call me Haole with blue eyes (white person from the Mainland Ha Ha). The tour director took an interest in me. He was 20 yrs. older.
“Turns out we did become friends and he would send me money for flights to go visit from California. He had been an entertainer before becoming a tour director. He knew a lot of people and introduced me to a lot of those people. I did end up living on Maui for a couple of years. I agree 150%, don’t just ‘jump in bed before you get to know someone.’”
Rhonda, 73, “I loved what you wrote about not having sex on the first date. Glad you had the courage to put forth a more traditional view. I love reading your column every week. You’re such a good writer.”
Susie, 80, “I am with you, no sex on the first date. Of course, I seem to go the other way in waiting too long. I must be attracted to someone first to even think about The Dance. That doesn’t happen much for me.
“I would like to be in a relationship, but with someone who is a little younger than I so he will keep up with me, Most men my age don’t; I have taken good care of myself over the years, so I want someone who has done the same. He is difficult to find.”
Maria, “Thinking back, I’ve succumbed to first-date sex on occasion, but I was much younger then and in a different mindset! Sometimes the chemistry is right at the moment. I’ve had a history of getting “dumped” for someone else, so now as a sage and much older woman, I see it in a different light.
“I think all women have to be cautious, respect themselves first, and know who they are. If you’ve just met someone and it’s the first date, and he suggests a little frolic in the hay, that tells me right off who he is and more importantly, who he isn’t! Asking a man to respect a ‘getting to know you’ period, is asking for respect for who you are. If he can’t, move on–he’s just in it for sex.
“Many of us who are older are lonely, miss the tenderness and companionship, and, yes, miss the sex! But if you fall into that first-date sex trap, you are put in a vulnerable place and you realize later that you were taken advantage of, especially if you never hear from him again. I want a man to know me first. The idea of sex now (I’m 77) is very much a secondary thought, and frankly out of my realm of possibility. I’d happily settle for a long, meaningful friendship at this stage of life.
“I’m interested in what the men have to say, because all of this applies to them too, if roles were reversed.
“If you want a loving, sexual relationship as a mature person, take it slow, you still have time, but respect the one you are with.
“Build up to that wonderful moment of intimacy shared. It will be worth the time.”
What 8 men said (4 are married)
Joel, “Great points, Tom. I hope Diane accepts your advice. My own experience was shock and awe that women were so eager for sex. One woman friend, just an acquaintance, said to me, ‘If I’m not in bed by the third date, I’m outta there.’
“I had barely dated before I met my first wife and, 27 years later, at age 55, I became a slave to match.com having zero knowledge of what to do. It was a long learning journey.”
Larry #1, “Great and appropriate answer! I am sure she appreciated your answer, and I was surprised by the ‘9 out of 10’ reference.”
Terry #1, “The sex on a first date article reminds me of my gorgeous, and dear friend R, may she RIP. She believed in having sex on the first date. Her logic was if the sex is no good why would I want a second date. By the way, we only dated once.”
Bruce, “Interesting article, which made me think a little about when I was in between wives back in the early 2000’s I dated a lot, and rarely did I have sex on the first date or even expect so (maybe after the third, lol) on the few occasions I did. I kind of knew beforehand this was just a hook-up for that alone from the written conversations with the women before meeting.
“I totally agree that now you have to truly get to know someone first because of STD’s/scammers/even covid/ etc. Personally, I do not think it is necessarily wrong as time is short now but like you, I would caution against it”
Larry #2, “I think sex on the first date is a must if you are 90 or older! No time to waste!”
Art, “I agree with you that intimacy on the first date is not the norm with me or any of the friends I know. My experience is that a quick kiss goodnight is normal in most cases if we met at a restaurant and came in separate cars.
“On the second date, I usually pick the lady up in front of her home and usually park and talk at the end of the date in front of her home and walk her to the door. There may be extended kissing in the car, and a goodnight kiss in front of her door. It would be unusual to be invited inside after the second date, but not unheard of if we were dancing at the restaurant.
“The norm that I am familiar with is that after the third or fourth date we would sit on her sofa and become physically involved and then go to her bedroom. Thank you for bringing this subject up.”
Terry #2, “I’m 83 years young, have no wrinkles, walk eight miles a day, play pickleball, dance rock and roll like a madman, have a very active libido, and very much enjoy making love (which, BTW, is different than having sex).
“I’m a born-again Christian who believes in the sanctity of marriage. I’m okay with a kiss on a first date but do not favor hopping into bed. My preference would be waiting until marriage to make love but that is tricky these days because so many women I meet state they do not want to marry again.
