People are often surprised to learn about the extent to which dating and romance go on beyond the age of 65. After all, the rest of us understand that the joys and satisfactions of affection and partnership do not vanish with age or the death of a partner.
On the contrary, relationships that begin after 65 tend to be close, enduring and seasoned as they are with the benefit of experience and the patience that comes with age.
Relationships have certainly blossomed at Rydal Park, one of the premier continuing care retirement communities in the Greater Philadelphia area, Ralph Bloch and Anita Shmukler are proof of that fact. The couple met on an online dating site in 2008, and after seven years of courtship they became the latest in a line of couples to wed – in their nineties!
“We were excited to move our relationship ‘to the next level,’” Bloch offered with a grin. “We wanted to make it official.” Both widowed after a combined 109 years of marriage, Ralph and Anita hit it off on their first date to a local restaurant. “He was friendly and warm. An optimist. And also good-looking,” Shmukler recalled. “I was looking for some arm candy,” Bloch joked.
Like other late-life couples, Bloch and Shmukler found dating and romance much less fraught with complication than in their youth – among many other benefits.
“We met. We liked each other. When he said ‘live with me,’ we moved in together. And when it came to our marriage, we planned our wedding in record time,” adds Shmukler.