A Message From Heather Herber Percy

The Chairperson of the ABIA and Founder of The County Register talks about older age dating and how best to enjoy dating in those years of maturity

I have been in the business of putting single people together, since I started an introduction agency back in the early 1980s. I still run my agency, The County Register, today but looking back over the years and at old records, I am truly astounded to see how much people’s ideas and perceptions about dating, have changed within the older age groups that we often deal with, since that time.

It is not something that has suddenly happened; a new phenomenon, it has simply evolved over the last thirty years as dating for mature people has changed too. Allow me to explain, back then, I interviewed many people who, for whatever reason, found themselves alone in their later years, often 50 or 60 plus. Mostly the men would come along and say that they wished to meet women prepared to relocate and live with them. It was often suggested also, that of course they would be able to take some personal effects but not too much furniture, because the house would already be fully furnished by the late or ex wife, so no need to change anything! In a situation whereby for example, the man was a widower, you would inevitably see photos of the ‘once dearly beloved’ that under no circumstances could be removed, however perhaps (the widower would suggest) a photograph could be added to the collection.

I vividly remember a close friend of mine in the 1980s called Gay who was divorced at the time, asking for my help to meet a new partner and against my better judgement because she was a friend, she joined The County Register. She met a charming man through my agency, but he wanted her to give up her lovely home in Hampshire and live with him in Oxfordshire. Fortunately, Gay thought better of selling her house in Captains Row, Lymington, immediately and rented it out for a year instead. She then made her way to Oxfordshire with great anticipation and excitement, not really knowing what the future might hold, with the man she had fallen head over heels in love with. She packed up her car with all her special mementoes including family photographs etc, along with some very beautiful Persian rugs she did not wish to leave behind for her tenants to destroy.

Upon her arrival, my friend was welcomed with lots of hugs and kisses by her new partner; however, he was in the middle of a meeting and had to leave her to unpack the car alone, which was not a problem. Gay entered the house first of all with some photographs of her family and in the corner of a large rambling hallway of the typically draughty, under heated, Hornton Stone Oxfordshire house, she saw a rather pretty occasional table with her new partner’s family photographs sitting on the top. My friend carefully re arranged them and placed some photographs of her family next to the existing photographs. She then went back to her car for her suitcase and took the suitcase upstairs to the bedroom they were to share together for the rest of their lives.

Suddenly Gay heard a large crash and splintering sound, coming from the direction of the hall and she rushed downstairs to see what was happening, only to find that her new partner had with one hand, swept all her family photographs onto the flagstone floor and was apoplectic with rage and anger. Gay immediately packed her belongings and drove her car to my home in Herefordshire, it was by this time very late at night and she was heartbroken. She stayed with me on and off for a year until she could move back in her house in Hampshire. Ultimately, I’m afraid in this instance there was no happy ending and Gay never did find that special partner, although with my help she tried very hard to do so, but that’s another story. Sadly she died alone in another country and I will always miss her eternal optimism.

I think what happened to Gay was a clear indication to me, as to how difficult it was then and still is, to simply walk into someone else’s life and home, leaving everything behind you. You could well be leaving behind family, friends and a whole community of people you have grown to respect and love (who also love you in return), to move to another part of the country to be with the partner of your choice. In today’s society that is simply no longer necessary and there are now alternative options open to women in this more modern and free thinking society that we live in today.

Fortunately both men and women in their sixties, are now coming to that realisation and are approaching dating and relationships in a more flexible sensible way and this is becoming more evident to me at the forefront of the introduction industry today. In the 21st century over sixties singles are no longer moving in with each other, instead they are ‘house hopping’. Allow me to explain without offending those who believe in a more traditional type of partnership.

Single over sixties are now sharing what they have with each other, but retain their independence, enjoy each others houses and friends and in a way have the best of both worlds. They do not entirely move in with each other, therefore family and friends don’t have to worry about losing sight of a loved one, or of a family inheritance flying out of the window. Some will say that this rather immoral, but is it really?

Young children no longer have to be taken into consideration, because they have long since flown the nest, or at least they jolly well should have done! Two people getting together at this stage in life, have a right to simple happiness, that can be gained by not living entirely alone, loneliness is today’s silent killer. Someone’s sixties should be filled with moments in time to be cherished, shared and enjoyed with a partner, before family step in to take control of all our lives in extreme old age. Better to enjoy life while you still have energy and zest for living and even better still to enjoy it with a partner by your side, because the day will come when the choice to live life the way you wish to live it, will sadly no longer be yours. So go for it and get out there and enjoy yourselves – and I am happy to say that at The County Register, we can help you achieve this.