“Living together is okay for some of them, just not marriage. I make no bones about my desire for a long-term relationship, which to me is preferably marriage. I’m for commitment. Many of the women I’ve met are not. In fact, being open and honest about my desire for a long-term relationship seems to drive most women away.
“I have not encountered nine out of 10 women who gave any signal that they wanted to hop into the sack.
“I have rambled on way too long. Just something about this newsletter that touched a nerve.”
Tom (not me, but a buddy), “When I read your article, I was laughing so hard I was crying. I told my wife that your comment about the man lacking class and character was a bit off. I think he was just being a guy.”
Comment from Tom to Tom: Today, we featured the comments of 33 Champs, 25 women and eight men.
The item questioned most by our Champs was the nine out of 10 of Diane’s women friends who told her to have a roll in the hay on date number one. Perhaps, she is hanging out with the wrong group of women.
Nine of 10 women are not in favor of sex on the first date. In fact, I think it’s a flip flop, 9 of 10 women say no to sex on the first date.
How about the guys? A few said, “Men are men, let it be.” I disagree with that as well. One guy said it because he is in the safety of being married to a bright, intelligent woman. Since he got married, he’s been in the dark about senior dating. I can say that since he’s been a buddy for 35 years. He’s been in the dark about all dating, in fact.
As I was reading and answering the responses, it occurred to me that instead of calling sex on the first date “The Dance,” maybe we should call it by a different dance name: “The Stroll.” Remember: “Feel so good….Baby, let’s go strolling. By the candy store.”
Rob, originally from Australia now living in Atascadero, California andTerri’s new friend she met on Match.com Terri from Palmdale, California went on Match.com and met Rob. Their story is below.
On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter
April 1, 2022 eNewsletter #13
by Tom Blake
Terri, 71, Palmdale, California, was one of the 16 Champs included in last week’s eNewsletter. She mentioned that she had recently met a new man who is a great travel partner. I asked if she’d share with us how they met and for more details about their evolving relationship. I told Terri she looked about 40 years old in her picture.
Terri said, “I‘ve always taken good care of myself. I guess I didn’t do too bad in the ‘picking good parents’ derby, either: My mother, a tall, gorgeous redhead, worked as Rita Hayworth’s double at Columbia Studios in the 1940s. She turned heads well into her 70s when she was running for a seat on the Lancaster City Council.
“My father was nearly 6’3” (very tall for that generation) and an imposing figure as well. He was a pioneer in the serve-yourself gasoline business in Los Angeles and “Big John” had the dashing good looks of a George Brent or a Don Ameche. They were a tough act to follow. Thankfully I’ve managed to have an interesting life on my own!
“I met Rob on Match.com, back in the dark ages of 2021, right in the middle of Covid-19, and right after we had both received our second vaccines in February 2021. I guess we were feeling a little invincible.
“He lives in Atascadero and I was considering a move to Paso Robles, near that area, so I put that zip code in a Match.com search to see what the dating pool from age 66-76 might look like. Rob had been widowed for about a year after a very long marriage. His daughter had suggested he give Match a try. He was on there for about a month. I was divorced in 2014 after a 33-year marriage. I was on Match a lot longer than I’d like to admit, however, I met some interesting men and some who remain, dear friends, today.
“I saw but didn’t answer Rob’s profile, thinking it deserved more than a cursory or flippant reply. Surprise, surprise, he then wrote to me, giving his email address and asking if I’d like to begin a conversation? So, I wrote him back.
“We talked on the phone for a couple of weeks and then he invited me to a family barbecue at his house. He sent me a dozen red roses before the BBQ. And it really was a family barbecue: his daughter, her boyfriend, his grandson, his best friend, and her boyfriend. I guess it was the ‘approval committee’ barbecue and I passed!
“We’ve been having fun ever since and I have been thankful for his presence in my life throughout some health problems I encountered (since recovered). My life would have been a lot tougher this past year without Rob’s positivity and his presence. Now it’s time for us to travel some and to have more fun. Life is an adventure!
“Rob owns a nice home where he lives with his daughter and grandson. So, we’ll be something like an LTS (living together separately) couple about 15 minutes away from each other.
“Rob was born and raised in Australia. He enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy at 16 and traveled the world for 20 years, including extensive service in Vietnam. Upon his retirement from the Navy, he was a ranking officer. He helps his fellow RAN (Royal Australian Navy) officers celebrate ANZAC day each year (see Rob’s photo).
“After his military retirement, he lived a dozen years in England and six years in France, working as an antique dealer. His American wife wanted to return to the US, which brought them to California, and the Central Coast where he has lived for the past 24 years. Kind of an International guy, no? Love that Aussie accent, and Rob’s a great travel partner!
