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By Tom Blake
In my previous article, I wrote about a widower, age 75, whose wife passed away two years ago. He’s trying online dating again after being shunned by a widow he met at church.
He said he met a woman on the website, OurTime, who lives 845 miles away. He was going to send her airfare to visit him.
I suggested that instead of sending her airfare, he should look for a woman who lives closer to him. Getting involved in a long-distance relationship is too much effort for a man his age.
Readers responded, sharing their opinions about seniors and long-distance dating.
Cynthia emailed: “Forget about long-distance relationships! If you can’t meet people in person within a 50-mile circumference, then it’s not worth it. You need to simply look around your own town, church, neighborhood, grocery store, club, senior center or wherever you go for entertainment.”
Art said, “This man should be able to meet eligible women within an easy driving distance from where he lives. I am in a relationship with a lady I met online, and she lives only 15 minutes from me.”
Susan chimed in: “When I was off work for a few months, I volunteered at our senior center. I was never lonely there. Lots of seniors hanging around, wanting someone to talk with.”
Joanie stated, “This 75-year-old man should make sure he looks extra good, smells nice, wears fitting, well-cut clothes, gets a haircut and takes care of his skin. And, then, he should take ballroom dance lessons. There are tons of wonderful single women who dance, most looking for a nice man. And there is a shortage of men. He will meet someone quickly.”
Gina said, “Potential mates should be within 50 miles and willing to meet within a few weeks of making a connection via text-messaging and phone.”
Linda felt differently; she said, “I think he should visit the woman 845 miles away, see where and how she lives. You can tell a lot about the person based on how he or she lives.”
Shelley said, “Yes, indeed; loneliness can cloud a widowed person’s thinking. I lost my beloved husband of 39 years five years ago. My judgment was impaired for at least two and a half years! The widower is not thinking clearly. He should look for a woman he can meet in person and not have to send plane fare to. That has scam written all over it. And falling in love with someone you’ve never met face-to-face is not possible.”
My four tips for senior long-distance dating:
- 1. Focus on what’s near you. There are many options for seniors to meet a potential mate. Meetup.com has endless choices, and there’s no cost, and senior centers will have like-minded people. Volunteering is a great way to pay it forward and meet people at the same time.
- 2. If you internet date, perhaps the suggested 50-mile dating radius is a good rule. However, it depends. Do they still drive? What happens if they become a couple? Who moves? Or, does the relationship become a Living Apart Together (LAT) relationship?
- 3. Seniors must realize there are lots of scammers online, even on the most reputable senior dating sites, such as OurTime, Match.com and eHarmony.com. Regardless of what the sites claim, scammers slip through the cracks and target vulnerable, lonely seniors.
- 4. When you connect with someone who lives near you, the two of you can meet in person and decide if there is a mutual attraction, without the challenges and expense of traveling long distances. Keep your search as close to home as reasonable.
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 http://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.