Friday, October 2, 2015

How critical is chemistry in senior relationships?

On Life and Love after 50 newsletter

Tom P. Blake October 2, 2015

A widower needs advice. He wrote, "My question has to do with female chemistry.  My wife passed away suddenly two years ago. I was married for 50 years to the love of my life. I am 72.

"I met a lovely lady on and have been seeing her for four months. We both work so it is usually on the weekends when we get together. She was widowed  six years ago after a 37-year marriage to the love of her life. She is 65.

"We have an incredible number of things in common and wonder how we never met as we ran in the same circle of friends. I am the first man she has dated and she is the second woman I have dated. I liked the first woman I dated but we were from different worlds and we parted as friends after two months.

"The woman I am seeing now is terrific.  We talk a lot about our spouses, which seems to be the best "counseling" for both of us. We said from the beginning that we would be open and honest with each other.

"Now to that point of all of this: we are in no hurry to have sex but both seem to enjoy being together, holding hands, and cuddling very affectionately. Two weeks ago, after having dinner at my house and cuddling, she telephoned the next morning. She told me she was going to tell me this the night before but could not bring herself to do it, which is why she called.

"Her call was to tell me that she liked me and enjoyed my company and was not saying goodbye, but that she felt no real chemistry. This blew me away considering her behavior the night before. What do I do?

"Is there a magic bullet to light her chemistry or is there no real chemistry when you get to be so old?

"I really want to be with this lady but it is awkward knowing she doesn't feel the same way about me as I thought she did. I have always been a fighter for what I want and I want her in my life.

"Is female chemistry so different from men's? I don't know if what I feel is chemistry or just a strong longing. I think of chemistry of what I felt when I met my wife; maybe that was chemistry and lust. I was much younger then.

"Any suggestions would be better than anything I have come up with."

I responded: "I would not do anything different, at least for now. Enjoy her and see where it goes. It's good that you are attracted to her. You wouldn't be interested if you weren't attracted to her. There is no magic wand that you can wave.

"Yes, you want to be with her, but be a little less available and she might start to realize what she has in you, which might perk up her attraction for you. Just be cool about it and listen to what she has to say.

"I assure you! There is chemistry as you get older! Over time, if this lack of mutual attraction continues, it could become a deal breaker for you, then you will have to make a decision."

A week went by.  He had two more dates with her.  Her position didn't change. She told him that maybe her husband had treated her so well that she might never change.

He asked her to reserve Saturday nights as date night. But she had plans on two upcoming Saturdays.

I took a little stronger position in my second response. I said that at least she is being honest with him. He is the first man she has dated and perhaps she is simply proceeding cautiously. Or, maybe that spark just isn't there for her, which is what she said.

I said to him that a man of 72 has a strong chance of meeting a fine woman who would be attracted to him and perhaps he should spread his wings a bit. I would hate to see him wait around for her, only to find that she will never change and to have his heart broken again. Still see her but date around a bit; maybe check out again.

I think he is a little too available.  Plus, for a relationship to work, each person needs to make the other a top priority, and that includes from the chemistry standpoint as well.

I am curious what both women and men have to say here.

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