“He’s an honest and up-front guy, with a high energy level to boot! I would say that persistence and resilience are two of the best qualities one can possess if you want to meet someone and pursue that through dating sites. “Thanks for your columns, Tom, and for all I’ve learned from you about life and being a ‘senior single’ in the past 7+ years!”
Part 2 RETA – “No Grumping for me”
Reta, 84, Cincinnati, emailed: “No Grumping for me. After reading all the comments from the ‘young champs,’ I had to comment on my situation. I’m 84 and babysit my three great-grandkids ages 2,4, and 6 three days a week. This is when I notice fewer aches and pains and enjoy life. Sometimes I’m driving the 30-minute drive home after dark-not a problem.
“I also volunteer to crochet shawls for a hospital. I have different groups of friends to keep in contact with. I don’t walk as easily as I used to, but I keep walking and keep doing. Tell that grumpy man that he needs to do the same.”
Tom’s response to Reta, “Good on ya! I like your comment about being around the great-grandkids helping to keep you thinking young. And driving after dark? Courageous. And volunteering. You’ve got all the healthy buttons pushed. “Proud of you. Keep it up!”
On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – November 19, 2021
by Columnist Thomas P Blake
Which online dating site is best for seniors?
During the pandemic, most single seniors didn’t interact face-to-face with people, so many of them decided to give online dating a try. Several were frustrated with the experience. Some seniors don’t internet date at all. Connie emailed me about the difficulty she’s had when trying to meet men. She wrote, “I have never been on an online dating site. I prefer the old-fashioned way (of meeting men).”
I assume what Connie’s “old-fashioned way” term means to her is networking through friends and/or going to public places where she might by chance meet a guy.
I’ve often been asked by seniors, “Which online dating site is right for me?”
Take Ellen for example. She wrote: “I am a widow, 66, and recently retired. So, I’m starting a new chapter in my life. When I think of the future and see myself alone for the rest of my life, that makes me feel sad. However, when I look at my life today, I am happy–busy with kids, grandkids, hobbies, and church.
“I tried online dating for a few years. Tried them all: eHarmony, Plenty of Fish (POF), Catholic Match, Senior Dating, and OurTime. I met some nice people, but nothing clicked.“More times than not when I emailed someone, I never got a response. After a while, it just wasn’t worth the work anymore, and Internet dating is a lot of work. I keep my options open, but I figure at this stage I am pretty well done with online looking. But I am certainly open if I meet someone in person.”
I’m not an Internet dating expert. After all, I’ve been with Greta for 24 years and have never been on an Internet dating site. So, how do I advise women like Ellen to find the right dating site?
I turn to an expert dating and relationship coach I’ve known for 20+ years, who is also a Champ. Her name is Christine Baumgartner; she lives in Orange County, California, and calls her business “The Perfect Catch.” She helps clients all over the United States, not just in the OC.
Recently, Christine posted comments on Facebook under the title, “Which Internet dating site is ‘the best’ one?” I felt what Christine wrote was so informative for single senior daters that I chose to share some of her highlights in this week’s eNewsletter.
When Christine is asked by a client which dating site is the best one, her reply is, “This may surprise you, They’re generally all the same.”
But she points out that certain sites have a particular focus such as religious beliefs or sites that cater to a variety of age groups, including sites for seniors. Christine said, “In reality, the outcome of a person’s online dating experience or your own experience often has more to do with some of the following…
“Your attitude toward yourself, the opposite sex, and dating in general. In particular, many people tend to struggle if they have negative opinions about the opposite sex (due to past dating experiences).”
“Profile content and photos. Many of us are tempted to lie about our age or touch up our pictures.” She stresses that singles should be honest with what they post.
“Persistence. Some people give up quickly when dating doesn’t turn out to be what they were looking for.” Christine recommends people adopt a stick-with-it attitude.
Christine concluded, “I have clients who have met their significant others on dating sites after we worked on these things together. I’ve found that it’s usually not the site causing a person to not find the right date…it’s the person not using the site to that person’s best advantage.”
If I were single and trying to figure out how best to meet someone, I’d contact Christine. She’s a widow and has walked the walk. Not to mention that she is one of the nicest human beings one will ever meet. No wonder she does so well at helping senior singles who are struggling to find their way. Here is Christine’s picture:
On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – October 22, 2021
What became of the 58 couples?
In 2009, I published “How 50 Couples Found Love After 50.” The book was based on information that 58 Champ couples had provided. You may think “58” is a misprint, but it’s not. After the cover artwork was finished, eight more stories came in. My editor said, “Don’t change the artwork or book title, it’s catchy and would be expensive to change. Include the eight new stories; think of them as bonus stories.”
