In senior long-distance relationships, infidelity is non-negotiable
By Tom P Blake Finding Love After 50
The Internet is a valuable tool for singles over 50 to reach out beyond their social circle and meet potential mates who might live a block away, in another city, another state, or even in a different country.
Without the Internet, meeting these people likely would never happen.
The majority of online encounters create long-distance relationships, which can be difficult for a number of reasons. Mainly, it's hard to get to know the real person when you see each other only occasionally. Plus, you don't know if someone else is involved or might enter the picture while you are away from each other. Champ Brenda's story illustrates how long-distance relationships can be challenging.
Brenda is 69, divorced, and has been meeting men online for seven years. She is a retired critical care nurse who describes herself as "self sufficient, home owner, great cook, world traveler, art collector, kind, supporting and caring, totally stable."
She said, "I recently met a wonderful man on Chemistry.Com. He has a gentle soul and after a 29-year marriage, in which his wife offered only criticism, not any kudos for his loving ways, he got both of his children through college, and then, walked out. He knew there had to be a better life with a woman who appreciated him."
Brenda liked that he is not afraid to express his thoughts about the way she makes him feel. "Everyone wants to know they are appreciated, even for small spontaneous jesters. You get that warm, fuzzy feeling inside when that happens! Mmmm!" Brenda said. She was optimistic about the new gent in her life; perhaps they had a future together.
She added, "We have a strong emotional connection. Nothing physical yet; he told me he wanted to go slow and enjoy the 'get-to-know-you period,' which is fine with me." Brenda appreciated that he didn't push sex on her too soon.
They live 100 miles apart, a bit of a drawback, but still have managed to see each other five times.
Brenda said, We planned to meet last Sunday night for dinner. We communicated Saturday morning. Everything was great. He said he would call Saturday at 9:00 pm. He didn't. All kinds of things went through my head: Was he in an accident? Had he lost his phone? Was he with someone else?"
Brenda got her answer Sunday morning, which she described to me as a fly in the ointment. "He called to tell me he had a date with another lady and had just gotten home."
Brenda added, "I didn't know he was seeing another woman. He had no remorse or guilt. He said they were trying 'it' out to see if there were compatible in that area! Trust is big with me. He wants us to continue seeing each other." She asked for my opinion.
Well, so much for his "wanting to take it slow." I admitted to her that yes it was a fly in the ointment. I knew she was hurt and still had hopes for a relationship. Without question, I thought she should dump him, but said, "Let the dust settle, you will figure it out."
Because of the 100 miles between them, they couldn't meet face-to-face to discuss what had happened.
Brenda pondered the situation for a while before deciding what to do: "I won't have any connection with him anymore. Being a nurse, and knowing of the increase of STDs in the over-60 age group, I am adamant on testing. What I now know of his promiscuity, I don't want anything to do with him. It's not worth my health and safety."
Good decision Brenda.
Long-distance relationships are difficult enough; infidelity is non-negotiable in senior long-distance relationships.