Which Is More Important: Chemistry or Companionship?

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): susancougar-woman-young-man_1

Comment: I’ve been dating a widower for 10 months and we have
only had sex once, I have roommates and he lives with his daughter so location is a factor. We have gone to hotels but he was impotent.

A few weeks ago, we went to visit my daughter and took her and her boyfriend out
for dinner, the whole trip probably ran about 1,500
he likes to spend money, though he is not rich, I think it makes him feel important. I felt obligated because of the big expense and we managed to have sex, I didn’t enjoy it. He seems to be very needy, was married for 40 years and faithful. but his wife
passed away a year ago. I kept telling him that
he is trying to fill the void, he comes on so strong
with all his very romantic outpourings, and wants me
to say I love him..I can’t..

The real problem is that I started sleeping with my
roommate, who is a little younger then the widow and
is going through a divorce. He has been living
with me for a year and we talk all the time, watch
TV, and sometimes go out to a party or a jazz club.

A few weeks ago he knocked on my door and wanted to
cuddle which ended up in sex, since then we have
had sex 5 more times, each time hotter and hotter.
I feel like a bad person because the widower claims
that he is in love, but I only see him once a week as he he is very involved with his kids and in laws.
I’ve never seen him on holidays.

A friend of mine said I am wasting my time with
the roommate, that he is not boyfriend material.

I wonder if being practical is that important, and pretend to like kissing the widower? or continue with the roommate? We are planning on going to several seminars in real estate, and talk about building up an investment business, the field he is in now.

At least he is very motivating and very easy
to get along with…
Age: 64
City: New yORK
State: NY


You’ve written in a few times before, and I have to say that I pray that I’m as active as you appear to be when I hit my sixties. You date more than most women I know that are my age.

That said, I don’t get a good feeling from this roommate. I’m basing my opinion not just on this letter but the one you submitted previously.

My sense is that you get targeted by guys looking for a Sugar Mama. Something tells me that you keep meeting men (usually much younger than you) who can’t support themselves and are seeking someone who will help them along financially. The minute someone you barely know starts talking money, you should be hightailing it out the door.

Your roommate, who is probably stretched quite thin monetarily due to his impending divorce, sounds like he may be looking for a benefactor. I say this because you and he are discussing a business venture together, one that he undoubtedly needs capital for and can not raise himself. This guy is bad news. He can’t even rent an apartment for himself. That’s how broke he is.

As for the other guy, you don’t seem terribly interested in him, so why bother keeping up the charade? I get the sense that you want someone more  vibrant. The problem is that you keep finding that quality in douchebags.

I can’t tell you what you should prioritize. Practicality doesn’t appear to be a thing for you. From what you’ve shared, you give the impression that you’re attracted to younger guys, or at least men who have something flashy about them. Or maybe you’re just drawn to the intrigue. I don’t know. What’s troubling to me is that your radar doesn’t appear to have improved.

If you keep this fling up with your roommate, I can almost guarantee that he’ll disappear once you’ve funded him. He’s sketchy. I would do what you can to cut things off.

You need to decide what is more important – chemistry or companionship. If it’s chemistry, you can date and sleep with whomever you choose. Just be smart about it. Guys who are having a hard time getting by should be an automatic No for you.  But if it’s companionship then I think you need to adjust your expectations. Real talk: sexual dysfunction is common in men and women over 50.

I totally get your desire to be sexually fulfilled, but I think as we get older we need to re-evaluate what it is that’s truly important.



Sometimes the love of your life is the love of your life. (R)


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14 Responses to “Which Is More Important: Chemistry or Companionship?”

  1. susan Says:

    Your spot on as usual thanks
    for the candid answer,
    I need to re-evaluate
    as you said, thanks

  2. Sandra Says:

    I would say ditch them both. A kind goodbye to the no chemistry widower, and give the roommate his 30 day notice.
    Sounds like the OP has no trouble attracting men, so why not start fresh. Since she has already been married and had a child, no reason to be panic mode about not finding anyone, or fear no man will ever want her again.

  3. Ben Iyyar Says:

    I am 65 years old, married to the same girl for almost thirty five years, father to four grown children, and I am ill with cancer. I realize that my situation is rather different from most, and that is probably why I have come to really appreciate the companionship of a good woman who loves me. My wife and I also share a great chemistry, the chemistry that grew from our decades of love, trust, loyalty, and support, as well as the chemistry that real intimacy creates. So at this stage of my life and my health, I would come down in favor of companionship and let the chemistry follow. As sort of an example of what I mean, I have had the real pleasure of seeing two friends of mine, a widow of eight four, and a widower of ninety, get married and remain happily in love together until he died four years later. They seemed to be deeply in love, but they also got along very well together, so I guessed they probably enjoyed the companionship of a kindred spirit! I suppose it really depends on what one means by chemistry, is it closeness, physical intimacy, the peak experience of oneness with the world, or just a feeling of comfort and safety in the arms of the one you love?

