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.