By Tom Blake
This January, I wrote an online column about LAT (living apart together) relationships. In the article, I quoted a male reader, who said the 1976 song “I’d Really Like to See You Tonight” by England Dan and John Ford Coley, described his relationship with his woman friend perfectly.
A woman, age 69, whose name I am withholding, emailed a response to the man’s comment.
She wrote, “The older and wiser I become, the more I understand how it’s been a man’s world, and that song started irritating me, when I realized it was about a noncommittal, friend-with-benefits arrangement, which men are always looking for. It’s the same for senior men as young men.
Somewhere in their middle ages, men are able to commit and settle into a real relationship, albeit many cheat even when committed. Then after the divorce, which they usually blame the wife for, they go back to their youth when it was all about ‘getting some’ with no commitment.
I’ve spent the last couple of years dumping guys (in their 60s) who made it clear that’s all they want. It has made me feel I am not worthy of a man’s true love and commitment.
The LAT (living apart together) relationship is perfect for men. They can do whatever they want when you’re apart. The woman may be sitting in her own house, painting pictures, but I doubt if the man is doing that; he’s probably on the dating sites checking out the candy store (as men have told me they see it), especially now when there are so many single old ladies to single old men. I am not cynical, just realistic.”
Note from Tom: Regarding LAT relationships, more senior women than men tell me they prefer a LAT-relationship arrangement.
She continued, “I have nice male friends who still are old-fashioned enough to want a traditional relationship, and that’s what I would like.”
If you’re going to spend most of your time with someone anyway, why not have the financial benefits of sharing expenses and the legal benefits of having the doctors consult your significant other in an emergency?
I don’t see why two people can’t live together and still have their separate interests and separate rooms, etc. To each his own, but personally I want someone I can go to sleep with every night and wake up with every morning, and not wonder if it’s ok to call them because they might be busy doing whatever.
I don’t blame men for their wandering eye because it’s biologically programmed in them to spread their seed and produce children, so the urge to mate is very strong. What I’ve seen is that a woman needs to keep a man close to her and be available because, as the Stephen Stills song says, ‘If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.’
I interpret those lyrics to mean that men need to be near the one they love, or their eye wanders, a natural thing, but this behavior can ultimately break up the relationship.
With every man I meet, there is always something ‘wrong,’ and I’m just getting lonelier and more independent. The last one I recently met at one of the places I go to dance. It was the first time in four-five years I felt a real connection with someone, and he was so into me.
After a couple of days of dancing and some long phone conversations, he found out I am four years older than he, and he said he needs to have someone in their 50s. I am 69 and he is 65. I couldn’t believe it! So, life goes on…”
Remember, that email was sent to me in January.
This week, she emailed, “I have removed myself from all dating sites and decided I’m over the whole thing of trying to find a man; all of them have been crazy in one way or another.”
Comment from Tom: When people blame others for their lack of dating success, the first action they need to take is to look in the mirror.
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 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.