I was honored to have John Gray, author of, “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” provide an endorsement on the book’s front cover, which reads, “Tom Blake is an expert on dating after 50.” How he knew that I have no idea, but I’ll accept it as a compliment.
I’ve often thought about what became of those 58 couples. I am aware of what happened to 14 couples. Some have split; some have become widows or widowers and about seven couples are still together.
If any of you are reading this eNewsletter today and were included in the book, please update me on what the status is of your relationship. If I hear from enough people, I might consider publishing an update to that book.
And, of course, I know the status of couple #58. That would be Greta and Tom, together for 24 years. They look like the couple on the front cover of the book, standing near the St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral in Italy.
This week I learned from Champ Lisa (Chapter 23) what became of her and her husband John. They divorced. He remarried; she’s happily single. She’s led a rather fascinating life.
Since her divorce from John, Lisa has had a long-distance relationship with a man 9 1/2 years younger. However, Lisa says “We met 10 years ago. Dated exclusively for two years and remain good friends. We met on Match.com.
“Sadly, our distance and interests preclude it from being more. He lives on Kodiak Island, Alaska, and doesn’t enjoy the heat. I live in Naples, Florida, and don’t enjoy the cold. No regrets, only fond memories.
“He is still hooked on my ‘candied bourbon bacon’ and he has sent me a lot of incredible sport-caught wild Alaskan fish in exchange for my bacon. We are no longer dating each other but have remained friends. I am so lucky.
“WILD King Salmon, Halibut, Sockeye, Rockfish, shrimp, scallops. He says his popularity in the local hunting/fishing community goes up when my bacon shows up. He sent a video of his tour guide on a recent hiking/camping adventure, shouting from a mountain top, that stated, “Lisa, if you are even half as awesome as your bacon, you are amazing.’ It’s a fun friendship. I have no clue about his romantic life, nor he about mine. It never comes up.”
Brief responses to the second-date kiss issue
S (woman) emailed, “Second date kissing? That wasn’t kissing, that was full slobbering making out. Totally inappropriate!”
Larry, “I’m surprised Gypsy didn’t floor the guy and yell, ‘Help, I’m being attacked.”
T (woman), “On a second date, I may expect a kiss but definitely not the kind Gypsy got from him. He was disrespectful of her. Rude!”
Susan, “I had the same thing happen to me and decided not to accept any further dates with the guy. He felt it appropriate to shove his tongue down my throat and not stop when I tried to push him away. I had to slide away in a less than graceful and desperate movement.”
A (woman), “I’ve had that happen to me too, many times, when I was in my 60s and dating. Most of those times were from men younger than I.”
My opinion: The guy was disgusting. A total jerk. Men should never force a mouth-to-mouth kiss on a woman.
John, “The 68-year-old woman who is convinced that men in their 50s are after her for sex is proof that hope springs eternal.”
Let us hear from you
I’m inviting all Champs who have never emailed me to send in comments regarding senior living and dating in the cities and states in which they reside.
On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – May 22, 2020 – Senior Online dating sites and a fun Part 2
by Columnist Tom Blake
For single seniors seeking a mate, online dating has been almost their only dating option during these stay-at-home times. Over the last couple of months, I have received many questions from singles asking what dating sites would be best for them.
Beware of scammers!
Take Sheri, for example. She said: “I lost my husband three years ago and tried Match.com. There were a lot of scammers on the site and most men lied about their age. Can you recommend a senior dating site that is better than the others?”
Last week, the eNewsletter featured Judy, who said she couldn’t find local men to date. (Local as in living near her, not local as in crazy). She wondered how to meet men up to her level.
Her comments prompted me to ask our Champs to share their experiences and recommendations for online dating. The first four responses came from men.
John said, “Here’s a serious suggestion for women having difficulty finding men through online dating: In your profile, put in what you can bring to the table. Women’s profiles typically include what they want, and what they don’t want, but not what they can offer. That’s a mistake.
“Judy made that mistake in her letter to you. She told you what she wants, what she likes, and what she doesn’t want, but no information as to what she can bring to a relationship. To put it more bluntly, this is the gist of many complaints by women about online dating “This is what I want, I’m fabulous, so why aren’t I getting the attention I DESERVE?”
Bruce wrote, “I met my wife on eHarmony, a very professional and reliable site but it does cost money to join. I would recommend eHarmony; it’s not just a hook-up type-of-site.”
Harvey shared, “I’m 73, looking for a college-educated woman, 65-75, to be my life partner from here to the end. I use Zoosk and have been quite pleased with the women I’ve met there. OurTime also has been good. I also checked out Elite Singles and Match, neither of which worked for me.”
