On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter September 15, 2017
Last week, we wrote about Joyce, who finally had a first date with a man after corresponding with him for two years. She is smitten with him.
Be sure to read the update at the end of this column.
When something's not right in senior dating
However, my position in the newsletter was that something was not right about the situation. I think the man might be a wolf in sheep’s clothing or possibly married. There were just too many red flags. I asked Champs for their opinions.
I suggested that Joyce subscribe to the newsletter as I thought it would help her. I also felt it was important to use the responses five of our women Champs sent in as the topic of this week’s newsletter.
Not only would their comments help Joyce, but they would provide information from which many Champs could benefit when they find themselves in relationship situations that don’t seem right, or in which their instincts make them feel uncomfortable.
I wanted to add that it is gratifying when a Champ responds to a newsletter and says that it’s the first time he or she has written. Today, our first two quotes are from first-timers. This week’s title:
Wake up Joyce
Valerie said, “Hello Tom, my first time to email you. My exact feeling when I was reading about this guy. Something is not right with this situation.”
Davida, “Have never written before, but felt compelled to write to say your nagging gut feel is completely true. I think Joyce is living on Cloud 9. If it was such a great first meeting for her with him, why haven’t they made more plans?
“My favorite quote about relationships: ‘People make time for what they WANT to make time for.” Wake up Joyce!”
Stephanie, “I also had misgivings when I read Joyce’s story. As anyone familiar with internet dating scams knows, ‘An engineer who travels a lot’ is a red flag.
“As a Los Angeles native, I agree with you that travel to the Bay Area is a routine trip: one-hour flight or six-hour drive. And, if he were that interested or available, it wouldn’t take him two years to meet her. I know two guys from the Bay Area who regularly travel to L.A. just to go to singles dances.
“As the saying goes, men are nice when they pursue. And players are super-nice. So, him telling her that the merlot she bought is his favorite brand, and notifying her about the Outlander TV program, would be in line with either a guy who is genuinely interested, OR, a player who is doing his typical moves.
“She needs to visit him in Orange County sooner than later. She should tell him the next visit will be her going to Los Alamitos. If he hesitates to agree, she can say she has friends or family in SoCal that she wants to visit. If he blocks her from seeing where he lives, meeting his friends, etc., that is a sure sign that something isn’t right.
“I would caution her about money too. She should absolutely not discuss finances--where she has her bank account or stocks, her 401K, whether her house is paid for--and so on. He may be posing as a busy professional prior to hitting her up for a small loan so he can ‘close on a condo,’ as all his cash is tied up temporarily, or whatever.
“Bottom line: He could be a wonderful catch. Or, he could be trying to entangle her into a situation that is not wonderful. She needs to pay way less attention to what he says (for example, that she’s even better in person) and pay way more attention to what he does or doesn’t do.”
Last week’s story, reminded Shirley, aka, The Wise Bird of Manhattan—one of our longest-reigning Champs and one of the wisest--of a similar situation that happened to her years ago.
Shirley said, “As an internet-dating novice, I was in contact with a very attractive, intelligent man who wrote exquisite letters, but he was a mystery man…When I tried to arrange a meeting he had an excuse. Though I was a grownup, I convinced myself that all was well. Later, I realized that my anxiousness to connect had blinded me. The letter writer was a figment of my imagination. Now, years later, I know that the wish to believe often misleads us.
“Joyce needs encouragement to escape from fantasy and remove herself from the connection with a hit-and-miss guy. All is falsehood, and time is short.”
Anonymous woman, “He sounds like he is married or hiding something. I wouldn’t trust him. Two years to meet when the distance isn’t that great? If it meant enough to him, he would figure out a way to see her unless he doesn’t have enough money.
“My advice to her is to move on and if he is worth his salt, he will figure out a way to step up. Otherwise, she hasn’t lost anything because she didn’t have anything to start with.”
Take heed Champs. You are an exceptional group of experienced and wise seniors. Your responses and advice are helping lots of seniors who are new to this dating experience and a bit naive.
I’ve reached out to Joyce a couple of times for updates. Nothing new to report from her, they haven’t made any more plans to meet (remember, he’s such a busy man) and she gets a little defensive from my warnings. Plus, she didn't subscribe to the newsletter, so she's not benefiting from all of your great advice. Sometimes we hear, only what we want to hear.
Tom and man in Spain who just didn't want to listen to Tom's advice
Three weeks later: Update from Joyce regarding the Scottish single man
Remember three weeks ago the Northern California woman who waited two years to meet a Southern California man in person, who claimed to be Scottish, as she is? When they finally did meet, she surprised him with a bottle of wine, which he said was his favorite. She said they had a great time together. He was an engineer working for an English company. There were going to meet again someday.
She didn’t like my repeated warnings to her about him. He met her once, only on his terms. Every one of you who commented had similar warnings as well. Turns out we were all right. Here is what she emailed this week:
“The Los Alamitos Scot has turned into a pretty sour situation. Unfortunately, I did something stupid and wanted to talk to him. He let me call him and he did nothing but yell at me while he was in an airport! I am sorry this ended this way.
“The one time we met, we had such a great meeting and talk! So easy and we even hugged hello and goodbye!
“Yes, I have learned some very valuable lessons with this situation! A lot of the things that happened were my fault.
“Anyways, thank you so much for letting me email you and always answering my questions! You don’t happen to know any Scottish over-50 men who I could email talk to about what happened? These people seem to all be down in the So Cal Area!”
Lesson learned: When something doesn’t feel quite right in a relationship, there is about a 98% that your instincts are correct. She is quite naïve. She wants to find another Scottish man she can email to so she can talk about what happened with a guy who claimed to be Scottish. No chance. At least we warned her about not getting scammed. Her biggest loss was the more than two years of time she invested.