Not one reader agreed the re-marriage litmus test. Instead, caring, respect, compassion, communication and trust make a healthy relationship.
By Tom P Blake - Finding Love after 50
Note from Tom: This column was published in 2013
I've been a columnist for 18 years, having written some 3,000 columns and newsletters. Never have the responses to a column been 100 percent against the message of the protagonist until last week's, which featured Lloyd, and his pre-marriage litmus test suggestions about testing a mate's reaction to intentionally irritating her or him. I'll share some of those reactions later but need to get something off my chest.
The title of this newsletter is "On Life and Love After 50." I view it as an ongoing conversation with people who contact me with their stories, questions and comments, and with you Champs who respond to those stories with opinions and observations of your own. Through these exchanges, we learn more about others and in turn about ourselves.
I do not sugar-coat topics. Some are palatable, others less so. But they are about real-life people in the age 50-90 range. Some people who responded to last week's article didn't like the topic and took issue with me for publishing it. I guess they forgot that the newsletter is free.
One woman, whose name is so unique she'd be recognized if I included it, put her take on Lloyd's theory and then added, "Tom, why didn't you figure this out?"
Dawn said, "I can't believe you gave that man space to vent his obviously flawed way of dealing with a relationship."
Judie said, "How do you read some of these letters?????"
I wonder, do the above three women want only the sugar-coated stuff? It's interesting that when I write about finding love success stories nobody responds.
Champs, these are conversations about life and love after 50, and again, through these conversations, we learn about others and ourselves. Enough said.
And now, a smattering of the responses
Lori: "How about caring, respect, compassion, communication and trust make a healthy relationship."
Marsi: "I find his theory to be quite ridiculous."
Wendy: "Where do the words, 'love,' 'heart' or 'compassion' fit in his life? Or even fun? We're people here, not spies or robots."
Ken, "What about being positive, building and nurturing? Most people will reveal their true personalities without setting 'traps.'"
Jon, "I hope he doesn't have any pets, he might get arrested by the animal cops."
Karla, "I found Lloyd's entire premise and suggestions distasteful."
Carlene: "To think women are Barbie dolls and need to react in a certain way shows a limited number of brain cells on his part."
Stella, "I have only one word for him: Machiavellian." (cunning, scheming, unscrupulous)
Jennifer: "Real relationships get tested plenty by real life. Intentionally hurting another person is a form of sadism."
Ceil, "It's chilling to read his account of manipulative behavior and disgusting to see his crude terminology."
Bill: "Testing a potential mate by acting like an ass? Isn't life tough enough already? You'll learn a lot more by paying attention to the way a person handles life's day-to-day problems."
A different Lloyd, "His test may land a size 5 alongside of his head; maybe that will jar him into this century."
Ann, "Who does he think he is? A shade-tree psychologist, possibly?"
A positive result was the what-is-important-in-relationships thread included in so many of your responses--all stated uniquely--and particularly succinctly by two Champs:
Brenda: "What happened to love, trust, caring and commitment?"
Lori: "How about caring, respect, compassion, communication and trust being what a healthy relationship should look like?"
I believe what Brenda and Lori said is what we are all striving for in our relationships.
Lloyd’s pre re-marriage litmus test for seniors failed 100 percent.