Friday, April 25, 2014

On Life and Love After 50: Gambling on Green a Risky Move

Can relocating for a greener, healthier lifestyle be enough for someone you haven’t met yet?

By Tom Blake

Sometimes, decisions older singles make as a result of being lonely or wanting to change their lives are questionable.

Today’s story is about a 70-year-old woman from Wisconsin, named Ruth, who falls under that category. Ruth asked for my opinion on her plans to relocate and live with a 68-year-old man she found on the Internet.

Ruth emailed, “A year and a half ago, I ‘met’ Gary, who resides in Nebraska, on a site called Green Singles. We began emailing each other and soon were talking by phone. I am willing to relocate, so after many conversations and delightful insights about our mutual goals and things we would like to do, I agreed to move to where he lives.”

My initial reaction was: I guess that’s OK, assuming that Ruth and Gary have spent enough time together to know each other well enough that being together 24/7 will work for them. But then I read more of her email. There was one major factor in Ruth’s story that troubled me.
Tom Blake. File photo
Tom Blake. File photo

She said, “We will meet for the first time on April 11. I will be going out there with a couple who will help with the driving. I have many supportive friends and family members excited to know how things turn out. Gary and I have agreed that after all of this time, we will be happy if it turns out to be friendship only. At our ages, that is a huge blessing. Wish us luck.

“Green Singles is a good site for folks who like a green, organic-type lifestyle, which we both want. We look forward to working together on the big garden and taking produce to the farmers markets in the area, traveling together in the fall and finding a used trailer that I can call my own which I will put on the property.”

I responded to Ruth: “Let me be sure I understand. You are moving and you haven’t met him in person?”

She wrote, “I am moving out there because it fits with my need to be in a dryer climate for my health, plus it will be a great adventure to learn organic-produce production, being part of the local farmers market scene and a chance to have a traveling companion.

“When meeting for the first time at his home, my friends will be with me, and because he and I have been talking for a year and a half, about every topic, sharing photos, goals, likes and dislikes, I feel OK about doing this. Not for the faint of heart though. I think we are good friends to begin with already and that helps. I am ready for this move. It has been easy to make this decision; implementing it has taken a while though, financially, etc.

“We both have similar health issues and are empathetic with that aspect of our relationship. I feel that I have so much to gain by doing this, much to lose if I stay in the rut I have been in.”

As a singles columnist for 20 years, I can’t fathom someone moving to another town, let alone another state, to live with a person one has never seen face-to-face. Why in the world didn’t she go visit him and spend at least a weekend together before just packing up and moving?

What if they don’t like each other? What if he’s dangerous?

I do not advocate people making major life changes to be with a person they have never met. I hope for Ruth her situation works out.

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