Singles age 50 and above explain why they need dating advice
By Tom P Blake - Finding Love after 50
This article was first published February 21, 2003 and updated in 2016
When people contact me, they often explain why they read a column about being single at middle age and above.
Most of the half-million singles over age 45 in Orange County share a common bond: They didn't expect to be alone at this age and weren't prepared for it. They tell me my newspaper articles have filled a need and struck a chord.
"Thanks for a column that gets people talking and gives encouragement to all of us who are out there," e-mailed Marcia of Tustin. "Women talk with each other but we rarely hear the guy's side of things."
Jerry of Long Beach e-mailed that he speaks from the perspective of still looking for a mate, five years after his divorce. "Your column is popular because middle-age dating is difficult. You remind us there is no guarantee that breaking up with somebody is going to lead to finding your true love."
Mary of Garden Grove reads the column because "It's an eye-opener and godsend for me and others. I've been dating a guy (or think we're dating), but he is out of town a lot, calls me the day before he is ready to go back out of town, and we see each other for a few hours. You got me thinking, why don't we see each other during the time he's in town?"
A 58-year-old Huntington Beach woman said she was too high-profile to allow the use of her name but shared this: "I enjoy the balanced and positive points of view you bring to the mature dating game."
Lin of Tustin teaches workshops on John Gray's "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" principles in Orange County. Lin says: "I'm a divorced 54-year-old male (no children) who has done a lot of reading on the subject of relationships/human behavior. Your column addresses a much-needed topic."
Seniors age 50-plus often explain why they seek singles information. "We single seniors need all the help and advice we can find!" Pam of Laguna Woods said.
Widowed people willingly share why they read the column. Phyllis of San Clemente e-mailed: "I just finished reading your column and want to thank you for giving me hope for the future. My husband died suddenly two years and four months ago. I joined a group of widows and widowers here in Orange County. It's been so good for me. I have several new friends, and the club has lots of different things going on."
Shirley, a widow for four years, reads the column because she wants to know what's she's doing wrong. "I was happily married for over 40 years. I think I scare men off. I'm outgoing, friendly, pretty, clean, fun-loving and dress nicely. I would like to find someone to travel and go to movies with, and dance together."
“He doesn't have to be rich, but has to able to take care of himself." I'm a widow who recently moved back to California after living in Arizona for eight years. I'm not looking for a flaming romance but would love to make some friends in the area so I might have companions to go to the movies and local cultural events with. Want to know how to overcome the challenges I face and where to go to establish a safe and positive social circle."
Donna who lives near Bangor, Maine, e-mailed: "I'm interested in your columns because I've raised our kids (hubby died in 1980 at 35), got seven grands and am still only 54. I'm interested in living MY LIFE now. I sure need some updating on life in the 2000s for this single middle-age female looking for relationships and whatever else."
Pattie of Orange wrote: "I'm a single mom, age 50, daughter 19, son 13, divorced for over 10 years. Employed full time from my home so I need info."
Most people seek information and ideas on where to go and what to do. Also, reading about others who have met mates provides encouragement. And some (I hope) even read the column for entertainment.
Note from Tom: Things in 2016 haven’t changed much since February, 2003. Singles are lonely and would like to meet mates.
"Most of the 55-65 men I have seen are frumpy, lumpy, dumpy and grumpy." Response: Sounds like either the seven dwarfs from "Snow White" or the gravy I made last week for dinner.
Diane: "I'm a 55-year-old woman who has trouble finding men who aren't married, over-the-hill physically, or looking for much younger women." Response: We've heard that complaint before.
Cheryl, Newport Beach: "It was interesting reading that men find it just as hard to meet women as women to meet men." Response: I still don't believe it.
Jeanette, Irvine: "The majority of men want the young, beautiful, silicone, Botox Babies, especially in Orange County." Response: I think that most men age 50-plus prefer natural over silicone and Botox.