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Widow, 68, frustrated with senior dating

Tom Blake 50 Plus Life column for October 2016

Woman, 68, frustrated with senior dating

Dating again after losing a mate can be overwhelming, particularly for senior women. This week, Brenda, not her true name, shared her frustrations.

Brenda said, “I am a widow of two years. A year ago, I was on two Internet dating sites for three weeks. I met several men but they were mostly just awful; they were negative or had issues. So I got off both sites.

“Recently I got back on one to try again! It's very strange to be ‘dating’ at this age! I am not looking to remarry or even live with a man but I do want a special relationship. I had a loving and devoted husband for over 30 years and I miss being someone's special someone.

“Trouble is I am 68 and for people over age 60 I read that there are 4-5 times as many women as men! So, the older men have their pick of women! I have met about 12 or 13 men for coffee dates that I would not be caught dead with!

“There were four men I dated for more than a few dates. So many loser men out there. I hate ‘dating!’ I don't think I am 'afraid' to love again - I want to!”

“I have a full life with friends (even male friends) and activities. I do volunteer work and take salsa and square dance classes. I am fit, healthy, active, intelligent and educated. I am attractive, fun-loving, warm and nurturing. I am financially set and have a nice home.

“How soon is too soon to give up?”

Tom’s response to Brenda:

Brenda, I understand your frustration. Your marriage of 30 years to a loving and devoted husband has set the bar very high for another loving relationship. And I commend you for putting yourself out there on the Internet. Here are five suggestions:

1. The number of available men. At age 60, the ratio is not four-or-five women to each available man, but closer to three-to-one. At 68, it is a bit wider. So, although the ratio is daunting, it’s not quite as bad as you have suggested.

Plus, the lack of men doesn’t appear to be your problem.

You say you’ve met 12 to 13 men for coffee dates, over about a year’s time. That is pretty darned good. Many women who write me haven’t had a date in several years, and you are out with a new guy on average about once a month?

Also, in that year, four of the men you dated “for more than a few dates.” That’s pretty darned good also. Again, it’s not the shortage of men that is the issue.

2. Soften your attitude toward dating and the men you are meeting. You say you “hate dating.” Drop the word “hate” from your dating vocabulary.

Also, regarding those 12-13 coffee dates you had, you said you would not be “caught dead” with any of them. Drop those words from your dating vocabulary as well.

You also said, “…so many loser men out there.” No man will match what you had with your husband. Lighten up a little on men; there are good ones available.

3. Your problem isn’t meeting men, it is meeting the wrong type of men.

I suggest you be more selective in the guys you agree to go out with. Try different Internet dating sites. Make a written list of the qualities you want in a mate and date only men who have those qualities.

4. From what you say, you’ve got many positives. You’re fortunate. Appreciate what you have and get out there and help others who are less fortunate. Give back. Volunteer in several places, not just one or two.

5. How soon is too soon to give up seeking a mate? At 68, you are way too young to give up. Just make a few changes and you will be fine. I know women in their 80s who have met nice partners.

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