Senior dating status as 2022 approaches

sunset waldorf astoria nov 21
Sunset over Catalina Island from Waldorf Astoria Resort, with friends, Dana Point, California, November 2021
On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – December 3, 2021

by Tom Blake author and columnist

The senior dating status as 2022 approaches 

The year 2021 changed senior dating dramatically. Covid 19 was the culprit. In-person social events were canceled or switched to being presented virtually. 

For example, I had a “Senior-dating-in-the-digital-age” speech scheduled for September 24 requested by the Orange County Aging Services Collaborative. I was to appear at the Dorothy Visser Senior Center in San Clemente before an audience of 50 people. 

My talk was scheduled to be aired simultaneously to nine other OC senior centers with an expected live audience of 40-50 people at each center for a total of 500 people. I was hoping one or two potential couples would meet at each center, but because of Covid, the speech went entirely to Zoom so none of the 500 people could meet in person. 

During the pandemic, libraries, restaurants, bars, social clubs, and other gathering spots were closed or open with limited access and saddled with mask restrictions and six-feet apart requirements. Senior social interaction was reduced by at least 80 percent (my guestimate) for most of the year.

Face-to-face meetings, which are essential in cultivating relationships, were rare. Most seniors understandably didn’t want to risk catching Covid. Yes, restrictions have been lifted somewhat in the last three months, but many seniors are still leery and hesitant to venture out. To combat the face-to-face restrictions, many seniors, not all, turned to internet dating, which is a great way to meet new people. 

Romance scams and romance scammers

However, singles weren’t the only people using internet dating sites. Romance scammers used the sites to spoof and scam vulnerable seniors. Some seniors tragically lost their savings. The pandemic has been tough on couples who live in different states or countries. Canada’s border was closed for months, which made seeing a loved one in person who lived in Canada nearly impossible. And vice versa for Canadiens.

People in long-distance relationships saw each other less often than they liked. Even flying and driving long distances to see a loved one within the United States was challenging. Larry, a friend, and former neighbor I’ve known for 28 years met a woman in the Philippines Islands a few years ago. He lived with her there but came home to the USA on a short business trip just before Covid started. Since then, he’s had nine trips scheduled to return to be with her but each time the P.I. government did not allow him to reenter the country. 

I asked him this week, “Did you finally get to the P.I?” Larry responded, “Still in the OC. Patience has turned to anger, and I really don’t care if I ever go back to the Philippines! But, Emy and I really love each other, so we have other destinations in consideration.” 

During the pandemic, I’ve received many inquiries from readers about where they can go to meet someone or if I know of someone that might be right for them. It surprises me when I respond to them with comments or suggestions, some don’t have the courtesy to respond back. How the heck can I help them during this difficult time if that’s how they operate? And do they treat potential dates that way? 

And now, there’s a new Covid Variant called Omicron that is possibly contagious and dangerous. Will that make senior dating more difficult again? That’s hard to say, but it certainly is creating more uncertainty. In the 26 years, I’ve been writing about senior dating and relationships, I’ve never seen the senior singles scene so challenging. 

Last month, Greta and I met our friends Ron and Lee at the renamed Waldorf Astoria Resort in Dana Point for happy hour and to watch the sunset. Neither couple had been out with friends much for more than a year. The picture above was taken from our outdoor table. Catalina Island is on the horizon. I suggest singles try to get out with vaccinated friends, but oh-so-carefully. Wear masks, avoid crowded places, gather outside when possible. Be vaccinated. 

Network through friends and organizations by asking people if they know of other singles who would like to meet people. That was the old-fashioned way of meeting potential mates pre-internet. Also, consider internet dating, but if you go that route, do so carefully. Beware of scammers; they lurk on every site. Trust your instincts. And if you do connect online with someone interesting, meeting in person sure has its challenges. Don’t give up. Modify your expectations. You never know who’s around the corner or in the next aisle at a store. Be friendly. Be upbeat. That guy wearing the Santa Claus suit and beard might be perfect for you. 

Hopefully, 2022 will be better for senior dating. We’ll keep you posted. 

Part 2 – One more “Tutor & Spunky’s Deli. A Dana Point Landmark” book signing

My third, and likely final book signing for my recently published book, is scheduled for Saturday, December 11 at, where else? Tutor and Spunky’s Deli in Dana Point from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. If any of you would like an autographed copy shipped to you, I will sign and mail one for $24.00, which includes tax, shipping, and handling. Simply email me at
Tom's new book cover

Widow Happy in Brooklyn not dating

 On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – October 4, 2019

by Columnist Tom Blake

                                     Widow Happy in Brooklyn not dating

Champ Michele wrote, “I enjoy reading the On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter on dating, but I don’t participate much because I live in Brooklyn, NY. I have been widowed for 18 years (at age 49) and still miss my husband. I tried online dating but almost got scammed my first time. The few people that contacted me were beyond bizarre. I gave up on that.

