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By Tom Blake
Most single seniors I know would relish being in a romantic relationship. But many of them are realistic, recognizing that finding romantic love becomes more difficult as they age, and consequently, it may not happen.
But that doesn’t preclude enjoying a loving, non-romantic relationship.
Today, Althea shares details of her non-romantic relationship.
Althea wrote, “I’ve had a 10-year relationship with my friend Bill. We met online and had our first date in August 2012. It was on a Tuesday; he was coming from a job and was a bit grimy and sweaty—he does handyman work and construction.
“I didn’t mind the grime; he had already warned me, and he was quite nice! A welcome change from the duds I had been meeting. He had a sense of humor and a nice, dimpled smile. He was 44, and I was 63—a 19-year difference. He thought I was 53. (That’s when I was lowering my age by 10 years on the dating sites and easily getting away with it. That wouldn’t work now).
“Bill thought I was seven years older and told me he liked older women. Eventually I told him my real age. He didn’t mind the bigger age-gap.
“When we met, he was just three months out of his marriage, and he told me it was in the divorce process.
“We loved dogs, the outdoors, and he had a good sense of humor. But that’s pretty much all we had in common, plus our lifestyles were much different, due to our ages and living situations.
“Bill has always had his own business as a handyman. He made very little money, and his wife rarely worked, so he was their sole support. At one point, they had to move into his parents’ house when his girls were young. He was still living there when we met; I realized he was never going to make enough money to afford living on his own.
“We have never been intimate, except for kissing. I was afraid I would end up supporting him. Also, he never got a divorce, because his business was in both his name and his wife’s name. We got along well and dated for a few months. I realized he was not going to be the forever-man for me, because we were in totally different places in our lives that didn’t mesh. The dating ended, but we kept in touch. He still wanted a relationship; I still wanted a friendship.
“For 10 years, he’s been a good friend. Each time I relocated, he’s been there to help me pack and move.
“I’ve always paid him. This May, he drove me to my storage unit, packed it into his truck and brought it back 85 miles to my new storage unit and unpacked it.
“He now pops over to say hi when he’s working in the area. On Wednesday, I invited him to come to have my meatloaf dinner with me, and afterward he took me for an evening sunset ride in his 2004 Mercedes convertible.
“When he brought me home, as he was hugging me goodbye outside in the cool evening air, he said, “I love you.” I was a bit stunned, but smiled at him and said spontaneously, “I love you, too!”
Tom’s comment: Althea has managed this relationship well. She had the common sense to not get into a living-together or intimate relationship. It wasn’t only the 19-year age difference that was a roadblock. It also was the lack of many important things in common.
And yet, after 10 years, they have remained friends, and professed their non-romantic love to one another. They are there for each other and help each other.
Another woman, Brenda, said, “I have an unromantic love relationship. My man friend and I have played very important roles in each other’s lives and shared many laughs and tears. We have confided things to each other that we’ve never discussed with others. I wouldn’t trade his friendship for anything.”
Non-romantic love can be priceless.
Tom Blake is a retired Dana Point business owner and resident who has authored books on middle-aged dating. See his website at findingloveafter50.com. To comment: firstname.lastname@example.org.