By Tom Blake
In response to my previous column—“Senior Sex, With or Without Commitment?”—a gentleman emailed, “I’m in my early 60s and widowed. I am starting my own journey after losing my wife to cancer earlier this year.
“Together for 44 years, committed to each other since we were teenagers and married soon after college, we were inseparable from the tender age of 17. Our relationship started so young, we were the only ones each of us had been intimate with, and we loved and valued that bond.
“She fought hard for five years and during that long goodbye, she made me promise that I would find love and happiness again.
“As two people in love and with an active sex drive, it was difficult for us when my wife’s illness prevented any kind of physical intimacy. But that was only one part of our relationship, and the other parts grew stronger to compensate. My love and commitment toward her were reason enough for me to put my sexual urges on the back burner as I focused on caring for her.
“After her passing, I knew there would be a time when I would resume being sexually active, but had no idea when I would feel ready and when I would find a woman I was attracted to.
“Fast forward to today, I am now dating a wonderful woman. As you would expect from two healthy adults who are attracted to each other, we have become physically intimate. The attraction is not just physical, but also emotional, and we are dating exclusively.
“That required a certain amount of trust from us both since neither one of us is interested in casual sex and had only known each other for a short time. We are both committed right now to the relationship and are hopeful it will work in the long term. At this point, I can’t say that I love her with all my heart, but we are close, and from what I have seen, it is very promising.
“At first, this intimacy was difficult for me, as I was feeling guilty and unfaithful even though I understood I was no longer married. I had always expected I would only have one sexual partner in my life and appreciated that idea, which is rare in the world. I will always love my late wife, but I have also come to realize that this does not prevent me from loving someone new.
“For me, it was physical attraction, and emotional closeness and trust, and a desire to become intimate with a woman again that allowed me to take the leap.”
Tom’s response: So, here I am, writing the second column in a row on senior sex and commitment, a topic that makes me a tad uncomfortable. In the 11 years of writing for this newspaper, I’ve only mentioned senior sex a handful of times.
However, this widower’s words were so mature, sensitive, and sincere—on a topic many widowed and divorced people eventually ponder—that I felt it important to once again step outside my comfort zone and fulfill my journalistic duty of reporting on a subject so significant to senior singles.
“To my loyal readers, I am deeply saddened to report that my life partner of 25 years, Greta Cohn, passed away on Oct. 29 from a neurological condition. No services or visitations are planned at this time.”
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.