By Tom Blake
With 2016 coming to a close, three senior single women share their thoughts on dating, relationships and life as they look ahead to 2017.
Jane wrote, “While I still enjoy your column after several years, I’m not seriously into looking for a mate these days. After a long marriage to a controlling man, I’m enjoying putting myself first for once in my life.
“While I’m open to men, I don’t think I want to hang my happiness on anyone else’s hook. I’m busy with preschool grandchildren I watch full-time, and various clubs. I don’t want the stress of the hunt, and I feel bad for women who feel they have no self-esteem unless they are in a relationship.
“I’ve had my health problems, as we all have, and don’t want to be a caretaker for someone I don’t have a lifetime invested in. I wouldn’t want someone new to be my caretaker, either.
“So, these days I read the column more than respond to it, but appreciate all your efforts, and the time you spend trying to help other people be happy.”
Mary Lou from South Orange County isn’t concerned about dating in 2017. Instead, she is occupied with where she might choose to live.
One son lives in Denver with his wife and two young daughters. They would love to have her move to be near them. Mary Lou has lived in the Denver area before and loves what she calls “the Denver vibe.” She will be with them in Denver over the Christmas holidays.
But, she has another son who lives in San Diego with his wife and three of Mary Lou’s grandchildren. She doesn’t see them as often as she would like.
Mary Lou works at home using Skype so she can live wherever she chooses and still retain her job.
Mary Lou said, “When my Denver son kept asking me to move to Denver, I began to feel like one of those people in those stories where they keep looking one way for something, and yet, if they would just look over their shoulder in the other direction, there would be the answer! Know what I mean?
“I have friends in Orange County through my water aerobics class and my book discussion groups at the library. I am a bit limited physically because of severe arthritis in my knee, and I am looking at knee replacement, probably this next year. Otherwise, I appear to be pretty healthy, lucky me.
“I will do a pros-and-cons-of-moving list after I return from this latest Denver visit. I even had a couple of romances in Denver and am very attracted to a church there.”
In Mary Lou’s case, her biggest challenge in 2017 will be deciding to move or to stay put. She said, “There are so many weekends that I am wishing to be with my grandkids. Dating and seeking a mate will have to wait.”
Shelley, San Diego, emailed, “I have no trouble meeting men. But mostly they are unacceptable to me. I am a widow of almost three years and nine months. After losing my husband, I began dating. I joined two dating sites, met a married man and many losers.
“I am financially secure, healthy, fit and attractive. A retired teacher. I do volunteer work and have many friends. I have a lot to offer but I am soon going to be giving up looking for a relationship!”
For 2017, I urge singles to be optimistic and to pursue life with a positive attitude. And to remember this: Being single isn’t so bad. Over the years, women readers have shared their reasons why:
One said, “I’ve been married and unhappy and single and unhappy, and single and unhappy is better because I can more easily do something about my situation.” By that, she meant she can get out and involved in activities she enjoys. But when you’re married and unhappy, to get out means going through the divorce train-wreck first.
Another woman said, “Why should I live with a man? I already have a job.”
A third added, “I never knew true happiness until I remarried, but then it was too late.”
Whatever path you choose in 2017, be happy.
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.findingloveafter50.com; www.vicsta.com and www.travelafter55.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.