By Tom Blake
A woman walked up to me at the San Juan Capistrano Costco last week and said, “I read your dating columns. Why don’t you write more about single men?”
I said, “Because I don’t hear much from men.” And wouldn’t you know it? When I got home, there were emails from four men, ages 62, 77, 81 and 91.
John, 62, divorced, wrote me after reading last week’s On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter in which I quoted snippets of an email from a woman in North Carolina named Lynne. She was bemoaning the difficulty of being single later in life and the lack of available men. One thing she said was, “Very few men talk about women in positive ways.”
John said, “Lynne is doing exactly what she feels men do—talking badly about the opposite sex. I strongly suspect her negative view of men is not helping her find a suitable partner.”
Tom’s comment: Often, male readers of my columns don’t comment unless they read something that irks them. Such is the case with John. Whenever he emails me, it’s often the result of something a woman said that he perceives as negative (And, he’s usually right).
John, 77, a widower, emailed, “I live in Sacramento and have been widowed twice (18-year marriage and 23-year marriage). After my last wife’s funeral, my son asked if I ever thought about moving back to Southern Orange County. My plan is to move by July 2018.
I’m very active as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in Sacramento and would like to continue that with the Orange County Habitat for Humanity.
I’ve done some online dating, but it hasn’t been satisfying. It’s probably too soon as my wife is still very much in my head and heart, so I will give it another year or so before I try dating.”
Tom’s comment: Some widowers don’t understand they need to grieve and heal before joining the dating world. John tried it, but he discovered it was too soon for him. Wise man. He’ll know when he’s ready, but it’s not today. Maybe, by the time he moves to South Orange County, he’ll be ready to meet one of our lovely women down here.
Dave, 81, also a widower, wrote, “I have a quandary. I am on two dating sites, have listed my real age of 81. The ladies who respond are usually my age…and with no disrespect, but they are my age. My cardiac surgeon calls me his 65-year-old, 81-year-old. I’m blessed with my mother’s genes.
Several online dating sites advised me to adjust my age, then communicate my true age up front when there is a connection. Yup, I have a quandary.”
Tom’s comment: Wow, it is usually the women who fret over revealing their actual age, not a guy. In Dave’s case, hey, he’s just trying to get his foot in the door, realizing that women, when they see him, won’t care that he is 81 (unless he told them he’s 61, then that’s a stretch). The first thing he must do when he initially meets a woman face-to-face is reveal his true age. No more quandary.
Les, 91, also a widower, emailed, “I read your article in the June 23-29 Dana Point Times about Different Kinds of Relationships. I may be interested in a LAT (Living Apart Together) relationship.
“My wife and I had a good relationship, we missed 50 years by three months. Currently, it’s my frame of mind holding me back. The ‘effort’ is just not there yet. In time, I know I will improve.
From your experience, what now? How do I meet a friend?”
Tom’s comment: “Meeting a new friend will take a little effort, but believe me, it can and will happen. My partner, Greta, saw your picture in the newspaper and said, “Les is a very handsome man.” (An article titled, American Pride, which featured Les, appeared in the same June 22-28 San Clemente Times newspaper on the same page as my column). So, already Les, you will be off to a good start when you decide to venture out.
The article stated, “One way is to get involved in a few new activities. A handsome, single man your age, will have no trouble meeting women who might enjoy a LAT relationship.”
Tom’s comment: Les understands that he isn’t ready to start dating, but he’s thinking about it. Will he find a woman who will want a companion but who will be willing to live apart? I think he will.
So, to the woman who asked me in Costco why I don’t write about single men, she’ll be happy to know her question prompted an article about older single men in this paper the very next week.
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. To receive Tom’s weekly online newsletter, sign up at www.findingloveafter50.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.