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Listen to your heart, hold your head high and refuse to settle 

Tom Blake. File photo
Tom Blake. File photo

By Tom Blake

Finding love after 50 is difficult, especially for women. Despite this reality, most women refuse to compromise their standards. They would rather be alone than accept a relationship that is not right. They often say, “I won’t settle.”

But some women are willing to settle and it’s hard for them to break away. Liz is one of them.

She wrote, “I met someone at work. We have been dating for six months and it’s going well. We no longer work together.

“I fell in love with him, but he tells me that he is not in love with me. I have no choice but to accept this feeling. I casually asked a while ago if he would want to live together. He said he will never live with me. I was very surprised.

“He also said he would never marry me. He feels he is too old. He is 62 and I am 60. This further hurt me. He has never married but was involved in relationships with women and says he was very loyal. He told me he asked the last woman he was dating—for many years, and not living together—to marry him. She refused. Now, she calls him and wants to get back together. He told me that is impossible, but I don’t know why they broke up.

“I find him very rigid and set in his ways. I told him to relax. I’m a divorcee without children. We both like cats too. I’m still dating him but at the same time trying to lose weight so I can get back to meeting people..

“We are friends and have been intimate but I still feel the hurt from the rejection. He has been living in the same house for 45 years. I have never been to his apartment. He said it was small and a mess. He also says he has a single bed. He was a mama’s boy, but she is gone now.

“I like his qualities. He’s very intelligent and giving to his students. He always takes me out to dinner by the sea, has come to my place whenever he gets an extra day off, is fun to talk to and is a real gentleman. I love that part a lot. He is not dating anyone else and I like that as well. He said to just understand that for the next four years, until he retires, nothing will happen since he works six full days a week and lives 80 miles north of me. His job is 15 miles from where he lives.

“I want a good, loving man who wants to get married and is right for me. If not, then living together with a legal, signed agreement is good. I don’t want to live separately any more from my male friend.”

Response:

There is plenty wrong with this picture, and chances are if it feels wrong, then it is.

They’ve been dating for six months and she feels the relationship is going well? Despite his telling her he isn’t in love with her, that he will never live with her and will never marry her? And she’s never been to his house? That’s an unusual definition of things going well.

And she feels she has no choice in the matter? That’s pretty sad. This is a classic case of a woman being willing to settle just to have a man in her life.

He has been single and dating and lived in the same apartment for 45 years with just a single bed? That’s not very accommodating to women.

There is one positive in the relationship: they both like cats.

I don’t mean to be harsh on Liz. Give her credit. She is willing to invest time in improving herself. By writing to me, she asked for help. She needs a booster shot of self-esteem.

Liz’s boyfriend doesn’t want to drive an extra 130 miles six days a week. I can’t fault him for that. But does she want four more years of similar treatment? If he feels he’s too old to marry now, I doubt if he will think differently in four years.

As long as Liz hangs her hopes on him, her life is going to be pretty miserable. She should listen to the women who say, “I won’t settle.”

To comment: tompblake@gmail.com.

Tom Blake is a Dana Point business owner and San Clemente resident who has authored books on middle-aged dating. See his website at www.findingloveafter50.com.

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