- Written by Tom Blake Tom Blake
Danielle (name changed by request), 74, recently emailed, “I have been reading your articles for years. Partly because of your encouragement, I recently found love in my 70s online. I’d like your opinion regarding a new relationship I’m in.
“For seniors, it is hit or miss with internet dating sites. I was on and off different sites for 12 years. Before online dating evolved, I met a man from a newspaper ad. That relationship lasted 10 years.
“Recently, I was online for only a month. I saw the profile of a man, 68, living in the town next to where I live. He mentioned that he didn’t drink, which is important to me.
“What I did differently this time was have my picture taken at a department store, so when men asked me how recent my picture was, I could honestly say, ‘It’s current.’
“I contacted him. We met for coffee and hit it off right away. We’ve been together for four months. He is the kindest man I have ever met. For Christmas, he gave me a 55-inch smart TV with a beautiful stand and emerald-and-diamond earrings.
“For my birthday in October, he gave me a diamond-chip necklace. I thought the expensive gifts meant the relationship was getting stronger.
“However, there has been a change. He was at my house this evening, mounting the TV on the wall. Imagine my surprise when he said he would be more comfortable if we would only see each other twice a week, sometimes three times a week.
“The only time he ever lived with a woman was when he was married, and that was a long time ago. He has lived alone in his house for 22 years. I guess he is a loner and interested in only having a part-time girlfriend. If a relationship seems too good to be true, sometimes it is.
“I am going to still see him because I’d rather be with someone kind and generous part-time than the unknown. What’s your opinion?”
Tom’s reply to Danielle:
1. I like your attitude, enthusiasm, and wisdom. I agree with your decision to stay with him. And who knows? As he appreciates you more, he may say, ‘Three days a week, and occasionally four days.’ He wouldn’t have given you those incredible gifts if he didn’t care.
2. Senior love is challenging, sometimes difficult, and different when compared to our younger years. All of us bring baggage into a new relationship. For example, ex-spouses could be still lingering or kids or grandkids could present challenges. Or, we may have health issues. Is he OK with your age difference?
3. Most single seniors — not all — don’t want to get married again (some have never married). Most want to stay in their own home if they are blessed enough to own one. LAT (living apart together) relationships are becoming more and more common among seniors.
4. Single seniors don’t need to be together daily. Most cherish their independence — but not to the degree that it damages their relationships.
5. We don’t want drama. We want fun and happiness.
6. However, we demand an exclusive relationship. Are you certain he isn’t married or seeing someone else?
7. Most older adults love hugs. One thing almost all of us crave is having a warm, affectionate, caring, understanding, communicative, and huggable mate. We want and need companionship. And you have that with this man.
8. Let the relationship be for now. Appreciate him. Roll with the flow and keep an eye on how the relationship progresses. If warning signs or red flags surface, you may have a difficult decision to make.
For dating information, previous articles, or to sign up for Tom’s complimentary, weekly e-newsletter, go to findingloveafter50.com.