Finding decent love. Decent widow who wants decent man and responses from the Champs
Tom P Blake
Last week we wrote about Sis, not her real name, who called herself a decent widow and was seeking a decent man. My newspaper subscribers, whom I call Champs, responded in droves. We begin with John's response:
John said, “I have three pieces of advice for ‘Sis’ and other women over 50:
1. Concentrate less on what you want out of a relationship, and more on what you have to offer in a relationship. Often, in online dating profiles, I find four long paragraphs of a woman's wants - and zero on what she can bring to the table (props to ‘Sis’ for mentioning that she is a good cook).
2. ‘Loves to laugh’ is the most over-used cliche in online dating (for some reason, almost exclusively by women). I don't know anyone who doesn't love to laugh - it does not make you stand out.
3. How about asking the man she has become friends with if he has any friends who are looking for a serious relationship? Birds-of-a-feather tend to flock together, so if he is the type of man she was looking for, perhaps he has a friend who is similar but wants commitment?
Shirley, “I’m back with my opinions and impatience about some of your clients. I’m a retired teacher, and on the whole those near my age or at my age, and I’m very old, are the most uptight, conservative people. And the word ‘decent’ is not in my vocabulary.
“If the guy and she can’t get along, then tell her to move along. Partnership of any kind is a daunting adventure, and this dame is really weak in her vocabulary. If ‘decent’ means compliant, give me a break.”
Mark, “One concern I have about ‘Sis’s list of desiderata is that they’re all ‘yes-no,’ whereas life generally arranges itself on a spectrum.
“To give one example, she wants a man who “knows how to communicate.” My reply to that is, “HOW WELL?”
“I could see myself making some small mistake with her, and her deciding that I ‘don’t know how to communicate,’ when what she really means is that I don’t know how to communicate WELL ENOUGH FOR HER, and she’s not willing to join me in a team effort to improve our mutual communications skills.
“I’m just giving that as an example. The same goes for her criteria such as ‘healthy’ (almost nobody our age is PERFECTLY healthy) or ‘have a sense of humor’ (HOW GOOD does it have to be?). I think you catch my drift. She ‘might’ still have impossibly high standards, and be fooling herself into thinking that she is the ‘soul of reason.’”
Maria “Maybe Sis should stop focusing on what she doesn't have and look at what she does have! (She has dates, has the means to be independent, and a good male friend hike with!). Sometimes we have to get out of our own way before all falls into place. Patience.”
Joan, “I don't know what Sis read online about men that run hot and cold, but I know it's a typical narcissist pattern to come on really strong, be completely romantic and attentive, be amazing sexually, and then at some point, the mask comes off and they become moody, argumentative, insulting, and even abusive.
“I had one of those and researched this extensively to understand what kind of person I was with. They have no activity in the frontal part of the brain so no capacity to truly love or have empathy. Tears are wasted on them because they find it amusing that you're reacting that way. They are not truly 'human' in our sense of the word.
“I hope that helps, so I've learned to watch for all those red flags of ‘Prince Charming has arrived’ before I get involved. So now, on Elite Singles, I've been contacted by the site twice to tell me I've been communicating with scammers and not to have any more contact with them. I'm tired of it all and going off the dating sites.
“Maybe I'll meet a nice guy shopping at Trader Joes.”
Jackie, “I have now officially given up on finding a romantic partner. I haven't had a real date in years. The only guy who has had any interest in me is 20 years my senior and is so broke he can barely survive. I'm not a gold digger by any means, and am more than capable and willing to pay my own way. But I'll be darned if I pay his way, too, for everything.
“Until recently, he was driving a 20+ year-old vehicle with the driver's window missing and no AC - in Florida! In all the years I've known him, he absolutely refuses to allow me to go to his home because evidently it is falling down around his ears and he is embarrassed by it. And yet, he gets angry with me because I am not willing to commit to a long-term relationship with him - he can't understand why these things matter to me unless I am very superficial or looking for money.
“At this stage in my life, I want to enjoy things, travel a bit, go out to dinner occasionally, take little week-end jaunts, perhaps go to a movie or a baseball game on occasion. I don't think that is unreasonable for a 60-year old woman to want. I'm not extravagant in my lifestyle, but I make a pretty decent living (I still work full time).
“I'm very discouraged. Sometimes I think this older guy is all I deserve and the best I can hope for, and then I feel like a heel for even thinking that. I enjoy my life and I have a good life as it is; I just think it would be so wonderful to meet someone to share the journey with. Is that too much to expect?”
Lori, "Imagine! Abstinence for six dates! It must have been worth the wait"------what exactly does that comment mean Tom? Snide or? Telling her it was ‘too long’ to wait to have sex? Not long enough? E-mails are sometimes notorious for coming across as unintended, and this comment seemed out of character for your usual comments and discussion. This just hit me wrong.”
Tom response: “Greta warned me that the comment would get me in trouble. We are on an extended trip in Europe. Finding a place to have decent wi-fi is difficult (similar to finding a decent man); there isn’t a lot of time to ponder, edit, and produce these newsletters.
“My initial reaction was six days isn’t too long to wait for senior sex. I guess the way I put it wasn’t politically correct. The reason why waiting six days or more isn’t the end of the world: it’s wise to know that your partner and you don’t have any diseases to spread.
“Other than that, go for it as soon as both agree. First date? Well, maybe wait until the second.”
Anonymous, “Sis believed that her nurturing childhood gave her strong problem-solving skills and that her partner lacked these skills because of his upbringing. Then she listed all of the assets she had too offer. One of those positive things she listed was no adult children to cause problems.
“If someone I was considering a relationship with made a comment like that I would be gone before he had a chance to comment again. That is not the comment of a well-adjusted ‘problem solver.’”
Part 2 - Europe trip updates
My partner Greta and I have been in Europe for 6 weeks. Today, we are on a cruise in Dubrovnik. Croatia. If you are interested in reading about our trip, and in seeing lots of photos we have taken, go to the Travel After 55 website. On the home page, near the top, click on the tab that says travel blog. The most recent post is the one you will come to first. Now, there are about 16 posts. Email me with questions or comments.
Here is the travel website: http://www.TravelAfter55.com
Tom's Victoria Station restaurant chain website