    • susan Says:

      that was a wonderful answer I agree
      that there is nothing like the
      support of a loved one, I had
      that in the past and it got
      me through a lot of hardship
      it was great hearing about
      the older windowers I guess
      the hope springs eternal
      is always a good motto

  4. Yvonne Says:

    Yes, sexual dysfunction can occur more frequently in older adults, and I’ve even had this problem even with some men under 50. But has the widower made any attempt to treat his impotence? It doesn’t sound that way, and I suspect that if Susan were truly interested in him, she would have broached the subject.

    As far as companionship, I don’t even get the sense that she loves being with him all that much, and if you are going to forgo good sex for companionship, the companionship should be stellar.

    The separated, cash-strapped guy doesn’t sound like a great bargain either, even thought he’s active and easy to be with. I’d keep him around for sex, if you’re okay with that, but avoid having business dealings with him.

    Easier said than done, but try to find a relationship where neither the companionship or the chemistry are lacking. A good companion and okay sex is fine. Or maybe a decent companion and great sex? In any case, I think most older people are looking for some blend of both. Oh right, that’s what younger people are looking for too.

  5. Bill Says:

    Susan, I think you’ve correctly considered that the widower has been through a lot, loosing his wife, and is looking to fill a huge, graping hole. You are not romantically attracted to him, but you remain in a relationship of sorts with him, and from the tone of your letter, you are starting to grow resentful. For both your sake and his, break it off cleanly. Kindly and gently, but cleanly.

    As for your fling with the roommate, no harm there as long as your eyes are wide open and you don’t allow yourself to be used financially, nor emotionally. Moxie has more insight and believes he is looking for a sugar-mommy… my advice on gold-diggers is pretty simple, just say no on the money front and they move on. So, Moxie’s advice to give him a 30-day notice is a good one, if everything goes south after that discussion, then you know for sure.

    Honestly, though, opting for the unknown behind Door Number Three and getting back out there is likely the best advice for the long run… look for chemistry AND companionship.

  6. Howard Says:

    The games we play with ourselves. There is nothing better than reality and facing it head-on. As hard as it is to accept, we need to get real, regarding what we truly want and the price we are willing to pay for it. We also have to address the compromises that we are willing to accept, and doing that well in advance, is really useful.

    To anyone reading the OP’s post, it is beyond obvious that she should end things the widower. She is not getting what she wants with him, and it’s probably not fair to him. With the younger guy, I am not so sure she should just ditch him, but managing that situation is of great urgency.

    Regarding the advice about a woman hightailing it, if she hears a man bring up money, I hope guys are paying close attention. Maybe we should start doing the same when a woman brings up money. Oh, but that wouldn’t work. There wouldn’t be any women left to date. Look here, we live in a society where money is a big deal, so I am not sure anybody bringing up money, makes him or her less suitable. I think this is a situation by situation thing. A judgement call has to be made on how far someone is pushing the envelope, and how far we ourselves wish to play along and spend some green.

  7. AnnieNonymous Says:

    I agree with Moxie’s point here, and it’s been helpful for me to expand it in a general way: don’t dump someone for qualities that are common among your chosen dating demographic. If you dump this well-off, kind, affectionate guy because of his sexual difficulties, you’re likely to find yourself dating guys who have the same dysfunctions but without all of the good qualities. Be aware that if you ditch the widower, other women will line up to be with him, so make sure you’re SURE about what you decide to do.

    She already knows she doesn’t truly like the widower though, since she’s using her roommate as an excuse not to have him over, and she thinks the adult child (or at least teenager) is a valid reason for two adults to not spend the night in those places. They’ve been together for 10 months! If the daughter has met the OP and is cool with her, she has no excuse for not being able to spend the night..except she clearly just doesn’t want to.

    • BostonRobin Says:

      Right, that bit about not even having sex with the guy for 10 months, except that one time she felt obligated? That sets off the scream response in my head. It also proves what Moxie keeps saying about how the people who are willing to date without having sex have something to hide. Either impotence, on his part, or this F-buddy on the LW’s part.

