Senior Dating – Make A List – Divorced or Widowed

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter
 February 10, 2023
Make A List By Columnist Tom Blake 
Make A List – Senior Dating Divorced or Widowed

A senior single woman doesn’t want to be compared to a deceased wife

Joan (not her real name) emailed this week, “I have been a reader of your column for years.”

I was curious how long Joan had been an eNewsletter (I call my readers Champ). I found emails in the archives that she sent in 2011 and 2012.
So, yes, she’s been reading my articles for at least 11 years.

Joan continued, “I recently joined a dating site and am 77 and find that most widowed men seem to start out telling you something like this: ‘I lost the love of my life after a blah blah number of years. We were so happy but now she is gone, and I am looking for someone else.’

“As a woman, am I wrong in taking this to mean they are looking for a replacement for this deceased wife, and will I be compared to how she was?
“What should I think? I’m not sure I want to be in a relationship being compared. I suppose that would be the case also with someone being divorced, right?

“What is your take, Tom, am I being overly sensitive?”

Tom’s answer to Joan:

I think you are caught up in semantics. Widowers and divorced men are not looking for a replacement. That’s not the right word. Rather, they are looking for a new mate, a new opportunity, and a new beginning. Someone to break the loneliness spell that descends upon people—men and women—who have suffered a loss.

They are filling a void and an emptiness that has entered their lives. Note that I said, and women. All are trying to move forward, not replace, and they mean no disrespect to their deceased partner. 

Will these widowers and/or divorced men compare you to their ex’s? Perhaps somewhat, that is only natural. If they didn’t have the pain, their former relationship probably wasn’t a positive one and there would be no comparison. Reminder: this applies to widows and divorced women as well, not just to men. 

Sometimes, widowed people match up because they understand what each other has gone through and can openly talk about their deceased spouses to each other without jealousy–as long as, they don’t keep bringing up an ex-partner excessively. If they do, they either aren’t ready to date or don’t place a high enough priority on the new person. Divorced or widowed, both grieve.

How does one not compare, if only slightly, a new person to a former mate of a relationship that endured for up to 40 years or more? Instead of being concerned about a person you meet trying to replace a former love or comparing you to his deceased wife, I recommend you make a written list of 10-12 characteristics that you seek in a new relationship/mate and focus on that. 

Tom’s Suggested List (you will likely change the order) 

1. He makes me his top priority and treats me with respect 
2. I am physically attracted to him. And, he must be to me 
3. We must enjoy being with each other. And feel comfortable 
4. He must not smoke or take recreational drugs 
5. He must be financially self-sufficient and willing to share expenses 
6. He takes care of his health 
7. He must be available to see me three or four times a week or whatever amount of time I desire, but not every day, and not 24/7 
8. He must be kind and considerate to others 
9. We don’t have to have similar interests, but we do need to have similar core values. We must be somewhat in agreement on politics and religion. Don’t screw up a potentially great relationship over these two items.
10. He must be open to having a new relationship enter his life. And we must be able to talk about our former spouses and mates freely to each other.

 And then, at the end of your list, remind yourself, as a knowledgeable good friend of mine says, “There is no perfect.” Your new potential love will not score a perfect 10 on every list item, or perhaps not on any item, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be a great partner for you. 

If you are too worried about being compared to an ex, get over it, and don’t be too judgmental, you might miss an opportunity with Mr. Right for you. So, yes, Joan, I feel you are being a bit too sensitive.

Sit down, make that characteristics-wanted list, and see how a potential mate matches up with the items on your list. Focus on the list, and not on being compared to an ex-spouse. Happy Valentine’s Day to all Champs. 

Why do senior men send mixed signals?

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter

By Tom Blake

July 1, 2022

Senior dating challenges: Why do senior men send mixed signals?

Where is “John?”

A Champ and San Juan Capistrano, California resident, Yoko, emailed, “A couple weeks ago, two girlfriends and I went to the Swallow’s Inn in San Juan Capistrano on a Tuesday evening for line dancing lessons. I arrived early.

The Swallows Inn San Juan Capistrano California (Photo by Tom Blake July 2022)

Note from Tom: The Swallows Inn is one of the most popular country and Western bars in Orange County, California. Some customers tie their horses up behind the bar. It’s been around for years.

Yoko continued, “A few minutes later, two men sat down at the table next to me and started a conversation. I was attracted to the man sitting closest to me (I’ll call him ‘John’). He and I chatted for 2 1/2 hours, and I even skipped one of the line dancing lessons as we were engaged in an interesting conversation about a property, he bought in Fallbrook (North San Diego County) this March with many avocado trees. 

