Dear Readers – If you’re of the millennial generation that followed the population surge and social changes caused by the Baby Boom, you may feel you’re way past hearing about romance and relationships from those “elders.”
Not so fast. Even in their 60s, 70s and beyond, the need/desire for emotional connections has them on dating sites, meeting strangers in bars and coffee shops, and yes, being intimate.
Here are stories from two truly “okay” boomers:
Reader – “To the woman, 69, looking for a long term-partner.
“My husband of 38 years suddenly left for another woman when I was 60.
“I was devastated and shocked. Our two adult sons were angry and hurt.
“I joined a 50-plus divorce support group and sought counselling. I hired a lawyer and took my ex to court so I could receive a fair division of our assets as well as spousal support.
“After three years, I became very independent but felt empty inside, and wanted a companion. I joined a bowling club, went to singles dances with my girlfriend, etc.
“A friend from my support group met her partner on a 50-plus dating sight, and suggested I give it a try.
“I was very cautious, and over the year met seven different gentlemen at a local coffee shop.
“One was a widower still mourning the loss of his wife. Another one immediately wanted me to go on a cruise with him!
“A respectable gentleman (five years younger than me), had retired from a government job. His wife had left him three months prior and I felt he wasn’t “healed” to start dating, but he assured me he was.
“After eight months of going together to musicals, movies, and dinners, he emailed me that he was breaking it off and was not ready for a relationship.
“I picked up the pieces. Three months later I met a man who’d been divorced for three years. We’ve been in a relationship for five years, have a lot in common, and have never been happier.
“We’re now early 70’s. We decided to live in our own homes, see each other on weekends, and go on holidays together. We get along great with each other’s families.
“To others seeking partners: Don’t give up. Keep trying in whatever way you can.”
Reader #2 - “I’m 62, a white male, still married to a Singaporean Chinese female for 32 years, with two sons 31 and 27.
“My response to a December question – How to Stay Together:
“In my teens, I saw my parents, and their friends splitting up at a certain, similar point in time. Generally, when the youngest child became a teen and didn’t require the same attention, there was a vacuum in the relationship.
“I realized over time that partners better keep a common interest in something.
“As a couple they’d focused, first on passion, then love, marriage, the house, then the children.
“What next? A lot of people look around for someone/something... "new".
“Instead, do some things together. Dance together, paint, whatever. If you take classes apart, come back to talk about it, be interested in each other's new discoveries.
“Go to free lectures at your local university or college. Learn about different religions.
“Then, discuss these things like you used to do when you were interested in new ideas and things that expanded your brain when you were young.”
Ellie – Still-relevant advice from someone whose embrace of diversity and continual learning, is valuable to relationships at any age.
FEEDBACK – Regarding the gay man who insists he be the sperm donor to conceive a child, because he’s more the “father” choice and it’d help his parents accept their relationship (January 10):
Reader – “How is this different from a straight couple having a child to save a relationship? It’s NOT appropriate.
“If, with counselling, they proceed to conceive a baby with a woman, each should donate sperm and agree to not learn which donor was viable.
“They both need to be loving parents to a child they want or not have children.”
FEEDBACK – Regarding the studio pianist harassed by her employer and a voice student, to date him (Jan 10):
Reader – “I’m a paralegal. If this woman’s in a Canadian jurisdiction, she should seek legal advice to file a complaint with the relevant Human Rights body, and also seek damages.
“She may well be entitled to compensation for the behaviour of the student and the studio-owner.”
Tip of the day:
Don’t dismiss the power of emotional connection. It’s needed at every age phase.