“I have been to some dances, but the men seemed to ask the women to dance who were dressed very provocatively and that’s not me. I would leave the dances saying what is wrong with me. It was depressing. No one seems to know anyone. So, I gave up on that.

“Most single functions end up with the women far outnumbering the men. So, if a man, by some remote chance, asks you to dance, he acts like you should be so grateful that he chose you to ask over these other women. It’s like a meat market.

“I enjoy being with my friends and going on vacation. My attitude is, as my mom used to say, ‘If it’s meant to be it will be.’”

My answer to Michele

I’ve been writing about age 50-plus dating for 26 years, since 1994. My first few years’ articles focused on the challenges of dating later in life for both men and women. At that time, the ratio of single women to single men in their early 50s was approximately one-to-one.

As the years passed, that ratio slowly changed. More and more women contacted me, asking “Where are the men?” The single women to single men ratio drew closer to two-to-one for mid-60s people.

Men rarely wrote me. Either they had found somebody or became too inactive to participate in the dating game. Some men, me included, were still looking for a mate.

Some women said the ratio gap was even larger because many single senior men aren’t relationship material. I could see that finding a potential mate was becoming more difficult for women because fewer desirable men were available. But, good guys were and are still out there.

I remember the Dr. Ruth Westheimer response to a woman at an AARP convention who asked her, “Where are the men?” Dr. Ruth said, “The ratio is a fact of life. But, if you have a nice appearance and a positive attitude, and are willing to get out and socialize, you can effectively shrink that ratio.”

And then another phenomenon happened: A thing called the Internet emerged and online dating got its wake-up call. Women were drawn to it because they could reach out beyond their city and local boundaries to find men. A Brooklyn woman, such as Michele, could reach out to all the boroughs of New York City, which are nearby. Potential mates could meet without driving, by using the subways.

   My partner Greta walking the Brooklyn Bridge, from the Manhattan side

It didn’t take long for senior romance scammers to figure out that lots of women online were lonely and vulnerable, especially widows. The romance scammers saw a fertile environment in which to rip off women.

Granted, lots of couples were formed as a result of the Internet but senior romance scams also bloomed. We try to educate the women about the scams.

Now, we find ourselves in our 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90s. That ratio has reached almost four-to-one by age 75. Women, such as Michele, share their stories of the lack of men at singles functions. Greta and I see it at our monthly Meet and Greet gatherings in Dana Point.

Saturday night, Greta and I were at the Greek Festival in nearby San Juan Capistrano. One of our woman Champs saw us and introduced herself. She even made the comment about the lack of single men at singles events. I found myself trying to explain the shortage of men to her, as I am to Michele today.

So, what can I say to Michele, who is “Happy in Brooklyn” spending time with her friends and traveling. She has given up on internet dating, singles dances, and singles functions. She is accepting her mom’s advice: “If it’s meant to be, it will be.”

Michele, I say, don’t give up on Senior Romance, keep your eyes open for opportunities to meet a potential mate.

Be assertive, not aggressive. By that I mean if you see a man when you are out and about, and he appeals to you (age close to yours, no wedding ring, no soup on his shirt, combed hair, no odor, no spinach in his teeth), make a friendly comment, such as: “Nice jacket, nice car, nice dog, what’s the dog’s name? Where do you buy your spinach?”

Or, if you see him in the food mart, say: “Is this a good wine?” or, “Is this watermelon ripe?”

In the Post office, “Boy, these lines are long?”

On a cruise ship: “Where’s the dining room?”

At the California DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles): “How many hours have you been here?”

Anything spontaneous. He may be hoping to meet someone but he’s shy. Be ready to pop the question: “Want to have coffee?” Be ready to pay for the coffee (his and yours). If he’s worth his salt, he’ll offer at the least to go Dutch. Better yet, he’ll offer to pay the tab. If this makes you feel uncomfortable, at least smile and/or even wink. Have a positive attitude.

That’s where we are now, 26 years later.

I hope Michele doesn’t give up on Internet dating but if she does, I understand. Traveling by subway to meet blind dates would be scary now. But local New Yorkers could travel by subway to Brooklyn to see her. As I recall Brooklyn Heights has some nice cafes

There are so many Internet dating sites online I can’t believe it. Everyday, there is a new advertisement in my email inbox. I can’t imagine the ratios are any better on those sites when compared to singles functions.

Continue to get out and enjoy life and your women friends as best you can. But above all, don’t give up on Senior Romance. You are still a young pup and deserve happiness.