Art said, “I have been on and off POF (Plenty of Fish) for 12 years, and back on since March. I am searching for a woman in her 70s, living within a half-hour drive of my house. I am talking with six women and plan to meet them for lunch when this quarantine is over.
Women responded as well.
Jeanne said, “I went on OurTime in 2015, seeking men in their late 60s or early 70s. I dated several nice men, one of whom has become my live-in partner.
“A person needs a lot of patience to go through the online process of looking, responding and meeting! So many men post old or blurry pictures of themselves. But online dating can be worth the hassle.
“I was happy living on my own, but since I am not a bar person and not much of a church-goer, I realized I had to do what I term the big cocktail party in the cloud because my chance of meeting single men was limited. It’s nice to be in social-distancing-mode with a significant other!”
Thyrza stated, “Although this pandemic has limited the options of finding love, there are many dating websites from which to choose. While hibernating at home, a person has more time to browse those sites.
“My guy friend suggested that women should go to those websites with no expectations of meeting Mr. Right, rather to look at it as entertainment, especially during this time.
“I did not expect much from online dating. I say give it your best shot, enjoy the process and you may just find that someone. I did.”
Carol emailed, “I’m an active 77. I’ve tried many dating sites, including paying for a three-day trial with SilverSingles, a Germany-based company. Many men are not within realistic driving locations. The three-day trial did not warrant paying for a full membership.
“Plenty of Fish, and OKCupid are free sites. Many want personal information immediately like your phone number, or email address so they can ‘chat.’
“I don’t care how many compatibility tests they give you. Those tests don’t guarantee that a person hasn’t made up answers, or, would be a compatible partner.”
One Champ, Arlene, didn’t let the COVID-19 “Stay-at-home” policy stop her from meeting face-to-face with a man on a first date. She emailed, “I had an ‘encounter’ on Saturday afternoon. I think we were both brave to even try this.
“We met at an outside table/chairs. He had on a mask and gloves. I did not. We were five feet apart. By the end of the encounter, he had pulled his mask down so I could see his bleached teeth (I love white teeth). While an articulate professional, he was probably not my type although I liked speaking with him for two hours.
“He bought us yogurt as that was all that was open nearby. He even walked me to the car!
“So, it is possible to meet during these times. But, it takes bravery and determination. There was no indication, from either of us, of a desire for a second date.”
My suggestions to senior singles: Prior to spending money to join an online dating site, check and compare several sites. Do research. Read the reviews. Check costs. Do they focus on seniors? I read Zoosk is for younger people, not seniors. Beware of scammers. There are scammers on every site, not just on Match.com, so trust your instincts. Be very careful. POF and OKCupid are free sites.
There are companies such as Online4.love.com, which evaluate and compare online dating sites. While that company’s information seems helpful, keep in mind that it and similar sites make money when people click on links from them to the specific dating sites.
I do think what John suggested, to include in your profile what you can bring to the table, is a strong, positive, and “serious suggestion,” as he called it. Both men and women should do that.
Good luck with online dating. Thanks for the comments. As things open up, let us know how meeting-in-person dates evolve, and how wanting to have a hug is handled.
Part 2 – There’s an actor among us
Did you know that one of our Champs was a movie actor in his past life? Probably not. Heck, I didn’t even know. However, you are likely aware of him, because he’s been featured in previous eNewsletters several times.
Chris Anastasio, and his now-wife Tina, are the couple who had the longest-duration, greatest-distance, long-distance relationship of which I’ve ever known. How about, 13 years and 5,419 miles? You’ll remember them from their picture at their wedding in February, 2017.
Tina and Chris after their wedding February 15, 2017
And we mentioned them when they celebrated this past New Years’ Eve on a cruise ship in Dubai.
This week, Tina sent an with this subject: “Chris is famous—at last!”
Tina wrote: “Chris received an email from a policeman in New York who is head of a Jaws Movie Fan Club! They have been corresponding for a few weeks and a package arrived today containing dozens of photos for him to sign!
“As you can imagine, he is thrilled that after so many years, people want his autograph on photos from that movie! I’m married to a famous actor!”
She included this photo of Chris from his movie days.
Chris is the only actor to appear in both Jaws, and The Godfather
Chris emailed later, after he learned Tina had sent me the information: “I’m surprised Tina sent that to you. Pretty exciting. If you mention that in the eNewsletter, I will forward it to the Jaws fan club in NY.”
Get forwarding it, Chris; I simply had to mention that to our Champs.
Oh, and there’s just one more tidbit about this inspirational couple. Chris is 86; Tina 79. They are amazing and we’re damned lucky to have them as Champs.