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Have you been Catfished?

August 02, 2019

Catfished–a relatively new senior dating term.

Last September, Champ Rabecca emailed, “Have you ever written about ghosting or being ghosted?”

I replied, “What the heck is ghosting?”

Rabecca said, “It’s a term used in dating.”

Her question led to the creation of two eNewsletters. The first, dated September 14, 2018, was titled “Ghosting” and the next week, September 21, the second–as a follow up–was titled, “Who hasn’t been ghosted?”

All previous eNewsletters, including those two, are archived on the Finding Love after 50 website. if you’d like to read or reread them, see the link at the end of today’s issue.

The Urban Dictionary defines ghosting as: “The practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.”

Senior Movin’ Out is harder than Movin’ in

July 12, 2019

Movin’ Out (from the Broadway musical, featuring the music of Billy Joel) link to song Movin’ Out at end of today’s column

Last August, I received the following email from Stacey, “After 35 years of marriage, I was widowed in 2008. My husband died as a result of injuries received as a Marine in Vietnam Nam; I will not marry again in order to maintain my benefits.

“Since he passed away, I’ve had two significant relationships. The first lasted two years, but ended when his middle-aged adult children, most blatantly the daughters, did not accept me, and at times were passively, aggressively rude.

Senior men speak their minds about dating, and why senior men aren’t relationship material. A column from 2013 is featured again in 2016.

December 22, 2016

Over the last few weeks, I have archived emails from men who shared their views on several senior dating issues I’ve recently written about: honesty, the age difference, attitude and looking younger than one's age.


Many of the men's emails were in response to newsletter comments from women. One item in particular--a list of why senior men aren't relationship material--triggered, of course, strong responses from men.

Today, five senior singles feel being alone is better than being in a bad relationship. Nothing is worse than misery and heartache.

December 22, 2016

Most of the correspondence I receive from readers seeking advice usually falls into one of two categories: (1) how and where can they meet someone, or, (2) how they can get out of an unpleasant relationship.


Last week, we heard about Susan, who had been in a yo-yo relationship for a year. When her boyfriend alienated her, she would pull away; then, he'd try to reel her back in. She was unhappy, but admitted that breaking away was difficult.

Sacramento Magazine interview of Tom Blake regarding Finding love after 50 in 2009

December 01, 2016

This article was first published in 2009. Not much has changed in the nearly 8 years since then.

Last week, I was interviewed by journalist Jan Ferris, who is writing an article about being single later in life for the February/March issue of Sacramento Magazine. Her questions and my answers provide a bird's-eye view on the state of dating for older singles as we begin 2009. A summary of our discussion follows:

Ferris: How tough is it for the 50-plus crowd to begin dating after many years out of circulation? 

Lying about home ownership or where one lives is ridiculous according to our readers. Singles should not lie about home ownership.

December 01, 2016

It's unanimous: Judie should not lie about where she lives


Last week, Judie wanted to know if she should lie about not owning her own home, after a man she was dating abruptly changed his attitude toward her when he saw that she lived in an 851 square feet apartment.


Judie mentioned that the man, who wore Italian silk suits every day, was a no-show for a date he had made with her for the next night.


We asked for opinions and boy did we get an earful-more than 75 responses. Everyone agreed that the guy was rude and a jerk for being a no-show.

Finding love for people with special health issues. A website, caters to special health issues for singles.

December 01, 2016

An older single man who would like to have a relationship has a medical condition that could turn off women. He wonders how soon he should reveal his condition after meeting a woman online. Due to the personal nature of his situation, he requested to remain anonymous, so we shall refer to him as "Joe."


Joe wrote, "Last spring I underwent prostate cancer removal. The result is that I am a survivor but that I am virtually impotent. I have come to terms with this because I had to. On the other hand, how does one address this sort of issue in the dating environment?


"Prior to the surgery I was dating a lot. I was seeking a compatible lady with whom I could join as 'retirement partners,' with or without marriage.   

Men say senior dating is difficult. Finding a suitable mate is a challenge for both sexes.

December 01, 2016

Last week's column about Karen, mid 60s, who advertised unsuccessfully for dates on Craig's List, brought comments from single senior men that men find senior dating difficult as well.
Peter said, "I am 64, have been divorced for 11 years and am still solo. This is not a complaint but a reality check for people getting back into the dating scene in their 50's and later. I have dated and met some lovely women, just not the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with." 

