Writing About Mid-Life Dating From The Man’s Perspective
By Tom P Blake Finding Love After 50
I have been writing about mid-life dating from the man’s perspective for years. Women tell me they appreciate reading a man’s perspective because most people who write about love at mid-life are women. Occasionally, I irritate a woman with something I write and then I hear about it.
Such was the case with Laguna Niguel resident, Silvia.
In the comments section two weeks ago, this ran:
“Margie, age 75, Rancho Santa Margarita: ‘I’ve been divorced 30 years. It took me years to acquire my comfortable home, to realize I’m important and valuable and I will not throw these things away to pick up any man’s dirty socks, cook and watch him click the remote control.’”
I detected a bit of an attitude on her part and responded, “Move the television to a different room.”
Silvia responded by e-mail. I respect Silvia, she has made many positive contributions to my columns over the years.
She wrote: “I really hate it when you make those smart-ass remarks to women (Margie) who have their acts together. It really is a turn off to reading your column.” I detected an angry attitude.
I thought Margie’s comment was far too sweeping, placing all men in the dirty-socks, remote-control-pushing categories. Very few men act that way. Besides, I cook the majority of meals in our house and didn’t appreciate the inference that men don’t help in the kitchen.
Instead, of writing something to that effect, I thought I’d put a humorous spin on it. That didn’t fly with Silvia.
“Of course you knew that I would agree with her because my life does not revolve around ‘meeting a man’ anymore,” Silvia wrote.
She has kind of given up hope on ever meeting a mate. Too bad, I guess.
If Silvia is satisfied with her life, I think it’s great. I respect women who think that way. My mother was almost 99 when she passed and was a widow for 50 years. She felt the quality of her life would be better living without a man. She was the epitome of success of a woman living on her own.
In discussing this column with my significant other, Greta, she said, “The more intelligent a woman is, the more independent she’s going to be.”
And then Silvia wrote: “It's still fun to read your column to see what the ‘beautiful people’ are doing - much like reading the society page.”
I’m glad she still enjoys reading the column. I try not to offend any readers. And yes, I do write about “beautiful people,”— but beautiful people to me are everyday people like you and your friends who are trying the best you can to deal with the curve balls that life throws at you.
“Instead of being flippant, why didn't you tell her the truth and say that it makes you angry when some women don't want to pick up after, and take over the bothersome tasks, that are reserved for the little woman,” wrote Silvia.
Here’s where I emphatically disagree with her. No, it doesn’t make me angry. It makes me happy when women don’t cater to men’s dirty socks, or demands for food or anything. While I write from the man’s perspective--after all, I am a man— if I’m pro anything in these columns, it’s usually (very) pro-women.
I believe most men and women who read this column are too intelligent to tolerate having to pick up a partner’s dirty socks.
Lost in this discussion was the 520-word column from that day—about couples needing to plan retirement together--which had good advice, but was overlooked because of one comment.
I’ve got to stop writing now, the 49ers and Giants football game is about to start, and, I, have to use the remote to switch to that channel. I’ve got to watch some football from the man’s perspective.
Reader Comments and Tom’s Responses:
Karen, Laguna Niguel: “Five years ago, my husband and I mailed a copy of your book to a male friend who dated much younger women. Now, he dates a woman only five years younger. Response: He likely read the book and came to his senses: Dating someone closer to his age is wiser. Besides, he probably couldn’t keep up with the younger women.
John, Laguna Niguel: “My wife and I read your column about the retirement tips. We think about those issues.” Response: Planning retirement is wise, even for young people such as you and your wife.