Each Friday, I publish a complimentary “On Life and Love after 50” blog. Recently, I featured a letter I felt was unusual. A woman wrote that at age 30, she became engaged to her doctor, whose marriage had recently ended. He was 59.

In her letter, she wrote that when he proposed, she insisted on a six-month, live-together trial, and if that worked out, she would marry him.

During the six months, they slept together, but he never held her hand or kissed her; there was no physical contact ever between the two. She felt the trial was a success. They married.

Immediately after the wedding, the doctor wanted sex. She was shocked, appalled, and ended the marriage.

There were many, varied responses to her story from my blog readers. One came from John, who has been widowed twice, “after two good marriages.”

John emailed, “I’m nearly 80, and every time I think I’ve heard it all regarding love relationships, something comes along to prove me wrong — such as your article today. The woman in the story must be totally unaware/naïve about how the world works — at least pertaining to how men and women relate to each other physically.

“I’m still actively dating and looking for a life partner. After several dates with a woman, and if it begins to look promising, we start digging down into the weeds of what we’re looking for in a partner.

“Eventually, I ask if she is interested in a physical relationship. Or, is she just seeking a friend for movies and dinners? I ask because having a physical relationship remains important to me.

“To illustrate how difficult expectations can be, I met a woman on a dating site two years ago who lives three hours away by car. My thinking was, if we were a good fit, it would be worth the drive.

“It turned out she oversees the caregivers who tend to her disabled sister, about a 10-minute drive from my home. I started seeing her when she was in town once or twice a month for six months.

“Then, she invited me to visit her at her home. I spent two nights with her and slept in a separate bedroom; there was no physical contact during the stay. We saw each other on and off when she visited her sister for about a year.

“She continued pursuing me and invited me to her home again, for three nights. I accepted. (Separate bedrooms again.)

“We were watching a TV movie the second night and I attempted to hold her hand, but she was not receptive. At dinner, the third night, I asked her if she was looking for a physical relationship because some women are not.

“She erupted and said, ‘All men are looking for only one thing!’ With that comment, I promptly left.

“We had no contact for six months when, out of the blue, she sent me an email apologizing for how she reacted and wanted to get together again. We did, but it was just not-to-be for me.”

An important point from John’s story and the story of the woman who married her doctor: Even at 70 or 80, physical contact is important to many men — and women.

Lesson for dating seniors: It’s best to discuss each person’s sexual expectations in the early dating stages of a potential relationship. At 80, we don’t have any time to waste.


For dating information, previous articles, or to sign up for Tom’s complimentary, weekly e-newsletter, go to www.findingloveafter50.com.

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