You had a call from a 55-year-old fiscally-responsible man who was 'in love' with a woman who was not fiscally responsible. I wish I could talk to him -- or rather, warn him from first-hand experience.
I was 47 when I met my husband, he was 50 and said he did have past financial problems, but emphasized they were all in the past and all due to his divorce. He lavished me with things I could never afford myself, or rather, chose not to buy myself because I stuffed the max I could into my retirement. (I downsized from my previous home and bought used cars.) Due to this, even after a 3 year, $40k divorce, I was debt free. The one thing I emphasized, when dating, was I needed someone "financially independent". I couldn't afford to pay for another's bills. Hubby was going to sell his house; I would sell my house; and we'd get a 'together house'. Three months after saying "I do," I got a nasty phone call saying he needed a loan or they were going to foreclose on his house and repo his truck. Hindsight is wonderful - I should have just let the cookies crumbled, but I didn't. This had a BIG domino effect on everything as the house never did make it up for sale and it still won't even meet code.
When dating, before any sex or after 6 months of dating, each should have a credit score done and place all their cards on the table.
Your advice, Dr. Laura, about minor children is spot on. My tween stepdaughter has everything my kids (in their 20's) still don't have, plus moral decay from her mom and I can't even suggest she wash her hands before dinner.
If anyone has any respect for another, they would not have another person take on any of their bills/debt.