This article first appeared in the Finding Love after 50 eNewsletter on November 6, 2013 and is still significant in July, 2017. Children, grandchildren or great grandchildren can negatively affect a senior relationship.
A woman raising her great granddaughter wanted to know why men wouldn’t date her.
A Champ named John shed light on her question: “I was in a long-term relationship with a grandma. I had known her in high school and met her years later at a class reunion after we were both divorced. She lived three hours away, but we managed to see each other every other weekend.
“The attributes (compassion, caring and duty to others) that drew me to her eventually killed the relationship because of her grandchildren.
“Her son and daughter-in-law had four children over the period of seven years. They were terrible parents. Out of compassion for the children, my friend became more and more their parent. The daughter-in-law didn't work, but my friend did and took much better care of the kids. She stopped there almost every night after work and eventually three of them were with her every weekend.
“I didn't mind playing with the kids and helping to care for them, but eventually I felt squeezed out of my friend's attention. I lost the motivation to drive the three hours and eventually broke up with her. It hurt both of us.
“She was probably doing the right thing for the kids given the awful situation they were in, but it left no room for a relationship. If things had been reversed, I can't say that I wouldn't have done the same. If things had been different, we probably would be married today. Kids can negatively affect a senior relationship.
“We all make choices that have positive and negative consequences - like two sides of a coin. Her love and caring for her granddaughter will be rewarded, but unfortunately she will probably not find a man who wants a close relationship.”
Keep John’s story in mind when mixing your offspring in with your relationship.
Choosing between a grandchild and a mate is tough
Only each individual involved can determine what is right for him/her.