“He had lived in San Juan Capistrano for 25 years. He owns his own company, now lives in nearby Mission Viejo Monday-Thursday and is in Fallbrook Friday-Sunday.  He wore no wedding ring. As he was flipping through pictures of his Fallbrook property to show me on his phone, I didn’t see any pictures of him with a woman. 

“He offered to buy drinks and food for me and my friends which I thought was very generous. We had already eaten. He bought a glass of wine for me and sodas for my non-alcohol-drinking friends. He helped move our table a little so my friends would have some space to sit and helped me lower a window blind that was stuck with sun streaming into my friends’ eyes. Very chivalrous of him. 

“All of his qualities I found attractive as well as his physical appearance. I guess his age is close to mine in his mid-60s. His friend kept urging him to dance with me, but he had informed me early in the conversation he did not line dance. 

“I’m not aggressive when I meet men as I was raised in an ‘old fashioned’ environment and the Japanese culture where the man makes the initial contact offer. This has always worked for me in the past. 

“After 2 1/2 hours my girlfriends wanted to leave so I thanked ‘John,’ and said my friends wanted to leave. I lingered a bit hoping he would ask for my phone number or give me his phone number. He did not ask so I said, “I hope to see you again,” and I left. 

“That was one of the strangest experiences I’ve had with a man to whom I was attracted, and I certainly got the vibes that ‘John’ was attracted to me. My ego was a little hurt as I’ve never had a man spend that much time talking to me, who seemed attracted to me and then not ask if he could call or see me again. 

“He certainly wasn’t shy as he initiated the conversation with me as soon as he sat down next to me. 

“I haven’t gone back to the Swallows since this happened but will go sometime. 

“I would enjoy hearing your and our Champs’ thoughts.”

I responded, “Yoko, I have no idea why he didn’t ask how to reach you. Perhaps he’s involved in a relationship or even married. 

“What more could you have done? One of the tips I suggest to single women who’d like to meet a potential mate is to be assertive, not aggressive, when meeting or seeing a single man who appeals to them.

“By this I mean have a pre-printed card (similar to a business card) with your first name and email address on it, that you could have handed to him. Or, you could have written your email address on a cocktail napkin.

“Who knows if you will see him again? If not, it wasn’t meant to be. But, in the future, be prepared to hand over your contact information if a similar situation arises.

“If ‘John’ reads this column and wants to contact you, he can email me, and I shall pass his information on to you.”

Three questions for Champs:

Has this ever happened to you?

What would you have done?

What should Yoko have done?

Thanks, Champs. Welcome to July. Egad. Halfway through 2022.

Which online dating site is best for seniors?

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:

Photo courtesy of Christine Baumgartner

Christine’s email is christine@theperfect and her website is

Contact her, you’ll be pleased that you did.

Senior Online Dating – Plenty of Fish

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – October 18, 2019

Part One -Senior Online Dating – Plenty of Fish – The good and the ugly

by Columnist Tom Blake

The Good about Plenty of Fish

Champ Cheryl, “I just read the 10 responses to the Brooklyn widow who has given up on dating. I thought all the responses/suggestions were valuable, especially Ginny’s.

I’ve written you previously about the success that my partner, Matt, and I had with online dating and just wanted to comment briefly again. It continues to surprise me that so many seniors report being unsuccessful and/or intimidated, that is, afraid of online dating.

“It seemed the main thread running through the 10 comments was the idea that you have to ‘put yourself out there’ in order to be successful finding a partner, and that is certainly true of online dating.

“It’s also true that to be successful, one must be willing to be open and honest about oneself and what he or she wants in a relationship.

“I found when I approached online dating it was important for me to actively think/decide what qualities were important/crucial to me in looking for a partner.

“And during the process of exploring online dating, I also was able to ‘fine-tune’ what my essential needs were and what issues were not as important. That’s not to say that it’s ok to be really ‘picky’–that doesn’t work either.

“Is it important that his favorite color is red and mine is blue? Of course not. The structure of the online dating site is really important. Matt and I met on OK Cupid, where there were literally thousands of questions that could be answered, covering every imaginable subject with the ability to add comments to every answer.

“By the time Matt and I started communicating, he had answered over 400 questions and I had answered over 600, and both of us had added comments to nearly all our answers.

“We both were honest with our answers and willing to answer some questions that might be considered intimate or personal, especially about sex.

“With online dating one must be brave, open, and honest. If you are, online dating can work.

“Getting involved with local activities can work as well, I’m sure, but sometimes there are either limited opportunities (I was living in a rural area of Ohio; Matt was in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan—600 miles away) or maybe all the opportunities have been explored without success.

