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By Tom Blake
In my most recent column, I featured Brenda, a widow, 68, who had soured on men and the overall dating scene for women age 60-plus.
In the article, I suggested she soften her opinion regarding the single men she is meeting, which brought some eye-opening responses from single women.
Joan said, “Your advice is generally very helpful but you can’t possibly see the reality of the dating world from the eyes of a 68-year-old woman. I am generally an optimist as well as I love men.
“However, I am also a realist, and what I have concluded is that finding a decent compatible man over 65 is a case of a needle in a haystack. I haven’t given up yet at 67 but my eyes are seeing more clearly what the truth is.”
Joan is right. I cannot see the world through the eyes of a 68-year-old woman. Nor through the eyes of any age 60-plus single man or woman who has lost a spouse or a loved one later in life. I can only try to understand and be compassionate.
An email from Ann, 70, described the dating challenges she faces.
Ann said, “I was widowed eight years ago. After about a year, I decided that I could lessen my grief if I had a male friend. I decided to try a couple of online dating sites. I found the men to be rude. One widower said his wife had received a prestigious award from the governor. Was I of that caliber?
“Another man sent me messages (even after) I told him he was too young. He was at least 20 years younger and apparently a member of a traveling rock band.
“Another man made himself available for conversing only at 6 a.m. His ‘story’ was that he was married, but his wife was disabled. He asked in his emails, ‘Do you dye your hair?’ Do you wear a lot of makeup?’
“I did go out with one man who was very nice, but married. Obviously, I ended that.”
Ann stated she did volunteer work, took master gardening classes and joined a gardening group, but not one available man showed an interest in her at these events.
She added, “I admit I am an introvert, but I have accepted that in myself, and like that about myself, and a man would have to accept that in me as well.
“I am reasonably attractive and not overweight. I don’t smoke, and I rarely drink, although I am not judgmental about these habits in others.
“I have limited my social activities now. I walk my dog in the park often, and I see men my age there walking their dogs or just walking for exercise. I’m sure some of them are married, but some of them must be single. I smile at everyone I walk near, but only one man has stopped to talk briefly.
“I am not looking for a man with money to support me. I also am not looking for a husband. I am looking for a friend, a man to be friendly and nonjudgmental.
“Tom, don’t advise me to get out more and be more outgoing. I am who I am. Realize that women my age do not want to spend all their time knitting and making casseroles for church potlucks. We still want a relationship, and we still want sex. The ‘invisible woman syndrome’ is not a myth. It is a very painful reality.”
I empathize with Joan and Ann and the dating challenges they face as mature women.
I have updated www.findingloveafter50.com with a new look. Please check it out and email me your comments.
Tom Blake will be the guest moderator of the Third Sunday Local Author Lecture Series at THE Bookstore at the San Juan Capistrano Library, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2:30 p.m. Author PJ Adams will be discussing the Intoxicating Paris series of books. Thinking of visiting Paris? Lots of great information. Call 949.218.4512. for more information.
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 at www.findingloveafter60.com; www.Vicsta.com and www.Travelafter55.com. Email: email@example.com.