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Tom Blake

By Tom Blake

When I started writing columns about dating 26 years ago, I promised myself I would not write about politics or religion.

A friend, 72, sent an email this week stating,  “I realize you have to be careful with your column topics, but the information in the enclosed attachment is a good guideline for me in finding a serious relationship.”

I assumed he said that because the attachment had something to do with politics or religion.

It did, sort of. The attachment was a newsletter called Pastor Rick’s Daily Hope, written by Rick Warren, the founder and senior pastor of California’s largest church, Saddleback Church in Lake Forest. Warren’s headline read: “Let God Guide Your Choices.”

My first reaction was to ignore the attachment, because I don’t write about religion. However, because my friend felt the content could help him meet a compatible mate, I opened it, thinking the information might help other single seniors as well.

Warren listed five characteristics to avoid when choosing a potential marriage partner and two characteristics that a mate should have. Warren cited a biblical reference to each characteristic.

I assumed those references were what my friend had alluded to that I don’t normally write about. I read what Warren wrote and feel his seven items make a lot of sense for senior singles. (Warren’s Bible references are not included).

Five of the items that Warren listed started with the words “Whoever you marry must not be …”:

  • “Nursing uncontrolled anger.”  Uncontrolled anger reveals deep insecurity and low self-worth.
  • “Stuck in an addiction.” There are hundreds of ways to get addicted.
  • “Harboring bitterness.” Bitterness is like a poison. It eats you alive.
  • “Selfish.”  When it comes down to it, the number one cause of conflict in marriage is selfishness.
  • “Greedy.”  If you marry a greedy spouse, you will be in debt your entire life.”


And, two items that Warren listed started with the words, “Whoever you marry must …”:

  • “Be generous and kind.”
  • “Tell the truth.  Love is based on trust, and trust is based on truth. If you don’t tell me the truth, I can’t trust you. And if I can’t trust you, how can I love you?”


Warren added a significant eighth point, stating that if a person has any of the five negative qualities, he or she should be avoided as a life partner “… no matter how good-looking, rich or nice they are.” That, in my opinion, addresses a major mistake some singles make.

My friend concluded his email thusly: “I wonder what qualities other single seniors think are important? I’d better get busy making my list.”

I can think of two modern-day issues that senior singles will likely consider when evaluating whether a person would be a suitable mate for them. They could be considered “hot-potato” issues.

The first: political-party affiliation. With the country so divided politically, people belonging to different political parties might be too opinionated for each other.

The second characteristic has emerged because of the pandemic: Are both parties vaccinated for COVID-19?

So, considering Pastor Warren’s eight items, and the two “hot potato” modern-day issues, my friend should be able to create an effective written list of the qualities he seeks in a partner. Plus, he’ll likely add other characteristics that are important to him.

Whoops! I wrote about both politics and religion in this week’s column. But, I don’t think I seriously infringed upon my 26-year-old promise to avoid those topics. After all, I need to stay current with what’s happening in the senior dating world.

Tom Blake is a retired Dana Point business owner and resident who has authored books on middle-aged dating. See his website at To comment:

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