  8. Jenny Says:

    Oh, Sweetie! Where do I begin? I hope you take all the good advice you are getting here to heart. You aren’t even faced with a choice between companionship and chemistry, because you aren’t getting satisfying companionship from the widower, who clearly bores you to tears! Chemistry with your roommate? You want to get laid regularly, fine, but don’t make more of it than it is.

    I am 63, 5 years out from a 20+ year marriage to a serial douchebag, running around flat chested from two bouts with breast cancer, and living alone for the first time since I can remember. I know living in NYC is expensive but, hon, maybe you should start by either living on your own or finding a female roommate close to your own age and in a similar situation. I have read your other post(s), and one of Moxie’s phrases in her response really resonated: “Underneath the bravado the regret and sadness pokes through, like a broken bone that has torn through flesh.”

    You don’t want or need to be that woman. I know what you want. I want it, too. You have to learn from your experiences, though, and stop trying to do the same thing over and over, hoping for a different result.

    You have to stop. Just. Stop. Your roommate (unbelievable!) is a fuck buddy at best, and a golddigger at worst. Stay chums, stay playmates, but keep your support of his business endeavors at the attaboy level! And, really, what roommate knocks on your door at night because he wants to ‘cuddle’? Puh-leeeeze! He’s working you, and you’re letting him.

    Maybe living where you do gives you unrealistic expectations. I hate to think you are just delusional. My dating site experience could have been like yours, had I not relied on the wisdom of Moxie and the gang, and had a bit of my own natural ‘wisdom’. I almost got roped into an unsatisfying relationship with either a 70 year old widower and/or a 55 year old divorcee who lived with his freaking parents and didn’t even have a car! After a couple of weeks of booooooring messages back and forth, they started showing signs of infatuation, without ever having met me! I pulled the fade on both of them, which seemed kindest, at that point. Dodged that rubber bullet!

    After a few false starts, I am now with a delightful 53 year old man. He’s a boon companion, and a gentle and considerate lover. Does he have sexual issues? Sure, but there are ways around that, and there are wonderful blogs that address the issues of ‘senior’ sex with joy and compassion. Yes, dear. We are ‘seniors’. Own it, and stop trying to bed the boys. They really don’t want you.

    This is getting too long, but hopefully you get the point. You don’t have to settle for what doesn’t satisfy and fulfill you. You don’t need to jump on every opportunity that presents itself (300+ dates? Seriously??). Grow up, lose the roommates or find roommates who aren’t trying to use you for anything, and decide what value you place on yourself and how you want to spend the rest of your life.

    • susan Says:

      Thanks for the thoughtful reply, and congrats
      on dating your 53 year old. I like to
      think that I have my head on straight but
      I did succumb to the cuddle thing, I was
      at a low ebb at it being Memorial weekend and
      alone, which my roommate was too..we hang
      out a lot at night watching movies and
      had watched 50 shades of gray which probably
      sparked the cuddle episode. I hadn’t had
      sex in over a year, except for the three
      minute one with my 64 year old widower.

      My 58 year old roommate and I had gone to
      a real estate seminar last weekend, I
      bought the tickets.. (I had sold it for
      30 years but had lost my hearing and had
      to give up selling)…I did get a cochlear
      implant which is a big help
      I learned a lot at the two day seminar
      and hopefully may be able to utilize
      some of the techniques. Right now I
      am living from month to month, my roommate
      is late this month so all the advice I’ve
      been reading has me a little apprehensive
      he claims that he is getting a big bonus

      I have been renting out a small space in my apt to
      airbnb people which has been picking up
      the slack but its a hassle having all
      these strangers every few days.

      I do sell jewelry online which brings in
      a little here and there so I’m not completely
      dependent on the roommate and could probably
      survive without his rent for a month or so
      but it would be tight..

      As far as sex goes, I think the intrigue
      is getting wearing out it was probably just
      the antidote for my dry spell. I guess I
      have to get back into dating and try to
      be more objective.

  9. Sandra Says:

    OP stated in her letter the roommate is “a little younger” than the widower. She never stated the exact age of either. It is possible that the roommate is not as young as many seem to imagine. The problem is that he is her roommate, which makes dating difficult and he could start getting really strange. Best that they live apart from each other is they stay occasional playmates.

    • Lisa Says:

      I think they’re referring to the previous letter, where the letter writer discusses a man she was dating who is 20 yrs younger than she is.

  10. Shadowcat Says:

    Maybe it’s because I was involves with a shitstorm disaster of a Real-Estate situation ( We invested about five minutes before the bubble burst) but I would think thrice about entering risky ventures at that stage in my life, even if you are a woman of means… PArticularly if sex and romantic feelings are involved, it might be clouding your business acumen.

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