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By Tom Blake

The Internet is a valuable tool for singles over 50 to reach out beyond their social circle and meet potential mates who might live a block away, in another city, another state or even in a different country. Without the Internet, meeting these people would likely never happen.

The majority of online encounters create long-distance relationships, which can be difficult because it’s hard to get to know the real person when you only see each other occasionally. Plus, you don’t know if someone else is involved.

Brenda is 69, divorced, and has been meeting men online for seven years. She is a retired critical care nurse who describes herself as “self sufficient, home owner, great cook, world traveler, art collector, kind, supporting and caring, totally stable.”

She said, “I recently met a wonderful man on Chemistry.com. He has a gentle soul and after a 29-year marriage in which his wife offered only criticism, not any kudos for his loving ways, he got both of his children through college and then walked out. He knew there had to be a better life with a woman who appreciated him.”

Brenda likes that he is not afraid to express his thoughts about the way she makes him feel. “Everyone wants to know they are appreciated, even for small spontaneous gestures. You get that warm, fuzzy feeling inside when that happens,” Brenda said.

“We have a strong emotional connection. Nothing physical yet; he told me he wanted to go slow and enjoy the ‘get-to-know-you period,’ which is fine with me.”

They live 100 miles apart, but still have managed to see each other five times. She was optimistic that they had a future together.

They were supposed to meet last Sunday night for dinner. She said, “We communicated Saturday morning. Everything was great. He said he would call Saturday at 9 p.m. He didn’t. All kinds of things went through my head: Was he in an accident? Had he lost his phone? Was he with someone else?”

Brenda got her answer Sunday morning: “He called to tell me he had a date with another lady and had just gotten home! I didn’t know he was seeing another woman,” Brenda said.

“He had no remorse or guilt. He said they were trying ‘it’ out to see if they were compatible in that area! Trust is big with me. He wants us to continue seeing each other.”

She asked for my opinion.

I knew she was hurt and still had hopes for a relationship. Without question, I thought she should dump him, but instead I said, “Let the dust settle, you will figure it out.”

Because of the 100 miles between them, they couldn’t meet face-to-face to discuss what had happened.

Brenda pondered the situation for a few hours. Then, she emailed, “I won’t have any connection with him anymore. Being a nurse, and knowing of the increase of STDs in the over-60 age group, I am adamant on testing. What I now know of his promiscuity, I don’t want anything to do with him. It’s not worth my health and safety.”

Good decision Brenda. Long-distance relationships can be challenging.

To comment: tompblake@gmail.com

Tom Blake is a San Clemente resident and Dana Point business owner who has authored three books on middle-aged dating. For dating information: www.finding;oveafter50.com. To comment: tompblake@gmail.com.

Meet and Greet location: www.tutorandspunkys.com

The next 50-plus singles Meet and Greet is Thursday, December 13, at 5 p.m. at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli. www.tutorandspunkys.com

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