Long distance relationships can work
By Tom P Blake Finding Love After 50
Senior long-distance relationships, usually the result of meeting online, can be trying if not impossible. They present so many obstacles that many couples decide they just aren't worth the effort.
Most couples want to be together on a daily basis. Not around the clock necessarily, but they want their main squeeze to be home with them at night. For a long-distance relationship to achieve that goal, one of the pair needs to relocate.
Often, singles are so entrenched with jobs or family and friends that moving to another city is out of the question. Hence, the long distance relationship sputters and fades away.
But not for all couples. If the love and determination is strong enough, somehow they make it work. Dominique, mid-50s, San Clemente, California, is proof of that.
Her husband died suddenly a little over four years ago when he was 53.
Dominique said, "A year after my husband passed away, my sister encouraged me to go online to meet someone. I hadn't dated for 32 years so it was a little scary for me. I wasn't sure what to expect.
"I was busy with my life and children (one at home, one in college, the other, moved out and working) but I was missing the companionship of another adult at home.
"After going out with a variety of men, some good, some so-so, I was about to give the Internet a rest when Tom, from Sacramento (about 500 miles north of San Clemente) started writing."
"We wrote back and forth for a week and then he asked for my phone number. By then I felt safe giving it to him. We talked for over five hours the first time," Dominique said.
Tom and Dominique didn't let the long-distance hurdle get in their way. After all, Sacramento and Orange County are just a little over an hour apart by airplane.
"He came down here and stayed in a hotel. We visited and walked on the beach, etc. I still was going out with other people for a while," Dominique said.
For two and a half years, Dominique and Tom traveled back and forth between San Clemente and Sacramento, getting to know each other and falling in love.
Who relocates for love? Who moves to another city for love?
They knew they wanted to be together on a daily basis, so the "Who's going to move question?" needed to be answered. Because Tom was scheduled to retire within a year-and Dominique planned to continue working for awhile--it was easier for Tom to relocate. Plus, Dominique's children and her mother live close to her.
So, Tom acquiesced to live in San Clemente. Not that leaving Sacramento, blazingly hot in the summer, and moving to a city on the Pacific Coast that advertises itself as having "the world's most perfect climate," was a difficult decision.
Tom knew that Dominique would not be comfortable simply living together without marriage, but he gave her the option anyway.
"He asked me to marry him or, if I wanted to live together. Guess which one I chose?" Dominique said.
Tom and Dominique were wed on March 14.
Now they have a long-distance marriage, but just for a few more months until Tom retires. Then, he will move to San Clemente to be with his new bride.
Tom and Dominique didn't let being 500 miles apart get in their way. All it took was a click on the computer, a couple of years of flying back and forth, and a couple of "I do's" at the altar. If only it were that simple.
Update eight years later in 2016: Tom and Dominique are happily married living in San Clemente.