Six first date turnoffs from the male point of view. Senior first date no no’s include cell phone use, dissing an ex and adding lipstick

December 01, 2016

In response to women asking for the male point-of-view on senior dating, Scott's comment from last week, "I am not remotely interested in proving myself on the first date with a ceaseless verbal qualifying exam as if I am claiming a prize," hatched today's topic on men's first-date turnoffs.
One first-date turnoff came from Rich: "If you haven't gotten over being hurt by past relationships, try not to use that as an 'opener.' Let's look forward to what might be." 

In 2007, a new newsletter subscriber questioned my qualifications to write from the man’s point-of-view on dating after 50. My readers responded.

October 17, 2016

This week I received an email from a new newsletter reader. He wrote: "I recently subscribed to your newsletter. I am surprised to have read in your last newsletter that you have been married so many times and in so many relationships.  


"When I work out I select a fitness trainer that is knowledgeable and practices what they preach, for example they look healthy and fit. 


"How can you provide us over 50 people with words of wisdom when your own track record leaves something to be desired? Is it simple trial and error or is it for us to learn from your misfortunes?"

A man has been married 6 Times and has a pre-existing health condition matter? Should Donna be concerned?

October 17, 2016

Donna said that last week's newsletter inspired her to write. She's trying to understand her hesitation over a new man she's met and said that my having had three marriages will help her evaluate her new man. (I knew those three marriages would pay off some day). 


Donna said, "I just met in person a guy in Oregon that I met six weeks ago on the Internet. I responded to him because I liked his profile and then noticed he lived in Oregon--way, way out of my 200 mile geographic limit" (Donna lives in Southern California, about 800 miles away).

Six marriages and PTSD from Viet Nam? Is this a big red flag? Are there red flags all over the place?

October 17, 2016

Some newsletters bring a boatload of responses while others are less engaging. Today, we share multiple responses from the On Life and Love After 50 Newsletter to last week’s column


One  woman said, "Whoa Nellie! Stay cool, remain open, if he suggests visiting where you live, say yes; and then through the passage of time, get to know this man with eyes wide open. It's too soon to have the current worries when you don't know him." 


A Texas man wrote, "Special Forces guys were not chopper pilots. Special Forces teams seldom had their own choppers. I bet he is lying."  

Two left feet—dancers take issue with Tom’s comments about when on a date it’s rude to ask someone else to dance.

October 17, 2016

In last week's newsletter, Ron, 66, asked, "When on a date for the first or tenth time, is it acceptable for your date to dance with other men she knows from dance classes (who ask her). She loves to dance and is very good and I am not too bad. I find this rude and a slap in the face. Perhaps I am being too sensitive?"


I said, ""It depends on why the two of you went to the dance. As a date, or as a dancing partner with the understanding you'll dance with others? If as a date, I think it's a bit rude."

Three singles ask about senior dating issues. Tom’s answers to help senior singles.

October 16, 2016

Ron asked: "When on a date for the first or tenth time, is it acceptable for your date to dance with other men she knows from dance classes (who ask her to dance)? She loves to dance and is very good and I am not too bad.”  


Ron added: "I personally find this rude and a slap in the face. Perhaps I am being too sensitive on this subject? Being 66, this dating game is all new to me."


Tom's answer to Ron

Some senior singles say they look younger than their age

October 02, 2016

I've heard singles say this so often it's almost comical: "I look younger than my age."


You'd think looking younger would be an asset in dating after 50. But, some people who say they look younger than their age claim it's a problem.

Degree of Dishonesty - Does a small fib warrant a breakup?

September 18, 2016

Many singles feel senior dating honesty is critical to trust in a relationship. The man who shared his story asked to remain anonymous so we’ll call him Herb. His saga begins on a barstool, where he met a woman. They got along well and decided to date. During the course of the conversation, she casually asked, “How old are you?” He said, “50.”

In reality, Herb had turned 51 a month earlier, but didn’t mention that to her. He later explained to me that since he’d been single for several years, he hardly kept track of his birthdays anymore and didn’t give it a second thought when he fudged his age by a month.

In senior dating, is lying about age important? Age-honesty in senior dating.

