50plus LIFE – Feb 14, 2016
On Life and Love after 50
By Tom P. Blake
Greetings, Introductions, and Tom’s 10 tips for finding a mate
I am honored, especially on Valentine’s Day, to be introduced to your newspaper. I have a warm spot in my heart for Pennsylvania. My mother was born in Erie.
My column started when two female editors in Dana Point, Calif., gave me my first writing assignment. I had just gone through a divorce and thought dating would be easy. It turned out to be difficult, and I wrote about the frustrations of a single guy in his early 50s trying to date again.
I complained and whined that younger women wouldn’t go out with me and women my age expected me to pay for dates.
The editors felt that the single women in Southern California would have a field day taking potshots at my woe-is-me message.
They were right. When my first column ran, a woman said: “Who is this sniveling puke?” Another said, “Get the boy a crying towel.”
Women told me my writing became less controversial and more palatable when I started dating my life partner, Greta.
I’ve written approximately 3,500 articles and newsletters on finding love, in the later years, and writing on this topic has been good to me. I’ve published four books and have been interview by Matt Lauer on the Today show and Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America—humbling.
My writing scope has broadened from finding love after 50 to “On life and love after 50,” as older singles deal with life issues often beyond the scope of just dating and seeking love.
My advice is applicable to anyone age 50 to 90. Yes, I know people in their 90s who have found love who can show affection towards each other similar to a couple of teenagers.
While my articles target singles, approximately 35 percent of my readers are married. Many tell me that reading about the hardships singles endure encourages them to appreciate their spouses more and they work harder at making their marriages last.
My advice to married couples is usually pretty simple: Stay together and work out the issues.
Let’s have fun together. Maybe we can help some older singles find love. But to continue writing about senior dating, I need input from readers—your questions, comments, and stories about life and love after 50.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond within a day or two, unless I am traveling overseas, which Greta and I try to do while we are healthy enough to go. Who knows? We might include you in a column.
One thing is certain: As more and more people become single later in life—due to divorce or the loss of a spouse—there are always new and challenging issues.
People often tell me, I never thought I’d be single at this stage in my life.” My hope is to help as many of them as possible.
My life partner Greta and I had dinner with a 78-year-old widower friend of ours after Christmas. As we were leaving the restaurant, he said, “I don’t want to be alone anymore. But I don’t know how to meet a potential mate. What do you advise?”
I put together a list that would help him get started. I call it Tom’s 10 tips for finding a mate. The tips apply to both men and women.
1. Let friends, family and acquaintances know that you’d like to meet other singles. That’s what Ken did with me. He let me know that he was rejoining the human race and wanted to meet new people. The more people he gets the word out to, the better his chances of finding someone. It’s called networking. And it works.
A week after Ken asked for advice, I received an email from a single woman in his city. I asked each one of them separately if they’d like to correspond. They said yes. Had Ken not mentioned his situation to me, I wouldn’t have thought about introducing them.
2. Get off the couch and out of the house. You won’t meet anybody sitting at home. You need to be where you will meet new people. Sure, it takes energy and time, but it will give you a purpose. Attend weddings, reunions, church activities, dances and accept all invitations to events. Volunteer. Another widower I know volunteers at a nearby hospital twice a week and helps feed the homeless at his brother’s church twice a month. He’s met single women at both places.
3. Go out to enrich your life and meet new people. Do not go out solely to find a mate. People looking too hard come off as desperate, and end up turning off the opposite sex. Often, it’s when we aren’t looking that we meet someone special.
4. Pursue activities you enjoy where both sexes are involved. For guys repairing old cars, you likely won’t meet a potential mate. Ditto for women who are quilting.
5. Get the body moving. Walk and exercise. Be friendly to folks you see along the way. Offer to walk with them if appropriate.
6. Keep expectations in check. Meeting a potential mate won’t be easy but don’t give up. It takes time.
7. Internet dating is one method of meeting potential mates. For people living in remote areas, online dating may be a necessity to meet new people. For people 50-plus, online dating is risky. There are scammers and evil people looking for vulnerable and lonely singles. However, it has worked for lots of couples. If a guy online sounds too good to be true, he is. Trust your instincts. Don’t be naïve.
8. Smile and be friendly, positive and upbeat. If you are in a post-office line, or a grocery-store line, be assertive by striking up a conversation--but don’t be overly-pushy about it.
9. Check out the website, http://www.Meetup.com. There is no cost and they have clubs and groups across the USA that cover all kinds of special interests. Pick some different ones and attend them. You will be enriching your life and making new friends.
10. Subscribe to my weekly On life and Love after 50 E-newsletter at www.FindingLoveAfter60.com. There is no cost. More than 1,000 singles ages 50-90 from across the USA share their experiences, frustrations and successes.
Above all, recharge your batteries and get out and meet new people. I’m betting our friend Ken will be up and running in no time.
For dating information, previous articles, or to sign up for Tom’s complimentary weekly e-newsletter, go to www.FindingLoveAfter60.com.