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By Tom Blake
As senior singles emerge from the pandemic, most would like to meet a mate. Many have asked me for advice on how to begin, where to go, and what to do. Perhaps the most important piece of advice I can offer comes from 14 years ago and is still significant today.
Last week, I received an email from Patricia, who first contacted me in 2007. She wanted to update me on the changes she and her husband have endured during the past 14 years and how they are dealing with retirement during the pandemic.
I remember distinctly how Patricia met her husband in 2005, because their story was so unique. I liked their story so much that I included it in my How 50 Couples Found Love After 50 book, which was published in 2009. Their chapter is titled “Love on the Back of a Harley.”
In my archives, I found the email she had sent to me in 2007. She was 62 then. Her email detailed how she had met and married a man named Cowboy. His interests and lifestyle were dramatically different compared to what Patricia was seeking in a mate. The final two sentences of that 2007 email particularly got my attention.
She wrote: “Last month, on our second anniversary of when we first met in person, Cowboy and I were married. I truly love and adore this big ‘Biker,’ and I am proud to be his wife.
“Single senior women should not give up on finding that someone special. They should broaden their minds and consider the unexpected. I never expected to be some biker’s ‘Old Lady,’ but I’ve never been happier and more in love. Ladies, you should take more chances in meeting men.”
In rereading that email 14 years later, I thought to myself, “Patricia’s advice is still valid today, especially coming out of pandemic restrictions. Older singles can improve their chances of meeting a potential mate by jettisoning old stereotypes and beliefs, which can mean being open to people of different religious beliefs, ethnicities, income levels, family situations, people who wear tattoos or body piercings and, perhaps, have different political affiliations.
In last week’s email from Patricia, now 76, she sent an update on her and Cowboy, now 78.
“It’s time to seriously think about retirement. We are both working full-time and collecting Social Security. We just purchased a beautiful home in Montana, and we have put our California ranchette up for sale.
“Yes, we are doing it backward; we are moving from a warm state and a single-level home to a cold state and a two-story home. But, no more earthquakes, raging forest fires, horrendous mudslides, or high gas prices.
“We love Montana’s beauty. The edge of our new 1.5-acre lot drops down more than 300 feet to a creek with rainbow trout in it. If we get snowed in, we can just relax, and take advantage of our fully stocked pantry.
“Granted, riding the Harley year around isn’t a possibility up there, but we will have months when we can. Our new adventure is just getting started, and it all started when I took a chance and met a ‘Biker’ no one ever thought I would match with!”
Patricia added, “When online years ago, I read a profile that said, ‘Don’t let the biker thing scare you off, we are not a bad lot; you might want to meet me before you make a judgment. A lot of us are real nice men.’
“I took a chance and met my ‘Knight in Shining Armor.’ He just happens to ride a Harley.”
Patricia’s advice 14 years ago, to open one’s mind when meeting new people, can be just as effective today as it was back then.
Tom Blake is a retired Dana Point business owner and resident who has authored books on middle-aged dating. See his website at findingloveafter50.com. To comment: firstname.lastname@example.org.