Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Lonely Hearts

The Lonely Heart

A friend of a friend of a friend is looking for a partner.

How would you go about finding male/female company when you are in your 50s? Or 60s? The need for companionship doesn't get any less in the second half of your existence; the older person falls in love as easily/disastrously/happily/ temporarily/permanently as any one of us at any age. The ability to hold hands and make a fool of ourselves in public is a talent we retain for life. 

I remember that it was easy enough to team up when I was young and not quite so young, but what do you do in middle age? Discos? Evening classes?  Adult education? Singles holidays? Dating Agencies? Lonely Hearts ads? Cyberspace Chat rooms?

I am in the fortunate position of being in a comfortable and hopefully lasting relationship. Beloved and I suit each other well and although the first, second and third flushes of love's young dream have long departed and we very rarely surprise each other with unexplored pockets of wit or depth of intellect, and patience in the face of stereotypical male/female behaviour diminishes progressively with the length of service, we rub along tolerably well.

The friend of a friend of a friend envies us and wants to achieve this blissful state too. What to do?

I know very little about Dating Agencies, virtual or physical, but I have had a look at Lonely Hearts ads. 
The applicant has to sell her/himself, make the reader positively drool with anticipation at the riches on offer, the beauty, the great sense of humour, the intelligence, the many interests and talents ranging from sports to sociability, culture to country pursuits to food and drink.

The fact that most of the advertisers and readers are in reality lonely and shy, a bit needy and lost at best or weirdos looking to make a quick hit at worst, never gets mentioned. This f-o-a-f-o-a-f has come across a very mixed bag in her/his exploration of the field.

This is what I would say:
could do with a friend,
likes gardening.

The following need not  apply:

jokers, posers, fools and inadequates.
Time-wasters will be weeded out mercilessly.

Applicant must have own trowel.


  1. It's funny, Mags and I have spoken about how we might cope, living alone. Of course no one can be sure of how they would feel until it happens but, I can't imagine myself, in a million years, advertising for a companion.

    Hmm, a tricky one, Friko.

  2. I think your suggestion for the lonely hearts ad is ideal. I assume 'weeded out' is a deliberate and clever pun ...

  3. I shrink at the idea of describing myself: "Bookish, withdrawn introvert who prefers most dogs to most people. All eligible males, please just stay away." Ack! My sympathies to your foafoaf; I'm so glad not to be in those shoes.

  4. I am pretty sure that, in the event that I ended up on my own (which I surely hope I don't), I wouldn't look for another partner. I like my own company. I like that of my friends and family. It would have to be a pretty special person, like my OH, to make me accept the compromises of sharing my life with another. I have had a very happy shared life this time round. I doubt I could repeat it.

  5. probably the best way to find something is not to look for it. i would participate in activities i enjoy where if i did meet someone, they would at least have like interests.
    sorry about no capitals. i hurt my hand and this is easier with one finger typing.

  6. Friko you put everything so well!

  7. Klartext muss sein…. um fasche Ideen und Hoffnungen zu vermeiden.
    Ich denke ich würde dein Inserat abschreiben…
    obwohl ich gegen copyright verstossen würde.
    Das „lonely Heart“ Bild ist so süss.
    Melde mich bald wieder etwas Länger.
    Schöne Woche.

  8. I think companionship is so important in any age group, someone to laugh with and cry with, someone just to be with, to share both the everyday and special times - everyone needs this. How to go about finding this life companion when older I don't know but I can't imagine ever advertising for one.

  9. Having dated in my 40's, I know whereof you speak. I met several on-line, and they were either bizarre, or did not work out.

    It was empowering, tho'. as jerks need not apply! Eventually, a friends introduced me to a friend...

    I would say that volunteering is the way to go. There are a ton of active people that we meet at Hospice, Meals on Wheels, Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, and other project in which we participate. The Senior's Centres around here do a lot of work, too. Do you have them your way? Ours does groups, tours, etc.

  10. How sad that we are reduced to advertising ourselves! I love my own company (which is just as well I suppose) but I think if I were desperately lonely I would follow the advice of Arkansas Patti or Jean Jilks. After all shared interests is how I met all the people I hold near and dear to me.

  11. Since the only way to find anything is to stop looking for it , she'd be better off concentrating on enjoying herself and being happy . Then she may find herself beseiged by lovely chaps !

  12. The happiest couples I know in recent times have been those who met on the interwebz. Seriously. I tried it myself and wasn't as fortunate and now I'm at the point where I am happiest on my own.
    Ads have to be specific and one has to be quick at weeding out the losers and needy.

  13. Everyone needs the same four things:

    A compatible partner
    Work that you can stomach
    A family home
    Children to make it a family home

    Where does it all go wrong?

  14. It's a tricky one.. but many folks do seem to connect over the Internet these days. Frank and I met while playing online trivia and our friendship evolved. It happens. :)

  15. Sold! But I hope I am not dismissed for being a joker ... please ...

  16. Love your proposed ad!

    And it seems to me that there are a lot of good suggestions in the comments. Good luck to your foafoaf

  17. I don't know what I would do. Probably not even look. I thank God every day we still have each other and can enjoy what we have built over the years. I believe the way to go is do what you like and you will find like minded folks.LOL
    Great post.

  18. To your friend of a friend of a friend, I only ask, why? If she's over half a century, "forget it." Do you really think a man at any age is looking for a gardening partner? A man is a man is a man. Unless they're sick and then they're looking for a nurse.