September 18, 2016

Last week's column about Herb, the 51-year-old who told the lawyer he was dating he was 50-which was a lie by one month and put her in criminal trial mode by grilling him-has generated this week's topic: "How important is age-honesty in senior dating after 50?"

In effect, you as a group, with your sage and witty responses, have written this column. Thanks for your ongoing participation. Together, we are trying to make sense out of being single, a situation few of us thought we'd ever be in.

Do Successful Senior Women Intimidate Men? Do Successful Senior Women Turn off men? They might do both, it depends on the women.

September 18, 2016

Recently, I wrote a column addressing a question that Joan, a single woman, asked: “Are men—even successful men—intimidated by successful women? Joan says it has happened to her  numerous times; she feels it’s because she’s a partner in a company and drives a Jaguar X-type car.

Joan said, “It upsets me that I have to pretend to be someone I’m not to protect the male ego. I have even borrowed my daughter’s car to go on first and second dates and felt I had to lie about my job and the fact that I own my home. What is this with men?”

Staying in a bad relationship. Stop blaming it on loneliness when it’s low self esteem

September 17, 2016

“Sometimes you’re willing to put up with more than you should because you hate being alone,” was the meat and potatoes of Sherrill’s (not her real name) email to me. She explained that loneliness is likely the reason she endured a 2 ½ year on-again/off-again relationship.

After reading the rest of Sherrill’s email, I think loneliness was only part of the reason she stayed with the guy for 2 ½ years. Low self-esteem was the other. I mean no disrespect toward Sherrill. I admire her courage for sharing her story. But, this is how I see her situation and I’m not going to sugarcoat it.

Over-thinking a relationship

August 26, 2016

“I’ve been dating a man for 4 months. We see each other approximately every other weekend and talk on the phone every night. He says he loves me and our time together is always excellent,” Josie emailed.

I love to receive emails and letters that begin like that. Finding love is hard later in life; it’s good news when two older adults connect.

Dating is difficult everywhere - even in Kansas

August 21, 2016

Middle-age and senior dating is not only a challenge where I live in California, but in all parts of the country.

Beth, age 50, Kansas, e-mailed, "Although I’ve had lots of dates, nothing is going past one or two times out. I feel like I have been sent back to junior high school. What’s up?

"The Internet hasn’t worked, dances haven’t worked, and fix-ups by friends haven’t worked."

Singles age 50 and above explain why they need dating advice

August 04, 2016

This article was first published February 21, 2003 and updated in 2016

When people contact me, they often explain why they read a column about being single at middle age and above.

Most of the half-million singles over age 45 in Orange County share a common bond: They didn't expect to be alone at this age and weren't prepared for it. They tell me my newspaper articles have filled a need and struck a chord.

Men have trouble meeting women

August 04, 2016

It's usually women who comment that finding a compatible partner at middle age is difficult. But, many men also feel that finding a compatible mate is also difficult.

Lately, middle-age men have echoed similar statements, particularly after my last column, in which I wrote that singles functions are difficult places for women to meet men (because the ratios can be so out of kilter, as much as 10-to-1, women to men).

Senior dating can be difficult

July 31, 2016

Many seniors hesitate to get out there and date. Why? Some haven't had a date in 30 years and don't know what to do or where to go.

Plus there aren't many places for older singles to go where the women don't outnumber the men, usually by a wide margin. At age 70, available single women outnumber available single men by about 3 and a half to one. By being more assertive (not aggressive), women can effectively reduce the ratio and improve their chances of meeting a mate.

In senior dating, trust your instincts

July 31, 2016

This article was first published August 21, 2003. The message is as important in 2016, as it was back then.

Perhaps it's the long, hot summer or the recent full moon. For whatever reason, I've been getting more questions than usual from readers about screwy things that are happening in their relationships.

A common thread running through many of the questions is shaky behavior by boyfriends and girlfriends.

Senior dating issues; When to start dating again

July 01, 2016

When Champs or newspaper readers contact me with a question, I don’t mind taking a little time answering them. And, often, it gives me information I can share in this newsletter and in my newspaper columns.

But sometimes, the emails are so long and detailed that I just don’t have the time to answer every item. In that case, I will usually suggest the person do a consulting session with me. See information on Tom Blake consulting in Part 2 below.

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