“Yes, there are scammers online, but one can be deceived by someone locally as well, and when you meet someone locally, you have no idea initially who he or she truly is, unless someone you know, knows them. There are risks meeting someone locally as well as with online dating.

“Again, I would encourage seniors to get involved with online dating but with a site that provides ample opportunities to get to know someone very well before meeting in person. And there is always the option of doing background checks, which I did a couple of times.

“Matt and I are a wonderful match and found love with each other, which neither of us would have found without online dating.

“I like the comment Champ Jim made last week: Sometimes you have to ‘make your own luck.’ Very true!”

Obviously, Cheryl and Matt put a great deal of effort into meeting each other online. And that’s what successful senior dating—online and otherwise–usually requires. A willingness to put forth an effort. It can take time, money, patience, and a bit of luck.

For some seniors, online dating may be the only option remaining to meet a potential mate. It can work. There are endless success stories, such as Cheryl’s and Matt’s.

However, there can be an ugly side to online dating. Here’s an example:

                                     An Ugly POF story

A Champ wrote: “I’ve been on POF for over 10 years. Here is my POF encounter, 10 days duration, Oct 4-14, in a chopped, quickie, writing format:

“UBER driver, 70, who lives nearby, was from a town near where I’m from back East.
favorite saying, “anyhowzers”
talked 100 mph non-stop, wound too tight
invited him to a dance
went to his friend’s party
went to pool 2 times
did “Taco Tuesday”
Went to a Halloween party, he brought his own bourbon and drank it ALL! (hic)
expected me do drive then; I could not as I had forgotten my glasses
danced at a nearby bar to 70s oldies
he played grab-ass with me on the dance floor!
Went to city to see art galleries,
he only put 24 minutes on meter to walk around, had to rush back to meter to put more $ in (duh)
Drove past galleries, straight to another bar, another beer.

I don’t drink anything except sparkling water at a bar
He ordered one snack plate and split it with me! (cheap, cheap, cheap)
Told me off on way home
End of POF encounter.”

Comments from Tom

Online dating isn’t for all seniors. Plus, there are potential downsides, as described above, to senior online dating: fake profiles, fake sites, romance scammers lurking, trying to take advantage of vulnerable, lonely, people and their emotions. And, there are endless other issues.

Before you sign up for any site, read what the one-star and two-star reviewers write. Even reviews can be bogus. Use only established regular dating sites such as OK Cupid, Our Time, Match, Eharmony, to name just a few. People use these sites for seeking friendship, a pen pal, or a long-term relationship.

Avoid what are known as “Hook up” sites. “Hook up sites” are pretty much for sex only,

                                        Other places to meet men

A suggestion from an animal lover: Get a dog. Besides the health benefits of exercise when walking your dog, you meet other neighborhood dog-lovers. Even better, get an unusual looking dog. That may bring other people over to talk to you. Take your dog to a dog park.

Champ Mark added, “About an hour after reading last week’s column, Donna and I had breakfast at the Strawberry Farms golf course in Irvine. Seated on the patio in front of the driving range, I couldn’t help but notice the ratio of men-to-women was about 25-1.”

Add golf driving ranges as places where more men than woman can be found.

Seniors don’t give up on finding love

 On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – October 11, 2019

Seniors don’t give up on finding love

by Tom P Blake

Comments from 5 Men and 5 women regarding last week’s article

Last week, we wrote about Michele, 67, from Brooklyn, a widow of 18 years, who has given up on Senior Dating. The responses from that eNewsletter were more diverse than any I can recall.

In an unusual turn of events, an equal number of men and women responded. Today, five men and five women comment. And notice the diverse geographical locations of our Champs.

Some comments were depressing, as other seniors besides Michele have given up as well. One Champ, Ginny, provided an extensive and helpful list of suggestions for how senior women might meet potential mates. Her suggestions are included at the end of the article.

Thanks Champs, for taking the time to write. Your comments keep the eNewsletter fresh. The 10 responses follow:

Ken, Alabama, “I’m 61. In lower AL. I have given up on Senior Dating. Haven’t gone out in five years. Been Widowed over 20 years. Early years, I thought I’d meet someone. Had my senior heart broken twice. They wanted me to accept their children. But, they wouldn’t accept mine.

“Now, just me. The few unmarried women I meet are not interested. Many I meet aren’t interested in dating either. Oh well.”

Thyrza, Los Angeles, “Is it possible that Michele is too old school in her approach to finding love after 50? With a wink, I say to Michele: ‘Show some skin.’ It won’t kill you.”

