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By Tom Blake
In my most recent column, I featured Brenda, a widow, 68, who had soured on men and the overall dating scene for women age 60-plus.
In the article, I suggested she soften her opinion regarding the single men she is meeting, which brought some eye-opening responses from single women.
Joan said, “Your advice is generally very helpful but you can’t possibly see the reality of the dating world from the eyes of a 68-year-old woman. I am generally an optimist as well as I love men.
“However, I am also a realist, and what I have concluded is that finding a decent compatible man over 65 is a case of a needle in a haystack. I haven’t given up yet at 67 but my eyes are seeing more clearly what the truth is.”
Joan is right. I cannot see the world through the eyes of a 68-year-old woman. Nor through the eyes of any age 60-plus single man or woman who has lost a spouse or a loved one later in life. I can only try to understand and be compassionate.
An email from Ann, 70, described the dating challenges she faces.
Ann said, “I was widowed eight years ago. After about a year, I decided that I could lessen my grief if I had a male friend. I decided to try a couple of online dating sites. I found the men to be rude. One widower said his wife had received a prestigious award from the governor. Was I of that caliber?
“Another man sent me messages (even after) I told him he was too young. He was at least 20 years younger and apparently a member of a traveling rock band.
“Another man made himself available for conversing only at 6 a.m. His ‘story’ was that he was married, but his wife was disabled. He asked in his emails, ‘Do you dye your hair? Do you wear a lot of makeup?’
“I did go out with one man who was very nice, but married. Obviously, I ended that.”
Ann stated she did volunteer work, took master gardening classes and joined a gardening group, but not one available man showed an interest in her at these events.
She added, “I admit I am an introvert, but I have accepted that in myself, and like that about myself, and a man would have to accept that in me as well.
“I am reasonably attractive and not overweight. I don’t smoke, and I rarely drink, although I am not judgmental about these habits in others.
“I have limited my social activities now. I walk my dog in the park often, and I see men my age there walking their dogs or just walking for exercise. I’m sure some of them are married, but some of them must be single. I smile at everyone I walk near, but only one man has stopped to talk briefly.
“I am not looking for a man with money to support me. I also am not looking for a husband. I am looking for a friend, a man to be friendly and nonjudgmental.
“Tom, don’t advise me to get out more and be more outgoing. I am who I am. Realize that women my age do not want to spend all their time knitting and making casseroles for church potlucks. We still want a relationship, and we still want sex. The ‘invisible woman syndrome’ is not a myth. It is a very painful reality.”
I empathize with Joan and Ann and the dating challenges they face as mature women.
I have updated www.findingloveafter50.com with a new look. Please check it out and email me your comments.
I will be the guest moderator of the Third Sunday Local Author Lecture Series at THE Bookstore at the San Juan Capistrano Library, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2:30 p.m. Author PJ Adams will be discussing the Intoxicating Paris series of books. Thinking of visiting Paris? Lots of great information. Call 949.218.4512. for more information.
Tom Blake is a Dana Point resident and a former Dana Point businessman who has authored several books on middle-aged dating. See his websites at www.findingloveafter60.com; www.Vicsta.com and www.Travelafter55.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.