    Men die sooner than women so there are many more women looking for a male. If a man puts an ad online, he's a narcissist looking for a young bauble to go on his arm. There are plenty of women his age, chomp'n at the bit, so why would he advertise for one?

    But, if your friend is really desperate and is up to subterfuge, here's a good plan. Find a man who has been married for many years, whose wife just died. Read the obits and do a little research. Go to the funeral and introduce yourself as a friend of his wife's, say from some club she belonged to. Give him sympathy. I swear on my life, if you don't. there are 200 women lined up who will. At this point, he will think he can't live without a woman but if he's on his own for a few months, he'll know he can live without a woman and by that time he'll be basking in all the female attention and decide that's the way to go.

    What do I know, Friko? But, in truth, I've watched this "game" for many years. I know ......... I'm probably wrong a small percentage of the time, but .......just but.....

    In your ad, is that trowel line meant as a double entendre?

  19. Oh my goodness, this makes me so happy to be happy by myself. I just can't imagine going through that again.

  20. Ha! I like the ad.

    I have several friends who have tried the online dating gig. Didn't work too well. I, too, have the benefit of a partner. Don't know how I would fare if I didn't.

  21. Your proposed ad reminds me a bit of the ad placed by a 60-something woman in the New York Times Literary Review. Her goal was to meet a nice man, or men, to have affectionate sex with, and she wrote a wonderful book - A Round-Heeled Woman - about her search. This doesn't much help your friend of a friend of a friend, except to say that the wording and slant of the ad might make all the difference. If you google the book title you'll be able to find her ad fairly easily, I think.

  22. Just found it myself....""Before I turn 67 - next March - I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me".

  23. Martin H - it's not the advertising which would bother me. I just can't see myself finding anyone as perfect as Beloved ever again.

    Fran - of course . . . - goes with the trowel bit. I'm not just a pretty face, you know.

    Kerry - actually, me too and I don't think I ever will be. Solitude needn't be loneliness.

    elizabethm - my sentiments exactly. You aren't going to strike lucky twice, are you?

    arkansa Patti - there are too many women doing that already; they're all in the same group. Making friends with them might be a start.

    Hope your hand gets better soon. Otherwise just carry on as you're doing, shouldn't think anybody minds.

    mollygolver - thanks, Molly.

    Mria Angela - danke fuer den lieben Kommentar. Wie du sagst, Klartext ist alles.

    Marilyn - I can't think of any other way to find a companion unless you are very, very lucky and have one crossing your path. Advertising wouldn't worry me.

    Jenn Jilks - plenty of volunteering groups round here too, but most of the volunteers are women. The men tend to be married. There are not as many widowers as there are widows, either.

    madamebutterfly - I am glad that you have found people close enough to love. We all need somebody.

  24. Smitonius and Sonata - She saw your comment and liked it. Can't see her following your advice though.

    wisewebwoman - you said it, too many women are tough and competent and too many of the men are needy and looking for a good home. Stick to your guns.

    Jimmy - It becomes boring, love flies out of the window and goodwill evaporates. You could also say that life happens.

    Hilary - congratulations; you are not the only one, I too know of some happy outcomes. Grab what you can when you can, it's soon all over anyway.

    Bonnie - you are not the kind of joker I heartily dislike. The sort of person who constantly makes jokes, finds himself endlessly hilarious, laughs at his own jokes, looks round for approval, and jokes some more, that's the one I mean.

    Vicki Lane - thanks Vicki, I'll tell what you said.

    daylily - thanks, old girl, me too. I'm hoping for a few more years of the same.

    Manzanita - I like this comment a lot. You have obviously lived a good long life, with your eyes open, your tongue firmly in your cheek and a good deal humour. No, that's just a joke, geddit?

  25. marciamayo - Good for you. having friends, being busy, being positive and actively doing what one likes doing, therein lies the secret. Whether one is in a twosome or a onesome.

    Midlife jobhunter - Doing much the same as now, I imagine, eventually. I see friends who have lost their partners and that's what they do, once the pain has worn off a bit. It's all we can do.

    Deborah - trust you to come up with both a funny and pithy answer.
    yes, that about sums it up. I notice that the writer wasn't offering a home for a needy chap, just temporary bedspace. Very sensible, nursing and sex are incompatible unless the nurseling is filthy rich and the sex 'off-hand' or similar.

  26. Well Friko if I was a man and looking for a companion I would definitely be attracted to your ad. The cutting seriousness mingled with humour-dynamo combo.

  27. Had to check back and read the comments. Manzanita cracks me up! Love her take on this.

  28. Aha, so you want to become a matchmaker now. Remembers me my fathers advert after he had become a widower, one bit said: "mit exzellenter Erziehung, aber leider abgeschlossen."

  29. I was lucky. I found Jerry on the internet. Your commenter is right about finding a recent widower. Beware of the frequently divorced fellow. There's almost certainly a good reason.

  30. maggie - thanks maggie, I am not sure that a man would appreciate that sort of personality.

    Vicki - thanks for coming back, I like her's too. She's a wise old bird.

    bayou - seit langer Zeit, nehme ich an. Hat er trotzdem jemand gefunden?

    20Century woman - Hm, you think so too, eh? must tell her that's how it's done.

  31. A funny post and witty comments. Enjoyed reading it.

  32. Thank you amazing blog, do you have twitter, facebook or something similar where i can follow your blog

    Sandro Heckler


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