Ben, widower,  South Orange County, Calif., “It’s like anything else in life- you got to throw yourself and see what sticks that you are attracted to and what you want in a relationship. It will be hard to find someone; I was married for 24 years. There are good people out there; just do not give up.

“The dating sites are a real gamble and after some time–why bother?

“I am probably going to leave California in 2020 for TN or God knows where. Reasons: Cost-of-living, downright sincerity of people, people have even stated ‘You belong here. Please come back.’ Price of gasoline, greenery, sense of community and my niece & hubby will be moving there soon from CT. Taxes are not bad and no state income tax.

“Your Tutor and Spunky’s Deli September Meet and Greet meeting was nice and it would be my pleasure to go to the next one in October.

(Thursday, October 24, 5 to 7 p.m., Tutor and Spunky’s Deli, Dana Point).

“No expectations on my part. I am ‘genuine,’ honest and forthright. I am always working on my listening skills and up front with ladies. How else can one be? Happy when I work on the roses and cactus at home, plus reading a good book or seeing a decent movie.

“Articulate, and smile (like Charlie Chaplin wrote in that great song).

“Emotionally, every day is a challenge- certain places I will not go in–too many good memories.”

Joanie, Southern California, “Another option for the Brooklyn woman: Move to Alaska! More men than women! On the other hand, finding Mr. Perfect can be wonderful, but it’s also compromising and limiting.

So, ladies, find exciting hobbies and things to do where you do not have to have a man. And yes, the older we get the less men there are…so why worry about it? Why strive for that ‘diamond in the coal mine?’ Find other interesting things in life. Find a place to nurture others – animals, kids, sick people, babies in hospitals. All highly rewarding!

JimEl Paso, Texas, “My younger sister did one of the things you suggested when she found herself divorced in her 50s. At a party at a friend’s house, she struck up a conversation with a gentleman she found attractive. She asked him out and they’ve been dating for the last few years.

“Sometimes you have to make your own luck.”

Sid, Florida, “This young pup (Michele) is slowly starting to become an older pup.”

Stella, Newport Beach, “The ratios can be depressing if you focus on that. Focus on this instead: It only takes one.”

SallySacramento, “I’ve enjoyed your articles, books, blogs and advice since 1998!

“I’m still single San Clemente Sally living in Sacramento! I cherish my friendships and love giving anyone a smile so they give it back to me.

“Nothing has stuck in 25 years of being a widow but I love my independence and hearing all the stories of everyone I love to meet.

Jon, Olympia, Washington, “I’m happy to be out of the dating scene but am frequently amazed at how many women complain about the lack of men.

“While I don’t have the numbers, it seems that if women were a bit less fussy and would stop complaining about the men they meet, they might be more successful at finding someone they were happy with.

“They need to abandon the romantic ideals of the high school years and get real with where we older people are now. Some honest conversations with the men in their lives would probably clear up many of their problems.”

                      Ginny’s valuable suggestions for meeting men

And finally, GinnyPhiladelphia suburbs, “I have several suggestions for increasing a woman’s chances for meeting single men besides the usual church etc.

“At our Senior Center, we have some attractive, active, single men who shoot pool. That’s where I met my ‘sweetie’ after we were both widowed. We are still going strong after six years of dating, at 78 and 85. I am on the Council there now.

“I wasn’t shy about knocking on the pool room door, the guys invited me in to watch. Men from other places sometimes come for tournaments (more chances)?  And while you’re there, keep your eyes open!

“I know someone who loves Pinochle. She found a card partner. They are both active, fun loving, widows in their eighties, and it turns out that they grew up on the same street. They are very happy together. In fact, much to our surprise, we met them on a cruise.

“Another suggestion, volunteer at a Veterans post, or be an aide to a vet for a day thru the “Honor Flight” program. They pay for trips for vets to DC to visit all the war memorials. From our area it is a bus trip, a send-off breakfast and a wonderful outpouring of flag-waving, local residents ‘welcoming them home’ and dinner and entertainment following.

“Another suggestion. I sometimes have gotten invitations to go to free retirement investment seminar lunches. At the one I attended at the local country club, the ratio of men to women was very favorable. Ladies, be bold, go alone.”

Tom’s comment: It’s not only investment seminars where a nice complimentary meal is included; it could be at new housing developments, senior care facilities, a cruise line’s or travel agent’s promotion function–any number of different situations where a comp meal is offered. I agree with Ginny. Get out and meet new people.

Ginny continues, “Class reunions. I have met some nice eligible classmates who have approached me; however, I am attached.

“And finally, educate yourself about online dating. My widowed, cautious brother, age 73, had done it for several years before finding ‘the one’ online a year ago.