A Message From Heather Herber Percy

The Chairperson of the ABIA and Founder of The County Register talks about older age dating and how best to enjoy dating in those years of maturity

I have been in the business of putting single people together, since I started an introduction agency back in the early 1980s. I still run my agency, The County Register, today but looking back over the years and at old records, I am truly astounded to see how much people’s ideas and perceptions about dating, have changed within the older age groups that we often deal with, since that time.

It is not something that has suddenly happened; a new phenomenon, it has simply evolved over the last thirty years as dating for mature people has changed too. Allow me to explain, back then, I interviewed many people who, for whatever reason, found themselves alone in their later years, often 50 or 60 plus. Mostly the men would come along and say that they wished to meet women prepared to relocate and live with them. It was often suggested also, that of course they would be able to take some personal effects but not too much furniture, because the house would already be fully furnished by the late or ex wife, so no need to change anything! In a situation whereby for example, the man was a widower, you would inevitably see photos of the ‘once dearly beloved’ that under no circumstances could be removed, however perhaps (the widower would suggest) a photograph could be added to the collection.

I vividly remember a close friend of mine in the 1980s called Gay who was divorced at the time, asking for my help to meet a new partner and against my better judgement because she was a friend, she joined The County Register. She met a charming man through my agency, but he wanted her to give up her lovely home in Hampshire and live with him in Oxfordshire. Fortunately, Gay thought better of selling her house in Captains Row, Lymington, immediately and rented it out for a year instead. She then made her way to Oxfordshire with great anticipation and excitement, not really knowing what the future might hold, with the man she had fallen head over heels in love with. She packed up her car with all her special mementoes including family photographs etc, along with some very beautiful Persian rugs she did not wish to leave behind for her tenants to destroy.

Upon her arrival, my friend was welcomed with lots of hugs and kisses by her new partner; however, he was in the middle of a meeting and had to leave her to unpack the car alone, which was not a problem. Gay entered the house first of all with some photographs of her family and in the corner of a large rambling hallway of the typically draughty, under heated, Hornton Stone Oxfordshire house, she saw a rather pretty occasional table with her new partner’s family photographs sitting on the top. My friend carefully re arranged them and placed some photographs of her family next to the existing photographs. She then went back to her car for her suitcase and took the suitcase upstairs to the bedroom they were to share together for the rest of their lives.

Suddenly Gay heard a large crash and splintering sound, coming from the direction of the hall and she rushed downstairs to see what was happening, only to find that her new partner had with one hand, swept all her family photographs onto the flagstone floor and was apoplectic with rage and anger. Gay immediately packed her belongings and drove her car to my home in Herefordshire, it was by this time very late at night and she was heartbroken. She stayed with me on and off for a year until she could move back in her house in Hampshire. Ultimately, I’m afraid in this instance there was no happy ending and Gay never did find that special partner, although with my help she tried very hard to do so, but that’s another story. Sadly she died alone in another country and I will always miss her eternal optimism.

I think what happened to Gay was a clear indication to me, as to how difficult it was then and still is, to simply walk into someone else’s life and home, leaving everything behind you. You could well be leaving behind family, friends and a whole community of people you have grown to respect and love (who also love you in return), to move to another part of the country to be with the partner of your choice. In today’s society that is simply no longer necessary and there are now alternative options open to women in this more modern and free thinking society that we live in today.

Fortunately both men and women in their sixties, are now coming to that realisation and are approaching dating and relationships in a more flexible sensible way and this is becoming more evident to me at the forefront of the introduction industry today. In the 21st century over sixties singles are no longer moving in with each other, instead they are ‘house hopping’. Allow me to explain without offending those who believe in a more traditional type of partnership.

Single over sixties are now sharing what they have with each other, but retain their independence, enjoy each others houses and friends and in a way have the best of both worlds. They do not entirely move in with each other, therefore family and friends don’t have to worry about losing sight of a loved one, or of a family inheritance flying out of the window. Some will say that this rather immoral, but is it really?

Young children no longer have to be taken into consideration, because they have long since flown the nest, or at least they jolly well should have done! Two people getting together at this stage in life, have a right to simple happiness, that can be gained by not living entirely alone, loneliness is today’s silent killer. Someone’s sixties should be filled with moments in time to be cherished, shared and enjoyed with a partner, before family step in to take control of all our lives in extreme old age. Better to enjoy life while you still have energy and zest for living and even better still to enjoy it with a partner by your side, because the day will come when the choice to live life the way you wish to live it, will sadly no longer be yours. So go for it and get out there and enjoy yourselves – and I am happy to say that at The County Register, we can help you achieve this.