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On Life and Love After 50 by Tom Blake
On Life and Love After 50 by Tom Blake

By Tom Blake

I have a friend in Orange County named Christine Baumgartner. I’ve known Christine for years. She is a relationship counselor and expert on dating and relationships.

In response to a newsletter I had written, Christine made a comment about what attracts men to women, which she based on comments her male coaching clients had shared with her over the years.

She wrote, “The part women don’t understand are two very important elements for a man to be attracted to a woman.

“1. Men need to be able to provide for a woman. They need women to need them for some things, such as financial assistance, or using a man’s knowledge, or providing physical help.

The way women can allow for a man to provide for them is to ask for his help. Ask for help regarding things you don’t know how to do. Ask for his help if it would be easier for you if he did it instead. Ask for his input if you’d like to get another opinion. Ask for his help if you’d like to spend more time with him.

“2. Men need us to appreciate them. And if men are able to provide for us, this gives us as women ample opportunities to say ‘thank you’ to them for their help.

“The way to show men appreciation is once a man has helped you, tell him how happy his help made you. Tell him what a benefit his help made in your life. Tell him you enjoyed being able to count on his help.

“And the benefit to the woman for doing this is the man will want to do even more things for you to receive more thanks. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Christine added that these two elements do not mean that women shouldn’t be self-sufficient or somewhat independent. She said, “Men are very attracted to women who are independent thinkers and passionate about the things they are good at, and who can take care of many parts of their lives.”

I think Christine’s comments about these two elements are very significant. People like to feel appreciated. When you think about it, it’s such a simple thing to do. It’s what makes a giver feel good inside. It’s not financial payback a giver seeks. It’s feel-good appreciation, knowing that an act of kindness meant a lot to the person you helped.

Appreciation is the heart and soul of volunteer work. It’s the reward that volunteers feel in donating their time and effort. Lately, I have heard from two people who volunteered for two South Orange County charities, but resigned because the leaders of those charities were trying to run them like cut-and-dried, profit-and-loss corporations and were not appreciative of the volunteers.

Another friend just resigned from the Peace Corps. The reason: lack of appreciation. And appreciation is such a simple thing.

So, it’s not just in romantic relationships that appreciation is essential, it’s in all aspects of life. When someone, even a stranger, does something nice for you, let them know how much it meant to you.

To learn more about Christine Baumgartner’s thoughts on how to improve your relationships including letting men fill the need to help their partners, and to express appreciation for that, visit her website at or contact her via email:

Oh, and by the way, I really appreciate all of you readers.

Tom Blake is a Dana Point resident and a former Dana Point businessman who has authored several books on middle-aged dating. See his websites at; and To receive Tom’s weekly online newsletter, sign up at or email at

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