“So, ladies, don’t get discouraged. Get out where the men are. Volunteer, even if you don’t meet ‘the one,’ you are doing something productive to give your life meaning and purpose. HAVE FUN, and in doing so, you will attract others.”

So, there you have it, lots of different points of view from lots of different Champs! Enjoy your weekend.

Oh, and to underscore the point about not knowing when and where men might appear out of the blue. My sister Pam, just returned from New Guinea. These guys emerged from the forest while she was there. Pam’s happily married so she wasn’t interested, but found them to be unique and friendly. Perhaps geographically not available as well.

 New Guinea Skeleton Men (Photo courtesy of Pam Peters)

Has senior dating changed in 17 years?

            Has senior dating changed in 17 years?

On March 10, 2018, a rainy Saturday morning in Dana Point, California, I decided to go through some old files in my office. I am trying to determine whether to pursue a writing project I’ve pondered for three years, since I sold Tutor and Spunky’s, my Dana Point deli, and retired. More than three years later, the deli is still operating nicely, under the direction of the owner Jim, and his brother Shaun. Four of my long-term employees are still there.

I kept rough notes during the 25 years of operating the deli, and I’ve considered writing a history of Tutor and Spunky’s, tied in with the events that happened in South Orange County, California, and things that happened to me personally, during that time frame. To organize my material, I put each year, 1988 to 2015, into a separate folder.

When I reviewed the 2000 folder, I came across a letter dated December 20 of that year. The letter isn’t deli-related; it’s senior dating and relationship related.

In 2000, I was a columnist for The Orange County Register, writing a column called “Single Again.” The letter I found was written by a widower named Lawrence. As I read it, I started thinking that things may not have changed much in senior dating in 17 years. I share Lawrence’s letter of December 20, 2000, with you today, in March, 2018.

Lawrence wrote: “Dear Mr. Blake: A few comments from a man. Thank you for your interesting column.

“I am 75-years-young, lost my wife just over a year ago after 49 years of a happy marriage. In your recent column, one lady you quoted complained that men are focused on their dead wives. Of course, we can be, after 49 years, she was my soulmate, sweetheart, friend, lover, and an earth angel. A kind, wonderful, compassionate soul whom I miss very much.

“She told me before she passed away not to mope and grieve over her (easier said than done). I was never one to go to doctors, but I went three times in seven months this year. Through grieving, I just kept getting sick.

“She also told me to find a nice, compatible lady and maybe remarry to enjoy my last years and to not feel guilty about it.

“In the past months, I’ve been to senior centers and met many ladies and have found, to my chagrin, alack and alas, all the ones I’ve been attracted to are married – it seems all the senior nice girls are happily married – that’s why they are so nice. The unattached ones seem to have chips on their shoulders, or other emotional problems.

“Widower dating isn’t easy.”

Widower dating cover

Link to Tom’s ebook: Widower Dating. Gold Mine or Mine Field?

“Talking with other men, I found the men complain that there are not too many good, unattached ladies out there, that they either smoke, drink, lie a lot, a few are on drugs, and I have come to the conclusion—after hearing a lot of horror stories—that the only way to go is to find (if I can and it’s not easy) a compatible lady who is in the same situation as me, who lost a good hubby after many years of a happy marriage, and is looking for a good reliable man.

“Are there any such ladies out there? I’m ready to get acquainted. The legal beagles strongly advise, in such situations, if homes are paid for, pre-marriage agreements are a must, to protect family and grandchildren, and if one partner demurs and says no—don’t walk away–run!

“Any comments?”

                                  Tom’s take

I wondered what happened to him. The letter listed his address and phone number. I entered that information online and the results indicated he was still at the same location, same phone number, and is now 92. I called the number.

A woman, who sounded to be much younger than 92, answered the phone. It could have been his daughter. I explained that I am a newspaper columnist in Orange County, that I had a letter he had written in 2000, and asked if Lawrence was still doing okay and if he had met a compatible woman. She said, “Lawrence never remarried. He’s hard of hearing. Do you want to talk to him?”

I could hear her in the background trying to explain to him that I was a newspaper columnist in Orange County. I could tell he was confused.

Lawrence got on the phone. He explained he couldn’t hear very well so I tried to talk loud and slowly. There was static on the line; perhaps, caused by his hearing aid. He asked if I could write him a letter instead, which I did. Mailed it last Saturday.

I will let you know if I hear anything back.

I’m curious. Do widowers, or widows, in 2018, feel the same way about single members of the opposite sex, as Lawrence did in 2000?

Update, March 31, 2018: I did not get a letter back from Lawrence, so I guess I will not know how things worked out for him.